Watercolor Lightning Storm | Kolbie Blume | Skillshare

Watercolor Lightning Storm

Kolbie Blume, Artist

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10 Lessons (1h 28m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Techniques

    • 4. How-to: Lightning

    • 5. How-to: Clouds

    • 6. Final Project: Step 1

    • 7. Final Project: Step 2

    • 8. Final Project: Step 3

    • 9. Final Project: Step 4

    • 10. Recap


About This Class

Join me for an intermediate-level tutorial on painting watercolor lightning storms! 


1. Intro: Hi. My name is coldly and I am so excited that you are joining me today to learn all about painting watercolor night sky lightning storms just like this painting right here. I love painting these kind of moody landscapes, and I can't wait to show you all of the tips and tricks that I have Teoh achieve this really cool effect. If you've taken some my other classes, I try to focus on translating these complicated kind of scenes into really simple, easy steps. And I hope that I've achieved that this time. But I will say this kind of painting is probably more of an intermediate level than a beginner's level. So because you have to have a little bit more control over water on your brush and on the paper, So I would recommend that you if you've never painted watercolor with with watercolor before, I would recommend you take maybe a few other beginner classes that I have like my misty forest class for my galaxy class. Those break down the very basic techniques in a little bit of an easier of a setting. That said, I don't think you should ever be afraid to try something new, and I talked about this a lot in the videos that you'll watch an upcoming class. But I practiced these scenes a lot before I finally film them and show you my final product . I have painted many scenes before I get to one that I actually like. So if you're up to the challenge, let's move on to the next video and learn all about painting lightning. See you soon. 2. Materials: all right, before we can get started on painting our lightning storm water color nights, guys, I want to talk about briefly the materials that you'll need in order to make this successful. Now, bear in mind, I'm mostly talking about professional grade watercolor materials. You don't need professional grade watercolor materials in order to make beautiful paintings . I definitely did not start out with professional grade. I started out with student grade, the cheap stuff that most everybody I know does. And that's how I learned. Um, that said, professional grade does make a difference, which is why I mostly used these to teach my classes, and I highly recommend thumb. When you do want to take that next up to make your paintings that much more, Um, just take them to the next level. So first up, let's talk about paint. Ah, these are two different brands that I have talked about a lot. If you've taken my classes before, um, I'm gonna be using Daniel Smith, Extra Fine watercolor and Windsor and Newton professional watercolor. Siri's um, I use both of these very frequently. They're some of my very favorites to use in terms off vibrant colors and smooth pigmentation and reactivation. And also, um, just how the watercolor feels on paper. So I, um you'll see me using those. Frequently I would recommend having some kind of red, yellow, and blue mostly will be using blue If you don't have red and yellow, That's okay. Um because I mean, with the simplest form of night sky, you definitely need blue. So I'm using indigo for my blue. And this is this is pearly in Violet s. So it's kind of like a purple. He read a red violet kind of a thing. And this is Naples yellow, which is like a light yellow. But you don't necessarily need all of these colors. I'm just using them because for my final project, I'm gonna make some kind of colorful, not lightning storm to, um I also use Payne's gray to make my indigo sky darker and black. Um, I will be using various values of black in both in the sky and in the scene below the lightning storm. So, um, those were the paint you that I'm going to use. You use whatever you have on hand. Um, and I'm sure your masterpiece will be beautiful. so after water color to paint the actual lightning, we're going to need either gua sh that's G O U A C h e go wash or Dr Ph Martin's Bleed proof White, which I suspect to some very similar makeup to quash. Both of these are similar to watercolor and that they are activated with water, but they are opaque white, so if you lay them on thicker than they're not nearly as transparent. And that will make for some really cool lightning, um, along the same lines with the lightning. I like to have a white gel pen. Teoh draw on the more defined lines. Um, yeah, and that about covers it for paint. I would always recommend having some kind of palette on him to mix paint with I. Typically, if I don't, uh, dry paint in little half pounds, I'll drive them in a palette like this, and it just makes it easier to use. Um, the paint, along with the Palito makes everything together, so you'll be seeing me using that pretty frequently. Next. Let's talk about paintbrushes again. I go through lots of different paintbrushes, and I have talked about different brands in this in my classes before. Um, this time I'm mostly gonna be talking about Princeton. So I've talked about the Princeton heritage Siri's lots of times before with E Red Handle. It's probably my very favorite, one of my very favorite, um, paintbrushes. It's all of the paint Brushes I use are synthetic sable hair, which means they're not made from real animal hair. It's all synthetic, um, which is cruelty for you. But also I just like the water control. Better than using Sten using riel sable hair in my paintbrushes. So I always go for synthetic. And when I paint with watercolors, almost always choose watercolor paint brushes that are round in shape, see round in shape. That just indicates the shape of the brush. And, um, I find round is easier to control with watercolor, So I have three different sizes here. I have around number 12 and that's the Princeton heritage Siri's. And then I have around number 10 and zero, and these are, um, pretty new. I've only had them for a couple weeks, Um, but I thought that I would just share my experience with them. They are Princeton Velvet touch. The handle is really soft, which makes it nice to work with. And it's again synthetic sable. Ah, for the brush, Um, and they're a little bit firmer of a brush than the heritage. Siri's. So, um, I have enjoyed working with these two, so I thought I'd introduce them to you. That's Princeton Velvet Touch, but and honestly, most Princeton synthetic sable hair brushes, in my experience have worked really well. So on to paper. It's really, really important that you use watercolor paper when doing watercolor, because otherwise the paper will warp very significantly. That said, regardless of what kind of paper you use in my experience, it always warps at least a little bit. So there are ways to avoid that. I typically especially for final projects. I like to use what's called a watercolor block. So if you'll see, this is arches. Ah, professional grade watercolor paper on £140 cold press. Um, and all four of these sides or tape are glued together. So, um, that's what a watercolor block is when the paper is glued together on all four sides and then at the