Watercolor Fun: Relax with Simple Patterned Landscapes | Ewa Kleszcz | Skillshare

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Watercolor Fun: Relax with Simple Patterned Landscapes

teacher avatar Ewa Kleszcz, illustellar | Find Bliss in Making Art

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (21m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:32
    • 2. Class Project

      0:52
    • 3. Supplies

      1:54
    • 4. Rolling Hills

      8:09
    • 5. Floral Meadow

      4:06
    • 6. Bonus: Wavy Ocean

      3:11
    • 7. Final Thoughts

      0:43
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About This Class

Enjoy the fluidity and transparency of watercolors and have fun with this medium from day one!

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Watercolors have a reputation of being a hard medium to master, and many people avoid it altogether or feel immediately discouraged when comparing their first attempts to the works of painters with ten plus years of experience. But everyone was once a beginner and I believe that simple and fun exercises are the most effective way to help you develop your skills.

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The fastest way to gain experience is to dive into the topic and make a lot of mess, just like a child.

So don't overthink it. You don't need to read 400 pages on a color theory first or watch seventeen tutorials on choosing the right watercolor paper. There is no one right way to use any medium. You are free to experiment all you want, especially with affordable supplies that are available on the market today.

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That’s why in this class, we'll be using simple strokes, dots, and dashes, to create quick, expressive patterned landscapes.

I will keep technical details to a minimum, and I'll make it as easy for you as possible, so you can jump into practice right away and enjoy your creative session.

It's a great way to get to know this medium. By putting bigger and smaller marks on the paper, you will slowly get a feel for how much water to use and when. You will also have the opportunity to experiment with mixing colors on a smaller scale without the fear that a wrong choice will ruin a complex composition.

This class is for you, even if you are a total beginner and you never held a brush in your hand. All I'm asking is for you to clear your mind and trust the process. If you approach painting with curiosity, instead of comparing yourself to others or worrying about technicalities, your experience will be much more relaxing, pleasant, and rewarding!

By the end of this class, you will have all the skills you need to paint your own expressive landscape, but what is more, you'll see that watercolors can be fun and you will fall in love with this medium!

MORE INSPIRATION

Looking for more pattern ideas? Check out my class: „Patterns Everywhere: Finding Fresh Embellishing Ideas for Your Projects”

You enjoyed the "Wavy Ocean" exercise and you love drawing and painting seascapes? Jump into my class: „Slow Drawing, Slow Living: Get in the Flow with Ocean Doodles”

You don’t have time for big art projects? Watch: „Pocket-Sized Creativity: Make Time for Art Despite a Busy Schedule”

ABOUT YOUR TEACHER

Hi, I'm Ewa and I’m an illustrator and embroidery artist based in Warsaw, Poland.

Feel free to check my Profile here on Skillshare!

You can also visit my website here.

WANT TO SHARE YOUR WORK WITH ME?

Post it on Instagram and tag me @illustellar

Meet Your Teacher

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Ewa Kleszcz

illustellar | Find Bliss in Making Art

Teacher

  

Hi there! My name is Ewa, and I'm an illustrator and embroidery artist in love with all things nature. 

Born and raised in a big city (Warsaw, Poland), I yearn to live by the ocean, and this longing for contact with the natural world is the leitmotif of my art. 

 

 

I love combining organic elements with geometry and I draw inspiration from the underwater world, plant life, cosmos, and Japanese patterns.

I’ve always been incorporating tons of details and intricate patterns into my drawings and lately, this practice translated to my embroidery, which consists of hundreds of french knots and other elaborate details.

