Watercolor Fox - Adding the Element of Texture to your Watercolor Paintings | Louise De Masi | Skillshare

Watercolor Fox - Adding the Element of Texture to your Watercolor Paintings

Louise De Masi, Artist - capturing beauty with watercolour

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10 Lessons (49m)
    • 1. 1. Trailer

      1:17
    • 2. 2. Supplies

      3:30
    • 3. 3. Fox Body

      8:31
    • 4. 4. Fox head

      5:54
    • 5. 5. Fox Eyes

      8:40
    • 6. 6. Finishing Fox Head

      5:21
    • 7. 7. Fox Tail

      3:27
    • 8. 8. Fox Legs

      5:37
    • 9. 9. Finishing details

      4:24
    • 10. 10. Thank you & Class Project

      2:00
35 students are watching this class

About This Class

Paint a beautiful watercolor fox with professional watercolor artist and teacher Louise De Masi in this 49 minute class.

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Louise will guide you through two specific techniques that add the element of texture to simple watercolor washes. She will demonstrate how to paint fur with watercolor, simply and expressively using salt and deliberate 'blooms.'

Discover how Louise:

  • Blends colours on the paper
  • Works wet on wet
  • Applies salt washes¬†
  • Creates deliberate 'blooms' or 'back runs'
  • Adds detail
  • Simplifies a reference photo

When you enroll in this class you will have access to a line drawing of the fox that you can download so you can paint along with Louise. You will also be able to download 2 progress photos and the final photo of Louise's painting. 

This class is suitable for intermediate painters but beginners will also find it useful.

So grab your brushes and start painting!

