Watercolor Sunsets | Kolbie Blume | Skillshare

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Watercolor Sunsets

teacher avatar Kolbie Blume, Artist

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

9 Lessons (1h 22m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Techniques

    • 4. Color

    • 5. Gradient Sunset

    • 6. Cloudy Sunset

    • 7. Final Project: Layer One

    • 8. Final Project: Layer Two

    • 9. Recap

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About This Class

Learn how to much gorgeous watercolor sunsets using a few simple techniques! This class ranges from a beginners level to intermediate. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Kolbie Blume


Top Teacher



If you're pretty sure you're terrible at art...

...you're in the right place, my friend. 



Hi there! My name is Kolbie, and I'm a full-time artist, writer, and online educator -- but up until a few years ago, I was working a 9-5 desk job and thought my artistic ability maxed out at poorly-drawn stick figures. 

In my early 20s, I stumbled on mesmerizing Instagram videos with luminous watercolor paintings and flourishing calligraphy pieces, and ... See full profile

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1. Intro: Hi. My name is Colby, and I am so excited that you've decided to join me today to learn all about painting watercolor sunsets just like this one. I keep seeing any of my other classes, you know that I am not Hey, natural artist. At least I don't consider myself one. I didn't pick up a paintbrush for Riel and still about a couple of years ago. And I didn't think that I was very good art until I I had some kind of mindset shift and decided to give it a shot. And I have not been able to stop ever since. I have a love affair with a lot of color that is not going away. And I love sharing that passion with anyone who wants to learn. So today, in this class, we're going to talk about watercolor sunset night skies that are awesome for wilderness landscape paintings which, as you might know, are ah, subjects subjects that I particularly enjoy painting. So we through this class, I'm gonna go through all the tools materials that you're gonna need and all the stops to create. Ah Grady int watercolor nights off credit. Watercolor, sunset. Like this one. And as a bonus, we're going to take it one step further and create cloudy watercolor sunsets just like this one. So there are tutorial videos for both the Grady in sunset and this cloudy sunset. And then for the final project, you can decide if you want to do a greedy at sunset silhouette or a cloudy sunset silhouette. I decided to cloudy. This is my final project and I can't wait to see your So without further dio, um, move on to the next video to learn all about the tools that you're gonna need and I cannot wait to get started. 2. Materials: Okay, So before we get started painting, um, it's very important that you gather all the right materials to be successful at painting these wilderness sunsets. While I do recommend investing in professional grade tools like the ones that I'm using today at some point because they just make a world of a difference do know that if you you can use whatever paints and everything else that you have on hand, and I'm sure that you can create beautiful things with those two. So without further ado, let's get into it first. Let's start with paper I whatever I do practices and, um, first start any kind of subject. I almost always use student grade paper to begin with, because a it is much less expensive. And that's mostly the reason I don't know, I said a um it's much less expensive than professional grade paper. So if I'm just practicing something, I don't mind using paper that is cheaper and less quality because I want to get a technique down. But when I do final projects, I always always use professional grade watercolor paper because it is more absorbent, and that helps make colors more vibrant on the paper. Um, and it was also made more Teoh buckle less. One water, um, hits the paper that said water. Um, your paper is always gonna buckle at least a little bit. So if you don't have a watercolor block like the one that I have, Ah, watercolor block is basically just a pad of paper that's taped on all sides. And then you cut it out after, um, I would recommend getting some painter's tape or masking tape or washing tape or some kind of tape that will be nice to paper, but that can hold the paper down on whatever surface you're using. So it can eso that it holds it talked to that makes it not buckle is much. So this is, um, legion, Stonehenge, watercolor paper, cold press Ah, £140. And this is Skansen Montevallo watercolor paper. You can also use cancer in excel, Um, or you know, any other kind of student student grade paper. But just so you know, the difference between student grade watercolor paper and professional grade watercolor paper, um is what it's made of. Student grade has made mostly of wood pulp and like a combination off different things and professional grade watercolor paper. The best kind that you want is 100% cotton. So that's my little spiel on paper and next, let's move on to paint a Zay said. I really prefer, especially for landscape paintings like this, to use professional grade professional grade pigment based watercolor. And I have just have have used all sorts of different watercolors from student grade to die , based in liquid watercolor and everything like that, and specifically for landscapes. Professional grade pigment based watercolor is just far and away the best. So, um, today I'm using Windsor and Newton, and this is the professional, the professional line of Windsor and Newton Windsor. Newton also has the Cotman line, and that is student grade watercolor. But again, use what you have, because you can create beautiful things. So we're gonna talk about why I chose thes colors in a later video. Um, next. I also recommends professional grade paintbrushes. Um, I am holding to my favorites here. Um, the first this Utrecht sublet Siri's 2 to 8. You can recognize it by the black handle. I bought this at Blick Ah, Blick art supplies. And I, um I I really love this line. I love it because it's, um, the Siris of paintbrushes I found that most closely imitates this Princeton heritage. Siri's, which is probably my very favorite. Um, my very my very favorite series of paintbrushes, so important things to note about thes two paintbrushes. They're both shaped round, so paintbrushes come in lots of different shapes. And for watercolor painting, I'm most like to use this round shape, and they're also synthetic sable hair, so paintbrushes can come in synthetic or real, and usually it's made usually stable. Hairbrushes are made from squirrels, squirrel hair, but I actually prefer the synthetic sable hair not only because it's issue no cruelty free , but also because, um I just think they control water a lot better. So and hold their shape a lot better than sable hair Brush is for watercolor. I can't speak for other mediums of paint. Um, but in my opinion, synthetic sable. Here's the way to go. So this is a round number 10 and around number zero, and I'm going to be using both extensively during this class. Um, so just some other random things always have two cups of water. I'm only showing you one right now, but I always like to have two so that one can stay clean whenever I need clean water. I like to have a palate so that I can have a place to mix my paint. Um, I also usually like to squeeze one. I buy tude. Watercolor like this. I like to squeeze it onto a pallet and let it dry. That way it reduces the risk of waste with this more paste kind of watercolor. I also like to have Q tips on hand and the paper towel or a rag, or respond to whatever you use Teoh. Get water off of your brush and clean it while you're painting on. I think that about sums it up for materials. Oh, I also, um, some people. If you've seen my videos on instagram, you know that I use a drying tool to heat to dry my layers in between s so that I can paint my paintings right away, and this is the one I'm currently using. It's a tool um, typically used for M bossing. It's basically let just like a really high powered, um, hair dryer, except it's much smaller and hotter than that. Um So I think I got this for, like, maybe 10 bucks on Amazon. Don't remember the brand, but if you look up heat impulse ing tool on any kind of craft site, you should pop that up. So I may be using that in this class. Definitely in between behind the scenes, if not in these videos. Um, yeah, and I think I think that about sums it up. So why don't you gather all the supplies uh, you want and we'll need for this class and get started on the next video? 