Watercolor Masterclass - from beginner to intermiediate | Class 4 - The beauty of wet on wet | Shamila Boffo | Skillshare

Watercolor Masterclass - from beginner to intermiediate | Class 4 - The beauty of wet on wet

Shamila Boffo, Teaching drawing and painting techniques

Watercolor Masterclass - from beginner to intermiediate | Class 4 - The beauty of wet on wet

Shamila Boffo, Teaching drawing and painting techniques

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
10 Lessons (1h 3m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Project

    • 3. Art supplies

    • 4. Clouds - part 1

    • 5. Clouds - part 2

    • 6. Clouds - part 3

    • 7. Different amounts of water

    • 8. Fur texture - Mouse

    • 9. Project: Misty forest

    • 10. Bye!

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class


Are you new to watercolor and you're really craving to learn it in a well-structured way? 
If so, this series of classes is for you. 

"Watercolor Masterclass - from beginner to intermediate" is an 8 classes long course designed to learn watercolor painting. It's a journey where we'll explore the most important aspects of this medium one at a time, class after class in a progressive and less intimidating way.

This is class number 4, and today’s class is all about water, last time we try to control it with wet on dry, but this time we want to explore all its potential working wet on wet.

What I would really love to convey with this class is to consider it not like an enemy, something that interfere between you and your art because it gets its way, but how we can learn to see it as an ally. Every watercolor painting is a four-handed work, think of it this way, and there’s so much potential in this, in not being alone when painting but having an helper.
We want to combine our own ability with the water’s potential so that we go towards the same direction, not one against the other. To do so we have to understand how water behaves, what can and can’t do, and how it can help us instead of frustrate us. As always, we’ll see that through some specific excercise, we’ll warm up with some nice clouds, then we’ll explore one of the beautiful effects of wet on wet like making a fur texture and finally we’ll paint a nice misty forest.

Let's get started and have some fun! 


Music tracks used in this class: 
"Waves", "2am", "Someday","Every little thing" - Oak Studios
"Dance of strings" - Whitesand

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Shamila Boffo

Teaching drawing and painting techniques


Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Your creative journey starts here.

  • Unlimited access to every class
  • Supportive online creative community
  • Learn offline with Skillshare’s app

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.