Transcripts

1. 1. Trailer: Hi, I'm Louis De Masi and I'm a professional watercolor artist. One of the reasons I love painting in watercolor is its power to suggest without overstating. I love how magical things happen quite unexpectedly when the water and the paint interact on the paper. This class is all about painting texture in watercolor. I will demonstrate how watercolor paint can be deliberately manipulated to create beautiful patterns on the paper. I've chosen this sweet little fox as my subject and I will demonstrate how I painted all these beautiful textures to create the fur. The techniques in this class, I use often in my paintings on lots of different subjects. I will show you how I use salt to create texture and how I create deliberate blooms. You will see how I blend colors on the paper working wet on wet and how I add detail to complete the painting. I provide you with a line drawing of the fox so that you can paint along with me. There are progress photos so you can see how the painting develops. Join me while I show you how easy it is to create exciting and beautiful effects with watercolor. So grab your brushes and let's start painting. 2. 2. Supplies: In this video, I'll show you all the supplies that I use to create the fox. I used a water container to wash my brushes. I used a water spray bottle to wet the paint when I put it on the palette. Now these are the paints that I used. I used Winsor and Newton white gouache. I used burnt sienna and others is another Winsor and Newton color. I used gold ocher, and this is also Winsor Newton. Now these are the Daniel Smith colors that I used. The first one is imperial purple. I used sepia, which is the darkest brown than I have, and I use lamp black. Now here are the brushes that I used. I used a Da Vinci Nova. This is a liner brush. I use this for all the fine work. This is a three slash zero. I use my favorite squirrel mop. This is also a Da Vinci brush. I love this one because it has a beautiful point. I use my Da Vinci Casaneo brush. This is a number 16. It's a flat brush that has a round tip, which is great for applying washes. I use my old faithful bristle brush that has helped me out on many occasions when I've made my numerous mistakes. This is my favorite palette. The reason I like to use it is because it has sloping wells. When I put the paint on my palette, I put the paint up the top on the highest point. I give it a quick squirt of water and the watery paint pulls at the bottom. So then I have the choice of picking up the hard paint at the top or I can use the watery paint that pulls at the bottom. The other reason I like it is because it's ceramic and I can wash it out after I use it. It doesn't stain. So I can see my colors on the clean white surface. I used Arches Cold Press watercolor paper. This is 300 GSM in white, so I had to stretch it. Now if you want to know how I stretch watercolor paper, I covered that in my previous class, watercolor Robin. Now this cold press paper has a textured surface which is different to my normal hot press paper. If all you have is hot press paper, that's fine to use too. I use paper towel. I use it to dry brushes on. I always have a box of tissues handy to block my paint off. I use my hairdryer quite a bit in this painting. I have it plugged in and sitting beside me on the floor. I used salt to create all the texture. Now this is coarse sea salt. It's just the ordinary salt that I put on the table at meal times. Last but not least, I used my mechanical pencil. This is an HP, and my eraser to remove pencil lines. That's it. So let's get started. 3. 3. Fox Body: Welcome, everyone. In this video, I begin painting the fox. You'll see me washing in his body and adding salt to the paper to create all those lovely textures in the fur. When you add salt to a wet wash, the salt absorbs the water that's on the paper, but not the pigment in the paint. When it dries, you're left with all these lovely patterns in the wash. There's an element of timing that goes into a successful salt wash. If the paper is too wet, nothing will happen and if the paper is too dry, nothing will happen. Why wait until the paper has a slight sheen on it? When I am not sure, I sprinkle in a little test patch somewhere and see if there is any reaction. If nothing happens while I watch, then I wait a little longer. Anyway, you'll see what I do in this video. Now, I've got the reference photo of the fox from a website called Pixabay. It has some great photos that you can paint from without fear of infringing copyright. As I mentioned in my supplies video, I'm using cold press paper for this painting. I normally use hot press because it's smoother and that makes it easier for me to add data. I've chosen cold press for the fox because I seem to have more success when I apply salt to cold press paper. I've also stretched my paper. I stretched it because it's 300 years semi white and I didn't want it to pucker. If you don't know how to stretch watercolor paper, I covered that in my Watercolor Robin class. Let's get started. I've got my reference photo on my iPad and I'm ready to go. Now, my drawing is on the paper. My paper has been stretched because I know I'm going to be working fairly wet. I'm going to start with the body. I'll paint the areas beside the head, along his back, down beside his tail, up his hind leg, and across his tummy. I've got burnt sienna, gold ocher and sepia on my palette, and I'll give them a quick squared of water. I begin by wetting the area with my da Vinci Casaneo brush. Now, I do this carefully because wherever I wet the paper, that's where the paint will go. I make sure I take it right to the edges of the fox. I pick up some gold ocher with my brush, working the paint into the bristles of the brush. Now, the water on the paper gives me