Watercolor Skies and Clouds - Sketchbook studies to find your unique style | Eline Stolp | Skillshare

Watercolor Skies and Clouds - Sketchbook studies to find your unique style

Eline Stolp, @elinestolp on insta

Watercolor Skies and Clouds - Sketchbook studies to find your unique style

Eline Stolp, @elinestolp on insta

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9 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. 3 Clouds anatomy

    • 4. Color Palettes

    • 5. Intro to experimenting

    • 6. Watercolor Techniques

    • 7. Reflecting

    • 8. Final Assignment

    • 9. Happy Dance

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About This Class

This class explains about cloud anatomy, different techniques and effects for watercolor clouds, exploring them in an intentional sketchbook practice. The class will not only help you get better in watercolor clouds but also aid in finding your own style and artistic voice. It will be a personalised journey and we will use repetition, reflection and experimentation as our means to progress. The class offers several worksheets and reference sheets for extra value and support. Find them in the resources section, not in the mobile app but on the browser version of Skillshare. Please enroll in this class to find out your own personal style and preference in painting skies!

Meet Your Teacher

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Eline Stolp

@elinestolp on insta


Hi, I'm Eline. I'm an art teacher and mom of two in the Netherlands, taking up illustration as a side thing because creativity is THE way to find a balance in a busy life, I'm sure you agree :) 

You have to know that I have recently launched three different Skillshare Classes on creative subjects: Making a ZINE, Painting a Wheel of the Year with watercolors and Drawing fearlessly on the streets with sidewalk chalk.  If you'd like a notification when next classes go life, make sure you follow me here on skillshare. Thank you for your support!!  