end. So all just paint on it right like this, and then at the end. I'll cut it out with a knife or something like that. Um, so this is the paper I'm going to use for my final project. Um, professional grade paper is definitely more expensive than student grades. So usually when I practice all just use student grade paper. And today I'm going to be using Artie's, a student grade paper. Also cold press. Also £140 just made of slightly different materials. That's not quite as high quality as arches, but still great for practice. So, um, that's the paper I'm going to use again just to repeat myself. Regardless, I would recommend having watercolor paper. I would recommend having it be cold press cold press just indicates how rough the paper is , what kind of tooth it has and having it be watercolor paper and at least £140. Um, if you're if you ever wondered about that, £140 just means that when you have a whole ringing, which is 500 sheets, it will weigh £140 it will always indicate where how much it weighs, Uh, the weight of the paper on the path that you buy. So those are what I'm those are materials I'm going to be using today. I also recommend having Q tips, Um, as one of the bonus lessons today, we're gonna talk about how to paint like stormy looking clouds and Q tips are really important for that. Ah, but just in general, they're important to mop up excess water or paint Iowa. I always like to have some on hand, and then I always have, um, two cups of water, one that always stays clean, which is going to be really important when we use our white paint and then just a paper towel. Eso those with the materials that we're gonna be using for this class and again, you can use whatever you have on hand. I'm sure it's gonna be beautiful, but if you want to paint exactly the way that I'm doing, this is what the materials that I'm going to use. So without further ado, let's move on to the next video 3. Techniques: before we get started learning how to paint the different elements of this lightning night sky. Let's talk about some of the very basic techniques. If you've taken any of my classes before, you have probably seen me talk about these techniques before. But that's because every watercolor piece, uh, every watercolor painting ever, really it can be broken down into using one or both of these techniques the wet on wet technique on the wet on dry technique. Um, it might be self explanatory, but I'm going to explain. And for those of you who might not know what I'm talking about, the wet on dry technique basically just means that you are painting on dry paper. So watercolor as a paint as paint. It always wet right because it's activated by water. So that's the wet part. But when you paint so that the papers dry, that's the dry part, and you get these Chris blinds and watercolor. I mean, what on dry is excellent for, um, detail work, so I'm just kind of painting some lines. We'll see how I mean when you think of painting, this is probably typically what you think of right, um, and We will use the the word on dry technique at times, but it's far less complicated and easy and less difficult to control, I think, than the wet on wet technique is what we're going to focus on practicing in this in this video, mostly because in order to get lightning so that it looks like like it's crackling in the sky, we want to utilize both the wet on wet and wet on dry techniques to create those kind of effects. So what on what? Uh, as you know, my you might have already understood by, um my explanation of what on dry is when you paint so that the paper is still wet? Um, not still, but that the paper is wet and that could mean painting while the paper just has water on it . Or that could mean painting over the top of wet paint. See, So like, how I put this violent on, um, on here. If I put this into go on top of the violet, that's still wet on wet, Um, because the paper is now, what with watercolor instead of just with water. Um, and that's what we're going to be using in order to really nail the crackling lightning. Um, one really important thing to remember With what, On wet on. One thing that I really want you to practice in this in this class and in this course, is how Teoh control how much water you put on the paper and therefore, how to control better. Which way your paint is gonna go when it's wet on wet. So kind of the characteristic. I mean, I guess Quintus Central character, it characteristic of watercolor and the wet on wet technique is that it kind of does what it wants to write. When you put, um, when you have a lot of water on your paper, like so much so that you can see that it's wet and it's kind of puddling, there's not a whole lot of control you have over the watercolor. It just kind of like if I tried to draw a line, that wasn't a good example, because it drew a pretty good line. But, um, OK, over here is a little better. If I tried to draw a line, it kind of just, like goes out in any direction that A wants to. It might stay in the line and actually look, now it's it's spreading a little bit farther. Um, the shape that I initially put the water down when there's a ton of water on the paper or a ton of wetness on the paper isn't necessarily going to stay, Um, and that is useful in lots of situations. Like when I want to blend two colors together, or if I want to create a greedy int that is definitely a useful, um, way to use water. You can check out my sunset class to see ways that I have created that I create a sunset ingredient. Um, but when we're trying to create defined shapes but that still have that still kind of blend in with the paper, we need to use just the right amount of water so that it's wet enough so that the color that we put on top of the other color blends in together because we don't want a super defined like this in order to get that crackling kind of, um to get that crackling effect. But we also don't want Teoh go every which way. So, um, we're gonna talk more about painting lightning in the next video, but I just want you to practice the wet on wet technique and get a feel for how it, um, the paint reacts when there's lots of water and how the paint reacts when there's not a lot of water and see if you can Um, yeah, just get a better feel for it and and practice so that you know what you're working with. And then in the next video, we're going to specifically practice how to make lightning with these techniques that we're learning. Okay, so just as a quick wrap up, wet on dry is when the paper is dry, but your water, your paint is wet. And then what on wet is when the paper is wet, either with water or with watercolor, and you paint on top of wet paper so that it kind of blooms out like this and blends together and does its own thing? Um, and we're going to be using different forms of both, like different, different forms of both. We're gonna be using both wet on wet on the wet on dry techniques, but we're also going to be using different amounts of water on the wet on wet technique When we form clouds on when we make texture in the sky versus when we make our lightning So , um, to get more explanation on that head on to the next video, I would practise what on wet before you do if you haven't already, and I will see you soon. 4. How-to: Lightning: All right. Welcome back. Ah, you should have before watching this video practice, or at least thought about the difference between