This repetitive act of embellishing my art with copious dots, circles... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say they would love to try watercolors but it's just too hard, I could buy myself a whole lot of paint. If you compare your first attempts to the works of masters with 10 plus years of experience, it's easy to give up even before you truly start your watercolor journey. I'm here to tell you that you really don't have to aim that high to enjoy the fluidity and transparency of watercolors and have fun with this medium from day one. Hi. My name is Eva and I'm a self-taught illustrator and embroidery artist based in Warsaw, Poland. I'm a rebel at heart, and I strongly believe anyone can just go, buy a tube of paint, and start creating. Obviously, there are some rules and techniques to create in every medium. But let me tell you a little secret. There is no watercolor police that will barge into your home and tell you to freeze and drop your brush because you're doing it wrong. The fastest way to gain experience is to dive into the topic and make a lot of mess, just like a child. That's why, in this class, we will be using simple strokes, dots, and dashes to create quick, expressive patterned landscapes. I will keep technical details to a minimum and I will make it as easy for you as possible. We can jump into practice right away and enjoy your creative session. It's a great way to get to know this medium. By putting bigger and smaller marks on the paper, you will slowly get a feel for how much water to use and when. You will also have the opportunity to experiment with mixing colors on a smaller scale without the fear that a wrong choice will ruin a complex composition. This class is for you even if you're a total beginner and you never held a brush in your hand. All I'm asking is for you to clear your mind and trust the process. If you approach painting with curiosity instead of comparing yourself to others or worrying about technicalities, your experience will be much more relaxing, pleasant, and rewarding. By the end of this class, you will have all the skills you need to create your own expressive landscape with watercolors. I can't wait to see what you'll create, so let's get started. 2. Class Project: Your project for today will be to create your own watercolor landscape using technique demonstrated in the class. You can paint some rolling hills, or flora and meadow, or a seascape similar to the ones you will see in the class. But you can also choose to illustrate a desert, a mountain range, or a beautiful forest. Possibilities are endless, and you can make this composition as complex or as easy as you like. When you are ready, take a photo of your artwork and go to the Projects and Resources tab. Click the "Create Project" button and upload it so we can share your experience and inspire others. 3. Supplies: Let's talk about supplies you will need for this class. When it comes to paper, you can use any brand and it doesn't have to be expensive. The only thing you need to make sure of is that the paper you buy is suited for watercolors. Notice the paper weight, it should be 300 grams or 140 pounds so it can handle a lot of water. I use many different brands of watercolor paints, both in pens and in tubes. Start with what you have at home. You can even borrow your child's watercolor set. If you have to buy some watercolors, go for affordable student grade 1s. You probably don't want to splurge on an expensive set from the beginning. You will feel pressure as not to waste it and it could hinder your creativity. You will also need a palette. I really love the ceramic ones as they are easy to clean. You can just use a small plate for this purpose. Make sure you have at least one around brush for this project. It will allow you to paint delicate lines and small details with the tip and draw their strokes with the whole bristle. You can also use several different sizes of brushes, including very fine ones for tiny elements. You will also need a water jar and some paper towels to dry your brush if it becomes too wet. Don't forget about the pencil and eraser for the sketching part. You can also use washi tape or any other masking tape to create borders for your paintings. That's it. Now, let's jump into painting with watercolors. 4. Rolling Hills: We will start with sketching guidelines for our simple green hills landscape. To create an illusion of depth, make the bottom hills bigger than the top ones. I'm pressing my pencil to the paper quite hard so you can see what I'm doing. But you try to keep the lines as light as possible so it's easy for you to erase them afterwards. Now go over the shapes once more adding parallel lines to create white borders that will separate layers of grass from each other. This will allow you to focus on one layer of grass at a time without thinking too much about overall composition and potential problems that may arise when you start overlaying watercolor strokes. In this class, we will keep it really simple. We will be painting inside this prepared areas and later on we will erase the guidelines. Keep in mind that if you go with your paint over a pencil line, you won't be able to remove it afterwards. It's not the end of the world, just remember about this issue if you want to avoid it. Now let's start painting the first layer of grass. To further highlight the single illusion of depth in our composition, we will use bigger, fatter, and darker strokes at the bottom of the page. As we move higher and higher, we will be using thinner and lighter elements. In this technique, we will be keeping each blade of grass separate from one another with a little bit of whitespace all around every element. In the end, it will look a little like an impressionist painting. But we will preserve the white background and we won't be layering strokes. Why? Because I don't want you to stress about creating accidental blobs of paint or activating old paint underneath the new layer. The goal of this exercise is for you to just start using the paint and see how it behaves. Of course, if it so happens that some elements will merge, don't sweat it, it's totally okay. Just observe why it happened and how the paint acts while it's still wet. I want this first layer of grass to be pretty dark, so I'm using only a tiny bit of water to activate the paint. You can even take it straight from the pen without transferring it to the palette. The more water you add to your paint, the lighter the color gets, so basically, you can get away with having just one green paint in your watercolor set and still achieve different values with it. To add some interest and movement to the layer, you can slightly change color while painting. Add a bit of yellow to your green to make it warmer, or add some blue to make it