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1. Introduction: When I started filming this class, I wanted it to be a class about watercolor Clouds. However, it turned out to be a class, how to practice in a sketchbook. And it has clouds as a subject, but you can use any subjects you would like to get a hold on in wilder colors. Another color is a very special medium. It can be controlled only to a certain degree as pigments keep moving through the water and the page, it dries lighter than it looks wet. Some colors keeps spreading, others fall apart in different colors. Some granulate a lot, others dunes. And to make things more complex, the quality of the paper also matters quite a lot in a results. I find watercolors Interesting because of that, they keep challenging me and spike surfing. You can never control or mastered or waves of the sea. But if you practice the right balance of control and letting go, you can ride the waves. Painting clouds is also very challenging. When I started to explore and practice watercolor clouds, I hoped I could achieve painting clouds like these. But as you may recognize, these are done in goulash and acrylics and oils, which are all opaque pains, but makes it easier to make corrections and cover up mistakes. But I wondered, Could it be done in watercolors? To My name is Alina stop. I'm Dutch watercolour artists and art teacher. And I'm going to take you on a journey of experimenting and studying clouds in a sketchbook with watercolors and additional media. And on this journey, we will pause at the lessons that I learned myself. We will look at different kinds of clouds and their anatomy. And we will do several watercolor studies in our sketch books. And those sketchbooks may get messy. And we will make mistakes. But we will learn to enjoy making those mistakes and to reflect on our experiments so we can improve our painting skills more intentionally. If this is not as much as the cloud painting class, it is a class on how to get better in painting and how to get past Art block or fear of failure. In the end, I learned to embrace the transparency of watercolors and to paint my clouds more expressively and more playful. I loosened up a rediscovered the joy in painting skies. They are no longer a challenging subject to me, but a fun playground in which I find utter freedom to express myself and to get into a flow state of mind. I hope you, during this class and I will take you to that place where the sky is the limit. 2. Supplies: This watercolor class focuses on sketchbook practice. I'm a great fan of the hand and Lula, lots of color sketch books. I prefer these A6 sized horizontal ones, as I tend to take them with me most of the time. So I campaigns whenever I have a spare minutes. What I also like about these is their paper quality. They are made for watercolors and hold enough water for small experiments. And the pages can be painted on both sides. I recommend using watercolor paper and sketch book like this one. With loose papers of students quality are also very suitable. I use a monthly of paints that I compiled in the travel books of art philosophy. It contains art philosophy, hearth pens from the tropical palettes, some Winsor Newton half dance, and some Daniel Smith tubes that I put in half Ben's myself. You can use any watercolor paints that you already have for this class. S4 brushes. I like to have the choice between a mop brush and your own fresh mop brushes are very versatile and can do almost anything. But for lifting colors or for dry brush technique. I need a brush that's not as soft, but has been a spring to it. Finally, you need a pulse of water and a paper towel and a sketching pencil. I also like using a white gel pen and sometimes find liners or metallic paints on top of the watercolor painting. Aside from the artist materials, I also want you to look up a reference picture of a beautiful sky that you would love to be able to paints. Will use this picture for yeah, as a, as a final goal, as a dot on the horizon, where are we aiming at? What is our dr, What do you want to achieve and learn? As I showed in the introduction, my, the images of other artists that I loved to be able to paints. Take this one and a reference picture of your own to have that kind of motivation. Or it could also be from the Internet, but still make it a challenging one mesure, it's challenging and that you are motivated to understand and get it correct of the techniques you'll need to make that into a beautiful painting. 3. 3 Clouds anatomy: Understanding your subjects is important to understand and master it. As a painter. Over the last few months, I've been paying extra attention to the sky. This is one of the reasons I love being an artist. If it helps me to notice the beauty all around us and to appreciate things that are fleeting and changing. In my watercolor, I can capture those moments of beauty and the inspiration. But what is it we are looking at? Let's take a look at the anatomy of the various kinds of clouds. There are many types and scientists discover more variations every year. But as a first introduction, let's look at nine main types of clouds that differentiate in their shape, density, and height. The highest clouds are the ones you get to see on warmer days when moist air can rise up to the upper levels of the atmosphere. Cirrus out a wispy clouds. 0 stratus is a missed like layer, sometimes creating a halo around the sun, moon. And several cumulus are those little puffy flux of clouds. In Dutch, we call them sheep clouds, scalpel kiss layer or below, like in the middle of the atmosphere. Again, there can be imaged like layer called altos trances and the puffy clouds called alto cumulus. In this layer, the mist and the buffs are thicker and bigger than those that floats in the top layer. And the layer underneath close to our surface. The complete grade thick error is called stratus. These kinds of clouds are something between Camilla's individual puffy clouds and stratus. This turtle, Camilla's vendors plateau cumulus pack together and start raining. They are called nimbus status. And these very high Beck's dark stormy clouds are called Camillo Nimbus. Now, to let all this information sink in a bit, there's a first assignments. Draw nine kinds of clouds in any medium you once. After that, take a look at your chosen reference picture. Can you tell the names of the clouds you see in there? Are there more than one kind? And what are their main features? 4. Color Palettes: Next is about watercolors and finding, finding the right palette for a picture. You don't necessarily need many colours to paint with many colors. While it occurs, can easily be mixed. Be mindful of over mixing though, that can give a muddy and blushing myth. I advise you to have some spare paper at hand when painting, so you can test the mixes before dropping them into a painting. When I work in my sketchbook, I like to draw out frames for my experiments and I can test my colors in the margins. I also like to take notes of the pains and the colors I used for later reference. I'd like to invite you to the next assignments. The first is to Swatch all your watercolors. If you haven't already done that earlier. Take a piece of paper and draw out as many little frames as the colors you have. Fill each frame with its color and varying the saturation and write down the name. Put it somewhere, you can easily access it for future works. The second task is to take your chosen reference picture and try to figure out the best color combinations for your picture. Mix them in your sketch book, and take notes on the colors you used. Then just go ahead and try it first painting from this reference. This serves as a baseline to see where you are currently at in terms of painting skills. When I painted this, the idea of just making a test helped me to relax and enjoy painting. I didn't push myself to any perfectionism. And I don't want you to push yourself either. Just see where this attempts will take here. Next lesson, we will dive into practicing skills and techniques, our current level. All right. 