Watercolor Sketching Your Life | Elisa Ang | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

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

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 (52m)
    • 1. Welcome to Class

    • 2. Materials for Class

    • 3. Color Bias and Choosing Colors

    • 4. Color Value Contrast

    • 5. Watercolor Sketching

    • 6. Painting White

    • 7. Bringing It All Together

    • 8. Enjoy The Process

  • --
  • 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

Watercolor Sketching Your Life is a class that inspires and guides you on how to savor each moment by sketching and painting your life using just watercolor!

Through this class, you will learn the importance of color value contrast, how to choose colors by getting to know its color bias, how to do watercolor sketching by observing the edges, lines and shapes, mixing colors on paper, adding darks and details, and finally how to paint white. 

By the end of this class, you are encouraged to bring your portable watercolor kit and sketchbook and enjoy painting your life!


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Elisa Ang

empower you to make art inspired by your stories


Elisa Ang sketches and paints her life using pen and watercolour.

She believes that everyone is creative and that creativity is not only limited to the artist. Her desire is to empower others to make art inspired by their stories.

She teaches drawing and painting to children and adults. When she's not working, she likes to read, watch cooking/family shows, go to nature trips and take photos. She currently resides in Singapore with her husband.

You can see more of her works at her website, Youtube, Instagram




See full profile

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.