3. Techniques: Before we start painting, I wanted to be sure to cover the very most basic watercolor techniques that every artist uses to create their masterpieces. If you've taken any of my classes before, [LAUGHTER] you may have seen a video similar to this. But I think it's so important to be able to master any kind of watercolor piece, let alone watercolor landscape piece. That's why I talked about it a lot. This video will gear more toward particularly how to use it while we paint these watercolor sunsets. First, let's talk about wet on dry technique. As you can summarize, wet on dry basically just means that the paper is dry while the watercolor is wet. In both of these wet on dry and wet on wet, one of the tools you're using is going to be wet. It's always going to be watercolor. But the wet on dry technique is when you paint on a dry piece of paper or a dry anything that you paint on. The wet on dry technique is probably what you imagine when you think about painting, in general. It allows for crisp edges, and you have the most control over the paint during the wet on dry technique. If you do watercolor calligraphy, I don't think I've ever seen anybody do watercolor calligraphy using the wet on wet technique. It's always the wet on dry. Well, unless you want to blend, but that's a different class. [LAUGHTER] If you're interested in that, take my blending calligraphy class. That's my name. That's the wet on dry technique. We use the wet on dry technique for detailing. Specifically, when we do our final project and when we do our sunset, we're going to use it to create silhouettes. The silhouette tree line is always the last thing to go on a painting like that for me, and it's always using the wet on dry technique. Now, for the main event and the one that's a little trickier, the wet on wet technique is when you paint on an already wet surface. That can be wet with water or that can be wet with wet watercolor paint, which has water in it. Either way, water is the key to utilizing the wet on wet technique. Water control especially is probably the most important thing that you can learn when you're doing watercolor, especially with the wet on wet technique. Because the more you learn how to control your water, the better you can learn how to control the paint and have it do what you want it to do, while still maintaining the beautiful chaos [LAUGHTER] that is watercolor. As you can see, when I just wet this surface with water and put my paint down, it doesn't stay in one place. It moves to where there's water. Because obviously watercolor paint is activated with water. When you combine these water with water, it has more room to roam free. The key thing to remember with water and water control is that the more water is on the paper, the less you are able to control the watercolor. You want to be careful, definitely not to have too much water because I'll show you why. I'm trying to put just tons of water so you can see. If I have so much water that it puddles on top of the paper, the paint, this is moving. [LAUGHTER] Here, that's a better example. It just sits and swirls on top of the water and not onto the paper. You see how in these spots, the paint has tendrilled onto the paper and bled its way onto the paper here. It's not on the paper, it's in the water. The paint isn't going to get on the paper until the water actually dries. That leaves you a whole lot less room for controlling how you want your watercolor to be. We are specifically going to use the wet on wet technique to ensure a really smooth gradient when we make the gradient version of the sunset. We're going to talk more about what gradient means later. But wet on wet technique allows for colors to blend together smoothly because they haven't stopped yet. They have places to go onto the paper so that lets you manually blend them together. But if you have too much like this, then it's harder to control exactly where it's going to go, unless you just take matters completely into your own hands. But when you have the right amount of water, the color, it does what it's supposed to by itself, without you having to do everything just with your brush. How I'm tilting this color down, I've put a decent amount of water, probably more than on here, but definitely less than on here. You see how the watercolor is just seeping down onto the water exactly where I wanted it to go. That's mostly the wet on wet technique. But one other thing I wanted to talk about is for one of the sunsets we're going to learn, we're going to learn how to paint clouds and a sunset. It's really important that you'll learn how to control your water. Because when we're painting clouds, we want our color to go. We want it to blend into the background, but we don't want it to go everywhere. That is going to require not having as much water as in other places, but enough so that it moves around. We're going to talk more about that in that specific video, but I wanted to give you just a sneak peak, and explain more fully why wet on wet is so important. Right now, if you haven't already been practicing with me, I would practice the wet on wet technique, and practice putting the paint down with different amounts of water. Just see what happens when you do that. Just see how you can control the paint, and how you don't control the paint. Once you do that, we will move on. We're going to move on to colors next. Get ready for that. 4. Color: for our final prep class. Before we get started on painting, I'm learning how to paint the actual sunsets. I want to talk about what colors to use. I am almost positive that if you are taking this class, you have seen a sunset before and have just been astounded by the brilliance of the colors in the sky and how everything blends together like that. And I similarly have been astounded. So if you've seen that, you know that sunsets can be just like a wide variety off different colors, right? It can have a whole spectrum of like five or six different colors, or it can have just a brilliant yellow, orange or red. Um, it can be just about anything. So for the R class today were mostly going to focus on the kind of sunset that has, like, ah, well wide spectrum of colors that starts with yellow and goes upto a light orange or dark orange and a pink and then a purple and then into go or blue at the very top of the sunset , where where the sunlight doesn't touch this guy. So in order to achieve that kind off color spectrum, I am Onley using these three colors, and I'm going to mix them together at some point. So first, it's important to have a really pale yellow. I like to use this Naples yellow by Windsor and Newton. But if you don't have pale yellow like if you only have a brilliant yellow, um, like a lemon yellow or something like that, that could work, too. But pale is, I think, um, more true to what a sunset looks like. So if, um, something that could work if you don't have pale like this is to make a tint of