a little breathing time because it stops any hard edges from forming. It helps to keep the paint transparent and luminous. I switched to my Squirrel Mop brush here because I want to try adding some of the fur that flicks off the edge of the fox. I'm still using gold ocher. Now, I'm putting some Imperial Purple on my palette. "Why purple?" I hear you say. Well, I like to experiment with colors sometimes, and I've used purple on my foxes before. So I know that it works nicely with the orange hues. I paint the purple on that gray area of the fox's back. Now, I've got some water on my brush here and I'm softening the edge where it meets the tile. Now, I have some burnt sienna on my brush and I'm deepening the color where I think it needs it. I basically just look at my reference photo and I decide, well, I think the color is slightly darker, and that's where I put the burnt sienna. I'm adding flicks of fur as I go. The paper is still wet from when I dampened at the start of the video. I haven't dried it and rewetted at all. I'm doing all of this painting in one go. Now, I'm using sepia, which is a dark chocolate brown color. I try not to fast too much because if I do, the paint colors will begin to mix together and then I'll end up with a muddy mess. I paint the sepia wherever I see the darker brown color on my reference photo. A little bit more burnt sienna on the tummy, and beside the head. You can see the water on the paper here, it's quite wet. This is why I needed to stretch my paper before I started. Otherwise, it would have buckled and puckered. It's to wet for me to start adding salt, I need to wait until some of that water has evaporated off the surface. About six minutes has gone past and I'm still not sure if it's too wet for me to add the salt yet. Now, this is called sea salt that comes in a grinder. I ground some of it into a teacup, so it was ready for me to sprinkle on. It's just ordinary table salt. Because I don't know if the paper is dry enough yet, I'm going to add a few grains to see if there is any reaction on the paper. The salt absorbs the water and leaves the pigment behind. If I look at it closely, I should see the paper around the salt lightening the color slightly and I'm not seeing that. So it's probably still too wet. I waited a few more minutes and I'm at the point now where it's now or never. If I wait any longer, the paper will be too dry. So I sprinkle it on and I should see a reaction straightaway, and I can. I think its work okay. My fingers are crossed. A few minutes later and this is what I see. It's still weird, but you can see has some nice patterns are forming on the surface. I'm going to go and make a cup of tea and I'm going to let that dry thoroughly. It's completely dry now, and I'm able to brush all the salt off. I'm going to take that over to the sink and I'm going to brush it all away. This is what I'm left with. The fur has lots of beautiful patterns in it, and it is really interesting to look at. Now, in the next video, I begin painting the fox's head. Now, as the painting develops, If I think to myself that there's too much texture and it is not subtle enough, then all I have to do is rewet the surface and apply a little more paint to take some of it away. I may add some gold ocher onto the purple area, but I'll adjust it if I need to, as I finish the painting. I'll leave it as it is for now. 4. 4. Fox head : In this video, I paint all the fur on the fox's head, I paint wet on wet again, and also a little wet on dry, I show you how I incorporate a bloom or what's sometimes called a background into the painting. Now, blooms occur when a wet wash is flooded into another drier wash. It dislodges the pigment in the paint and creates these lovely organic shapes. I use this technique in a lot of my paintings, not just when I'm painting fur. I begin, again, by wetting the fox's head with some clean water. Now, I'm not going to put the water all over the head at this stage. I need to control where the paint goes, so I'm wetting this area here. I pick up some gold ocher from the top of the palette and I give my brush a little twirl to get that nice point back. I start to paint onto the area that's wet. I add some flicks with my brush to create that spiky fur. I'm always more comfortable pulling strokes like these towards myself, so I've moved around to the other side of the table to do this. Now, I'm dropping in some of the purple straight onto the wet paint. I have no paint on my brush at the moment. I'm pulling that paint down onto the wet paper because I want this area to be lighter in color. You can see on the reference photo that the brow area above his eyes is lighter in color there. I'm painting some sepia here stripe onto the wet paint, and I'm flicking the gold ocher onto the top of these. Now, some more gold ocher under the eyes. I have washed the paint out of my brush now because I have enough paint on the paper, and I can just move it around with my damp brush. I'm picking up some of the purple now and I'm going to drop that straight onto the wet snout. There's no paint on my brush again. I use the damp brush to pull that wet paint onto the dry paper. Now, this area through here is soft in color, so all I need to do is pull that existing paint across. I just picked up a little more gold ocher here. The paper is still dry. Even though that area on the fox's face is white, I need to paint some color because I won't be adding a background, and you won't see it against the white paper if I don't. Same on the other side here, my brush has no paint in it, I'm pulling the paint across onto the dry paper. There's only a small amount of pigment being pulled across. Some more sepia onto the forehead, and I'm trying not to fuss with it too much, and some sepia into those dark areas near each ear. Now