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. Welcome to Class: watercourse. Sketching is all about making marks with your paints. Just start with the thoughts on lying a shaped and fashioned colors. Hello, my name is ELISA, and I'm passionate about watercolor and empowering you to make art inspired by your story. I began to try watercolor sketching when I was just starting out. What I really like about it is that I am able to express the beauty off what I see directly with pains. There are three reasons why you should learn water. Carter sketchy. First, it enables as to capture the beauty around us, using lines, shapes and colors. Second, it helps us to observe more off the edges relationship of objects as well as light and shadow. Third, it helps us get better in watercolor by sketching and painting. This class is not only great for beginner, so once you get acquainted with water counter, but it is also great for experience. Are this who wants to sketch their lives from observations using watercolor painting? In this class, you will learn about the importance of color value contrast that can help us create sketches and paintings that sing with life. Get to know colors better with color bias and how to choose colors and finally applied those concepts to do what? Color sketching. Using observation, we will establish the overall structure of an object by painting. It's shapes and lines, mixing Congress on paper, adding barks and details and painting white. Your project is the capture at the or maybe even a week of your life. Using just water corner include the short capture Enough your story and shared it with us in the project Gun did. I can't wait to see your sketches and watercolors it get started. 2. Materials for Class: here are the simple materials you need to get started with watercolor sketching. For paper, you can get the sketchbook that has a paperweights off 140 GSM and above to take in water color. Some good brands that I have tried our model of basics and Dale around. You can also cut what a color paper in their desired sized. Or use a small watercolor pad that is portable, some good watercolor paper brands that I have tried our Sanders water Ford, Kansan Dale around and lengthen for watercolor paints. If you're just starting out, you can use good quality but inexpensive student great pains like Winsor and Newton, Cotman and Van Gogh. As you progressed, you can use artists great pains because of its excellent quality, like Winsor and Newton whole. Bine and Daniel's missed. You don't need a lot of colors to start. You can get the primaries like the red, yellow and blue and secondary, like the orange, green and purple. If you like. Toe makes your own secondary corners like I do choose two kinds off Fred's, all kinds off yellows and all kinds of blues. You can also add the earth colors. I have a more in depth discussion on color, bias and what colors to choose in the next video. You can check them out later. You will need a portable. What's the color palette the book pains in. You can also buy a water cooler travel set or the i Y from small containers. Moving on to brush is a good quality. Watercolor brush can spring back. It should be able to pick up paint well and comes to a point when wet. There should be no hair sticking out. A natural hair like sable brush is a good investment, but they're also good synthetic brushes and brushes with a mix of synthetic and natural hair for the size off brushes in this, better to start with just a small and the big brush, plus the rigor. A small brush like size six and a big brush like size 10 are good for painting. Small toe big areas. A rigger with size zero s good for painting. Small details. Realm brushes are versatile, and they can basically achieve a lot without having the need for flat or fun brushes. Compare this ice is that suits your needs as different brands will have a different interpretation off brush size. You can also try the travel brush where you can touch the parts off the brush. The make it compact are the water brush where it has a water reservoir inside. The brush that I am using is an imitates Eben from Sri Lanka, and I have been using it for five years now. You don't need expensive rushers to start painting the maker. Brush last longer, wash it with soap and water after every Yuste, patted dry with a tissue paper and allow it to air dry before putting it hair up in the container. You will need the container to keep water. Most artists prefer to containers one for rinsing and 30 brush, and another one to use for painting other things that you need our tissue paper, the blood excess water or correct mistakes. A sprayer toe missed the paint, or you can also drop water on your pains using your brush ascent alternative 3. Color Bias and Choosing Colors: do you makes your own secondary colors? If so, then you might have been disappointed at times. For a while, I have been mixing orange using lemon yellow with a cadmium bread, and I get like an orangey brown instead of a clean orange. It may seem confusing, especially when you are trying to follow the color wheel. So before we start with the lesson, I have mixed all kinds of the secondary colors. I want you to choose the number that you think has a bright and the clean mix of color for the 1st 1 Which do you think has a brighter orange number one or number two? How about for the purple and lastly, for the green? Let me know your answers in the discussion page with color pigments. We cannot find, for example, a pure yellow that will make a clean orange when mixed with bread and a nice green when mixed with blue. The reason is that the yellow will have a bias or an inclination towards either orange or green because of the traces off chemical impurities found inside every pigment. As a result, all pigments have a bias or a preference towards another color each. Primary colors are bias because it leans towards one off the other two primary colors. For example, knowing that yellow and blue makes green and in orderto makes a bright green. I need a yellow that is biased towards blue, like the lemon yellow and a blue that is biased towards yellow like they low blue. If the yellow has a bias off bread, I will get the doll green because all the primary colors are present yellow, blue and bread. You know what happens when all primary corners are mixed together. The break it down. Here's how it looks like I want to makes an orange, red and yellow makes orange, so I would start to get all the kinds of breads and yellows that I have. First, I makes permanent rose with lemon yellow, adjusting it until I'm satisfied with a huge. The only way to get to know the color bias off your paints is through mixing and experimenting. Next, I am mixing permanent throws with gumbo chew. Now I am going to paint an indicator off the color bias. The permanent rose is made up off permanent throws itself with a bias off blue then the lemon yellow has lemon yellow with a bias off blue, while on the other side, gumbo chiew is a yellow with the bias off bread moving on the cadmium red mixed with lemon yellow, then cadmium bread makes meat gumbo to you. Cadmium bread has a bias off yellow and gumbo. Chu