the wet on wet technique on the wood on dry technique. And also ah, what the amount of water used during the what on what technique has to do with how the paint reacts on the paper. Okay, so now we're going to practice how to make lightning. Before we start off our final project and and learn how to put all of these elements together, we're gonna practice the most important thing, which is actually creating the lightning. So our first step was creating the lightning is Teoh. Get the paper wet. First, we're going to create the sky. Um, because the reason we're using white paint or are opaque white paint like wash or doctor huge Martin's bleed proof white is because we're going to paint the sky first and then paint the lightning on top of it while the sky is still wet. So I'm just getting ah portion of this page wet with water, and then I'm going to put some into go paint on this page. And when we do the final project, it's there's gonna be some more texture, and we're gonna There's another video in this class that talks about how toe how to paint like stormy looking clouds that can go along with the lightning. But for now, we're just focusing on the lightning, um, to practice whenever I paint final projects. I almost always paint, uh, practice versions first, just so I know that I can get it right. And that's what I recommend that you do, too. I know it's fun to come out of these classes and have your first tribe, the one that you really love. I love that feeling, But if that doesn't happen for you, honestly, that is so normal. And that's why it's really important for me that, you know, I practice and make I make practice versions almost every single time that I do this. Okay, so the trick here is once you've painted your sky, you don't want it to be dry. If it's dry, then when you paint the lightning, it's gonna be the what on dry technique, not the wet on wet. So we won't we still want to be wet, but not so wet that it completely blooms out So let's see how we do so OK, this is my round number zero paintbrush. And now I am getting I'm picking up some whitewash over here, and I'm gonna start at the top and I'm gonna paint on here and see what happens if it looks like my paint is staying in one place like it kind of is that means the paint the sky is not wet enough. Ah, it kind of looks like it's blooming out. See how when I paint this line and doesn't stay in one place, it kind of it looks a little bit fuzzy. We want that fuzzy kind of look because that's what makes it look crackly in the sky. Um, and it's OK if it's not so white. Like if it starts to get a little bit more translucent along the edges, that just means that it's blending in with sky. And we want that to the more you have that kind of blend between the sky and the white, the more of the crackling electricity kind of effect that we're gonna create. So I just added a little bit more into go here. Um, my paper, it looks like got dry really quickly. So that by the bottom here, you see, it's now the wet on dry technique appear definitely bloomed out more outward. Um, but then by the bottom, it got it stayed in place, which meant that the paper was dry. It might be because I'm using student grade paper, which drives a lot more quickly than what then professional grade paper. So keep that in mind as you are practicing and potentially going back and forth between student and professional grade watercolor paper. But what I did here just to kind of re explain was I started at the top and I just moved my paintbrush in kind of, ah, jagged kind of line. You know, the kind of line that lightning usually makes, Um, and because I'm using wash at this point, I was using Windsor Newton, uh, wash. It's opaque and so you can see it on top of the blue. But I really needed the blue to be wet so that it blurred in with skies to get that kind of electric crackling kind of effect. So at this point, though, the sky is now dry. And if I want to continue painting whitening I need to re wet it. So that's what I'm doing. I am picking up some more pigment, and I'm going to re wet the sky that I have made again. This is just practice, so I don't really care how how this the sky looks here. Mostly it's to show you how to form the lightning. Um okay, So I really want this guy and one key to doing this to make sure that the lightning, uh, really you really get that full wet on wet technique is to paint quickly, and that's not always possible. Okay, so that's a little bit better. Um, so sometimes lightning kind of years off splits off, and I only have When I started painting these lightning scenes, I didn't really have, like, the rhyme or reason. Sometimes I'll look up a reference photo if I, um all like Google Lightning photograph or something like that. And they're usually some pretty cool ones that people put online. Uh, you can use that as a reference to how to frame your lightning, but I honestly just I think in general, my philosophy is that nature is in perfect, and, um and it should look kind of random. So that's why I never really have, like, a rhyme or reason When I paint my lightning, I just kind of go for it. Um, but you see how this it's blooming outward a little bit more than it was in the other one. That's because I got it as wet as I wanted it to be, Um, and we want that for our first layer, even if you'll notice when it's your using the what On what technique? It's not quite as like solidly white. That's OK, because we're gonna paint Mawr white layers on top of it in order for it to be really white in the middle. The most important is that the very middle part of the lightning is really, really bright white and then around the edges. If it's a little bit lighter and blends in a little bit more with the sky, that just creates, um the kind of like I said, the crackling electric effect So this is gonna dry pretty quickly. Um, so I just waited a couple seconds, and now I'm gonna take another layer of like thick wash paint. I'm just paint in the middle of this layer this first layer that I did. I want this next layer to be thick with quash thick with paint, and so it's really white, and I want as much as possible. If it's still wet on wet, that's OK as long as it's there's less water to move the paint, because I do want this this layer to kind of keep it shape. Um, so again, I painted one layer before this that kind of spread out and got a little bit less white, which is good. That's what I wanted to, um, create that light effect, that crackling electricity effect in the sky. And now I'm painting a more opaque layer on top of it, Um, while it's still kind of wet so that it does blend in so that it does blend in with the layer that I did in the bottom. So mostly I can get my lightning's to look the way that I want them to with only two layers . But if not, if it still is kind of not as white as I wanted to be. Once this layer is dry, sometimes I'll go in with my white gel pin and just do a final layer on top. Once it's all dry, that will be the lightest of the white layer to show the middle of the lightning bolt. An important thing to remember about light is that in nature, when you're painting something that has natural light in it, the thing that is the whitest um honestly, that looks like it has the least amount of color in it. But it's the brightest, usually is where it's going to be the brightest, and then as it goes outward, is when you start to