5. Intro to experimenting: Now is a good moments to really start practicing our painting skills. I invite you to practise painting clouds from various reference picture. This way you will gain mastery that not only applies to the one photo you chose earlier, but you develop the skill to paint any kind of sky in quite a short period of time. And you will also figure out what approach or technique you personally prefer and enjoy. Thus making steps in defining your personal style of painting. I've uploaded a couple of my own sky photographs in project resources that you are free to use if you'd like. Now, let's take a look at this sketch book and the learning process you are about to enter. That's not spent too much time on one R2 drawings. But let's go like Make a lot. The way I do that is by drawing three frames for each study. So again, simultaneously work on three variations of the same picture. When filling the frames, I can vary the following things. I can use different kinds of colors, like the difference, Use of blue are different mixes. I could also vary the working order. I can work from top to bottom or from the bottom up. I can change techniques. I can use wet in wet technique or negative painting. I can use lifting color, wet and dry technique, glazing, or a dry brush technique. I'll explain those techniques in the second part of this lesson. After study, I take a minute to reflect and summarize the main takeaways. That way, you'll be very intentional of learning and it will get easier to accept mistakes, not as a failure, but as a discovery or something you possibly do not want to repeat a future works, mistakes will become proof of your progress instead. Your next assignment is to pick up about six different reference pictures. You can take the ones that I offer in the clause resources, or you can use your own and study them two or three times each in your sketchbook. Next, I will show you the techniques are used in these various sketchbook experiments. And if the techniques are already familiar to you, feel free to start studying your skies and then jump ahead to the next lesson. But I view my own discoveries. 6. Watercolor Techniques: Okay, first of all, wet in wet painting. It's an organic way of mixing colors and creating gradients with watercolor. I use it here in the dark sky with the rainbow, where the edges of two colors or soft. The effect depends on the amount of water and pigments. Sometimes when you use mobile altar, the pigments will flow farther than you intended. And sometimes the paper dries too fast and creating hard edges where they wanted soft edges. This is something you will get a feeling for if you practice negative painting, this painting around the shape, around the shape, the cloud, they may be white and puffy and surrounded by blue sky. I used this technique in this study of 0 communists or the mackerel sky. In this other study of 0 Camilla's, I used lifting when the paint is still wet on the paper, dropping clear water and then soak it up with a damp brush. Lifting the Walter and the pigments. Lifting can also two smaller amounts be done on layers that have already dried. Let the water reactivated pigments, and then lift him up there having the brush on a paper towel between each lift. These more defined shapes need to be painted on a dry layer so the pigments won't run. This simply cold, wet and dry technique. You can, of course, within that newly added shape, work wet in wet again, like the shadows in these orange clouds. The same technique can be used to dark and something that has dried by adding another layer of pigment to it. In that case, we call it glazing. You can glaze shadows inside cumulus clouds, like in this study, with the sunbeams bursting out. Finally, there is a dry brush technique. It is a fun technique, but also a bit scary. You need a brush filled with color but not too much water. Then move that quickly over your paper, scraping. It's more than painting. Creating these textured swipes of color. This works fairly well in this service guy, giving a bit of a dramatic Luke, but very lively and organic looking. Now it's your turn to start exploring. Put up some groovy music, and study about six different skies in your sketch book. Now you don't need a whole bulk of time to do them one after the other. You can spread them out over the week and do like 1520 minutes per day. Or you can use it as a warm up activity before you start other projects. Or maybe as a morning ritual. Just remember to relax and enjoy the process. 7. Reflecting: Now we have filled quite a lot of pages in our sketch books, right? Let's review what you liked and what you didn't like in those studies. Not only in terms of result or effects, also in terms of enjoying the process. Did you enjoy tedious details painting, or did you like playing around sputtering and swiping dry brush techniques? I cannot tell what your conclusions will or should be. And I can share my own takeaways from doing these six intentional studies. And I must say I didn't expect the outcome. I was aiming full mastery and realism. And instead I found I enjoys the loose techniques so much more that my results got more and more expressive. Here are some polarized paintings that I did before studying skies. The skies here are not yet very defined and they tends towards realism. There are good or good enough. But I personally miss some kind of spark in these examples. Now, looking back on them, these are painted later on, I started adding details with metallic pains, fine liner and white ink. And these last two. In these last two, I use the drag wash technique in the final layers. Oh, and I love the freedom it allowed me well painting and I grew to love the expressiveness of these two paintings. 8. Final Assignment: So after exploring and reflecting, let's see what happens when we revisit our first reference picture. Once again. You will make a second tertian and bring your personal takeaways to a conclusion. The political. Cool. Here's what my own and second versions look like. I can clearly see that I've reached a higher level of skill and also put more of my own personality in the painting. So this is your final assignments. Go ahead and enjoy the process. 9. Happy Dance: Congratulations, you've finished all the lessons in this class. For a class project, you can upload photos off your process and also tell us some of your most important insights or takeaways that you discovered along the way. High could be considering color, technique and process. Things that add up to your unique style of painting. Also have a look at the process of fellow students with an open and encouraging approach. If you'd like some personalized tips, you can ask me any question and I'll gladly look into it. You can also leave a review if you want to share your experience with this class or follow me as a teacher. So well, so you'll get notified when other classes go life. I'm really excited to get to see your journey. Let's go do a happy dance right now, okay.