Watercolor Wilderness Blizzard | Kolbie Blume | Skillshare

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Watercolor Wilderness Blizzard

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

11 Lessons (1h 32m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Pine Trees

    • 4. Snow: Part 1

    • 5. Snow: Part 2

    • 6. Color Value

    • 7. Final Project: Layer One

    • 8. Final Project: Layer Two

    • 9. Final Project: Layer Three

    • 10. Final Project: Layer Four

    • 11. Recap

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About This Class

Learn to paint a blizzarding wilderness in this step-by-step video tutorial! In this class, we'll break down all the different tricks and techniques to painting a snowy wilderness scene before painting the final project together. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Kolbie Blume




Yes, even you!

Don't believe me? 

I bet I can change your mind!



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 my mindset slowly shifted from "I wish" to "Why not?"

-- and the rest is history! ... See full profile

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1. Intro: Hi, My name is Colby and I love watercolor. I especially love painting wilderness scenes with watercolor. And that's why I'm so excited to join you today in our class, learning all about painting Ah, blizzard in the forest just like this, I If you've ever looked at paintings like this and thought to yourself, there is no way that I could make that There's no way that with my experience I can paint something that looks kind of realistic and beautiful. And I want you to know that I don't believe you one used when you think to yourself that there's no way because I have gone from feeling like I had zero artistic talent Teoh, using my artistic talent to support as my full time drop to support myself. And so if I can do it, if I can go from zero to artists, I fully believe that you can, too. So today I'm going to break down all the techniques that I use to create this painting and hopefully demystify all of the steps so that you, too, can create something like this that you could be proud of. Um, so if you have go on to the next video. We're going to talk about all the materials and then dive right into exactly how to paint this blizzard forest. Uh, can't wait to see you there. 2. Materials: all right. Before we get started on learning how to paint some snowy pine tree scenes, let's go over really quickly. All of the materials that you will need for this class. Um, if you've taken any of my prior classes, a lot of these materials videos are, ah, fairly similar, though I do taylor them for each specific class. Uh, particularly I'm showing you all the materials that I'm using in my final project. Um, just so that you know everything I used to create the effects that are the results of this these classes. So first up, let's talk about the paint brushes I'm using first, I always use, um, round shaped paintbrushes. And I almost always used synthetic sable hair, which means that this is not really a animal hair on here, but it's synthetic sable hair. So it's meant to mimic the professional. I mean, the the rial animal hair. Um, this all of these paintbrushes are professional grade paintbrushes. First up is around number 12. We do this for big washes. Mostly I'm going to use this to paint the sky in our final project. And this is the Princeton heritage. Siri's. You can always tell by the bright red handle and with the gold that's connecting the brush to the handle. So Princeton heritage. Siri's is one of my all time favorites for paintbrushes, their synthetic sable hair. Next up is this. Round number two on this is synthetic sable hair. You trekked Siri's 2 to 8. Ah, you comptel these paintbrushes by the black handle. I got the's on at blick dot com. Um ah. Blick Art Materials is a big name, art and craft store where I get a lot of my supplies. So again, this is a round number two paintbrush, a Siri's You trekked Siri's 2 to 8. Since that it sent that X able. And then I finally have a round number zero paintbrush. And this is a synthetic sable hair. Princeton, Neptune. Siri's, um, I have just This is a recent purchase, and I like this paintbrush a lot. So, um, I were using three different paintbrushes just to show you that that you can use honestly, whatever you have on hand is gonna be great. But the's air month of 33 of them, my all time favorite brands to use for painting, So those are my paintbrushes. Next up, let's talk about paint for this class. For my final project, I'm going to be using three different colors of watercolor. All of these are professional grade watercolors, Um, two different brands, though. So first we have Winds or Newton professional watercolor, and this is the neutral tint. It's like a dark grey that's kind of on the cooler side. So that's neutral tint that I'm going to be using for our stormy sky. And then I also have Daniel Smith Extra fine watercolors in Payne's gray. Um, I like I love Payne's Gray and just about any ah, watercolor brand pains. Daniel Smith Payne's gray is a little bit more on the gray side than on the blue side, as opposed to like compared to Windsor Newton Payne's Gray, which is probably more of a dark navy, Um, and this is still dark Navy, but as a little bit more gray coloring to it. So I'm gonna be using both of these for the sky to create, like, kind of a stormy night sky. And then I'm also using Daniel Smith extra fine and pearly in green. This is the dark, dark green. I'm going to be using to create our trees. Next up for paint. I'm using Doctor Ph. Martin's bleed proof white for the snow, and it's important for when you create snow that you have some kind of opaque white paint. I really love this doctor Ph Martin's bleed proof white, but you could also get white wash that spelled g o u A c h e ah gua sh If you're looking for a new alternative, Windsor Newton Professional Wash is pretty good. So Ah, those were my suggestions for paint. And next up, let's talk quickly about paper. I always always like to have a professional greed watercolor paper that I use for the final project and then either scrap paper and or student grade watercolor paper that I use for practice. So my professional grade in this class is Blick Premier Watercolor block. It is cold press, Um, and £140. I all I love to use a water color block because the paper is glued on all four sides, which means that I don't need to tape it down in order to keep it taut. Um, so that's my preference. I'm going to be using this to create our final project. Always. Ah, 100. Always at least £140. And I always use cold press when I dio thes paintings on. Then I have some scrap paper from, um, sometimes when I do paintings that