get more color, Um, which is why we painted it like this to show that it's this lightning bolt is kind of illuminating the sky in that in that way. So that is how you paint lightning, just a single lightning bolt. And as we move on Teoh the different videos and painting our final project will will incorporate more of a design into it. But that's the basic tenet. Um, one thing I want to show you before we sign off is what it looks like when you have too much water and you put and you try to paint the lightning with too much water. Um, just to no show you what? What could happen then? If you have so much water on your paper that it's like puddling like if you look and it looks like it's uneven on their puddles in different places, that probably means you have too much water. So I'm purposefully trying to put too much water on here. Um, just to show you what that might look like. And so if we go in with the gua sh picking, some appear with a glass and too much water. Then it kind of just like floats on top instead of instead of going on the paper. Especially as I try to paint on this puddle right here. You see how it doesn't go? It doesn't stay. It's because the water is blocking my brush from actually painting on the paper on the page , right? It's just the paint at this point, just kind of floating on top of the water. So while the water is vital to getting the paint to blend the way that we wanted to and with the page, if you have too much water, then this happens where I can't paint on the paper because the water won't let me. So, um, that's something to look out for. As you are painting and in situations like that, if you find puddles. That's why I used Q tips. Um, in every painting that used. Like I said, we'll be using Q tips. Make clouds as well. But, ah, if you just mop up the water like that so that it's not a puddle any more than you should be able to paint on the paper again. So Ah, with that, let's move on to the next video. Practice your lightning and to your heart's content. I think it's really fun to paint lightning, and I will see you soon. 5. How-to: Clouds: Okay, So before we get started on our final project, I want to talk about one more thing that you may or may not choose to include in your final project. And that's clouds and some of the other lightning paintings I've done. I don't always do clouds. Sometimes I'll start the lightning just the very top of the painting, so that you don't see the clouds on top of it, because honestly, clouds are tricky put. Um, if you want to give it a shot, I am so happy. Teoh show you some basic techniques that I use that are pretty easy. Teoh. Make some realistic looking clouds, Um, and making them with watercolor and especially using the wet on wet technique can be pretty fun. So let's do a quick little tutorial on especially. I want to talk about how to paint stormy clouds. So first, ah, similar to the lightning, we're going to start with sky first, so I'm going to paint a wet sky. You can start with a wet paper or, if you are quick, you can put paint on the paper first and then start adding water to it so that it gets the paper, what with the pigment on, just like push it down. We have to be quick because of a dries first. Something doesn't work quite as well again, with student grade paper usually dries a little bit quicker than with professional grade paper, so that's something to bear in mind. Also, something to bear in mind is that professional grade paper is It's easier to pick up paint with it like pick it up off of the paper with a Q tip, which is what we're going to be doing very shortly. Um, so I'm using student grade right now, all these professional grade in my final project. But just if you're frustrated, maybe it's because the paper you're using I don't know. Um, okay, so I've painted the sky, and before it dries, I'm going to use my a clean Q tip and just start picking up some of the paint you can dab or you can roll. Whatever. Um, but we're going to start making, like a shape of a cloud. Okay, like the shape of ah cumulus cloud or I don't know, I haven't learned the shapes of clouds in a while. I'm pretty sure it's like like cumulus fluffy clouds, as opposed to I think serious or the ones that are like thin lines like wispy fog almost were trying to make fluffy clouds that are going to look be looking ominous pretty soon because we want them to be stormy. So I'm just picking up the pigment. Um, while it's still wet with my Q tip Teoh utilize this negative space. Now, if there's still some pigment on here like if parts of this is still blue, that is okay. Mind definitely is, Um and it might be hard to see again with water with student grade. Watercolor paper often doesn't pick up a swell as professional grade. But that's OK to, um, if that I was. So look, I would start with the Q tip thing, and if that doesn't work, then using water as a way to push away pigment from the cloud as you're that you're trying to form that is also a very effective technique is so if you if while the sky is still what around you if you get this cloud space wet. If you watch my son site class, this is how I formed. This is how I formed the clouds. First, I used water as a way to resist the pigment and push it out of the way so that I could make clouds like that. Both of these techniques have worked well for me in the past, so, um, it's just kind of up to So I'm pushing away some of this pigment and then the next step to make thes stormy clouds. It's important that this pigment is I mean, that the paper on the clouds are wet anyway, Um, yeah, so it might be tricky to see exactly the difference, but you can see some white spots here. It's easier to tell when, Um, this guy is darker, so maybe we'll do another one down below after I finished this one. But okay, so to make these, like, stormy looking clouds, we want to make some gray paint on the way. The arm, a gray paint, is by taking a lighter value of black. So to change the value, which just means how light or dark ah pigment in its purest form is Ah, you add water for watercolor. So I've added water to my black and now is this gray color. And now because this paper is still wet. I'm just gonna lightly dob I'm using this round number 10. I'm just gonna lightly dab in the middle of this cloud and add some Great here. Now we want we don't want it all to be one color. We want parts of it to be dark grey parts of it to be lighter gray parts of it to look white ish. Um, because the shading is really what makes cloud so visible in the sky, um, and the light. So it's that's best if we're going to start with, like the lighter color we want for clouds and lightning. We want the very edge of the clouds to be the lightest, because that's where the lightning pops out from behind the clouds and in the middle's off the clouds to be darker. That's not necessarily always the way that you would paint clouds, but for these storming clouds. That's the way that I think that they look the best. So I'm I added a little bit more pigment to that, um, that well of black, that well of gray that I had. And so now I'm adding that darker pigment in here and we're gonna blend them together in just a second, so I don't want it necessarily toe look like just big blobs of color. I do want to look like it has some shape. So with a clean brush, I cleaned off my brush here. I'm just going to kind of blend together the white with