Watercolor Misty Pines in Monochrome - Step by Step | Trupti Karjinni | Skillshare

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Watercolor Misty Pines in Monochrome - Step by Step

teacher avatar Trupti Karjinni, Artist, Paintmaker, Entrepreneur

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

13 Lessons (39m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Composition sketch

    • 4. Tonal gradient swatch

    • 5. Painting the mist

    • 6. Pine tree techniques

    • 7. Layer 1 - Background trees

    • 8. Layer 2 - Mid layer trees

    • 9. Layer 3 - Foreground trees

    • 10. Final layer of trees

    • 11. Bonus lesson Flying birds

    • 12. Signing the painting

    • 13. Final thoughts

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About This Class

Learn how to paint beautiful serene misty pines landscapes using just one color! Beginner in watercolor? Don't worry, no prior experience is needed. I'll walk you through every step. Already dabbled with watercolors? Great! Take your skills to the next level in this class.

Either ways, at the end of this class you'll come out smiling your heart out, thrilled with your gorgeous artwork, with essential watercolor skills under your belt! Are you ready? Let's dive in!

If you like this class, please leave a review that will help this class reach more students.



Meet Your Teacher

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Trupti Karjinni

Artist, Paintmaker, Entrepreneur

Top Teacher


Hey there! I'm Trupti Karjinni, an artist and creative entrepreneur based in India. I wear the hats of a Painter, Paintmaker and Educator.

I am the creator of Thrive With Trupti, a reimagined online membership where I teach watercolor enthusiasts like you the skills and mindset you need to create confidently.

I'm also the Founder of Blue Pine Arts where we make our world-renowned handmade watercolors, sketchbooks and other art supplies.

I live in the idyllic town of Belgaum with my husband, Nahush and my cat master, Satsuki.