1. Intro: Hi, welcome to the first class of watercolor masterclass from beginner to intermediate. And eight classes long course that aim to teach you the fundamentals of watercolor painting by make you focusing on one important aspect of it in each class. So by the end of it, you'll have an extensive knowledge of these fascinating medium and you'll be able to make beautiful paintings. If you missed the previous classes, you can find them on my profile page. Today's class It's all about water. Last time we tried to control it with mostly wet on dry, but this time we want to explore its full potential, working wet on wet, this technique is perfect to create atmosphere effects or wet sand or a road under the rain. And not only it's useful to get a more realistic and precise impression, like creating a blurred photographic effect on the background, for instance. But it's perfect to convey the expressive and evocative element. It's like a direct route that allows us to feel the painter's emotion. Water is shapeless. It tends to expand in the space as much as it can. And it's also the element that beginners fears the most and feel intimidating by very often. What I would really love to convey with this class is to consider it not like an enemy, something that interfere between you and your art because it gets its way. But how we can learn to see it like an ally. Every watercolor painting is a four handed work, let's put it that way. And there's so much potential in this, in not being alone when painting, but having an helper, we want to combine our own ability with the water's potential so that we go towards the same direction and not one against the other. To do so, we have to understand how the water behaves, what can and can't do, and how it can help us instead of frustrate us. As always, we'll see that through some specific exercise we'll warm up with some nice clouds. Then we'll explore one of the beautiful effects of wet on wet, like making a fur texture. And finally, we'll paint a nice misty Forest. So without further do, let's start today's class. 2. Project: This is the summary of today's class. We'll start with clouds, three different types. Then we'll see how to be more aware of the link between how much water you use and how much the paint flows, which gives a different result. And later we'll paint a nice little mouse to explore the fur effect with watercolor. And finally, we'll paint our final project, which is a misty forest. So as always, feel free to post everything or just the final work in the project section. And remember that practice is key for learning. 3. Art supplies: This is just a recap on the materials you need for this class. But if you want a longer explanation, I made it in class number one, art supplies, which and why. First thing you need is paper. It must be watercolor paper. And my advice is at least 300 gsm. Am I like they xl Canson cold press, watercolor paper. For the brushes three -four round synthetic brushes in different sizes will be enough, but you can explore other shapes or types of bristles if you want. Any basic watercolor set will be fine for this class. I am using sakura koi, the set of 12 colors. And if you prefer tubes, they are totally fine too. I suggest you to have a ceramic or plastic palette to mix your colors in one or two jars of water, paper towels, and an air dryer to speed up the drying process. 4. Clouds - part 1: For this warm-up exercise, I am using an A4 size paper and I divide it into three horizontal sections where we are going to paint some cloudy skies. The first one will be a simple blue sky with one cloud. So you can compare it with the one we did last class. And so remark the differences between painting clouds using the lifting technique after painting wet on dry and the kind of clouds that we get with wet on wet. I'm using some photos for inspiration, but this is very free. So if you want, you can go on the same Pinterest board. The link is the resources section or working without reference, just following what I do. First thing first is to wet well all the surface and try to distribute the water evenly. Then I pick my blue, and this time I won't go over the cloud. I need to paint around it. What I live white will be my cloud. And we can add some shadow on the bottom part of this cloud. I can adjust here and there. I can distribute the water and paint mix, as long as the paper is wet, I can adjust things and paint without worries. But as soon as it starts to dry, you better stop or you're going to get some nasty sharp edges and marks. To create some shadows I'll make some blue, prple and a little bit of yellow to make it more muted. Okay, and look, this is exactly what we want for clouds. And if you want to make the sky darker just by adding some less diluted blue paint. Okay. And I let it dry and I can't tell how this will look until it is completely dry. And that's a bit the challenge of wet on wet. You need to trust the process. Now it is dry and you could leave it just as it is. But I want to show you that if you want, you can make the blue sky darker and more even by going over with another layer. So I again, wet all the paper but be super delicate with the brush because we don't want to reactivate the paint underneath. So yeah, you can work in layers with wet on wet too. 5. Clouds - part 2: Let's continue with these clouds. And this will be even less controlled because we're not going to make one cloud with a defined shape. But we'll just let flow some colors to create sort of a cloud pattern. I decide the colors first and I'll create a bright, warm tone, very diluted as the base color. And for the dark tone, I'll use some gray made out by mixing blue and burnt sienna. Well, again. And I start by using that light color a bit everywhere. And my dark color here and there with clouds in mind. But in a very free way, It's important to live some white and not cover everything with our paint. And if it's still wet, I can go and darken some areas. I can still lift a bit And move the paint if I need to. Do you see here how the water flows and creates these beautiful effects? That really reminds me clouds. In that sense, I say that watercolor works for you. it's not just your hand or your decisions that make the painting. It's you letting the water just do its job. Okay. Now, I let it dry and then I can decide if I want to make another layer or not. Look how beautiful I love so much those soft edges, so natural, so organic. So I definitely want to keep it like that. One layer was good enough for this. 6. Clouds - part 3: For this last one, I want to use warmer sunset colors, and a dark purply tone for the shadows. And this time, instead of wetting all the surface with clear water, I am going to create a super light yellowish color as a base, but still super watery of course. And I take my time into distribut it on the paper like I did before when I used clear water. I add some red color. And the magenta one and some dark greysh purple for the upper part. Do this exercise with curiosity and enthusiasm. Don't try to get the same result as me because it's impossible, every time when so much water is involved you'll get a different result. Just try to play, have fun and keep in mind the process, the steps I'm showing you and just be open about what you're going to get at the end. Here I am lifting the color a bit to take some lights back. Okay, it's dry. And this time I think that a second layer would be beneficial because I'd like the colors to be more intense, more vibrant. Okay. And I'm using the lifting technique to create the effect of the sunlight, showing through the clouds. 