your bright yellow, which means that you add white to it on that will make it kind of like a more muted pastel color. Um, when you add white toe, any color that makes it a tent of that color just a little bit of color theory for you. Um, so first I would have that color, And then I add Quinn Red, which is more of like a pinkish kind of red. Um, and the Queen Red, which is pink, will help me get ah, the orange that I want and then also the like pinks and reddish color that I want as well. And then into go is the final color because that's gonna be the top of the sky. But also into go mixed with Quinn. Red makes this gorgeous purple. So, um, those air all that's the spectrum that we're working with, and I'm going to show you what they all look like. So let's start with my Naples yellow. I always like I said, um, squeeze out my tubed paint and let them dry. So here's my pale Naples yellow and you can see that it's kind of muted, right? Um, and you can achieve this color if you like. I said, Mike, a tent of a brighter yellow. If you don't have this yellow, so that's my Naples yellow. And next I'm going to show you what it looks like when I to make like an orange with this Naples yellow mixed with this Quinn red. So I'm just mixing my colors, and that's not quite as oranges I wanted. So yeah, that's more like it. So it's kind of like a Coralie orange, but this is like a pinkish kind of orange that we're going to use in our sunset. And then here's the queen read. See how it's like like reddish pink kind of. And then we're gonna mix the Quinn red with our end ago, Just one second having to go on a separate, Um, we're gonna makes our Quinn red with into go to make We've made now just kind of like a blue violence. I'm gonna makes a little bit more read into it. Yeah, that's a little bit better. So this kind of purple will probably be more close to the top of the sky where indigo happens and then to make it a little bit more red. Violet, there we go. See, that's gonna blend into that color that's gonna blend into that color and then finally are into go is going to be at the top. So I haven't blended them all together yet because that's what we're gonna do in the next video. But I just wanted to show you, um, basically the color spectrum that we're going to be using for sunsets. And if you look at sunsets, if you if you google, you know, sunsets and look up pictures of them. Um, the most brilliant ones have all of these colors and honestly, even more so, um, those were the color mixes that I'm going to use. And it's a good idea if you are going to be like me and only use three colors. Teoh, make all the different spectrum of your radiant Teoh. Go ahead and make some of your colors beforehand and test out what they're gonna look like so that when you make your final piece, the next video isn't gonna be a final. It's gonna be kind of like a lot of practice. But, um, it's just a good idea to see what you're working with before you actually put them onto paper so that you have a better idea of how they're going to mix together. So without further ado, you practice that. And then when you're ready, move on to the next video where we are going, Teoh, practice our Grady int sense. It can't wait 5. Gradient Sunset: So we've tested out our colors. We know what we're going to use. And after we've tested out our colors, I like to keep my color swatch close so that I can see it as I am making my practicing my sunset. So I'm just gonna put this off to the side and you do with yours, what with what you health and let's get started. So the important thing to remember about creating a Grady int sunset is that the lighter colors are always on the bottom, and then they get darker as they move to the top. When you start getting into more complex sunsets like when you actually have the sun in the sunset, that could be a little different because typically, uh, the sun is always the lightest, lightest part of the sensor. And then it gets darker ISMs outwards. So sometimes it can be darker underneath the sun if you decide to do the sunset with the sun. But that's a little bit more advanced on this is more of a beginner's class. So for this class, we're just going to focus on how to create a Grady and thought imitates the colors of a sunset so that it looks like a sunset once you put the silhouette in front of it. Um, so why have time you used the word Grady int several times in this class and if you don't already know what it is, a Grady int is, ah, visual representation of moving from one color seamlessly to the next. So that means you don't have to only have two colors. But what if there's like one pure color on the top and one on the bottom, and then you gradually move into the next color? Um, and my night sky sunsets actually mites caisson says my nights guys are ah good example of radiance. Um, I have just one here where I move from this dark indigo blue to a very, very light blue. Um, and it's gradual. You see how it it It's not like dark blue and then light blue. It gradually gets lighter as you move to the bottom and, um, that it when we do our night sky sunsets, if you take in my other, keep saying nice guy sunsets want to do our night sky classes. Um, my not in my night sky class, that is called when we decrease the value will only make the value lighter. And when you do monochrome Grady INTs that's what you're doing with water colors. You're using water to make the value of a color lighter. But with the sunset radiant instead of changing the value, we're actually gonna change the color and by using multiple colors and blaming them together. And it's a little bit more tricky. Then, um, then those monochrome ingredients, because you have to do a lot more manual blending. So first to start off, I like to dio start at least a little bit with the wet on wet technique, um, and get the bottom of my paper wet, and I like to start with the bottom colors first, So I'm gonna put at least well, sometimes I do top and bottom, but we're just gonna do right on this time. So, um, an important thing to remember is that the first time you put on a color is probably not the last time you're gonna put on that color. There's gonna be a lot of blending here as we make our Grady in, but so I put down a wash of water on the bottom. And I'm just gonna put yellow my neighbors yellow in here with that wash. Okay, so have my Naples yellow here, and that's gonna be my first, making it just a little bit more pigmented. That's my first layer. So next because I'm using Naples yellow Quinn, Red and indigo. You can either, um, mix on the paper or mix ahead of time. Um, honestly, both will work. Fine. So I'm gonna kind of show you what it looks like when I let these colors mixed together on the paper. So I've put down my first layer of Naples yellow. I did the what? On what technique? Getting it wet first, that it could spread out. You could also do what on dry for that. As long as you push the, um, the color up before it dries. But I did what? On wet. So I extended the water above where the Naples yellow is, and now I'm going to put my first layer of Quinn red where the water is, um, extended a little bit further. So I don't get any dried paint lines, and and then we're gonna come back to that. I have just first put this layer of Quinn red, put a little bit more and we want to make sure that these always stay wet and to make sure that they stay What? You just kind of re width, um, periodically. And then as we blend together, we can start blending if you want. It's a good idea usually to go from bottom to top lending from light to dark. Um, but as we're beginning, you can start blending. Just start planning these two layers together and you'll see a pale orange starting to come through. So we just want this to stay wet the whole time that we're working. So I'm gonna move on to extent now, extending