Although I work with many mediums, ... See full profile

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1. Introduction : Hi, guys. I'm Trupti Karjinni. Welcome to my first Skillshare class. I am a watercolor artist and designer based in Belgaum, India. I'm also the founder of Blue Pine Arts, which makes handmade, artist-grade watercolors, and other art supplies. This here is Satsuki, my constant companion. I'm really excited to bring this Skillshare class to you because in today's class, we are going to learn how to paint this beautiful, mystifying landscape. We're going to paint this entire piece with just one color. Let's dive into the class. In the next video, I'm going to talk about all the materials that we are going to use in today's class. 2. Supplies: In this video, we're going to talk about all the suppliers that I've used in today's class to make domestic binds landscape. Now don't worry, you don't have to have the exact same supplies that I have, you use whatever you have that is similar. These are all the supplies that I've used and I'll walk you through each supply one by one. Let's talk about watercolor paper first. In today's class, I'm using Fabriano Artistico, 100 percent cottonn cold press, 300 GMS paper. Now watercolor paper is the most important supply that you want to focus on when you're painting the watercolors, because this paper is built to handle the multiple layers of water that we're going to be using in today's class, I use cold press paper because it has a nice green to it, it has a nice texture to it that will help us in water control, and in blending the trees. I use 300 GMS paper because it is strong enough to hold the multiple layers of water. But don't worry if you don't have this discrete paper, even if you're using student grade paper, make sure you using cold press, and 300 GSM. Coming to the brushes, and using this 2 inch hockey brush, that is made with gold hair to wet the entire paper, next step I'm going to use this silver black velvet john number 12 brush, which is a very nice soft brush to help me blend the fog, and the pine trees, next version we're going to use is this round number six silver Kolinsky brush, and it's made with kolinsky disabled hair and it comes to a very nice point, so that I can paint all my pine trees, and the last brush is a detailing 2 by 0 Rosemary & Co brush and I'm going to use this to paint the tiny birds flying above the forest, and of course to sign my name on the painting. In today's class, we are going to use only one color to paint our entire landscape and that's why it's going to be called a monochrome painting, and to do this, I'm going to use my Winsor and Newton Cotman indigo color, what I typically do is I brought the paint from the tube into these little plastic containers called half fans, and then I brought them into my blue pine art travel it to pallets so I can travel with all of my colors with ease. I use a regular white ceramic dinner plate as my palette because ceramic surfaces do not stain, so I can use this as many times as I want, and also, watercolors do not beat up on this pallet and it's very easy to see what colors I'm mixing on the surface. I always use two glass jars of water when I paint the border colors, one of them is to wash all the pain from the brush, and the other one is to just pick up a load of clear water on my brush when I need to blend my colors. I'm going to use this wooden board as a backing for my watercolor paper, and to dip my watercolor paper to this board, I'm going to use this roll of masking tape and to dart the excess paint and water from my brush, I'm going to use a water paper goblins. A very important thing to have biocides when you're painting with watercolors. Lastly, I'm going to use this misting bottle to spray my paint, to wet it, and also direct my pallet. Now that you've seen all the supplies, are you pumped up and excited for the class? Let's get started. 3. Composition sketch: Before we begin painting, let's talk a little bit about a composition. I've got a piece of printer paper over here and a simple mechanical pencil, and I want to think about how I want to compose my piece before I start painting on my art scrap papers, so just going to sketch my composition out, this is just for a benefit just to get some clarity on our composition so don't worry you don't have to make this look perfect, your lines don't have to be straight, so I'm going to take my paper down over here and here so we have a nice empty space up and down, and then I'm going to paint this entire area in the body. What I want to do is just put like these, climbing pine trees, they're going up a little mountain, and it's small and fade, those are my drama pine trees. Over here I'm going to have another slope then and these are going to be obviously bigger, and darker than these, and then here at the bottom, I'm going to have a few more pine trees, all over here at the bottom. That should make for a nice composition I think, it tells you how to find trees here, and that's it. I want to leave this area little more empty, and the sloping mountains pine trees are going to give us a very nice, pleasing look to a landscape. Let's start painting now. 4. Tonal gradient swatch: Because we are going to be painting our entire landscape with just one color, we need to understand a color better. We need to know what tones or values we get from this color. What I mean by tone or value for color is that the different shades I get by varying the strength of the color. You'll see what I mean. To get know a color better, let's make what is called as a tonal gradient swatch. I have a small piece of the Fabriano artistically paper, but you can