gray and dark in the middle, still trying to make sure that the edge of the cloud is lighter than the center of the cloud. But without some of those harsh lines. And it's okay if some of the color gets diluted a little bit, Not a big deal. Um, something's going to the same over here. Just kind of blend together this color, and then as you blend, you may decide to go back and put more color in. I do that often. It's like a back and forth, really, between the two. So have gotten I'm making these clouds. I'm actually just gonna extend this one out this way. Then it looks a little bit more like a cloud. And then last thing that you don't always have to do this, but just to make the quality a little bit more so that you can see them. This is like second to last thing. I'm gonna add a darker blue around the edges. This is something that you have to be very careful about if you do what I'm doing. Um, adding the background around last makes it tricky when you blend it always. But I'll show you how we do it. So I'm adding blue around the edges here because I wanted to see the that the clouds more clearly. So now I'm taking off blue for my paintbrush. And I'm just gonna kind of job and blend Move some of this pigment over here where the skies dab and blend, and then I'm a key. I will continue removing the color from my brush with the water so that it's clear when I needed to be because I don't want to comply. Don't want the blue to completely take over this gray. I want them to kind of blend together, um, as evenly as I can get them. And so it's usually easier when you put the blue down first. Eso if you're wondering about that. But the blue just wasn't quite a star because I wanted it to be and That's really hard for you. Um, and I'm a fan of showing you what painting is really like for me. So instead of always just giving you, you know, edited versions that at least that whenever I would watch them made me feel like, Well, what am I doing wrong? Um, sometimes you're not doing anything wrong. Life just turns out like that. So these were kernel of oddly shaped clouds, but this is really like you get the idea of you in order to make it really look like a cloud. With that like light effect. You want different shades and, um yeah, you want different shades And to have the lightning come on in the background, we want the outer rims of the clouds toe have to be lighter. So to show you what this will look like, we're going to do this more in depth as we move on to the final project. But I'm just going to see if I can paint one stroke of lightning bolt of lightning. I guess my paper might be too wet. Um, but we'll see maybe all, like start here. Yeah, it's pretty. What? So I'm gonna just dab some of it off first, and then we'll start my lightning. So it's like that just kind of branching off, going down. And then where I came in from the Cloud under is gonna blend in this white along with the bottom of the cloud so that it blends in the club like that on professional grade paper. This will look a little bit more together. Um, but that's the basic idea. Painting the sky first and then painting the cloud by dabbing away some of the paint or by using waters, resist against the pain so that you have you start out with, like a whiter kind of blew me a whiter edge, and then you add a gray paint and then darker paint so the dark is in the middle and it gradually gets lighter so that the edges around the cloud look like they're lighting up like that, and then we'll paint the lightning storm underneath it. So that is how you paint clouds. And I recommend if you practice to you if you plan to use clouds in your final project to practice this a few times, it's pretty tricky. And even I looking at this. Um I've used these techniques lots of times and even looking at this version, I'm like, I'm not sure these closet really what I want to show them. But, um, I think it's important these air the techniques that you should use And, um, at least these the ones that I use to make the clouds that I like to make on. The more you practice, some of the more you'll be better at them. So, yeah, let's get to it and I will see you in the next video. 6. Final Project: Step 1: OK, now it's time to paint our final project. And just to give you just a brief overview of what I'm going to dio, I'm gonna paint like some roiling clouds on top. First, I'm gonna paint the sky and then some, like roiling clouds, thunder, stormy kind of clouds. Um, with some fun colors coming out of them as well with the lightning bolts and then a typical kind of wilderness seen underneath Now clouds air hard so you can not paint the clouds, and it will look just fine. You can start your lightning seen at the top of the sky. If you have your lightning start at the top where the sky begins, that looks awesome, too. So, um, I just wanted to know I have if you think clouds air hard, you are not alone. I also think that they are, but I want to do my best to teach you the techniques that I have used to create them to see if you, uh he could enjoy using them to, so either way works. And without further ado, let's get started on that. So I'm gonna paint just, um, start with the wash of water and again I'm using My arch is professional grade watercolor paper here. Ah, in a block, which means it's glued on all sides. I'm gonna be using so much water and just a lot of washes off paint and water in this piece . So it's really important that you have, um, good paper. And if you don't have a block, you can use painter's tape to tape down your paper to the table. Make sure that it's paper picture that it's tape that will be nice to your paper. That's why I use paint your sleep. If you use like Scotch tape, it could tear up your paper so that I recommend painter's tape, washi tape, masking tape, anything like that. But, um, if not, you know, I'm sure you could do great. Even if you don't have that kind of paper, let's just my recommendation to preserve your paper so doesn't work so much. So I'm painting the sky right now, and I'm not worrying about creating a smooth kind of Grady int because stormy skies have lots of texture and them right. So I want to kind of preserve as much of that natural texture that watercolor creates in general. Um, but I do want to make sure that as much as possible this page this paper stays wet because as long as it stays wet, then our Q tips and R P brush will be ableto remove the pigment to create the clouds that we want to create. Ah, but if it dries, that becomes a lot harder. So if you start, if you're doing this and you start to see the top off your painting dry a little bit, just take some water and re wet a slightly blended a little bit in with the rest of the sky and keep moving this down. So we want the top to be darker on the bottom to be lighter. Um, and the bottom seen which will paint after we paint the lightning and the clouds will go at the bottom and cover up any of the inconsistencies that you see here that you might not be super happy with. Um, so I'm just gonna paint down to the bottom here, and yeah, that looks fine to me. So this has started to dry a little bit, so I'm just re wedding it slightly, and now I'm gonna paint like a block of cloud. So it's gonna be like mostly Onley. Peaks of the sky are gonna come out from here. So first, instead of starting with Q tips for such a big block of clouds, I'm going to start with water