this color and this is a good idea. My paint my water is getting kind of muddied with the watercolor that I'm already using. So now I'm moving on to my clean water cup and I'm gonna starting with my wash of water on the top. And that's where my indigo is gonna go and we're gonna watch it blends smoothly into this Quinn red and dressed a second. So first I'm gonna make sure the water meets the water, and then I'm gonna take some of my indigo. The darkest goes on top. See how my paper paper starting to buckle a little. That's okay. So I put my end to go on top, and I'm just moving it down. Not quite. So it hits the queen read yet? Because like I said, it's a lot easier to blend from light to dark. That's what I'm gonna do first. Okay, so we have all of the base colors on here and now we're just going to start lending so that they were going to see start to see the other gorgeous colors. So I'm pushing this down a little bit. And as I blend this Quinn red with this in to go to get the purple, I'm going to get a little bit more Quinn red onto my paintbrush before I start blending. And then I'm gonna move that Quinn read up like that so that it blends into that end to go . You can see a fine layer of purple of that red violet starting to form. Okay, so now I'm gonna do that same thing, but with Naples yellow going into the queen, read. So I have one. Abel's yellow down here from putting more on it. And I'm gonna blend moving up with my paintbrush, going from light to dark, and then you can go down a little bit once you've done that. But if you want to blend something so it's just like a seamless Grady int. You see how when you go from light to dark, that makes it a whole lot easier. So I'm gonna put a little bit more Quinn red, and I'm gonna put a little bit more in to go on the top. Honestly, painting these Grady in is a lot of back and forth and back and forth, and I'm bringing down some into go. It's okay to go from dark to light a little bit, but if you go all the way down, you can never go. That I think that's probably the biggest difference is you can never go all the way down from dark to light. But you can go all the way up, going lights dark, and I'll show you what that looks like in a second to. So I'm going to get a little bit more Quinn red like we did before. Start down here and blend aboard And if you want to be smooth, you want to go from side to side wholly and completely from side to side. Because if you just go like that, you see how it creates like a texture in the middle, which is cool. And we're gonna do that on the next video when we learn how to paint clouds. Dana Sunset. But when we as we're creating this smooth, radiant kind of sunset, we want it to be smooth and so your brush strokes have to be, um, uniform. And the best way I found to do that is to dressed. Go from side to side like that. So this time I'm going all the way up and then washing up my brush because now I've picked up some of that darker color, and then I'm going to do some more Naples yellow down here and go all the way up, and I don't quite have the kind of orange that I want. So on the side, I already had some of this orange down. Here's owner's gonna manually paint in, and if you manually put some some Quinn red down here and then I'm going to start blending again So it's OK if you want to put some color just to make sure you have some color on here before you make it smooth, because that will make sure you have the kind of pigment that you want. If that makes sense, like sometimes if you Onley go from side to side without manually dropping in more color, it's harder to get it as pigmented as you want. But if you want to be a smooth ingredient, you have to have it look uniform. So what I do in that case is I put the pigment down first, and then I know I'm gonna come back in later and blend it all together, and I'm gonna do that. They moving from side to side and going up like that, and I want to bring samosas Quinn red down to make a little bit more of an orange color. Um oh, I dropped some yellow in there. That's OK. See? Right there. I didn't wash off my brush before I went up into the red, and so some of that yellow dropped onto the red. But that's OK. We'll get rid of in a second. Um, so then I'm starting from the bottom. Now that I've blended it together and I'm moving from side to side all the way up to the top, you can always go from top from bottom to top when you're doing light like you can always go from light to dark. But you can't always go from dark to light. So okay, that is our Grady in sunset. And I could keep going to make the colors more vibrant. And you can also wait for this to dry and then do another layer on top of it that would make it vibrant. But for the purposes of our practice, I'm going Teoh call that good. And, um, so the next steps, if you decide we're gonna learn another, we're gonna learn how to do clouds on a sunset sky. Yeah, a sense that sky in the next video. And you can decide then for your final project. If you want it to be. If you want your final project to be this Grady int this like smooth grading kind of sunset or if you want to add some clouds into their into the sunset for your final video. But the next step either way, would be to add some kind of subject on here, and that could be anything from mountains to palm trees to forest to anything like that. But I'm going to do my classic treeline silhouette of a forest, Um, for my final project, and you will see that as you move on. So let's, um, finish up whatever practice you were doing along with me, or if you're just moving on to the next video head on over, and we will talk about how to add on to this kind of sunset by making colorful clouds. All right, see, then. 6. Cloudy Sunset: Okay, now that we've done Ah, Grady INTs night sky. Keep doing that because knights guys or something to do a lot. Now that we've done ingredient sunset, I want Teoh go into a more textured sunset And then once you've practised both before you move on to the final project you can decide which is the one that you want to do along with me So by texture night sky What I really mean is I want to add clouds to her nice guy to our texture Keep doing that textured sunset I want out of clouds to our sunset And, um if you need to look up a reference photo or look up you know, sunset that sunsets that have clouds in them it could be helpful, But I'm going to use the full spectrum colors that we used in or Grady Int But for the sky , I'm only going to use yellow and blue And then for the purple, orange and reds. That's where I'm gonna That's how I'm gonna make the clouds and I will show you what I mean right now. So to make this textured sunset clouds look wispy and fluffy. Right? Um, and In order to really get that full effect, we need to use the wet on wet technique so that the cloud seemed to like blend into the sky . Um, so the most important thing to remember with this technique for making sunset clouds a cloud a cloudy sense, it is that the paper should always be wet, and that's going to require re wedding it sometimes, Um, but we are just going to continually work with a wet paper. So, as I mentioned before, the base of this painting is going to be yellow and blue, yellow on the bottom, blue on the top. I don't know if you've ever seen um, at the time. I think it's like right before the sun starts to get really brilliant in the sky. I mean, the sun, the sun's that What the color starts start to get really brilliant. But sometimes, um, there's a time during sunset. One, like the sky is the bottom of the sky is this pale yellow and then the top of the sky is blue and like a light sky blue, and, um, it seems like those two colors meat, but they don't create any other colors It's just like this pale sky blue That means this pale yellow and it's gorgeous. I think that's there. Lots of times