has a bias of Fred. Can you spot the difference? Commune, bread and gamble Chew produces the best orange because gumbo chiew is a yellow with the red bias, while cadmium bread is a red with a yellow bias. That's the key to creating bright mix of colors where the primaries are bias toward each other. While permanent Rose has a blue bias makes me gamble shoe that has the red bias. It is the same When permanent Rose was mixed with lemon yellow, which has a blue bias. It produces a rather brownish orange. Because all of the primaries are present, try this method so that you would know how to mix the kind of secondary colors that you need. Is it bright colors or the utilized Connors? It is only by experiencing your paints often will you be able to get to know them better. If you're just starting out with watercolor, begin with just a few selection off colors that has a bias towards each off the other two primary colors. I have two kinds of breads that are biased towards blue and yellow. One is permanent roast and cadmium red. The two yellows that has a bias towards red and blue are lemon yellow and gumbo Dhue, the two blues that has a bias towards yellow and red. Our fellow blue and cobalt blue I added to earth corners, which are the yellow Oakar and burnt sienna. These color choices will increase my mixing range greatly, particularly with secondary colors. The off course. There are colors that can be hard to mix like gold. For example, I recommend you to start with few colors with two kinds off each of the primaries. Then you can add more colors that are difficult to mix, but wonderful toe have as you progress. If you come across names off the colors that are unfamiliar, I recommend you to go to the handprint dot com. I find this website the most comprehensive. If you want to know more about the technicals off watercolor painting now, scroll toe paints, then guide the water color pigments. It contains detailed information about the colors, and it's bias. For example, you want to know more about cadmium bread, so you click on the red. Then you can see all the different kinds off reds off which some have already been discontinued. I found canyon bread with its different names from different brands. It has a very intense red, orange and orange red, intense red and deep red. So that means cabin bread has a yellow bias, which is a good color from making orange clicking on the intense red. And there's a note that says No blue reflect mince, which means it doesn't have any blue bias in it. Of course. What? It is easier to just buy a troop off the secondary colors. Nothing beats the trail off, being able to mix your own range of colors. Now, have you decided which off the corners are brighter? Hop onto the discussion page for your answer. If you have your own Conner's already try doing a corner bias test to get to know which of your primaries can make bright secondary colors, post them in the project gallery. Have fun 4. Color Value Contrast: learning how to see the lights and darks off. Everything is crucial to create three dimensional feel in our artworks. Before we even attempt the draw and paint anything. We need to observe where the light source is coming from and how we might be able to express that in our sketches and paintings. Value contrast is the difference in lightness and darkness off the colors. Colors may essentially look the same to you, but when you see with an artist, I you will be able to recognize that colors are affected by lights and shadows. Take, for example, the capital's its color maybe green, but it's green is affected by lights and darks. There is yellow green, the dark green that almost looks like black. To make a color light, use more water and less paint. Try to drop in water on the previous wash to make the caller lighter. You can also light in the color by adding more off the less saturated carter. For example, the light and a green at more yellow the dark and it on more blue ways to neutralize or dark in color is by adding it's complimentary color. For example, the compliment off green is red. You can also darken the color by adding blue brown. Are any darker colors now? Let's create a color value scale for the capitals. I am starting with the lightest color by adding word lemon yellow on yellow blue. I progressed. I add more fatal blue, followed by burnt sienna. You can see how the different greens have emerged way when we get our value contrast right , it can guide us on what colors The mix remember getting the values right. It's more important than choosing the appropriate colors. 5. Watercolor Sketching: before we start, let's do some warm up, gather a few things. Choose a parts off the object that you want the sketch and begin to observe and sketch that Using watercolor for my 1st 1 up, I chose the pops off the cactus. The wonderful thing about watercolor sketching is that to get to observe sketch and pains all at the same time, you're watercolor sketches don't have to be perfect. Enjoy, experiment and learn as you go warm up is not only helpful for exercise, but also for art because it helps us loosen up and prepare for creative work. Thanks. I hope you give this a try and post your bum up watercolor sketches in the Project Gallery . I am here at an Indian restaurant, and in front of me is one huge plates of delicious Indian food. We love Indian cuisine because of its variety of spices and colors, and that inspires me to sketch it. I am sketching in the mist off the Pats restaurants. And let me tell you, this is totally out of my comfort zone. For the sake of this lesson, though, I am going to make it work and just enjoy the process. The first step in water corner sketching is to build the overall structure of an object through lines and shapes. You may want to soften the initial lines. The crate soft edges. Next is the drop in the darker color, while the wash is still wet just to set the tonal values and allow the colors to merge. When you soften the lines, you want to be intentional on leaving some parts off the paper and painted toe. Allow nights. It was important to let the paint do its own thing and not controlled it too much. This is just the first stage off outline and initial washes. We can do more details. In the latter stage. I am building the divisions off the plate by painting its outline. First, it's up to you on which part of an object you wish to start sketching. I can start from the plates, but to me, the fragile body is the starting point where all the other elements connect again, forming the structures using lines, softening the lines with water to fill in the volume, dropping a darker shade of color. Following the contour off the shape you can cardiac what the color mistakes using a tissue paper. If the paint has dried a bit, you can go with that area then that bit with that issue. Painting in public puts a sense off pressure in me, the pain quickly, and that means I need to prioritize. Also, my lunch is getting cold. I did a quick dubs for the food on the small containers, and we work on the details later. I have decided to not paint the white food in front of me because I will be covering how to paint whites in the next video. - Once the