use your students read paper for this exercise. What I'm going to do is take my brush and the paint and just get as much paint as possible on it. Paint a small swatch over here. This is a lot of paint and very little water, and this is what our color looks like at its maximum strength. Now, what I'm going to do is start adding water to this mixture over here and then go back in and paint another swatch. Now that there is more water in this and less pigment, you can see how our color is tinting out. I'm going to repeat the process by adding water and then painting swatch and then adding water again and then painting the swatch again. This is going to help us understand the range of shades that one color can provide. If you're getting a new color in your palette, I encourage you to do this with new colors because it's going to help you understand your colors really well and you will understand how to use stones and values in your paintings. The last swatch is going to be a lot of water and hardly any paint as you can see over here, compared to the stronger swatches over here. Let's paint that final swatch. The ones that you can get from this Winsor Newton indigo color. What tonal gradient swatch helps you understand is that, how much water you need to add to your color to get the shade that you want. One more thing to remember in protocol is that multiply of paints generally dry lighter on the paper. They lose these saturation as they dry, so a tonal gradient swatch also helps you understand how the color is going to look like when it's dried on paper. Now that we have a better understanding of the color, let's jump into the next lesson where we will paint domestic background for landscape. 5. Painting the mist: Let's mask that paper down with masking tape. So I have my piece of tape over here, and I'm going to align it over here. I'm also going to run my finger on the masking tape so that it's adhered nicely to the paper, so that I don't get any bleeds under the masking tape. I'm going to spray my pan of paint over here, little bit of water to make it nice and moist, and while that re-wets, I am going to dip my hake brush into a jar of clean water and load it up with water and make these swish swash movements across my paper and get it all nice and wet. So you want to make sure that you don't have a lot of water on your paper, but you also don't want too little. But don't worry, water control is something that you're going to learn the more you practice with watercolors. But for this layer, just make sure that you don't have sloppy water sitting on top of your paper. You want just a nice wet sheen on your paper. Now, I'm going to take my round number 12, silver black velvet brush, and I'm going to take my paint and dilute it down really nice, so that I can paint the fog with the lightest values. Then we're going to go in and start dropping the color here at the top. So make sure that you leave a little area on your paper white because you want contrast. I'm not going to put a lot of color down, just very little. Now, to blend the fog, I'm going to clean my brush, dab it on the wad of tissue papers, and then bend it a little bit and then go back in and start lifting some of that paint out, and start blending it. To give the fog a little more contrast, I'm going to take slightly darker value, I'm just going to go back in another layer. I'm going to wash my brush again, take off almost all the water out of it, well, it's nice and damp, go back in and there you have it. We have a nice foggy background to paint the pine trees on. In the next class, I'm going to show you how exactly I construct my pine trees. 6. Pine tree techniques: [MUSIC] Okay, so as background misty here dries, let's learn how to construct our pine trees. So I'm using the same piece of paper that had been doing the ingredient swatch on. I'm just going to flip over and because this is artist crepe paper, I can use the backside of it too. That is what I really like about Fabriano artistically papers. You also need to have your tissue paper. Your paper towel looks ready at the aside. You also need your blending brush, which is round number 12 silver black velvet brush, ready and it should be dump and not wet. The way I construct my pine trees is by using loose brush strokes and using the very tip of my brush. I find trees usually conical structures, but to give it a little more definition, I'll paint them like this using tiny dancy brush strokes. Let me break it down for you. The pine trees at the very back, which are very faint, I paint them with the lightest value. I take the lightest value and I will draw the tree trunk and so I will swatch my brush around a little bit. Then draw another one at the side varying the height of the tree and also making sure that the trees are sloping down like this. I will keep my blending brush loaded with clear water and tilt my paper a little bit. That's very important, tilting the paper. I'm going to swipe my brush at the bottom like this and that is going to create that misty look at the bottom. To paint the rest of the pine trees, the trees in the front that are going to need a little more detail. The way I paint them is I take a darker value and less paint on my brush. I will draw the tree trunk and using the tip of my brush, I draw these tiny details of the top and as I come down, I increase the width of the tree like so. Then again using the very tip of your brush just make these tiny tracing movements to show the forage like so. I'm making the forage denser as I come down and I'm leaving it sparse at the top. Also remember to space your pine trees regularly because that looks more natural. So don't have them all at the same height, equidistant to each other. Paint a few of them farther apart, and paint a few of them very close to each other like so. Adjust the paper [inaudible] , and then you sweep it across. Dub your brush [inaudible] and just grab some of the paint away, and then just blend your trees like this. Now that we've learned how to paint our pine trees, let's go ahead and paint them on our final piece of paper. 