I don't need or use or they're just kind of a mess, I cut them off and create scrap paper to use the back. So I have a few of shoots of that and then else also this Skansen Excel watercolor paper. Also, cold press. Also £140 but it's not 100% cotton. A student grade watercolor papers, mostly made from wood pulp. So it's not quite as absorbent, um, and doesn't stand up to water nearly as well as 100% cotton, But it's a lot cheaper. So, um, I use this for practice. And if if student greatest all you have, don't worry, you can create beautiful things. A student grade. I would recommend having some painter's tape or washi tape or masking tape on hand just so you can tape it down, and that will make the paper stand. Um, last up. Stand up to the water more effectively than if it were standing by itself. So ah, that's paper. And I always have a mixing palette minus pretty dirty, as you can see. But we're gonna create be creating different values of colors to create. For our final project, we're gonna add just a little bit of depth in our forest. And so I always have a mixing palette on hand and then off to the side. You can't always see, but I have two cups of water. One always stays clean. I have a paper towel, Teoh, help wash off my brushes with. And, um usually, I also always have a few Q tips on hand, just in case any to mop up any excess water. Um, and I think that about sums it up for the materials. So gather all of the materials that you think you're gonna need again. I'm using some kind of grayish, bluish, dark, moody combos for the sky, and I'm going to create, um, my trees air gonna be this dark green color before the snow, and but you can decide whatever colors you want, whatever brands you want. I'm sure whatever you create is gonna be beautiful. So gather all your supplies, all your materials, and let's get going 3. Pine Trees: Okay, Before we get started on painting the final scene, we're gonna go over some of the elements and techniques that you only to use in order to create these scenes. And the very first technique I want to go over is painting a pine tree. If you've taken any of my classes before, you know that I have several different ways to create a pine tree methods for painting pine trees. And this time I'm debut ing a slightly different new technique for creating a pine tree. So before I start on the new technique, I'm going. I'm gonna briefly review the four techniques that I've talked about in the past. Um, the first technique, just in case, if you've taken my classes, this will be familiar. If you haven't, then this is a good starter and toe learn most of these techniques. You will take the misty forest class and that it that will teach you all of them's. But we're just going to quickly go over them and then talk about the fifth technique that I'm debuting in this class. So first I take my round number zero paintbrush and the first technique that we talk about is called the lines technique, which you create by painting a very thin trunk and then using very thin lines, you go from one side of the trunk to the other all the way down in uneven kind of wispy kind of lines. And, um, using this technique going all the way down to the bottom. Mostly when I paint pine trees, I paid them all the way down to the bottom, although I know that many pine trees and nature stop, maybe like 3/4 of the way through, and that is definitely something that you can do and achieve really cool looks with. But for the most part, I like to do mine all the way down to the bottom. So that's the lines technique. I created that by painting a very thin trunk, and I'm barely barely touching my paintbrush to the paper when I'm painting the lines across. Okay, The second technique is called thes swoopy technique, where I paint this very thin tree trunk and making white little swoops like like a Nike swoop. Kind of. I start from the middle of the trunk and I go down using these light little swoops. Now, when you paint trees, you can paint them to be really full. Or you can paint them to be really that so that the needles air really sparse. Both of them occur in nature. The really important thing with the soupy technique is about 2/3 of the way down. When you want your tree to start getting thicker at the bottom instead of creating giant swoops, we're just going to create a lot of little ones and kind of paint almost like a skirt around the trunk. So it's kind of like some of the swoops air coming out at you and almost like a three d kind of effect. Um, but we're gonna paint this little skirt, um, so that it looks more full. The trick is to use, continue using little swoops, just more of them and more concentrated to get wise. We get to the bottom of this tree. And, um, one thing about painting these pine trees is to remember that there's if they look kind of messy. That is okay, because nature nature is by is just is chaotic, right? It's not always perfect. And so that kind of takes the burden off you a little bit. So that's this will be technique. And if you're thinking, go slower so I can learn all of these. I encourage you to take my misty forest class where each of these techniques gets its own video. I'm just doing a quick review. Um, in this video here, So the lines technique, this will be technique. And then this next one is called the Blobby Technique, where I again start with a very thin trunk and I always like to have the top of my trunks thin and then start my tree slightly below so that the top of the trunk and have ah, tiptop. But with the blobby technique, I'm taking my paintbrush and I'm just creating blobs on either side of the trunk with my paintbrush by applying pressure. So the truth thing, the biggest difference here between the other two techniques is with the other two. I was using very little pressure to create the pine needles, but for this one, I'm going for a more like abstract blobby effect. And so I want to use a lot of pressure on my paintbrush in order to achieve that. So that's the blobby technique. It looks a little bit more abstracted of, Ah, pine tree. And then the fourth technique is kind of an extension of the blobby technique. Um, it's kind of like a combination of the swoopy on the blobby. Actually, I call it the extended blobby technique where you do a blob, and then you kind of add on to it, uh, creating like, more texture with the branches. I guess I'm gonna increased. I went a little bit farther than a minute to with that trunk, something I'm giving the trunk a little more height to even it out. So I'm still making blobs, but I'm kind of forming them or into branches. Ah, and that is what I like to call the extended blobby technique where I create the's blobs. But with the other blobs, I turned them kind of into branches. And the extended blobby