resistance and just kind of push away the pigment using my paintbrush and clean water. So as long as this water is clean as I'm pushing it away, it should push away a lot of the pigment. Um, and I want to create, like, an uneven kind of bridge, like almost like a wall of clouds at the top. And someone's gonna keep dipping my pain person water pushing this down, pushing some of these clouds downward like that. And then I'm gonna The next step after I pushed this down is I'm gonna add black and one trick. I'm going to tell you one trick that we didn't talk about in the clouds forming technique, um, that I have found to be useful as well, one forming these kinds of clouds. So I'm just going to continue pushing. I see. Over here, some of this pigment has puddled, and that's probably a really good place to use your Q tip to is if it started to puddle the pigment that you want. Use a Q tip for like a detail ing the water Using the water is the resistance is good for massive moving massive amounts of pigment over. And then Q tips were good for detail ing so I wouldn't leave like that corner uncovered. So it's still sky. For the most part, this looks pretty good. So make sure that you keep the rest of your sky wet, though I'm noticing the bottom over here starting to get dry. So before I move on, I'm just gonna really quickly re wet this down here. You're gonna be doing this a law, which is again why I say paper is so important and how you preserve your paper is really important. Especially sense when we create our lightning like we talked about, our paper needs to be wet. Um, so just keep that in mind, and you may, as you re what the paper accidentally move into your cloud again. That's OK. Add more water. Push it out like this. We're just pushing this pigment outward and down to create this texture that we want for the cloud for this big giant cloud that we're creating. And we might even want Teoh paint more blue under here like along the shape of the cloud so that it's darker so that you can see shape of the cloud more easily. Actually, I think up here mostly is for I'm gonna go with that and it's gonna move out, and that's okay. We're gonna paint faith, uh, and then we're going to start painting on cloud pretty soon, blending this in over here. Okay, that looks pretty good. So now we have this outline of a cloud, Opie See a puddle over here. So I'm just gonna dab that like that. And there are some places that might be darker in the cloud than you'd like. So take the cue tip dab but those darker places to make them light. And now we're gonna add some of the lighter gray just all around here. I'm still using my number 12 brush because this cloud is so big. Um and yeah, so the lighter gray should go up, like right up to the to the edges of this cloud that we've created. And if the white part that you've tried, Teoh. You know, shape and and maintain kind of disappears. That's okay. We can go back and add it back in later using that technique that I told you about in just a few minutes. So first we want to make sure that we have the at all of this gray to make this a really stormy cloud. You know, I'm not actually sure the science behind gray clouds. I never thought about that. I added a little bit darker pigment here. It's okay. This is the kind of dark we're gonna put more in the middle to get it lighter. All you have to do is add more water on your palate like I was just doing over there, honey. No, I don't get down here. I'm just like, alternating between dabbing and painting, I guess. Um, and okay, now I'm gonna add a little bit more pigment black pigment to this puddle that I have to Ah , dark parts, more dark parts to this cloud. It's okay if some light parts were sneaking through. That's what gives the cloud definition how you can see how clouds look like marshmallows. And how you can see is because of the different shading in the cloud so that you can see the shapes. Right. So it's definitely okay if it should not be uniform in any way. There should be lots of inconsistencies and, um, some parts that where the light peeks through so you can see the shape of the dark. Okay, so I'm just dabbing along, adding more darkness to this cloud, remembering always that along the edges. We do still want to be light. But if our edges accidentally get over taken by the dark stuff that we're putting on, that's okay, because I'm gonna show you a technique that will allow you to make them light again. You might have already thought of it. Even. It's really not that complicated. So I'm gradually getting darker. The more paint that I'm adding onto this cloud, some parts or even just straight black because I do want it to be defined. I want to be able to see it in the sky. I want this to go to the edge, though sky over here and I think I might have overtake this corner. Okay. Could have had more of the dark black over here. The dark black, I think makes it look really cool. So okay, just outing definition with the stark, and then I'm gonna go back and add in more definition with the light momentarily. Actually, I'm gonna bring this cloud down. Like to hear change your mind. Okay, Bring it. I'm gonna bring it up. I do this all the time. I, like, make a decision that I think No, the design doesn't look quite how I pictured it. So I'm just gonna change some things, but I'll show you how it'll all be, OK in the end. Okay, so now some of the dark parts I put in that overtook a lot of the white parts, right? That's okay. Um, and an easier way to get the white instead of using water first, you can use water as a way to resist the paint. But I've also found sometimes you just kind of have to give in and use white paint. Um, so I like to use a water down. Quash. So what we use for the lightning? I use just a little a watered down version of it to go just along the edges of this cloud. I don't want a super opaque. Um, because that's not quite what clouds look like, I think. But I do want it light enough so that it just adds that glimmer of light onto that outline in the clouds that we're looking for that provide even more definition and bear in mind. The clouds are gonna be lightest where the lightning comes down. So we're just adding some definition along the sides. And even in the places where you know, the clouds might have Ah, hole in the center and you might see some of the sky peek through. That's OK, too. So as we do this outline along the bottom, though, that's definitely where we want it. It's more important that we have this white outline along the bottom because that's where the Lightning is going to, like, light up underneath the cloud. And we're gonna paint the lightning shortly almost done outlining this. This one did a pretty good job of keeping its outline. I'm pretty impressed of the bottom, uh, but no doesn't hurt to just add a little bit more. It's important, especially if your paper is still wet, like it should be to as you go and out of the light to wash off your paint before you dip in again. Because otherwise you could die. Your white paint flu. Um, so that's important to remember. But for the most part, this looks pretty good. So I just want to blend in, Ah, parts of the sky with this white. So it doesn't look those finally, uh, like we don't want to necessarily looking like it has tendrils coming out. Like it almost looks like there are these lines here. You want to get rid of that Because this