where I have seen that in the sky and just kind of I looked up in awe, but so we're gonna kind of use that as a baseline. So what I'm doing is using the word on what technique? I got my paper wet first, and I'm putting my Naples yellow down, starting at the bottom and then getting lighters. I go up to the top, Um, and then I'm gonna put the blue on top and haven't meet the yellow. But I don't want my indigo to be really, really dark. So I want to get using this pallet over here. I want to use a light value of indigo. So I'm putting some pigment over here and then adding water to it so I can get that light value that I want. So I'm going to start at the top. That's nice. Yeah. So I'm gonna start at the top with this light value and to go and, um add more. But then also add more water to push it to me to the yellow down there, but where it meets the yellow. I wanted to be really quite white. They don't want to make green. Um, okay, that looks pretty good. Just gonna add a little bit more and you don't have to worry with the greedy int sunset we really wanted toe make it super smooth. So you can try to make this, like a really smooth radiant as well if you want. But since where? Since we're planning it to be textured, it doesn't. It's not quite as important. Um, but that looks pretty good to me. Now we're going to use the wet on what? So the reason this it's so important that the foundation, the bottom layer, is what is like I said, because to make the clouds blend in, we really need them. Um, we need to have them blend in with the sky, and we do that using the wet on wet technique. So first, um, we're gonna take the clouds, kind of like their their own Grady int in and of themselves on. And I'm gonna show you what I mean, So we're gonna layer clouds, um, starting with the lightest layer and then adding more color and adding more of each color to make them brighter as we go on. But we're going to start with a light layer of clouds, and each cloud is gonna have, like, its own kind of radiant spectrum. So use your if you can use your number 10 brush if you want. I'm gonna transition into using my zero pretty soon, but to for the first layer down I made this orange on this pallet over here, and I added more water to it. So it's a lighter value, and then I'm just kind of pushing office. It was a pigment because I don't want to be super wet. Um, and then I'm just gonna tap like a line of wispy cloud over here. Doesn't have to be big should probably not be super big. Um, because often sunset clouds like this just kind of make these little these little lines right across in the sense it. So I'm going to do a few of these in orange, and this is kind of like that pink coral ish orange one maybe through the middle here, and it's really light right now. What? We're gonna add more colors to it, um, which is to make sure to leave some of this guy opened, so the coat the clouds don't have to take up the whole sky. Um, and then as you put this orange like see you in the blue is starting to turn a little purple, and that's okay. Um, so I'm only gonna use the 10 brush for this first initial layer of orange. And then as we move on to like the reds on the purples, I'm probably going to use my number zero brush because if you use too much water than this color, see how they're The crowds are already getting bigger if you use too much water than the clouds were just going to get huge and take up the whole sky. And that's not quite what we're looking for. So it looks like this yellow down here has started to dry already. So I'm just gonna re wet it and meet it in order when, when something like that has happened, if you wet the part that is dry, um, in order to make it smooth, you just need to make sure that you extend the what the part that you re wetted up to where it's still wet, if that makes sense, Um, so I'm just gonna kind of meat it where this cloud is. I kind of liked it like that because it creates a the structure of the cloud. But we're gonna do call that good, and then to just kind of smooth it out, I'm gonna go from side to side. Okay? Eso I was an unplanned thing technique that I just showed you, but, um, very useful, because often times when I'm doing stuff like this, the part that I need to stay wet doesn't stay wet. And so I need to, um, re wet it without ruining without ruining the blended effect that I had already created. Um, Saunders can add one more little line of cloud here. Well, maybe just one, like tiny one. Here, keep doing this. Um, okay. So now I'm transitioning over to my eyes. Zero brush, and I'm going just a little bit darker with my Quinn red. So I used kind of an orange before an ongoing just a little bit dark with my Quinn red in my eyes. You know, brush to add a little bit of an extra layer here. And we don't want it to be like that. Was Alexa if you didn't hear her? Um, we don't want to go everywhere. We That's why I'm using my zero brush. We just want to create a little layer in here and then on the top you can do it along the top if you want. I'm going. That's what I'm gonna add the final like red violet. But uhm, I'm going along the outlines of the clouds in case you can't see. And I might have to add Looks like this has started to dry out a little bit more. So I'm gonna add some water here. It's very important that you that you keep this, um, make sure that these stay wet. Um, because otherwise you're not gonna quite get the effects that you're looking for. So I'm just re wedding around here a little bit, and then I'm going to once every wet. Then I'm going t o keep adding the layers of color that I want. And if you're wondering Well, now I can't see any of the orange. I'm gonna add more. I'm gonna add more orange as probably one of the last things that I do to make it just a little bit more vibrant. Um, but for now, let's add a little bit more of this Quinn red to these clouds up here, just adding very daintily and wispy, cause we don't want them to completely take over the sky. We still want to see some of that blue, some of that orange yellow. Ok, um, I'm gonna re wet this a little bit, and now I'm gonna add a little bit more orange. Like I said to the places where I wanted the orange to be and that kind of disappeared. That happened sometimes. And it's okay, because you can just add more as long as the paper still wet. You can always add more color where it may have disappeared where you wanted it, making it just a little more orange. Yeah, I'm concentrating a lot. So I'm not talking. Maybe as much as you would hope, but, um, hopefully if you're watching you kind of see where I'm just tapping this orange. And it's important for these bottom layers for the last part of this clouds that I'm doing it with this tiny brush because, um, if I did it with a giant brush. It would go everywhere and the cloudy effect. It wouldn't be quite what I wanted it to be. So that's why I'm doing it this way. Because I like it when these clouds are just kind of layered on top of each other. But you can still distinctly see the sky underneath. So I've added some more orange, and now I'm gonna add just a little bit red violet and places. So I have some violet over here. It's kind of darker than I was wanting, so I might make it just a little bit more red. Okay, Congress can add some of this red violet on top, Remember? Like I said, the clouds are gonna be kind of like their own little ingredient. That's what I meant. It's not quite agreeing because they're not like smooths together. But I like to layer them from light to dark because where the sun is, that's where there's gonna be reflecting the most yellow off the clouds. So that's where the orange is gonna be, and then the violet on top, where it meets with this where it needs with the nice guy. And I'm still going along The shape of my clouds. Right? That's how I'm not. Just like once I put down