Watercolor Paints: A Beginner's Guide | Gabriela Benke | Skillshare

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Watercolor Paints: A Beginner's Guide

teacher avatar Gabriela Benke, Watercolor With Gaby

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

8 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. How Watercolors Are Made

    • 4. Watercolor Grades

    • 5. Buying Your First Watercolors

    • 6. Pigments Properties

    • 7. Class Project

    • 8. Thank you!

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About This Class


Have you ever been to an art store and felt overwhelmed by the amount of paints available? Do you have questions like: How many colors do I actually need to start? Or Is it better to buy watercolor tubes or pans?

Welcome to watercolor! In this beginner guide to watercolor paints, I’m gonna address these and many other common beginner questions.

By the end of this course, you’re gonna know everything a beginner artist needs to know about watercolor paints. We’re gonna go over the different pigment properties, like transparency, granulation, lightfastness, and flow.

Your class project is to create a watercolor reference guide, where you’re gonna see the pigment characteristics in practice.

You’re also gonna understand the different watercolor grades available, so you can choose the best paints for your level and needs. 

My name is Gabriela and I’m back for my seventh Skillshare course!

Thank you for joining me! Let’s get started!

Music: Deliberate Thought by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Origin: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/?keywords=deliberate+thought Artist: http://incompetech.com/

Meet Your Teacher

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Gabriela Benke

Watercolor With Gaby


Hello! My name is Gabriela and I'm an illustrator. I live in Brazil with my husband and our two cats.

I have been drawing since I was a little kid and I'm always studying and improving my art. My goal is to share my knowledge and passion for illustration with you.