is part of the cloud, right? Clouds don't have lines coming out of them unless it's rain. But, um, it doesn't look quite as defined as those lines usually. So, um, we're just gonna blend in like that and then add in more blue, and we're gonna blend in more blue like this. This is the paper still wet. That's why I can do this. Because because the paper is still wet, we can blend in this paint and still have it look pretty, pretty smooth and not have thes jagged edges. So I'm just gonna bring it down all the way to the bottom of the page so that we don't have to paint lines that we don't want. Okay, that looks pretty good. Dark spots where the sky meets the cloud, the light spots where the lightning's gonna be okay. This is part one uh, this lightning cloud storm. So move onto the next video where we will add in some color and lightning. This is still wet, though. So my next video is seconds away from where I painted this just for the record. But if yours is not what anymore? That's OK, because we're not needing Teoh, Um, need the white space Dad clouds anymore. You can re wet after it's dry and the lightning will still work, Justus. Well, so that's something to keep in mind. But move onto the next video. Where again we're gonna add in a little bit of colorful galaxy action. Just around some edges of the cloud and the lightning bolts. All right, see you soon. 7. Final Project: Step 2: Okay, now that we've created this, like large wall of angry sundering clouds just with a thin line some white around the edges that shows that there's some light coming out of these clouds. Um, we're going to first paint some color to come out of these clouds. Because sometimes when the stars and everything reflecting exactly the right way, you can see color coming out of clouds. And other times I'm an artist, and I like to add things that may or may not exist in nature because I like them. So I'm gonna add a little bit of this reddish violet like pearling. Violet, My page is still wet, remember? And I'm gonna add just a little in this corner right here. Just so it blends in. Kind of like a galaxy, because I like having a little bit of color in my life popping out of different clouds. So, um, after I've added that, I'm gonna add just a little bit of whitewash around it so that I still get that lake light kind of electric energy. Just some water down glass. You see, it's not opaque. Um, and blending this in, bring it down a little bit. And now I'm gonna add in. Actually, I'm gonna add in that red and just a couple more places, like maybe up here, maybe peeking out over here. See, it's like the cloud is just using this colorful galaxy. Okay, so I added the red, and now I'm gonna add a little bit of yellow. The yellow is probably gonna come out green because yellow on blooming screen, uh, just to warn you. But this is a watered down like lemon yellow that I'm using. Naples yellow as well. Could be good here. I mentioned that in the earlier the materials page and doesn't have to be in the same places that I used the thread use it right here and then over here, where this first read ISS. All right. Looks pretty good to me. So I added in some of these colors that are coming out of this cloud what I wanted to make sure to blend them in with the sky. And I mostly have done that if the pages still wet that I should just do that by itself to make sure see if the pages still what I usually crane my head to see like Teoh get toe high level. Ah, And if it reflects, then that means it's still wet. So now I'm going to take my gua sh and paint the first layer of lightning. So remember that it, um we want to keep the page wet enough so that it the lightning blends out to create, like that crackly electric effect, but not so wet that the water just goes everywhere. Ah, and part of that also is Thea amount of water that you have on your paintbrush. So instead of using one of the bigger, like the round 10 I'm using my round number zero, so I mostly only have paint on here, not water. So I'm gonna do my 1st 1 right here. And also remember that lightning typically has more like jagged edges, not round. So if you ever like if you want to make it look like it's random, which you should lightning is super randomized. Don't do in circles or like a rounded edges, I would recommend to more jagged. Okay, so I'm gonna paint went all the way down there, and I want this first layer to mostly be, um, have the same kind of thickness because this is the layer that shows like the crackling electricity right. And then the next layer is gonna be the one that has the white in the middle. But I also want to blend in this white up here with the cloud and the colors that we have coming out so that it doesn't look like it's coming out of nowhere. Um, generally, if you create like a halo with the white paint around the top of your lightning bolt, that's kind of what it looks like, because this is where it gets really light, where it's building up the energy and then bursting down. Um, and that's what we're trying to show with this painting. OK, that's my first lightning bolt. My second lightning bolt. I'm gonna dio up here and I'm gonna have it go off to the side. So I'm starting it up here. It's going in the middle of this yellow greenish color coming out that I'm trying to paint jagged science and I'm painting it off to the side like that. Okay, so I want my thicknesses to mostly be the same, and I want to make sure to blend in this guy on top over here. So it doesn't look like the lightning's just coming out of nowhere. Yeah, like that. And then I like to go in threes. So I'm gonna paint one last bolt of lightning, and I think I'm gonna painted over here, and it's gonna be a little guy that likes stops in the air like that. Okay. Lending. And then with the still wet cloud. Here you go. Okay, that is layer one of the lightning. So on the next video, I'm gonna wait for this to dry or dry it manually with a nem bossing dryer. And then we're gonna paint layer two of the lightning, which is where you add the more thick and more bright, opaque white layer on top of this one. Ah, and then it's just the bottom forest scene. So we will see you very soon. 8. Final Project: Step 3: Okay, so this is mostly dry, but parts of it are still a little bit wet so that when I add the really thick layer of really white on top, we don't want to be quite a defined line necessarily going to blend in a little of possible , But we don't want it. So what? That it It completely blooms out like it did before. So you see how you thought it was white before until you put this thick line opaque line on top, and this just makes the lightning visible for sure. And, um, it helps Teoh maintain that, like, crackly. Look, you see how if the white is just kind of blurry surrounding it, it kind of looks like it's moving almost. And that's the effect that we're going for. So just blending in this a little bit more. Um, so I'm gonna do that for all of my lightning bolts where this is. And if, honestly, if this is dry, it's OK. It's okay if you have like and in, ah, a stark, more defined line. Um, the point here is to make this line very white so that it's bright because that's how light works uh, where it's brightest is where there's, like, no color. Okay, splitting that a little bit of here is Well, all right. And now, the last one, I'm using water to blend the tops of these because in some