the orange, the first layer of orange clouds. That is the shape that I am using for the rest of these layers so that I can maintain that cloud shape and the color doesn't just go everywhere. Um, not a little darker ones here. I'm just adding, Honestly, I'm not like I'm just at some point, I'm gonna decide, OK, that's enough. And at some point, it's probably pretty soon, but I don't really have like, a whole rhyme or reason. Like I didn't plan out a composition or anything. I just kind of went for it. And in places I might smooth out some of the clouds and some places. So there aren't like these tendrils. You see how sometimes it's like they're these little tendrils that are bleeding onto the page. I don't quite want that effect with these clouds because clouds don't really have roots, you know, Um, so I'm doing that by using not too much water, like not a whole lot of water on this brush, but enough so that I can blend it in, Um, just a little bit If you have enough water on a brush that you can see a droplet forming on the tip, that's too much. That's one way to test it out. So okay, I feel like that's pretty good. So I'm gonna call it and Fulla. There's your sunset with some sunset clouds. It's not. It's not a too complex of a technique. It really just takes patients and learning water control. And, um, you're just kind of tapping color in a controlled way, and I think this is I mean, I say not complex. But it's probably one of the toughest things to learn about watercolor, to learn how to control the wet on wet. Because, as you know, if you've done watercolor, it kind of just does its own thing. So it's it can be tricky. But as you practice it more and you really learn that, um, it the amount of water you have on your brush on the amount of water you have on your paper really affects how much control you can have. And, um, as you learn to find that balance, which honestly, you could only find by practicing over and over again, I can tell you till I'm blue in the face. You know that the amount of water matters, but, um, the brush that you use is gonna is going to affect that on the paper you use is going to affect that. And so even if you were using the exact tools that I have right now, it would still take you figuring out how your tools work and how your paints work. And there's really no substitute for that practice. So But I hope watching me do it. And I'm listening to my inner monologue while I'm doing this has helped. Um, And now I'm going to move on to my final project where I am going to focus on the clouds, the cloudy sunset, and then paint a fund silhouetted the bottom so you can watch that along with me. And I would love to see your work when we're done. So let's move on to the next video. I think I'm gonna do the final final layer in two parts. So, um, I mean, the final project in two parts, the first layer I'm gonna do this cloudy sunset, and then the second layer is going to be the silhouette of the bottom. So see you soon 7. Final Project: Layer One: Okay. So you might be wondering why I'm doing a whole nother video painting a cloudy sunset when I just barely did a real time demonstration for you. Um, well, I like to do these final projects along with you, so that you know that often when I do final projects, I do lots of practice beforehand. And what you don't know, actually, is that before I filmed this cloudy sensa, the, um, we just practiced. I actually practiced another one even before I did this. And I have painted lots of these before, but I like to have lots of student grade paper on hand so that I can practice before I need to do my final project. And that is just the life of any kind of artists. So, um, that hopefully will eliminate any myths about, you know, first time doing anything. I practice a lot. Second, I wanted Teoh show you the difference of what it looks like on professional watercolor paper. So, as I said, I'm using, um, this is legion Stonehenge, aqua cold press, watercolor paper. At least £140 weight. I would recommend, and I also recommend cold press as opposed to hot press or rough because I think cold press works. It works better for me. Um, so without further ado, let's do this final project for this cloudy, cloudy sunset. Um, just moving the camera just a little bit so that it has the right angle. So as we did before, I'm gonna dio the top of the sky and the bottom of the sky as a, um as the base and the top of this guy should be blue on the bottom of this guy should be yellow. Um, so let's get started. We're gonna do the bottom first. And so I'm not gonna take up the whole paper. This is a watercolor block. I think I mentioned that before. It's watercolor paper that's taped on all sides. And, um, watercolor blocks air helpful because they keep the paper taught. Um, the pick Your watercolor paper almost always is gonna buckle. It's even buckled a little bit when I have used us as heavy as £300 watercolor paper, which is as heavy as I've used it before. So, um, the paper is always gonna buckle a little bit, but using a block or taping down your paper with painter's tape helps a lot. Um, so I don't know if you can tell. Um, but I'm just gonna talk about the differences between professional grade watercolor paper and student grade as I'm doing this, um, while professional greed watercolor papers made with 100% cotton, usually that those were the ones that you want to use, Um, and that makes it more absorbent. And that's important because the paper can stay wet longer, but it doesn't make is nearly as many puddles. So when student grade watercolor paper stays wet, um, it's made with wood pope. And so it's not nearly as absorbent as 100% cotton is. So when it stays what you can see, like puddles usually sitting on the paper. And that's kind of inevitable with student grade. But with professional grade, it usually stays wet longer, but it doesn't make it doesn't have to have puddles. Um, doesn't have to have puddles. It doesn't make nearly as money puddles, So the paper is absorbing the paint and the water without it drying completely. Now, that doesn't mean that it doesn't dry because, as you can tell us, I've been talking of how to re wet it a few times, but, um, it's much more effective than student grade watercolor paper in my experience. So I'm just getting this paper wet, and then I'm gonna add my indigo, my light and ago, as we did in the painting before. Okay, that sounds that looks about right. So here's my indigo. I'm gonna paint the top of my piece and then bring this blew down with some water and I don't know if you can tell on the reflection, but, um, much of this paper is still wet, even though it looks smooth like it doesn't have puddles again, just harping on it. But that is why one of the many reasons why, since investing in professional watercolor paper I Onley use it for final projects were rather I don't use student grade watercolor paper for final projects is what I meant. Sometimes I'll use even sometimes we'll use professional grade watercolor paper when I am just practicing. Um, but it does cost more. So, um, that's a choice that you will have to make. But I highly recommend using it. Legion is one of my favorites. I also love Blick Blick has their own premier watercolor paper. I like their blocks and then arches is also definitely a favorite of mine. I think those air mostly with the three that I use the most arches and blick and legion Stonehenge. So I'm just re wedding this as we did before, because in order to make the clouds, the paper needs to be wet. And, um, you can get puddles on professional grade watercolor paper. So that's definitely I don't want you to think that that's not possible either, but it takes a lot more water to make puddles on professional grade. Um, and that's why I still always like to have Q tips on hand for situations like that. But I don't need it