7. Layer 1 - Background trees: Before I paint the pine trees, I always make sure that the paper is tilted towards me, and it is sloped so that we can use gravity to our advantage when we are blending trees. What I'm going to do is I'm going to take this roll of masking tape and then cooperate under my board, so that my paper is slightly tilted. Before we begin painting the pine trees, we want to make sure that we have a few things ready. One, you will need your tone ingredients watch, to help you understand what tones to use for which layers, and then you always want your wad of paper towels always at your side. I prefer to hold it in my left hand so that I can just dab my brush when I'm blending the trees. You want your blending brush always at the ready, so keep it close to you, because time is of paramount importance when we are trying to blend the trees. Of course, you want the brush that you're going to paint the pine trees with. Okay, let's get started. The trees that I'm going to paint at the back over here are going to be very small, not detailed at all, and they're going to be very light in tone and value. So I'm going to use these two tones over here to paint the trees in the back. I'm going to wet my brush, I'm going to just pick the very lightest value, and then start painting the trees. I can start right here, and make sure that these trees are very small. Using the right type of your brush to make them, spacing them a little bit too [inaudible] , gently keeping them very small, sloping down a little bit. I'm not too worried about the details over here, so I'm going to stop with this brush and go on with my blending brush. Because as I'm blending these trees, I want the trees to be still wet. I'm just going to run my brush along, very softly at the bottom. I'm just going to put a few trees here and there, just one over here at the top, it's a big tree, then hold my blending brush ready. At this point you can add as many trees, you can even add one or two trees over here, I can then run my brush carefully along with water, nice. So this is our first layer done ,now I'm going to dry this layer off, and then I'm going to paint the mid tones over here. 8. Layer 2 - Mid layer trees: Now that our background tree layer has dried, let's go in and paint the trees in the middle with the [inaudible] I'm going to go for is this one over here. Okay? The trees that I'm going to paint are these ones over here that I've sketched out in a composition. I'm going to grab a little bit more paint on my brush, put it on my Islamic palette, and dilute it a little bit. Again, I have my paper towel and blending brush ready at my left side. Just to test if I have the dawn right or no, I'm just going to use my gradient swatch as a shade guard and compare it. I think this is good. Maybe just a little bit more water. There we go go. But I have excess water on my brush, I take my paper towel and just dab the brush and take the paint off a little bit. Sweet. Now the trees in the mid layer over here are going to be a little more detail, although not as detailed as the trees that are going to be here in the foreground. To paint them again on a slope. Always making sure that I bring in my blending brush before the trees dry on the paper. All the while making sure that these trees are still smaller than the trees I'm going to paint in the front, and also they're less detailed. I'm also keeping in mind that the trees have to [inaudible] in shape and size, and that I've got to keep painting them on this slope to get that nice composition. But it's not so much as remembering all these rules. It's about having fun. Have fun with these pine trees and don't get tensed about, '' Oh am I wetting my trees enough or are they too detailed or anything?'' Don't worry about it. The most important thing is that you remember to have fun in this whole process, and just watch how beautifully the forest looks once you're done with it. It's as easy as this. Remember to have your paper tilted towards you so that the gravity helps you while blending the trees. Let's raise a few trees. Over here maybe. Just a few trees over here. Just to balance off this composition. Then I'm going to bring in my blending brush. Blend it. Always make sure that you are loading your blending brush with clear water and not the one that you're using to wash the paint off of your brush. That's going to give you smoother blends. There we go. We have a nice middle layer that [inaudible] paint a few more over here. Now, let's dry this layer off and then come back in and paint our foreground layers. 