is most like this new technique that I'm going to be teaching you in just a second, um, Onley slightly different. Not that different. Okay, so that's the extended blobby technique to create kind of a blobby effect, but with a more defined shape in the pine needles. And now I haven't given this technique and name yet. Um, but basically, I'm gonna go step by step through this technique to show you normally I would start with a trunk, right? I would. That's how I start almost all of my trees. But this time I'm going. Teoh kind of do a combination of the soupy technique on the extended blobby technique. But I'm not going to start with the trunk. I'm going to stop the motions I'm going to make are kind of leg, kind of like the blobby technique, but in a more controlled manner. So I'm starting at the top. I'm making, like, a swoop like a swooping shape, and I'm starting small the talk and then I'm pushing down on my brush and lifting up again . Let me show you that one more time I'm pushing and starting at the top, starting thin, pushing down on my brush and lifting up again to create this kind of, like, wispy kind of effect with the branches here. So where with the extended blobby was kind of like I just put a bunch of blobs on here. The this technique, maybe I'll call it The wispy technique is more of a controlled controlling the blobs a little bit more. I call them blobs because you use you create these by using the flat of your brush and like pushing outward. So I'm have this number zero brush, right? And I'm putting all of my pressure on it. So the whole rushes down and I'm pushing outward likes on. So that's the motion that we're going to use and using that motion on both sides, we're going to create a whole pine tree, so starting at the top, I am going, I'm going to start to go left and then right, So I'm starting at the top with the tippy top because I still want a little tip to it, and then I'm going to push out. I'm gonna do the same on the other side. And now I'm going to start at the bottom again at the bottom of that section, and I'm starting thes wispy things a little smaller at first. But then I'm going to get bigger and adding on to it. So you see how I am. I don't need I don't necessarily need the trunk at first because I generally no, the direction that my trees were gonna go So I'm using this pressure to create these kind of wispy emotions. And these the branches on this tree are a little more curved, right? That's kind of like why it's similar to this will be technique. I think they're a little more curved up, And, um, but you got to make sure to have some leave white space and to leave like the little wisp ease. Uh, it's even cooler if you have. If some parts of your brushes dry and creates like texture, like over here anyway. And you just keep going doing this kind of downward swoopy with a lot of pressure motion using all of my brush like it's almost like I'm creating kind of a moustache on either side of the tree. Almost, Um and then I just do that all the way down until I want to stop and and then because I like to go down to the bottom, I'm just gonna make sure that the bottom of this tree is kind of it kind of looks like a bottom. Okay. And then from here, you can add a trunk, or you could just keep it like that. But that is what I have just dubbed now creating this video the wispy technique. So, uh and that's a new I'm sure it's not new to some of you because a lot of people paint through trees like this. But it's kind of a newish technique that I have been using as a kind of hybrid of the blobby technique and the a swoopy technique. So ah, it saves time sometimes if you can get it down to go fast because you don't always have to create the trunk. Um, but yeah, there you go. That's the wispy technique. And we are going Teoh, I'm going to be using mostly this technique as we continue on creating our snowy forced. So, ah, if you move onto the next video, we're going Teoh, talk more about how to create a snow effect on the trees. So practice painting whatever tree you want to use, whether it's the lines or soupy or blobby extended, blobby or wispy. And then we're going to practice snow in the next video, so see you soon 4. Snow: Part 1: okay. The first thing you need to know about snow and painting it with watercolor is that there are two different ways to paint a tree, and basically just like a snowy landscape with watercolor. The first is to use white paint that's opaque. It's really important that it's opaque so that it goes over any color that you might use and state white to use opaque white paint to create snow like you would paint any other subject. And so that's what we're going to be focusing on in this video, and it is actually pretty simple. So we're gonna go back to these this wispy tree that you made, and I cannot remember if there should be an age in there there might be. And so if I am normally pretty good at spelling, so I apologize for it of you watching this and are correcting me. But I'm gonna look it up later. Maybe I got it right out of no. Anyway, that's neither here nor there. Um, what I'm doing right now is I'm taking my doctor Page Martin's bleed proof white, and I like to use my cap as a kind of palate. I suppose um, so I'm taking the doctor pH Martin's bleed proof white, and I am mixing it with just a little bit of water. Similar to go wash Doctor Ph. Martin's leakproof white is a little bit thicker and actually similar to, like tubed watercolor when it's not, if you dry out your watercolor when it's not dried out or just one, it's in the tube. It's kind of this pasty kind of consistency, and we want to be a little bit more paint like not totally liquid, because the more liquid it is, the more transparent it is. We still want to be opaque, but I out of just a tiny bit of water to this to make it a little bit more paint. Like So again, this is my number zero brush. And if you think painting snow is gonna be hard, I did, too. Ah, but the important thing to remember about any elements of nature is there's always an element of randomness and chaos to it. It's almost impossible, in my opinion, and I am self talked. I have not taken like professional art classes were going to art school to learn this. This is me looking at nature and figuring out how to paint it. Um, the important thing that really held me back from painting snow at first was me not knowing where to put it. And I think if you let yourself if you let that responsibility go and just say OK, well, when I look at a tree that has snow on it, honestly looks kind of random, like there has to be some kind of logic and that the snow is not sticking to the bottom of leaves, right? It's laying on top of things, but when it comes to where it landed, it just kinda is where