right now. It looks like so I just added a little bit more yellow so that it's just a little more pigmented at the bottom, and that looks pretty good to me for the base layer. So again, we're creating. If you didn't watch the video before, um, we're creating the first layer, um, to be the sky and then the sun. Um, and then the clouds are going to be reflecting all the different colors that the sunset makes and each cloud is gonna be like its own little, many ingredient. So I'm going to start with my orange and I have mixed. I've premixed some colors over here. Um, you I want to paint the clouds from light to dark There, each of the clouds are gonna have layers of color. We're going to start with a light color and I'm gonna do my very first layer with this round number 10 brush. But, ah, the other ones, I'm gonna I'm gonna still in the other colors with my zero brush so that the water doesn't get away from me So I'm just tapping in kind of like a line clouds in the sunset I can't really What kind of clouds? Air called harkening back to first grade when I lived and all the different clouds I want to say serious that are like this that are kind of like just a line like a wispy kind of line. Um, because I think cumulus or the clouds that are like big puffs, right? I don't know, but we're making just like, little wispy lines across the sky. I'm just tapping my brush on Then in some places having it filling out the line a little bit more you don't need the water is going to move on its own and make the clouds bigger. So you don't need a whole lot, Um, at first right here. Otherwise, it's just going to make the clouds completely overtake the sunset, which is not what we wanted. We want to see both sky and the clouds in the sunset. So I might do just like one more up here more here, maybe just connected to that guy. Okay, so there's life first layer. And before I move on, I'm gonna look for any spots where it might be drying. Um, it looks like appears drawing a little bit. So I'm going to re wet it by starting in the wet. I mean, by starting where it's dry and then, um, meeting where it's wet so that it maintains it's, um, blend e kind of effect. And then I'm gonna use my round number zero brush to paint in some pinkish colors. And I'm so I'm gonna add Quinn red to this, my palate over here, and make it a little lighter with the value and then ah, using the use clouds that I've made as a guide Thes air now my clouds And so I'm going to do my best to stay in the the confines of these clouds to keep their shape. So I'm just happening with my round number zero brush in the shape of thes clouds. And this red is gonna be kind of like it should be more like in the middle of the cloud, because we're going to do Ah, red violet on top. Um, but, honestly, watercolor kind of does what it wants, sometimes just going to go with it. Um, and then we're gonna keep out in color. So we're gonna add orange again after so that it will show up because you might be tapping on here and a Newell think to yourself, only oranges disappearing. That's okay. It's the lightest color, and we're gonna add more at the end so that it does so that we can see it as much as we want. I'm just gonna kind of connect this actually over here. Sometimes I feel like that happens. Clouds were connected. Ah, as you're doing this, as you can see, sometimes when I'm painting, I have something in mind and then I just kind of, um, at Hawk Look at how I need to change my composition. So that happens all the time. I honestly a lot of people, and it's a smart idea if you have something specific in mind to sketch it out or to have a composition first. But honestly, most of the time I don't do that. I just kind of go with the flow. And, um, I think because painting is that for me, it's a chance for me to just kind of not worry about whether I'm doing it right or doing it wrong, Um, and just kind of paint what I feel because a lot of other things in my life are not like that. So Okay, so there's my pink, and now I'm gonna add some violet to it. I'm making you can't see, I think. But I'm making some violet on the side and I'm just gonna add it to the top. It's better if it's a more of a red violet than a blue violet. Um, just because it's a little warmer, I guess if you want, like a cooler kind of sense that you could do that. But some sets in my mind are usually pretty a warm color palette. So that's why I like to have the red violin instead of a blue violent on top. So I'm just putting this red violet on top here as the top layer, and then you can go back and blend in by adding a little bit more red underneath it, and that kind of blends the two together. Um and I'm just gonna do that. All these clouds over here It was kind of tapping my paintbrush. My round numbers, year old paintbrush. Um, toe ad this violet, these clouds watercolor is so cool, especially this professional grade watercolor. Because, um, when you push away colors like what I'm doing right now with these colors by adding these purple onto this wet background, I'm like pushing away the other pigment right? And then it just kind of blends smoothly together. And, um, maybe that's why I like watercolor more than other painting mediums because I feel like I kind of like not having to control everything is much like I like controlling the chaos. Um, that's what watercolor feels like to me. So ok, out of these Now I'm just gonna add a little bit more orange to the places where it's disappeared. So I've kind of run out of that orange that I like. So I'm making more by adding yellow to this red over here. So I have this kind of like Chorley orange. Summer's gonna add a little bit more orange underneath here, and it doesn't have to have a go far like I don't have to do it across the whole clouds because clouds are kind of wispy. You know, some places there's just orange. In some places, there's just purple. And anyway, my point is like with painting similar with painting trees. If you've taken classes for me on painting trees, I just nature does its own thing sometimes, and, um, that makes it a lot less pressure for us as we paint it, because there's really no such thing is like painting it right or wrong when you're trying to pay nature. Sometimes it might not look quite like you wanted it to look, but, um, I think that's okay so that for me, it takes off the responsibility of like, if I make a mistake, a quote unquote mistake, I can always fix it and make it look, um, like it's OK, uh, because nature is supposed to be wild and chaotic and unpredictable. And so I think that's how you're painting. Should be too. Um So there my clouds, we have Ah, I feel like that's pretty good. Um, if you want them to be a little more wispy or like foggy or whatever, you can just add water. Uh, like we were adding paint before and that will push away the pigment so that the paper underneath shows through so that you can see more of the white. That's a technique that I also use for painting misty trees. Um, so But it could work Justus Well, for trying to create this effect with clouds. So that's what I'm doing in some places over here. Just adding a little bit more water to push away some of the payment. Yeah, and then I'm gonna call that good for layer one. So let's move on to the next video for layer 20 actually, before we move on, I want to show you the difference here. So this was our student grade watercolor experiment, right? When we when we try to paint these clouds, and it looked pretty good. And, um, I I was really pleased with how this one came out. But just to demonstrate the difference between professional grade and student greed, watercolor paper you see how the color still blends in but also maintains its shape in this in professional grade, in student grade, it's obvious that it has kind of moved around more. And that's because, as I says, professional