places, when you put that really stark line, it sometimes looks again like the lightning's coming out of nowhere. And we wanted to come out of light. So see, now my black is like blending into the yellow, so I'm gonna add a little bit more yellow over here, huh? Life of ah, painter. Um, And if you do what you can to just kind of blend this in So it's not like if you have to find paint lines, it's not a big deal as long as the paint lines aren't in lake a perfect line. If, like you try to blend them in with the cloud. So it looks like it was part of the cloud. That should be fine. That's what I'm doing. So okay, the one thing that I want to do for this last lightning bolt is I want the tail to just be a little bit thinner. Think that Okay, on may be over here I want there to be a light angle that's moving off in this direction. Little tendrils. And actually, sometimes I do this, I'll be painting that. I'm like, No, I'm gonna just add some things and sometimes it makes it better, and sometimes it makes it worse, So we'll see which one this does. But I would like to add little tendrils on bolts of lightning. OK, um, so the next step here is if it's not quite if it's still not quite white enough, is then to do wet on dry on top of this lightning. So I'm going to in the next video, show you what that looks like and then move on to the forest scene. 9. Final Project: Step 4: Okay, so this is dry. I dried it using a and in Boston heat tool. And, um, you can do that, or you can wait for this to dry, but now, um, these still aren't quite as bright as I want them to be. So I am going to take my white gel pen wage open and very lightly in the same way that I painted thes just draw on top of this white wash the way I want the lightning to go while still maintaining this like electric kind of look. Remember to paint jagged edges mean to draw jacket edges, because that's how lightning looks. It's kind of Jaggi, Sparky, and you might have to go back with the paintbrush handsome wash and again, just kind of, uh, blend that in with the white that's happening around here. So a good way to blend in stuff like this is to start from the outside with water and then meet it so that you don't keep pushing the paint farther than it should go. This mostly stays where it is that makes sense, like I'm starting from the outside and then meeting it where the white is so that I don't like paint over the top of where I wanted to be. So just make sure with these paint lines that you kind of brushed them out as much as possible so that you don't get super defined dried paint lines at the end of the day. That should be fine. Okay. And that is our lightning. And then at the bottom, I like Teoh do some wilderness scenes always. So I'm just gonna quickly dio glazed mountain here I'm using Ah, that light value of gray to paint this glazed mountain I like to do with them in layers. So there's one. And then we're going to say that lightning hit the top of the mountain right there. So here's another. And then on top of that mountain, don't take more black while it's still wet. I'm gonna paint little tiny trees. Maybe not quite so black dark, but not black, because there's gonna be another row of black trees, just like if you've taken any of my misty forest classes. I teach, um the techniques for painting trees like this, but for our purposes, it doesn't have to be much just enough so that there's something down here place. That's why I like to do. One of my tricks, actually is toe. Just push up like that to give it some texture. It doesn't have to be across the whole mountain either. Like Oprah. Believe that side and then go across the mountain over here. I just kind of leave that clump of trees right there. There looks fine. And then I'm gonna paint some just in the corner over here. Still wet? Yeah, I'm gonna sorry for this. I'm trying clicking. I can clean some more from a corner booth with black. I'm gonna make these bigger ones. So it's like the mountains or in the distance and the black trees or more on the foreground where you can see them. I like using way round number zero brush here to create really thin tree trunks. So I like to do you see how the background trees are lighter on the foreground? Trees are darker. That is a technique to achieve depth. And I talked about that and my misty forest class. If you're interested and haven't taken it yet, answer from one. And I use the concepts in that class in so many different paintings as you can see by this quest, which is mostly about how to paint this thes lightning bolts. So I'm gonna, like, go up all the way to the edge over here, Fill in some spaces and then some more trees, like a tall one. Right here I am. Just done. So it's like this lightning is striking behind these trees, which can be kind of cool effect. - Right ? I'm gonna do one last little tree over here. I never know when to stop. I do just like a little thing over here, there and there you have it. There's my final project with the stormy clouds, the lightning bolts and the foreground and background trees that looks like a supercool lightning storm to me. So I would love to see your final projects and whether or not used the clouds. Um, I'm sure they look great. And if you have any questions, let me know. Drop me a line in the comments and I will get back to as soon as I can. Um, and I'll say this old repeat a bunch of this in the recap video, but if you loved this class, give me a thumbs up go ahead and leave her of you, even if you have any suggestions. I welcome any suggestions and would love to hear an honest review from you and, um, filth. Also feel free to share if you thought that this was a fun class. So, um, if you post any of your final projects on instagram tag me. My instagram handle is this writing desk and also please feel free to post the project gallery so that I can, you know, give you some love there as well. So All right. Thank you. And I'll see you in the recap soon. 10. Recap: Congratulations. You did it. You've made it to the end. And if you followed along on the painting that I did you may have something that looks a little bit like this now, whether or not you did the clouds because, as he said before, they can be a little bit tricky. But whether or not you did the clouds, I am sure your lightning is just dazzling off the page. And I cannot wait to see all of your final projects. So please post them in the project gallery because I would love Teoh, give you some comments. And if you have any questions, feel free to post them on the discussion board. And if you decide to post your final project on instagram, make sure to tag me. My handle is this writing desk and you may just get featured in my stories sometime soon. So thank you once again for taking this class If you really liked it, feel free to give to give the class of thumbs up. Tell your friends share the link that brought you to this class. The more people watch my class, the more flexibility I have to bring even more content that I hope you're gonna love. So give me a thumbs up. If you have some thoughts and want to give me your view, I would be so happy to hear any honest feedback. And it really does make a big difference when you engage with the class because then more people can find it and learn all of these cool watercolor techniques that I have talked that I have practiced with you today. So thanks again and see you next time.