the head is still wet, so I'm going to deepen that color at the top with some burnt sienna. I left the painting too dry for a few minutes. Now, I'm using a tissue to lift off some of the color over the brow. The paper isn't dry yet. If it was dry, I wouldn't be able to lift it off like this. You can see that the paper is still damp. I haven't re-wet anything. The paper is still damp from when I wetted at the start of this video. Now, as the pigment has been absorbed into the paper, I can see that I need to darken this area further, so I'm putting some more sepia there. I'm pulling a little bit of the sepia down onto these larger area. If I don't like what I've painted, all I have to do is get my tissue and dub it off. Now I'm going to show you how I like to add a bloom or background. I'm drying off the paint with a hair dryer. Just before it dries, I'm going to drop some water onto his nose and onto his head to create a bloom. You can see how the water dislodges the almost dry pigment beneath it. Now I can dry it with the dryer to prevent it from spreading any further. That's an easy way to add texture and interest to your paintings. I sometimes do it on birds, do it on leaves, and even some of the petals of my flowers. 5. 5. Fox Eyes: In this video, I paint the fox's eyes and the area around the eyes. I use my fine brush and I paint the eyes themselves on some dry paper. I'm removing some of my pencil lines before I get started on the eyes. Now I use my pencil to draw some guidelines for myself. I need to know where I'm going to put the iris and the pupil. The best advice I can give you in painting or drawing eyes is to draw or paint what you see, not what you think you see. Think of the eye as a series of shapes. Stop thinking about what you think an eye should look like. I'm using my fine brush to paint the eye. This is a Da Vinci Nova. I'm picking up some of the gold och-a. I try as much as possible when I'm painting to limit my color palette rather than get another color out or make use of what I already have used when I painted the fur. I used the gold och-a to paint both of the irises in. The paper is dry. Now I'm drying both eyes with the hair dryer. I'm making sure that they are really dry because I don't want any of the colors to run into one another. I usually have my hair dryer sitting right beside me when I'm painting. I'm using lamp black now to paint both of the pupils in. Now the paint is slightly watery and the paper is dry. This is some watery purple or painted into the corner of both eyes. Again, I'm making use of the colors that I have on my palette. I decided that this iris needs to be larger. I'm painting some more gold och-a on to it here. I dried them again with my hair dryer. Now I'm removing my pencil lines. I'm using sepia to line the edges of the eye, the paper is dry. Now I come back with some water on my brush and I run it along the edge to soften it and make the color bleed into the eye softly. I bring this sepia around the edge of the iris now. Again I soften it with some water on my brush. Some sepia again along the edge. Now this is lamp black, I'm painting it on dry paper. I'm looking at the reference photo as I paint, and I'm trying to paint the shapes that I see in the corner of the eye. I've have just darkened it with some more purple. Now I'm drying it off again with my hair dryer because I need to darken the paint on the pupil and I don't want it to bleed and make a mess. Now for some more lamp black straight onto the dry paper. I'll leave some little highlights on there. I have some watery burnt sienna here and I'm washing over the iris. I dry it off again with my hair dryer. Now I'm wetting the paper underneath the eye so that I can paint the markings that I see on the reference photo. This is burnt sienna. I'm looking at my reference photo as I paint. Now I've washed the paint out of my brush and I'm using it to soften the edge of the burnt sienna. This is sepia now straight onto the damp paper. I take it gently above the eye too, and some more burnt sienna above the eye. Softening the edge again with a damp brush. A little more sepia now here, and here, I'm pulling the wet paint onto the dry paper here to create a few little flicks of hair. Now I'm painting some burnt sienna along the edge of its face here. Now the other eye is painted the same way I painted the first eye. I'm lining the edge with sepia. I'm softening it with water. I bring the sepia all the way around the edges. Some lamp black again into the front area where the pupil is. I darken the pupil with some more lamp black. Now I'm using some watery sepia to paint them on the outside edge of the eye. I do the same on the first eye. I'm extending the sepia past the outer edge of the eye. The paper is dry here. Now I've dampened the area underneath the eye and I'm painting some burnt sienna there. Now I'm softening the edge with water. I've put some sepia there now. I'm painting the sepia onto dry paper here on this other eye, normally I will dampen the paper first to prevent any hard edges from forming. But I know that if I'm quick enough, I can soften the edge with my damp brush before the paint dries. That's where I'm up to now. I've provided this photo for you to download in the ''Your project'' section. If you are using this school sheet app on your iPad or your phone, you won't be able to save the download documents. You need to sign into school sheet through the Internet in order to get access to download them. If you go into ''Your project'' section, you will see that this download is called Fox Stage 1. 6. 