it is. So, knowing that a snow is more likely to be on top of these leaves and also be it's not gonna be in any kind of riel pattern. I was kind of kind of go for it, and I don't know, this might not be what you want to hear when painting snow, but hopefully watching me will help you because doing it myself without having limitations or without putting any riel pressure on myself is really what helped me took paint toe, learn to paint snow, so I'm taking my white paint and I'm starting at the top, and I'm just putting a little dot right there towards the middle. I had a like a bigger a big dot and then maybe a little one. And I'm just gonna kind of paint use this white paint to create snow patches on my tree. It's really important that there's not leg of really obvious pattern, and but that it still kind of looks like a tree. Ah, it's also really important not to paint the whole thing White. We have to have some green, some green underneath, um, to show that it's still a tree. Right? So for some of these thes places, I'm starting in the middle. I'm going down similar to like how I started painting it right. It's I'm not, you know, just randomly dotting everywhere. I still wanted to have some kind of semblance of This is snow that has landed on a branch, but it doesn't have to always stay right at the top because, you know, while it is two d, when we look at it, if we can imagine that this tree is actually three d, then some of the some of the branches would be intermixed right here. Right. Uh, like this middle part that we look, what we see is the middle could be branches sticking out at us. So it's important to remember that too. Uh and I mean, if that makes sense so But really I'm just kind of dotting and putting pressure down and on blogging this white paint out in a kind of semi random, semi tree like method. And that's really all there is to it when it comes to using this paint, Teoh create snow on top of a tree. Um, and you just kind of keep going until you think that what you have looks like it has snow on it. And honestly, that looks pretty good to me. I like to have ah lot of contrast. So there's a lot of color underneath the snow, Um, and just enough snow to make it look like it had a decent covering. Right? So, again, just to recap, I started from the top and made my way down to the bottom, and I used kind like I blogged my paintbrush down in kind of a tree branch kind of manner, but I made sure not toe have like very specific patterns. And I used sometimes I used big blobs and lines, and other times I just did little dots to show that some the snow doesn't always fall in large clumps. It doesn't always fall in tiny snowflakes. It does both. So, um, that is than the probably the easiest method of painting snow, I think, um, because you can paint the tree and then paint the snow. Um and so that's gonna be the end of this video. In the next video, we're going to talk about the other way to paint white using watercolor, which is using no painted all and utilizing white space. And for whatever reason, Whitespace has always been harder for me then actual paint. So that's why did this one first? Um, but the white space way can look really cool, too, so Ah, but practice this first. And when you feel like you're ready to move on to painting a tree a snowy tree using whitespace than head on over to the next video, see, there 5. Snow: Part 2: Okay, now that we have painted our snowy tree using white paint, I we are going to talk about how to paint a snowy tree using whitespace. And this is just a quick little sketch that I did ah, couple days ago that has a snowy tree using whitespace. And then I made some, like tinsel around it to make it look like a traditional Christmas tree or holiday tree Christmas tree. Um and so just so you know what it looks like. Ah, And then I painted a little bit of a border around it. Just toe accentuate the snow a little bit more. But you see, we're utilizing the white space in between these branches to create the effect there snow in between these branches. Um, so without further ado, let's give it a try. Um, the important thing with creating with im with creating snowy trees using whitespace is again to remember that random there has to be a certain amount of randomness to it. Ah, but also that there has to be white space, right? And I think I have to buy. Definitely had to. Practice is a few times to feel like I got the white space where it was supposed to be. But if we look at this sketch again there, there's always some white above the branches here, and there's some white in between. So these branches are a little bit more jagged, which leaves room for snow on top room bottom. And I always like to leave spaces in the middle of the tree that indicates where Tufts of snow might have landed. So keeping this in mind, it's always good to have a reference photo, too, if you like. Sometimes I'll I'll pull up pictures of other water color photos of things that I'm trying to do, or I'll pull up a real picture of a riel tree with snow on it, and that can help you to determine where to leave the white space. But for me, I'm always too afraid to do it unless I just go for it and painting something even if the first time you paint it is so crappy is the best way to get better at it. So first I'm gonna paint the top of the tree, and, um, I'm gonna say, like just the very top doesn't always have to have snow and places and then Teoh because I'm gonna purposefully leave space for where the snow should be. Sometimes I'm not going to start my next branch right immediately under, but leave a little bit of space, right? So I'm using the wispy technique again, but I'm just making sure toe leave some space. Some places doesn't have to be everywhere because there has to be some parts of the tree that exists, right? Otherwise, it's just it just looks weird. Um, but there are I'm purposefully leaving some places where there is white space. Ah, and sometimes, like appear I didn't leave the white space. I have made sure to bring the paint down and places like right here. I did leave more of a white space, so I'm trying to make thes ah, branches a little bit more jagged. Uh, they kind of looked a little more abstract that way, but also I think can give texture or two where the snow was supposed to be. So that's kind of my method for doing that, in case you're wondering, um and honestly, experimenting with different style and like brush strokes is how I created thes these techniques that I use in the first place. Um, like all. See how a tree was created by somebody else and try to figure out if there's a specific way that I like it done and we'll just try different things out. So that's a lot of how I created the's different styles off of trees that I did. So