paint has begun to dry, it's timeto at the darks. I like to paint the shadow using a mix of cobalt blue and burnt sienna. Because it's not too overwhelming, like black for shadow, I would usually do an initial dark wash before adding a second layer. To create more contrast, I proceed to add darks on the food. It is not the requirement. The copy everything you see. I encourage you to use your creativity and imagination. Feel free to move things a little at more colors, etcetera. One way of creating texture is to paint some dots and blobs off paint using darker color, then soft in a but water. The round brush holds too much water. As you can see, it creates a pool of water. I need to use a rigger brush next time for more control that being with a tissue paper also creates nice texture. - Another way to create texture is to do it dry brush Using a darker color. Make sure the brush is a bit dry. Use its belly, the pain back and forth to create a hit and miss effect. - What makes a painting stand out is the total value. Contrast without it. The painting looks plain and flat. That is why I take the time to add the darks in layers. You will know when to stop when you can see the clear contrast between the light and the dark. As you practice, you will be able to determine the ratio off. Paint the water depending on your needs. Doing initial washes off light colors help set the stage to your painting. Don't be afraid to experiment. I encourage you to keep going in order to get better. 6. Painting White: What sets watercolor a parts from other mediums is that it is trans parents, allowing the corners to shine through. Because of that, we use the whites off the paper to reserve the light instead of using white paint, which can make watercolor dull because of its high rapacity, however, you can use white pains like gosh or zinc and titanium white. Do remember to use them sparingly or when you have lost the white of the paper. Another way is to use masking fluid, an oil pastel as a resist. One of my favorite ways off painting whites, which I am going to demonstrate to you, is by not painting it. This technique is called negative painting. This wireless mouse has a lot off white colors on it, but if you look closely, the white on the side isn't really white, but the big grayish. The corners are affected by lights and shadows. We can also see the highlights on the lower left side, I created a light wash off cobalt blue and Bryn Sienna and start with a curved line, then soften it with water. I drop a bit more off the same color for the shadow areas using the same makes. I painted a curve line above and trace the edge with the end of my brush to get a feel of it. The center off the wireless mouses white. So I created an outline and painted the space around it. This is called negative painting, which means painting the background or space around the passive subject. Make sure the consistency of your pains is a big watery so that it is easy to soften it - while waiting for the initial layer to dry. I will paint this toothbrush, which has different white areas from up the bottom. No, no, no. I capture the highlights off the toothbrush by painting the space around it. - Not this that I didn't paint the white area on the left side of the toothbrush, and this gives the illusion off the white shape. I use a rigger brush to paint so that the amounts off paint and water is more controlled. I darkened the shadow side by dropping in cobalt blue and burnt sienna and allow it to merge wet on wet. All right, going back to the wireless mouse, you can see that the initial wash has drive. Now it's time to add more details. This is the moment where I anticipate the most. I enjoy just observing and painting the shadow in the details off the objects and seeing the artwork come alive. - Learning is more fun and proactive when we apply it, so I want you to find an object that is white in color and trying negative painting. Post your results in the project Gallery. Using negative painting as a wake of paint whites is very exciting, and it makes our artwork more interesting. In the next video, we're going to apply the learning from this class by creating one painting. Join me as I admire the colorful shophouse in Little India. See you there. 7. Bringing It All Together: Hello, everyone. I am here in Little India, where I spotted a colorful shophouse. The pumps off corners inspire me. Let's start water corner sketching. I begin with the roof to build the structure, using a mix of cadmium red and gambled. Hugh Apple pattern on the roof can be overwhelming, so breaking it down, I can see vertical lines at a used air drawing to get a feel off the lines. Before painting them, - I dropped in the mix off cobalt blue and burnt sienna for the darks underneath and soften it with water. I start with the first pillar of the left and dropped in the mix off permanent rose and cobalt blue for shadow. I continue to look at my subject as I lay down the brush strokes. My grip on the brush is relaxed and I hold it somewhere in the middle. This is helpful to create lines that are not shaky and rigid. Give this a try and see how it feels for you. Some people told me how watercolor is a difficult medium because it's hard to control it. Some artists say that it has a mind of its own. I encourage you to not work against water Carter, but the work alongside it like a friend. Appreciate how one color sometimes mingle with another color. I used to hear artists see Keep your water corners weapon juicy. For me, the term means having the right consistency off. Paint the water. It is moist and rich. If the consistency of your color is too dark and dry, it means there is not much water. If you're paint is light into watery, it means you need to squeeze out excess water on your brush. Using a tissue paper. Have scraps of border color paper nearby. Test out there paints. As the foundation off the shophouse is established, it's time to work on the details. Thank you. Okay, remember that you don't have to copy everything you see. You are the artist, and you have the creative freedom to choose which elements inspire you and to express your paintings in the personal and creative way. - No . Instead of painting the neighboring shophouses, I painted a wash off permanent rose with drops off cobalt blue and soften it with water to create an illusion. This is a way to make my artwork more interesting. E simplify some off the details so that the painting is not over work. What again? I could eight an illusion off the shop house on the left, using Gambo chew And if they are gonna breastroke toe an interest. Finally, I add some splatters and final details to finish the painting. 8. Enjoy The Process: I hope this class gets you excited to try water corner sketching as you practice sketching in water corner. Remember to breathe and enjoy the process. When you encounter challenges along the way, I see it as an opportunity for learning. I always tell my students turn their mistakes into something wonderful and that gives back the enjoyment in making arts. I look forward to seeing your breaks in the Project Gallery enjoy savoring the moment through watercolor sketch in your life.