9. Layer 3 - Foreground trees: The foreground layer we're going to paint it in two layers to give our misty forest a little more depth. This is the layer I'm talking about. Let's start painting it. I'm going to choose a darker value. Looking at my ingredients watch, I'm going to paint the front trees with these two dots okay. I'm getting a lot more paint and mixing it with very less water. Now, my pine trees need more details. What I'm going to do is dilute this section with a little bit more water. Trees is over here, and I'm going to blend these trees at the bottom. One more way that you can blend your trees. Let's see, that was a lot of water. And I've Josh and so my tree trunk is really thick, so I'm just going to take my [inaudible] people go and just dab it off and go back in. Take the excess paint out of my brush and I`m going to pain the trees. Dance movements and reading the height of the trees. The way I can also introduce fog and move this just dab at the bottom of the trees. That'll lift some of the paint off. So notice how I am spacing the trees apart a little bit. Few of them here few of them there. Some of them clumped together. Whenever I've been [inaudible] trees, I just go into this meditative mode, almost identical draw myself inward and just go tranquil state of mind. It just helps me calm down, breathe deeper. It's almost like easy among. So notice how I renamed the height and the distance between the trees. I'm also going to actually just make a few of them. Plus some of them didn't have any foliage on them. This is the level of detail that you introduce in the foreground so that it looks more naturally. [inaudible] So you can continue adding trees as many as you want to the stare and we'll let that dry and then come in with a final layer and paint darker trees in the front. 10. Final layer of trees: There is the painting, it's the final layer and it's going to tie a landscape together. I'm going to use this indigo paint to its maximum strength now, and go ahead and paint the detailed pine trees like I showed you in the previous videos. But this layer, I'm not going to blend pine trees. It's almost going to look as though they are peeking into the frame from here. Notice how I'm going to relive the placement of the pine trees again. Using the tip of my brush, I'm just going to introduce more details into them. Let's paint a nice big one over here. Start at the top and look how light handed I'm with my brush. I'm going to just paint the branches and then fill in the trees. Then I'm going to paint another one, this round about here. Just keep repeating the process until you're happy with how your piece looks like. Now one thing I recommend, whenever you've been doing your watercolor works, is to take regular breaks, step back, and have a look at where your painting is heading. Whether you're getting the composition dried or if you're working your piece a little bit too much, because it's very easy to get carried away, and just fill the entire piece. Just taking a step back now and then gives you that look of the bigger picture. It grounds you and helps you want to plan your piece much better. Let's paint a few more here, the bottom. A taller one next to this sky. Now this part is where all your patience is going to be remodeled because you can finally see your piece coming together and really happy with how the piece looks right now. Just makes me a happy bird. Speaking of which, we're going to finish this piece off by painting tiny birds flying over this forest. That's just going to tie up this together real nice. Remember that nature has all these imperfections and all these irregularities and the chaos, which just makes it look so beautiful and so natural. You want that chaos in your artwork to, especially when you've been doing anything inspired by nature, like landscapes and forests, that'll go. It's all about creating a little radiation, a little depth and you're painting all with the dance of your brush. 11. Bonus lesson Flying birds: Pick up my smallest brush, which is this two by zero brush by Rosemary and Co. You can see how tiny it is, and it's going to be really helpful in painting birds. So let me demonstrate how I paint my birds with my tiny brush. So I want to paint birds that are flying above the forest, I'm going to use the tip of this brush again and just draw these V shapes. Some birds are flying with their wings down, some of them have their wings up. Put a tiny dot over here and some of them just have their wings, spread apart. The other way that you can paint birds is to flip the brush, like so, and then create a small line over here to create the body of the bird. So now it looks like the bird is, you're looking at this bird from the side and it's flapping its wings up. We're going to use a combination of these to create the birds on a final piece. So we're going to grab, again a darker value, load up my brush, and I'm going to paint the birds in little groups of two or three. Just keeping them fairly small. Not worrying about putting in a lot of details. So, I zoomed in a little bit so you can have a look at how I'm painting these birds. Lets add another one here, its kind of flying away, and then a few birds here, and then maybe we paint just two more over here. Okay, so I don't want to overcrowd this piece with a lot of birds. Remember sometimes the less, the better. Now let's do the most satisfying thing ever. Let's peel the masking tape off our painting. 12. Signing the painting: Our painting is done and now it's the moment of truth. It's all about peeling this tape off. So when I peel the masking tape, I usually peel it at an angle like this so that it doesn't tear the surface of my paper, and there you have it, your beautiful serene, [inaudible] forest is ready, but there's still one last thing you have to do. You have completed this class, you're an artist, so you got to sign your paintings. Sign your name at the bottom. There we go. 13. Final thoughts: [inaudible] , did you have fun in the class today? Well, I hope at least you had fun in today's class. If you have any other suggestions for the lessons that you want me to teach on Skillshare, please get in touch with me on my email or my Instagram account, watercolor gal, and to shop to shop for our hand made watercolors, please visit our [inaudible] store Blue Fine Arts. I hope you have a great time painting with watercolors.