ah, again, just making sure to leave plenty of wife space. There could be a nice big snow bank right there. And these these branches are turning out to be more like lines but like wobbly lines. But I don't know, that's just turning out, okay? I think so. The other important thing to remember about utilizing white space is it on? Lee looks like what it's supposed to look like if it's contrast it to something else. So when you first paint thes trees, it might be like it just looks like a whole bunch of lines. I have no idea if they even looks like snow. Um, but the way to make it really looked like snow is to create the surroundings. Um, so that's why, in this initial sketch, I painted the tensile in and out of the branches, and I also painted just kind of a blue. It's like a Payne's gray sky around it. So I'm gonna do that same thing here. Just and this is there are lots of different ways that, like if you had masking fluid ah, which is kind of a more advanced technique, which is why it's not. I don't really use it in this class. You could wait for the tree to dry and then put masking fluid on top of the tree, including the white spaces, and and then paint the sky just over top of the tree on top of the masking fluid, so that when you take it off the snow, be more prominent. But this way, it just kind of shows you what it looks like when you create this kind of border around the tree and makes the snow just slightly more prominent. I think so. Um, that is how you paint snow on a tree using just white space. So, ah, for the final project, I'm going to be using paint because, like I said, I think the paint is a little bit easier, and it was easier for me to learn how to create spaces using the white space, um, to create snow using the white space when I had first on it with paint to kind of help myself visualize and help my hand remember where the white spaces looked good. So that's toe, because that's what I think beginner should do. I'm going to use the paint. Um, but you go ahead and do what you think is best as we go along and do the layers of our final project. Ah, But before we get to our final project, there's just one more video talking about, ah, snow and snow and trees for the final project. For the for the final, we're gonna paint like a kind of misty, snowy forest that has sums trees in the distance and so really quickly, I'm going to go over, um, shadowing like using color value to create those contrast ing and misty effects. So, um, one more video of instruction and then, ah, we're going to start on the layers of our final project so can't wait and see you in the next video. 6. Color Value: all right. So before we get started on our final projects, I am going to talk about using color value to create the different kind of effects that we want for this snowy, misty forest. First, Ah, quick overview of color value. If you've taken any of my classes, we may have talked about this before about color, value change. The value of a color, basically is how light or dark it is. And in its purest pigments. So without changing the color by mixing black or white with it or anything, we want the pigment to be a different, um, lightness or darkness. And the way that you get that with watercolor is by adding water to it. So just a Zaha kind of demonstration. This is my neutral tint. Okay. My winder Newton neutral tin thought grayish Kulish gray color. And when I add a lot of water to it, I get this very light gray and I'm using. This is an example because these air the different colors I'm going to be using today, um, for to create contrast and depth in our painting, the neutral tint and also pearly in green. So here is that's kind of watery down. But to get this is like really dark pearly in green. We're using our trees. We're going to paint our trees using pearly in green, Um, and then, to get a really light version, I'm adding in my color palette. I'm adding a lot of water to just a little bit of the paint, and you get this very light light green. Um, almost like you can't even see it like it's transparent. Most a lot of colors have a very a vast range of how light and dark they can go, and it's good to test that when you start so first with the pearly in grain, we want different color values. Not if you've taken my monochrome forest with using color values forest, where he created, like this forest with lots of layers, and it looked super misty. Um, we're not gonna create all of those layers. Mostly, we're gonna have one layer that's really light of trees and one layer that's really dark. The most important thing to remember with trees and nature is when something is farther away. It should be lighter if it's lighter and it's farther away. I mean, if it's lighter than your. I naturally assumes that it's farther away and it creates kind of depth. And so when we create our forest today, we're gonna have clumps of trees that are this really white color in the background and that is going Teoh indicate Teoh the eye of people who look at this painting that those trees are really far away and other kind of shrouded and kind of missed, because their this light there, this light colored that you almost can't see. So that is gonna be one layer of our trees. And it's really important to remember again that if a tree is supposed to be far away, it's lighter. And if a tree is post me up close, that means it's darker. So our up close trees, which we're gonna have clumps of those two are gonna be this, like the darkest pearly in green. You can get okay, so that's color value for the trees now color value. With the natural tent of this gray, we're going to be using the darker grey for like the sky and everything like that. But in order to create a snowy landscape where you have like a field of snow on it. The only way to really indicate that there is some. There's some kind of contrast in the snow, meaning, like you can tell that there's clumps or balls or something, um is to create contrast with color. And so we're going to use this really, really light gray, this really light neutral tint. And I got this by adding, like one drop of this dark, neutral tint and lots and lots of water to it. So it's just, like almost almost transparent. And, ah, similar to in our last video when we talked about using white space to create snow on trees . We're gonna use white space to create a snowy bank. Um, where are trees? We're gonna go and that we're going to use this gray. This light light gray Teoh indicate that there are some differences in the snow and give it a more realistic look. So just to demonstrate what I'm talking about, if I were to paint a tree right here, I'm painting this tree really fast. Okay, so I painted. I'm gonna paint this little clump of, like, three trees, okay? And I want this