6. Finishing Fox Head: In this video, I finish off the fox's head. I paint the ears, the nose, and the whiskers, and I put some more paint underneath the eyes. It's time to finish the head of the fox. But before I do, I need to fix a mistake that I just noticed. This area of white hair here on the reference photo is smaller than on one my painting, I need to fix that or his head will look out of shape. Now, I've drawn a line in where I think the white fur needs to end. Now, what I have to do is remove these hard edge of paint. I've wet my bristle brush and I'm going to soften that edge by gently rubbing on it. This is where I find using cold press paper more forgiving than hot press paper. I find that I can remove or lift paint off cold press more easily than hot press. Now, I'm removing some of the paint with a tissue. I'm filling in that space with some gold ocher. Now, I've removed the paint for my brush and I'm going to soften the edge again. I'm painting some burnt sienna straight onto the wet paper and some sepia too. Now, I'm taking that sepia up to the side of his face to define that furry edge. Disaster averted. Now, for these, wait, the top of each ear with some water, and I'm using some lamp black to wash over the top. Now, for the inside of the ears, wait, the edges of this ear with a little bit of water and now, I'm painting some watery burnt sienna alone. I do the same on this other ear. I deepen the color at the base of the with some sepia and I've wet that area with some water. I do the same thing on this other ear. I'm deepening the color underneath the eyes here. I've wet the paper and I'm using some burnt sienna. Now, I'm softening the edge with some water. Now, I'm running my damp brush through the wet paint and I'm painting a few strokes of fur onto the dry paper. There's hardly any paint on my brush, same on the other side. I've got a little bit more paint on my brush and I'm deepening the color here and the same on this ear. Don't overdo the haze in the ears. Remember less is more. Time for the nose now. I'm washing in it with some watery lamp black and my paper is dry. The side of this snout is missing here, so I'm painting it on with some watery purple. While the paint is wet, I paint a few little black marks along the side with the whiskers coming out. Now, for the whiskers, I use my fine brush to paint these in. Try to paint the whiskers in one stroke. If your brush lifts off or there's no paint on your brush, don't fuss with it. I've turned my painting here so I can pull the strokes towards myself. The nose has dried and it's time to paint the nostrils in. I'm painting them on dry paper. Now, I'm waiting the nose because I want to darken a little bit with some more black. I want the color to blend softly over the surface. Now, I've wet the area above the nose with some water and I've put some lamp black on there too. I wet the area underneath eye again, and I'm applying some sepia there to deepen the color, and the same on the other eye. That's the fox's face completed. Now, in the next video, I will paint the bushy tile. 7. 7. Fox Tail: It's time to paint that bushy tail, wet-on-wet again and I'll revisit the application of salt for you. You get a second chance to try out the salt effect, if it didn't work for you the first time around. I begin by wetting the tail with some water, because I'm going to paint the tail the same way that I did the body, wet on wet, or washing some gold ocher, now I've got lots of paint on my brush. There's now wishy washy color here. I'm using my big brush so that I can cover the area fairly quickly. I'm keeping the right side of the tail fairly light in color just as it is in the reference photo. Often got water on my brush here. Now the tip of the tail is wide, but I'm defining the edge with some watery sepia. I've switched brushes I'm now using my moth brush because of it's lovely point, and I'm going to paint some sepia straight onto the wet gold ocher. I'm taking this sepia across the tail in missy, haphazard stripes. Take a few flicks of paint off the edge of the tail as I go. I'll paint these missy drops all the way down the tail. Now I have some more paint on my brush. This is sepia, and I'm deepening the color here and there. Now this is burnt sienna. Again, I'm dropping it straight onto the wet paint. The paper is still wet from when I first started the video, and now a couple of drops of purple. Now it's time to let some of the water evaporate so that I can put some salt on to the top. Now remember if it's too wet, nothing will happen, and if it's too dry, again, nothing will happen. I have to wait for that time when most of the shine is off the paper. But it's still deep. If you're not sure if it's too wet, do a little test patch. If you don't see some patterns forming while you watch, then you probably too early. Let it dry a little bit longer. I'm sprinkling on my salt. I'm at that point again, where if I leave it any longer, I know it's going to be too dry. It's time for a quick break while I let the salt work its magic. Okay, it's dry, and I have some interesting texture patterns there. I'll brush the salt off over at the sink, and I'll show you what it looks like. There it is. I still have some work to do up beside the tail, but I'll do that after I've painted the legs. 8. 