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1. Intro: Have you ever been to a next door and felt overwhelmed with the amount of pains available? Do you have questions? Like how many callers do we actually need? Or is it better to buy water color tubes for pens? Welcome toe, water color. And this begin their guides. Watercolor pains. I'm gonna address these and many other common big in their questions. But the end of this course, you're gonna know everything. It begin their active needs to know about watercolor paints. We're gonna go over the different human properties, like transparency, brand relation, light Fastness and flew. Your class project is built a water colored reference guide where you're gonna see the pigment Carrick 3 16 practice. You're gonna learn how to buy the best pain for your level and needs, and we're gonna build the perfect begin their palate for maximizing your studies, claiming cobiella and then back for my seventh. A little short class. Thank you for joining. Let's get started 2. Supplies: for this class. Protect you're gonna need water. Colored paper isn't cancel Excel well, which is great for beginners and studies. What color paint I'm using caught on the water color pens, which is the student Great paint great for exercises, and they brush and using a round brush from a Brazilian brand called Carrie Meek for an absolute beginner. And you still don't have here watercolor pains. That's fine. This class is supposed to be a guide to help you buy better and more cost effective pains to in this case, watch the theory videos. Go to your local art store and come back to do the class project. All information in this class Indulge me. D EFs will be in the project and resources tab, so let's get started. 3. How Watercolors Are Made: I understand home watercolors work. We first need to take a look at how they're right. Whatever colors made of pigment and gamma Ravic, 80 men is a colorful powder made of ground, organic or inorganic substances in this responsible for those beautiful colors we love so much. The governor Arabic is a water soluble Bangor that holds the pigment and suspension. I want to be applied with a brush, making it stick to the paper. There are also other components, like Humeston's like honey or a current Saira that helps the paint to retain moisture. Plasticizers like glittery. That's often the bride watercolors and helps it to reactivate and extenders that they're used to bold helps the paint, making it cheaper. Each big meant has different colors and properties. That's where you can explore later. This is a very, very brief summary off. What are color components should want to dive deeper into this subject. I suggestion. Greet the handprint website. This is the water colored Bible in a must for old water color actress. So now the general hold the paint may Let's talk about the different types of water colors available 4. Watercolor Grades: They're basically four types of watercolor paints, Children's great budget, great things, Children great and the artist or professional great. This is not officially this just how I personally like to categorize. What are colors? No, I've seen other just to me, it's too. So the first category is the Children's great watercolors. Like Rio, they are, as nothing says for Children. These are usually sold in large sets, with many colors there. No toxic, usually very virtually and not helping meant it. You can buy them in our stores or even in supermarkets. She learning water color and have kids be aware that this is still one type of water color that's safe for them. Don't allow your Children to play with your other water color paint because they can be toxic. Second type is the budget great water color. These are usually cheap and are sold in sets of 12 or 24 colors. Just to compare this single cheek off artists. Great watercolor costs around $11 while this set of $12 costs around $6. As I told you before, this there is not an official guide to Germany. Why does he student great or a budget, great water colors, and this is when things start to get blurry. I personally consider budget watercolors eight paint that doesn't slate argument information. For example, this tube displayed the name were cold of the pigment, which is beauty 19 and its properties. You're gonna understand why this information is so important later. The reason why budget watercolors don't display the pigment information is because many of them are not even made of actual pigments, but instead they're made a food for cosmetic guys. So most people start with budget paints, and that's fine. I did, but be aware that there are a lot of limitations. They're very fugitive. Many that's the colors will fade very easily, and they're they're more pig and talking. Some of them are so big that they look more like wash. Also, the color mixing is kind of unpredictable, because the paints are not made of pure politics. Elements compare this violent mixed with pain, with this one mixed with professional ones. Budget water colors are great for experimenting. Seems like medium choosing our color ballot. But if you're having a hard time getting the same results as the other axis, it's tight Okay, great. Sometimes we get so frustrated with our work, but the supplies are actually the problem. That said, I suggest you start with student great watercolors right away. They are a little more expensive, but it's still very affordable. And because they're more pigmented, they'll actually last longer until my exactly as expected, no surprises. The student great is the end for level line off pains, usually made by a company that also sells professional pains. This paint is created with students and are just in their career in mind. They're much less expensive than the professional wells. But in order to make them cheaper, manufacturers use more extenders unless pigment, so the colors are not intense as the professional months. Also, many pains have Hughes, which is a code for not actually the real thing. He was there to perversions off the same color made with cheaper pigments. A lot of students paints are made of two or even three payments, which results in fledgling my jerry colors when you makes them the best. Water colors are made of one single argument for last, when the police, the artist great paints thes, are the most expensive ones made with the past payments. Many teachers and artists say that you should start with these right away, but I disagree. Buying cheaper paints. You've seen the freedom to experiment and making steaks without being a forays to waste our precious, expensive supplies. You know the feeling right? So now that you know the different tax of water colors available, let's see which ones I suggestion by and which colors every active must have in their palate. 5. Buying Your First Watercolors: way. Besides four types of watercolors, there's also a huge variety of brands and colors to choose from, and artist entering in that store is like a kid entering in can store. So maybe you already have some watercolor paints and want to a great, Or maybe you're gonna buy them for the first time. The most common begin. Their question is, Should I buy toe? Break him. This is a total matter of personal choice, and you'll know which one you prefer. With time I, before pens because they're less wasteful, work on hand and come in these beautiful paint boxes with spaces to make scholars. I only used tubes to refill my pants when they run out. You can also like the paints in sets or loose bands or tubes. That's great for beginners because they come with a select fire into colors, especially thought for a studying color theory. This is my Cotman set, and it has a cool and a warm yellow in warm and the cool red warm and cool blue warm and they cool grain. Yellow ocher weren't Sana weren't, um, work and white face collars will help you study color theory, and this cover in your personal color palette. Most people don't use a wide because it makes colors. Maura Paige If you want to lighten the color, you see at more water to it, and this is a outside of sense. They usually come with one or two Wendland with colors. If you want to buy a set I had suggested by this couple watercolor travel set or these but blocks set that has a pretty similar color selection, both of them having a pretty good quality and a similar price point went the paints in your set run out. You can buy artist Cory tubes and replace them to want to buy loose fans for tubes you should buy in warm in the yellow, a warm, and they read a warm and the cold blue and your stones. You can make springs on Europe. Sometimes my most pains can be cheaper than my sense. In cases by those bands or tubes, you also need to buy a mixing parade where and then pink bots to mix in. Store your paints, and these are essential since you can reactivate the dry paint on your tree. So I created a shopping list with all the pain names that I suggest and begin their sets off the most common brands. You can print it and take it to your art story for one case will. Now that you have your pains, let's take a closer look at the Perth expecting you interpret the payment information. 