clump of three trees to be surrounded by snow. Now I could leave it like that and say Okay, surrounded by snow, there's the white space, but your mind is kind of like, Well, just looks like it's floating in like mid air. So okay, you realize that you have to create some kind of contrast light contrast in order to trick your mind into thinking that what you're looking at really is snow. So with this light gray that I have, I'm going to start at the edge of this tree and just kind of create like a hill almost and little little cracks with this really light gray. I'm just like creating texture here under the trees to indicate that there's some kind of motion happening with what the trees were sitting on. So I'm doing like some kind of rolling motion like curves underneath curves almost like waves, but not nearly as extensive or not nearly as much as waves. And I wish that I could explain it in a more efficient way or more understandable way, except just to say that like, you don't want to cover the whole thing in this light gray. But you do want to create enough textures so that it seems like there's a snowbank. And the way that I know how to do that is to almost create, like, little cracks in the snow. Um, and that looks like there's like, Tufts of snow. Okay, so that's how we're gonna create our snowbank using this really light using this really light color and we're gonna create in our final project, we're gonna have, like, three different clumps em in in this big, vast snowbank and when on I'm gonna talk about it more when we do our final layers. But that is how I am creating the illusion that these trees are sitting in snow by creating , like, this kind of crunchy crack e feeling to it. I wish that I had better descriptors, um, other than to say, like, we're trying to make the snow look like it's cracking. But that's really essentially what I'm trying to do not to money cracks, because too many cracks and the effect is going to be lost. But enough so that it looks like there are some shadows in places where you comptel the snow is not quite even. Um Okay, so that's that. And without further ado, let us move on to our final project. The first layer is going to be easy peasy where there's gonna paint the sky and then we're gonna I'm gonna talk you through layer by layer How to create a misty, snowy forest landscape so can't wait. 7. Final Project: Layer One: Okay, So to give you an idea of the kind of effect where we're going for I painted this Ah, a couple days ago. And this is very similar to the effect that I'm hoping to achieve with this painting. The only difference here is that my trees were going to be green instead of these trees I believe are in the neutral tint. Um, some of them might be in Payne's gray. Um, but this kind of like snowy blizzard e moody kind of storm. Look, is the look that I'm going for that we're going for in this class. So, um, here's your first look at it. And now we're going toe work step by step to achieve a similar kind of look. So the first step is to Pete the sky. Now, if you'll see in this in this picture, there's definitely some texture in the sky, and I haven't painted where exact clouds are necessarily. But I've put texture in places so that it looks kind of like a roiling, stormy sky. And I'll show you how I did that right now. First, I'm taking my number 12 brush, and I'm painting just water on the top just water, and I'm going to start the sky off using my Daniel Smith Payne's gray. Ah, but as opposed to like if you've ever painted Grady at night skies with me, we're not creating ingredient here. We don't want the top to be really dark and in the bottom to be really light. We want to create texture. And so I'm putting ah, the paint in some places and then watering it down with water and others so that there is a definite texture in this sky. Um, and I love doing this with watercolor because, honestly, once you add water and let the wet on wet technique kind of do its thing, then the paint will just kind of go. And unless it's egregious in places you don't have to do a whole lot. So I'm painting water, so it's probably about 2/3 down with down the page. Ah, I I want the bottom to stay this where it's just water so that it dry so that there aren't any paint lines. But then I'm going to add some neutral tint in places and some water in places and more. Payne's gray in places and I really just want to create a textured but moody sky. Okay, so some places I want to keep light. Other places. I want to stay dark. I want to look natural. So using water to do that is really hopeful. Instead of painting, putting the paint exactly where I wanted. If I take water and just kind of dab it on here, then the paint is going to go where the water goes, but it's gonna blend in a little bit more naturally. So that's what I'm trying to do here just to create, like, an abstract kind of stormy look. Okay. And sometimes if it looks like it's getting too puddle E If you notice any puddles, you can be sure to take your trusty Q tip and mop up some of those puddles. Um, don't be afraid to do that, because the more water you put on it, no matter the quality of your paper, and I'm using my professional 100% cotton watercolor block here. But no matter the quality of paper, if you put way too much water on, it's always gonna make it worse. So definitely be careful of that. But, um, just in General, we're just trying to create some kind of texture and contrast throughout the painting. So stop whenever you feel like you have a pretty good moody, stormy night sky, Um, and feel like you want to keep going, do that too. I'm going to demonstrate this water thing again to you, So I'm gonna put clean water, like, right there, and let it bloom out like that. And sometimes they can kind of even look like snowflakes. Um, not quite here, but I can just create kind of a nice, natural blended texture in your sky. So Okay, that looks pretty good to me. So just to make sure I don't have any paint lines, I'm gonna bring this down with fresh water. And I'm gonna call that good. At this point, you can either wait for it to dry. It will probably take all right an hour or so to dry. Or if you have an embossing air gun. Ah, heat tool like I have, You can dry it manually. So I am going to dry this And then on our next video, we will paint our background misty trees. So let's wait for this layer to dry, and I will see you soon 8. Final Project: Layer Two: welcome to layer to our first layer. The sky is now dry and I am going Teoh work on the's second layer, which is some clumps of misty trees. So, like we talked about before with color values to paint our misty trees, we want a really, really light green. And this is where it's handy to have, uh, swatches of scratch paper where I