grade watercolor paper is a lot more absorbent. And also you can see the colors are a lot brighter. I didn't, um, add any more pigment than I did in the other. Um, then I did in the In the Practice one. The professional grade watercolor paper just picked it up better. So I always like to do a side by side because sometimes you wonder like, is it really worth it? And I really think it is. So that's just my opinion. And, um, like I said, you can still create beautiful paintings without having to spend a lot on professional supplies. But if you I want to make a real go of this, I would definitely recommend this. Supplies are the professional supplies, so let's move on and do the final layer to finish up our sunsets. Guy. See you next time 8. Final Project: Layer Two: We've painted our clouds, we've painted our sky. Now to finish up our final project, let's paint a little silhouette on the bottom. What I'm going to do is just paint some trees along the bottom similar to like how if you've taken my night sky class that I like to paint some trees like that. I'm using black because it's a silhouette. You don't have to use black for silhouettes, but I would recommend it. You can also use a dark blue. I recommended indigo, I didn't have back other materials for you. But if you have black, go ahead and use up. You can also use indigo and its purest, like if it's darkest format, and it's pretty dark. I will going to go ahead and paint my trees. I'm using my round number 0 brush. If you've taken my misty forest class where I talked about tree techniques, this is the blobby technique. I think there might be a class on the future where it's all about different trees and other techniques that I've learned since I made that misty forest class. Be on the lookout for that if you're interested. But I'd just like to paint a little tree line on the bottom. It doesn't have to go all the way across the bottom, mine won't. I like to do just like little clumps of trees here and there. Then I'm probably going to have one big tree over here to show perspective. One way to create depth with trees is to alter their size. I talk about this again in my misty forest class. You can alter their size or alter their value. Value is usually more effective, but when you're doing silhouettes, that's tricky because they're all supposed to be the same, like shadow we color. When you're doing silhouettes, one way to create depth is to alter the size of the trees that you are painting. That's good for that little clump. Then I'm going to do another little clamp right here. I'm just painting some trees, by blobbing them. I call this the blobby technique because after I paint the trunk, I just paint blobs [LAUGHTER] as the pine needles. I am very good at naming things. As you can tell, I have a very technically minded method of teaching. [LAUGHTER] I'm just laughing to myself. Yeah, I'm just painting some trees. You don't have to paint trees for your silhouette, you can do mountains or some people like to paint cabins or houses or a cityscape. I'm probably going to do a class pretty soon on cityscapes, which I think are cool. But just going back to smaller to create depth, sometimes I just like to make little dots right here to show trees in the distance. Make sure to vary the size of your trees, because trees they're not all the same size. To make it look more realistic, it's important to have variance. It's also important to vary how full your trees are. Sometimes they could be really full like a Christmas tree, and then other times they could just be really sparse like that, and that is also realistic. I like to have my pine trees go all the way down to the bottom, but pine tree is also sometimes stop like two-thirds of the way down the trunk and you could easily do that too. But for silhouettes, this is what I like to do. I'm just probably going to go all the way to the side over here, and then I'm going to paint one big tree to show perspective. You'll see what that looks like on top of all these other trees. Just painting and blobbing away with not a care the word. [LAUGHTER] Honestly, I think that trees can be so tricky, they really can be, but I think in general that people need to stop putting so much pressure on those house to make things look nice. Because with watercolor for me, what clicked was being able to just let loose. If I create something I don't like, then try to do it again. I've painted so many trees in it. The only thing that really made it better with practice. I'm going to paint some more dots here like I did before. Then like I said, I'm going to do like one big tree that goes over all of the other trees. It's okay if I cover up what I've just painted, that's totally fine. But this can be like the framing tree or whatever. Maybe I'll have another one next to it. That's more of like a framing tree. See, no rhyme or reason, just going with the flow. That is how I recommend you at least to try to paint because it makes it so much more fun. [LAUGHTER] But you see the difference that adding the silhouettes makes to this sunset. I just think it makes it look so cool. I like completely covered up that one tree, that's okay. Having layers of trees also makes it look like it has depth. I'm going to add another tall tree to the side so that it goes off into the distance. You should paint whatever you want to paint. I'm done. Well, actually one more thing. Sometimes. I haven't done this very often. I don't often paint birds, but if you're interested, sometimes it's fun to have like little birds coming out of a forest. I just do, I don't know, like a curve AV which is a little bump right there. If you couldn't see, it's like I started with a curve and then I did a smaller curve for the wings. I like to have an odd number of things, so I'm going to do one more down here, there. There is your forest sunset, you're cloudy sunset. If you painted along with me, I would love to see your end result, so be sure to post it in the project gallery. You can also tag me on Instagram. My handle is thiswritingdesk, and I may just feature you. That's the final project, and let's head on over to the recap. See you soon. 9. Recap: Congratulations. You have made it through the class. And if you have completed all the videos and all of the steps, then you have made This is my practice, Grady. In sunset, my added just a few little trees at the bottom. And, um, this is my final project. As you'll have seen in the previous video, I decided Teoh, use the cloudy sunsets subject for on my professional grade watercolor paper. Um, for my for my final project. And I love how it came out, and I cannot wait to see how your projects have come out. So please, please post your project onto the project gallery If you haven't instagram account posted on instagram and tag me. My handle is this writing desk and if you tag me, there is a very good chance that you will be featured in my instagram stories. So I again thank you so much for joining me. Sharing my love of watercolor wilderness paintings is one of my very favorite things to do in the world. And very few things make me as happy as as painting these gorgeous scenes. And you know the best thing to do with something that you love is to help other people love it to. At least that's what I think. And that's why I'm grateful for platforms like skill share that make it affordable and easy for you to learn these techniques. And that also helped me Teoh support myself as an artist and grow and give you even more awesome content. So, um, again, if you loved my class, please post your project on the project gallery and please post a review. Give me a thumbs up. Um, if you have any advice or suggestions for my class, I am always, always welcome, Teoh all of your honest feedback as well. So, um, yeah, I just Please tell me everything and, um, see you next time.