7. Different amounts of water: This exercise is to learn to control the amount of water that you put on your paper and the different results that go with it. So I have three squares here, and each one of them will get a different amount of water. For this first one, we won't use a lot of water. It needs to be wet, but not too much. So I only use the water I have on my brush. You can see that it's shiny. It must be like that ok, not drier. Then I pick some color and make a stripe. And then same color, but this time I dry my brush and make another one. I put more water, let's say two brushes. I pick the water twice and distribute it as even as I can. And I'll do the same as before with my two stripes. one wet on wet, the other dry on wet. For the last one, I pick the water 3 times. Now let it dry and see what we get. Well, here you can see how the color didn't flow too much. it stayed pretty much where I put it Now, it's hard to be scientific with those exercises because here, for example, I probably hadn't as much paint on my brush As I had here where the color is more intense. But you can still see that here the color created some sort of halo because there was more water, so the color has been expanding more. The issue with wetting so little though, is that it's manageable when the area is that small, but when it's big like in a landscape, in the meantime that I wet all the surface, some areas starts to dry already. So the optimal amount is that one, the middle one. Here, there's so much water that not only the shape is lost completely, but it's also hard to distribute the water evenly. And so there are pools and it dries in a completely unpredictable way. So I wouldn't recommend it. It's very important to do this exercise because you're going to realize if you're using too much water or too little, comparing with those results, I'm showing you here. And we'll keep on experimenting the amount of water in our two next projects. 8. Fur texture - Mouse: For this project, we're going to use the wet on wet and dry on wet techniques. So I start with the sketch. As usual, I make my sketch lighter with my needle eraser. And my strategy here is to make a first wet on wet layer wetting the paper not too much like the first square of the previous exercise. I can do it since it's a small area because I don't want the paint to respond too much. I need a quite dark color and I 'm mixing blue and burnt sienna for an interesting Gray. And I make two shades, a lighter one and the darker one. Now, this is very important. I wet the paper, but not only where the body of the mouse is, but wider than that, because I need to give the paint the space to flow and blend beyond the shape of my subject. If I only wet my subject, they paint is going to stop there and create a sharp edge. I'm taking some time here to distribute the water and absorb it where there's too much of it. Now I go with my darker color and the brush shouldn't be too wet. And I paint the inside before the edge because I know that the color will expand. so the shape I paint will be bigger that it is now And I cover all the body. Don't worry about the hands now, we'll lift them out later. Here you can see a little part that is expanding too much. And if it happens, don't worry. I clean and dab my brush, and then I push a bit the color inward, and i clean my brush very often. Now I can lift with my small brush, those areas that I want to be lighter. After that, I let it dry. And now I can start adding the details. But can you see how nice this effect is for the fur? These may take more than one try because it's not as easy as it looks, but it's a great way to practice water control with wet on wet. I pick my dark color and I go on the eye and on the other dark areas. I don't like the face of the mouse, so i’ll make a second layer to adjust it And I leave it like that. Then I make some pink color for the ears, the nose, the feet, and the tail. Now I want to introduce some shadows. So I'll go with another layer. If this happens, that I accidentally reactivate the color. When I wet for the second time, I can clean that simply with a towel. And now I'm adding the darker value and I can use the second brush to move paint. Do you feel? Mm-hm. Yeah. Okay. Okay. I’m adding some final touches here but i want to keep it simple and delicate you can do this with other animals too Of course. And yes It could be frustrating at the start but it's a great way to practice this effect and animals are such a cute subject in my opinion. 9. Project: Misty forest: For our final project, we're going to paint a misty forests to really make the most out of the wet on wet technique: Its evocative quality. So we'll create some areas with soft and blurred colors. And the more we get close to the foreground, the more details we will add. I'm taking inspiration from some photos like that one you see on the screen now. But I want to change it a bit and create three distinct bands of trees. One very far. a middle one, and one on the foreground down here. For my colors I mix some purple and green. I love this muted blue Green. Okay, I like it, so I create a lighter value, two of the same color. Now, I'll start with the upper part. And I wet very well almost all the surface, not just the part I think I'm going to paint. And this larger brush is very useful to wet the paper quickly. So now I want to create the first blob of color. I'm not thinking about the trees. just putting some color here and what I can do it’s to make some vertical line, mouvement ,to vaguely indicate that there are some vertical element that in this context we'll read as trees. You see me being more precise with the trees shape here, but take in mind that that they are very far. We want them to be quite blurred. Here it’s still wet so I can go with. this second area of trees I try to blend the bottom part as much as I can, to create the feeling of the fog. Now I add a darker value to define a bit better some trees. Some of them can stay completely blurred. And this is what creates that organic and credible image of mist. For the shape of the trees. You can see that I draw a vertical line and then some horizontal and irregular brushstrokes. And I keep on adding paint and I'm gentle with the brush. And when I want it to blend more, I take another clean and moist brush and help the paint moving. Now it's time to dry it all and paint the foreground. I wet half of the page this time, since I'm going to paint only the lower part. This is a general perspective rule. The more you get close to the foreground, the darker are the objects. So I'll go already with my darker value and I start to distribute the paint. As you can see, I generally don't start with the shape of the trees but just putting the color on the paper to set the base color. Then I add some dark colors and define the tree shapes. Mm-hm. Right. Okay. Okay. Okay, you see that some hard edges are starting to appear, and that means that my paper is starting to dry. So I need to be very careful and I don't mind some hard edges here at the foreground because they are supposed to be less blurred than the rest of the composition. But if this happens in areas where you don't want it to be, what you have to do is to dry completely your paper and then wet again. So you can work wet on wet again and get soft edges. Like you see me doing it. You can also soften your edges with a moist brush. Now I want to wet the paper one more time to add some other little spots of light color to make this piece more cohesive. No. Here is the final result. Remember that the harder and more important part of this is using the right amount of water. So don't get discouraged if the first time you get a messy result, you can do this again, if you like the subject with a slightly different color or adding some different details, like those birds, for instance. And I think that this kind of painting can be very relaxing if you embrace the water behavior. 10. Bye!: Thank you for watching this class. I hope you liked it. And that I made you love a little bit more wet on wet. Let me know which part was your favorite, the clouds the little mouse or the mistic forest. I'll see you in class number five, where we'll talk about layers, happy painting.