like to test out the lighter value that I've created on my palette. I'm not actually mostly looks pretty good. So, um, if you have a lighter value of a color that you think is great, then let's paint along. So I'm going to create, like, three clumps of trees, something you think only cross if you want. But I'm gonna create just like three clumps of these background kind of misty trees because I like it better when, um, didn't even more like for ability four clumps of these misty trees. I like it better when they're kind of sporadic or any uneven. So, um, I'm thinking some of them are gonna be, like, higher, so we're gonna be quite if toward the middle. None of them are gonna be down here because this is where all of the foreground trees you're gonna be. But maybe, like, if I have a clump here on a clump here in a clump here on a clump up here, that's kind of ongoing for So I'm gonna paint tiny trees. I'm using my round number zero brush on this very light shade of pearly in green and, um, sign painting the tree and then immediately after, I'm bringing water underneath it, and I'm bringing that color down so that I can't see the bottom of the tree. Ah, this is really important when painting misty trees, too. Not if you can't see the bottom of the tree. It kind of creates a more ethereal effect. I think so. Um, using the wet on wet technique to kind of blend in the bottom to the paper is one of my favorite ways to create come a like, misty depth kind of effect. So I talked about that a lot in my misty tree glass, which is a lot of fun. People have had a lot of fun with that class. Um, and this incorporates a lot of the same techniques. We're just adding snow to it. Okay, so I'm gonna bring this out a little bit more. I'm you can either to create this misty effects, you can either paint the trees first and then put the water down after or you complete the water first and then put the trees down after it's totally up to you on. I did both. So I'm just gonna do one kind of big tree over here in this very light green misty green that I have. Okay. And I don't want any paint lines. Sometimes you get paint lines, and it's okay if it's the background layer because you can paint over it, but trying to bring this down enough so that it it doesn't create any paint lines, but okay, so that's kind of our first little clump of misty trees. And there's they're very light. As you can see, you can barely even see that they're there. But that's really what you want for these background misty trees. Um, and you can do varying, um, values for these backgrounds. Some of them can be so light, like that one. You can barely see them. Others you can add a little bit more color to them, and, um, just essentially creating contrasts and diversity in all aspects of the painting is important. So I'm going to add, just like a tiny, tiny, bit more color to my paint here. That would be a little bit too dark. Yeah, it looks better. Ah, and here's just my scratch paper again. I'm adding just a little bit more color for this next clump of tree, and I'm going to start that 1 may be right here, so I'm painting. I'm just painting some trees in this dark ish color. It's not dark. It's just darker than the other light, light color, but fainting the trees, taking some water. One other thing you could do is like paint clean water beneath it and then bring the clean water up to meet the paint. That way, it kind of keeps the paint in place while still blending it together. Um, yeah, I think I'm just gonna make that a clump of three right there and then I'm going to do another little clump flake right here. I think I think a lot of people like to sketch what they paint beforehand, and I have never really been much of a sketch or unless I have a very, very specific design in mind when it comes to wilderness painting, though I kind of just go for it unless I'm using a reference photo or something like that. Um, so you do you You do what? What is gonna work for us for you, And I'm sure that it's gonna look beautiful. So I'm painting just another little clump right here. Yeah, it's pretty good. This one maybe has a little bit more trees on ahead than the others. And then taking some water and recon. Sure, it's all blended in together. And for my final clump, I'm gonna be all the way of here. Another rule, typically is that the smaller the trees are, the farther they are away as well. So sometimes if you go high and light and small, those trees look like they're really far away upon, like a distant peak or something which could be fun. So I'm just again making sure to use the water to create that kind of misty blended effect . Andi, I'm starting from the bottom with the clean water and meeting. It's that I don't get as many paint lines up here. Um but I might do another tree just like that? Yeah. Looks good to me. Okay, so that is my second layer. This this general layer of lighter, farther away trees that are in the distance using some misty techniques using a lighter color value. And the next layer, we're going to paint our riel trees at and snow banks at the same time. So, um, yeah, looking forward to it. See you soon. 9. Final Project: Layer Three: All right. So for this layer, well, our 1st 2 layers were painting the sky and then painting some very, very light trees in the background, Um, and in the distance. And now we're going to paint our trees that are more in the foreground. So I'm using my pearly in green on where Before I was using a lighter value of the green to create this very He's very light trees. Now I'm using not I not necessarily all the darkest value, but definitely a darker version of this and similar to how I don't really have a rhyme or reason for, um, I didn't really have a rhyme or reason for painting these trees in the background. I don't have ah whole lot of idea of exactly what I'm gonna do, but I'm imagining similar to the painting I showed you before. I'm going to do like, ah, big clump of trees somewhere around here, and then two more smaller ones elsewhere. Eso I'm thinking I like to do things in odd numbers. So if I have four clubs here, I wanna have three clumps of the big trees so that I have an odd number of trees all around . Um okay. So first, Ah, I definitely want to try to paint on top of these misty trees as much as possible because they're still a small, almost imperceptible. But they're still there. Paint lines. And if I can paint my darker trees just so they're overlapping a little bit, then those paint lines won't be nearly as noticeable. So that's my goal here. Um, but I don't want to paint them exactly where these trees are, right? I want them to Still to be kind of random. So for a small clump over here, I'm gonna start my first tree right here. And this time, instead of