8. Fox Legs: I paint his legs and his face in this video, I also paint a few more deliberate blooms so that you can practice it again if you want to. I've wet this leg with some water and I'm wishing you've some gold [inaudible]. Every now and then as I work my way down the leg, I'll give my brush a little flick off the edge to pipe the fur. This is burnt sienna and I'm dropping it straight on top of the wet gold [inaudible] wash. I do the same with some sepia. Again, I paint some little flakes off the edge. The tires are painted with some watery sepia. Now I'm drawing it off to almost dry so that I can create another bloom. I have to keep my eye on it as I draw it because I don't want to completely dry. Then I drop some water on and I dry it again with the dryer and you can see that background forming as it dries. Now I paint the gold parts on this front leg and I'm doing this straight onto the dry paper and the same on this back leg. I'm dropping sepia onto the wet paper and I'm wetting this front leg with some water. This is sepia again. I'm being careful up near the area where the golden can meets the sepia. Because I want to try and preserve those little flicks of lighter hair. I don't want to paint over the top of them. I have a fair amount of pigment on my brush here because I want the color to be quite dark. I'm bringing that sepia down onto the toes. I've washed the paint out of my brush now and I'm moving the paint around that's already on the paper and tidying up the edge of the leg here. Now I'm dropping in some gold orchestrate onto the wet sepia and some more sepia to deepen the color. I'm going to create one last bloom on this leg, so I'm drawing it with my hair dryer till it's almost dry. When I say it's almost dry, I drop some water in to dislodge the pigments. You can see how far that bloom has spread down this leg. I just let it go, and I hope that it would look okay. I didn't fuss with it. Now I've wet the front of this leg and I'm painting some sepia onto the wet piper. I'm deepening the color here with some more pigment on my brush. I'm doing the same thing on this back leg. I'm flicking my brush to paint the four edges. This leg is dried thoroughly and I'm re-wetting it now so that I can define the toes. I evaluate the area that I want the paint to go on. I haven't wet the whole foot. I'm painting sepia onto the wet piper, to painting that front toe. A few little flicks here to represents the fur. Now I'm painting this back foot on dry paper. I can paint it on dry paper rather than wet paper because there is a hard edge there. This is the progress so far and I've only got the final details to go. You can download these photo in the your projects section, I've named it fox stage 2. 9. 9. Finishing details: In this video, I finish off the fox by painting all the little details that bring it to life. It's sometimes difficult to know when you've finished with the painting. I usually get to a point where I'm fearful of painting anything else in case I ruin it. I know then that it's time to stop. Let's finish this fox. I decided to paint some more gold over the top of the purple, so I'm wetting that area with some water so that I can apply the golden ocher without having any hard edges forming. I apply the golden ocher straight onto the wet paper, I'm dabbling in around here and there. I don't want to completely cover the purple, I just want to tone it down a little. I've wet this area beside the tail so that I can run some sepia down the edge where the tail meets the leg. I've done that and now I'm using my fine brush to break up that edge and paint some flicks. I'm using sepia again. Now this is white gouache. White gouache is an opaque water color. I'm putting two squirts of it on my palette, one I will keep as plain white, and the other I will mix some burnt sienna into. Now I use this gouache to paint some hair strokes here and there along the edges of the fox. Do this sparingly if you over do it, don't worry because the gouache can be brushed off with some water. I use it along the edge of the tail and a few places on the side of the face coming out of the ears along the body, and along the leg. Now I'm wetting underneath the feet so that I can paint a soft shadow under each of them. This will help to ground the fox so that it doesn't look like he's flooding in the air. I'm using some of the purple paint to paint over the wet paper. I'm going to add some more burnt sienna to this back leg just to deepen the color a little. I've damped this area on this leg so that I can put some burnt sienna there too. I've gone back to the tail to further define the edge. I'm using sepia again and I'm trying to break that edge up a little bit more. I'm using the mop brush to soften the edge of the paint with water here. The paper is wet here and I'm using sepia to deepen the color slightly. I'm doing the same thing here. I'm softening that edge with some water. I think I'm at that stage now where it's time to call it a day, and put my brushes down. Here is my finished fox. I really hope you enjoyed painting with me. Now I've provided this photo for you to download. This one is called Fox Final. 10. 10. Thank you & Class Project : I mentioned in my trailer that I use salt and deliberate blooms in a lot of my paintings. I wanted to show you a few of the paintings where I have. This is a painting of a pony and I painted some deliberate blooms on this leaf at the front. It helps to break up the flat green wash. On these chrysanthemums, I added a bloom to the center of the flower, I also added some blooms onto the leaves. I added the bloom on my corn painting here and on this king fisher, I added some salt up on the head and that created those lovely textures there. I put some salt on the back of this raccoon to add the texture here and I was a little bit more subtle with my use of salt on this crane. I sprinkled it onto the left, black wash on the flight feathers to create those markings there. I also painted some blooms on the stems of my recent jungle painting to break up the green there. These two techniques used sparingly can add interest to your paintings and really showcase the beauty of watercolor. I hope you enjoyed painting this little fox with me. I'd love to see your efforts. Please upload photos or scans of your foxes onto the projects page. I have included a line drawing that you can download and trace onto your paper. There are two progress photos and there's a photo of my finished painting. So have fun with it and thank you.