6. Pigments Properties: very important skill that, in my opinion, it's usually neglected in V abilities the ability to read and interpret Bigham in information. I think in a lot of begin their watercolor courses watched several YouTube videos rid allergic number of both in articles only a few of them nation importance off understanding , pigment information and taught how to actually interpret it. I think beginners should be taught how to read pigment information since the very start off their water color journey. This way you can get familiar with different pigments and their properties and learn better now. This is why I think it's so important to start with student great watercolors because they display the pigment information. So let's take a look at this painting. This is room room and are just great. Like produced by Collins. I know that he's is out just grade because it says artists quality. Here. I also have the generic name off the color, but not don't rose, which is not consistent between brands. But it's similar here would have serious to, which tells us how expensive this pigment is for the manufacturer. Therefore, how expensive this pigment is for us. This goes up to four. On the left of your corner, we can see free plus signs. This indicates the like Festus off this pain or how resistance toe, like this pain is free people. Science means that it will last at least 100 years. Other museum conditions Joeckel science means that people lost between 25 to 100 years. Wonderful sign means that will last 10 to 25 years, and zero will last zero to 10 years under museum conditions. This is how long will it take for the paint to start fading? So this year is very good. Very like fast. If you buy paint that it's not quite fun the color wheel fatally soul. So we should not hang the thinking on the wall. This information is especially important for port, with artists work with personal commissions. For example, imagine that to sell portrait and within the year, your kiss more notice that the lights are fading on the rights of your Warner we can see in a two square thesis means the color is transparent. If the square was how filled, the color would be semi transparent, and if it waas entirely filled, the color would be opaque. If we turn this to backcourts, we can see the pigment cold TV 19 where he sends for pigment and fee for violent. This is the big men off which in Spain is made off because it produces brighter color mixes . So always frightening fast in single pigment colors, the pigment cold is the most important information. If you really like this pigment and this collar, you can find it in different brands. Let's say I want to buy this same magenta from Windsor. Things are you don't have to call her cold permanent rose. This is a pretty small, similar color, and we can see that this is also made off BV 19. So when they predict when that hurdle rose one out, I can replace it with permanent rose by other in Utah, sometimes friends also in the cake with a G. Your faith is granulated, which indicates the presence off larger particles, I think, just thinking or not, which means it's big men can who removed easily from the paper off 30 forwarding right and permanence, which indicates how resistant to change a water color is when exposed to words in their life and most here, which is also very important when you're selling or regionals. So now that you can read the pigment information, let's see some of these properties in practice. 7. Class Project: wear them, creating reference guys for our watercolor set. So to see some off the pigment properties in practice, So you're gonna take your watercolor set for the pain to have bread, some water color paper to charges of water or shaper brush and a paper Talal. So I've thrown this template with a waterproof month permanent marker. You don't need to replicate these exact template, but it needs to have a space for each color. So on top of each space, I added the name of each color, and you can see that I've drawn small icons. It's very important that you draw these icons using a water proof marker. Otherwise, it's gonna much ruin your work when you paint on it. So I'm gonna take my first color, which is Lyman Yellow Hue. And I'm just gonna follow the order off my set. I'm going to start by covering these. I cook with a very cost three could paint here. We're trying to see if this color is transparent, semi transparent or opaque. We're gonna let it right now and observe the results later. Now we're going great. A small graded. I'm showing you the next color because I made a mistake with the proof is one I would do something different. Then I changed my mind. This is a characteristic off watercolor. You need to learn to grace our mistakes. And if you're a cultural freak like me, it's gonna be very hard. But it's also very therapeutic. So you can see that I loaded my brush with very concentrated paint. Think today's try. Then they loaded my brush with water to dilute the paint and kept painting the radiant. Don't worry about creating perfect Reagan, though This is not what these exercises about. We just want to create a swatch and see how dark and how like each color can be the way In the next exercise, we're just gonna paint a swatch, let it dry, and come back later. I want you to load your brush with very clean water in the fight scene layer off water, Teoh. And then we're gonna take her brush and and some drops of pain to it. Here. We want to see how the big men slope in the paper. No. And now I'm gonna do the same for all the other colors with Chinese. What? I'm just gonna do the first exercise for his reasons. Okay, now that all the colors have right, let's go back to those torches. I'm gonna take my brush and loaded with a little bit of water and I'm gonna start removing the pigment in the middle off this watch. You can see that as they do this, the pigment is being lifted and removed. This is a characteristic that is very is falling water color. Sometimes. When? When we make a steak weaken kind of a raise, it thinks exercise is to see which colors, first thing or non state. We're gonna do this for all pains, and we're gonna go back later. - Now let's interpret the results. I would say that lemon yellow hue is semi transparent because I can see a beautiful faint on top of this all. But it's still there. Transparent, then yellow walker east. Paige. You can still see the square, but it's not super black More. It's entirely covered by yellow looker in Chinese wife. Very opaque. And that's why most people hate using light because it makes colors so opaque and in water colors. We want towards parents. The other colors are affair was transparent and that's great for when you want to work with layers. The next exercise was just a swatch to see the bank on the paper. Nothing interesting, But one thing that I want to point out here is regulation, which is when particles of a pigment cluster together and creating green textured rather than sensing evil Lee and small flea On the paper, we can see that ultra marine blue is a granulated caller. It's the only one dissent. Sometimes it's hard to see it in the small wash, but you're gonna learn with time and practice which colors are regulating or not. Some companies also display of this information on the packaging product or their websites . These colors sometimes separate from color mixes, which I particularly don't like, so be aware of that. The next exercise tells us which colors are staying. We can see here that place will be reading Hume. Yellow walker and work number are staining colors. While some pigments were easily removed, these colors left a stain on the paper. This is so important to know, because when you make a mistake, some colors can be easily removed and the state fixed while with stain colors. We don't have much to do in less exercises observed the flow of each pigment. You can see that some of them went everywhere and full easily on the paper, like lemon yellow hue, while others just stood there where you place them like burnt Sienna. These observations are very important for when we're working with wet on wet techniques. For example, when you want to create a gal, Xfinity Hello, pain flows and makes us with other colors is gonna be very important to you. So now that we've finished these exercise, please upload your watercolor night to the project section. Tell me which brand you're using, which grade it is. Tell me your conclusions. What you have learned when you did this exercise, a lot of us are gonna own different pain. So let's create a water color library together. I can't wait to see what you've learned. 8. Thank you!: Thank you so much for watching this class. I hope you enjoy it. It still have any questions? Feel free to ask me in the discussion. Pap. Don't forget to upload your project. Please were feeling this class so I can keep him for moving the next classes. See you later, but