cooler. Also, as you probably remember from art lessons in school, you can create green from scratch by mixing blue and yellow paint. The bottom line is this: don't be afraid to experiment with mixing colors, just try and see what happens. I believe this is a much better way to learn than just reading about color theory or watching tutorials and observing how others do it. If you're afraid that you will ruin your painting, take an additional piece of paper and practice there. One of the properties of watercolors is that the layer of paint becomes lighter after it dries out, so if you want some elements to be really dark, you can paint over them twice. After you finish painting the first layer, wait until it is completely dry so you won't smudge it with your hands. If sitting and watching how the paint dries is not your favorite pass time, you can use a hair dryer to speed the process. Just make sure there are no big drops or pools of paint on the paper, and if there are, remove them gently by using a cotton swab or dry brush. Otherwise, the stream of air will blow the paint all over the paper and ruin your painting. Now let's start painting the next layer. To make the composition more dynamic and exciting, you can change the direction of the strokes. My first layer was vertical, so I will make this one horizontal. You can also alternate between shorter and longer strokes. Play with your brush. Use just the tip and then see what happens when you press the side of the bristle to the surface. We are focusing on simple strokes here so we can learn how the brushes behave and what they are capable of. Also, don't be afraid to rotate the paper so it's easier for you to make the marks. Now, your blades of grass don't have to look realistic, so have fun using different patterns in this exercise. If you're looking for a pattern of inspiration, feel free to check my other class, patterns everywhere, finding fresh embellishing ideas for your projects. Here I am mixing green with blue blades so it looks like grass is moving in the wind. As I mentioned in the beginning, higher layers indicate hills that are further away from us, so the marks I make here are smaller and thinner. When you finish filling all the layers with grass, wait for the painting to dry completely and erase all the pencil guidelines. There you have it. A simple, painless, yet very eye-catching watercolor landscape. In the next lesson, I will show you how to develop such composition even further and create a more intricate floral meadow. 5. Floral Meadow: To create this floral meadow, I sketch the guidelines as before. However, this time we will start with filling the layers with different flowers. Remember to intersperse them, so you can squeeze the blades of grass between them later on. Following the rules I've been talking about in the previous lesson, I make sure that the flowers in the bottom layer are pretty big. Much bigger than the ones I will add to the subsequent layers. I'm using simple shapes, only suggesting the presence of flowers. Even a tiny dot or bunch of dots will do the trick. You don't have to fill the whole layer with flowers, you can just paint a bunch of them here and there. I'm playing with several colors here, mainly because I wanted to make this lesson more interesting for you visually. But don't be afraid to choose a more subtle color scheme. Stick to some violet dots and create a lavender field, or focus only on yellow flowers to create meadow full of daffodils. On the other hand, you can combine several colors in one layer to create a really lush meadow bursting with different flowers. Now that you've finished painting your flowers, it's time to start adding some blades of grass to the composition. First of all, remember to change the water in your jar. After painting with yellow or red or violet, you don't want to use the same water for your greens and blues, as they will get muddy and vice versa. If you're like me, and you're just too lazy to leave your desk in the middle of the painting, prepare two water jars beforehand. One for the warm colors and other one for the cool ones. Start squeezing the blight in between the flowers carefully and try to avoid touching them. I love this part of the exercise because it forces me to focus 100 percent on what I'm doing. It acts as a mindfulness meditation of sorts. Just relax and have fun with finding spaces to fill with grass. As before, alternate the direction of blades, play with different patterns and see how the beautiful meadow blooms under your brush. Finish with erasing all pencil lines and voila. In the next bonus lesson, I will show you how to create a quick seascape with watercolor marks, just so you can see how versatile this technique is. 6. Bonus: Wavy Ocean: This time I use washi tape to create border around my painting. Then, I sketched some seascape outlines, making sure that layers are really wavy and differ in shape. I want this composition to be very dynamic, so I'm using a lot of winding lines. As always, I will start with the darkest color to create my first wave. Then I will paint the second one with a lighter color. Then we'll vary the strokes to make it more interesting. In this composition, I stick mainly to the horizontal strokes. I try to make them parallel to the crest of the wave to emphasize its shape. Here, I experiment with tiny vertical strokes to create an illusion of a big wave rising and coming at the viewer. To be honest, I'm not exactly happy with it, but that's a risk every artist has to make. Sometimes you try something, and it looks great. Other times, not so much, but you always, always learn in the process. This truly wonderful. I will finish the seascape with tons of tiny dots in the air to suggest droplets of water. I've erased all the pencil lines already and now let's remove the washi tape. I promise you, it's a whole lot of easier when you are not trying to do this on camera, squeezing between an absurd amount of cutesy props. Try not to rush it. If you pull the tape too quick and too hard, you can damage the paper surface. Do it slowly and gently. Again, always make sure your artwork is completely dry before you start removing the type. Otherwise, you will smudge the paint. I know I'm saying it a lot, but I learned this the hard way by ruining tons of paintings this way. There you have it. Easy watercolor seascape with a pretty wide border around it. 7. Final Thoughts: Thank you so much for taking this class. I hope I convinced you that watercolors can be fun, and if you're inspired to give it a shot. I would love to see what you would create with this easy relaxing technique, so please don't forget to upload your artwork to the project's gallery. If you want to stay tuned for my next classes, follow me here on Skillshare. Happy creating and see you next time.