painting a misty bottom, I definitely I want the bottom to be pretty firm. And then as we paint our snowbank, that's we're gonna We're gonna use the lighter of the neutral tone to create the effect that these trees air like on a snowbank. So under is using this kind of wispy effect. I painted a trunk first. This time I don't always do that. Um, but that's how I did it this time. And I'm just painting my trees, so it's mostly what I'm doing. Ah, you can use whatever techniques of tree painting you decide is the best for you this time. And even if it's not one that I taught you totally fine because again, I'm a self taught artist. So I'm all about you discovering new ways to paint things. Um, I like toe have varying sizes when I do clumps of trees and I like my trees Teoh be close ish together, but they don't always have to be like I don't want them to be the same distance apart. I I want there to be some kind of randomness to it. So that's my first clump of trees. And then I'm gonna paint my second clump of trees maybe, like, right here, Okay. And again, I'm still painting over over the top of this first tree, right? And it's almost looks like it could be on the same plane, but not quite so know where I am. A reason just kind of going for it. Um, and most the time that works for me. Sometimes I have to start over or make do with what I have. But for the most part, I feel like it's worked out pretty well when I do stuff like this. So stuff like this meeting not sketching beforehand or anything like that. So I'm just gonna bring down these trees a little bit farther and continue onward, pushing these trees out a little bit more so that they're like, right there, I think. Oh, and that's gonna have to be a tree trunk. I suppose I like to create contrast when I paint these trees by, um, sometimes dipping my paintbrush in water again to create ah, color value differences almost within my strokes, um, or tohave sometimes to grab the paint from a pallet where the paint's been watered down and then sometimes to grab it from a place where it has, um, where it's very concentrated with the pain and not just creates more texture. I think so. That's what I'm doing. And I think I'm almost done. This club. I still like this, like, misty, wispy technique. Um, just gonna paint one war tree. It's like a smaller tree right here. Okay, we're gonna call that good for those trees, and I do like toe have the bottom of the trees be kind of drag ID Teoh indicate that there is still some kind of texture going on with snow. Um, And then for the last line of trees, um, I'm gonna have that be start. It's gonna be more along the bottom and it'll start Yeah, right here. And it'll be a little taller. So this is probably like the trees that are most on the foreground in the foreground. And so they should probably be the darkest of all off the trees according to the rules that I have set for you, meaning lightest in the back, darkest in the front. I like painting trees a lot. I think that it could be kind of calming. I've heard that from a lot of my students as well, that just like sitting down and painting a whole bunch of trees really, really relaxing. And I just I have to say I agree. That's why I really enjoy making these skill share classes, because I get to sit here and just talk about how much I love painting these things and in hopefully help help you guys figure out a way to make it equally is relaxing and important for you as you incorporate watercolor into your everyday life and activity. Actually, the day that I make this class. It snowed where I live, which is so unusual for this time of year it is in early November, and I live in Northern Virginia by the D C area, and it never snows this early. At least I've been living here for five years and it hasn't snowed. I don't think it's ever smelled before Christmas since I've been here. Um, so and I love Snow. I'm from Utah, which is Ah, a big part of the reason why I'm drawn so much to this. These wilderness elements. Um, because I grew up by mountains and canyons and, um and so there is very familiar to me, and I guess, bring some semblance of home to my life in the big city, surrounded by no mountains but a lot of monuments. Um, Anyway, I love snow and I love winter. And so it's always a treat when it snows in D. C. Because it snows a lot more in Utah than it does here, let me tell you that Do you see how some of my trees are kind of the same with the part? In my experience, your mind naturally does that and or how hard you try not to. And so sometimes I'll go in after an ad, like more trees that are very close to each other just to create a kind of contrast in size . Um, I like to paint trees that are almost like right next to each other just to show the trees overlap. And they're not always like there's just not really a rhyme or reason. Often, um, to where they go. That's so nature is. And that's why I think watercolor is such a great medium for painting nature. Because if you're using watercolor the right way, I think you have to kind of let it do its own thing to, um, to embrace when to control and when to just watch the chaos do its thing. It's one of my favorite things. So some I'm pushing this clump of trees a little bit farther out, and I think I might even do it one like overlap, like one big tree that overlaps is clump right here. I think that I always like it when trees overlap. I think it looks really cool and creates some cool depth. So, yeah, I'm going to go a little bit more. And then I think right here is where I'm gonna dio a big tree that goes like all we have to hear. But it's part of this clump down here. Yeah, and doing these, I think, helps to create even more contrast in depth. So I like it and I'm almost done, and I think we'll probably do both the snow on the tree and the snows on the ground in the next video. I was planning to probably do it in this video, but I think we're gonna do in the next video. This is already getting pretty long. So I'm almost done with these trees. And I hope that hearing how I decide to do things helps because, honestly, I don't I just kind of decide split like when I'm already doing something. So, um, I think when I'm learning, that's most helpful for me when I hear the artist knowing when we're deciding when to make choices and why. And that's always what I strive for with I know why classes. Sometimes you're a little bit more informal than others. But that's how I learned. So I hope this is helpful for you. Um, okay. Yeah, I'm gonna call that good. So those are my foreground trees. And in the next video, we're going to add snow. We're going to add snow on the trees, some texture with to create the look of snow on the ground. And for a final touch, we're going to add snow flurries in the sky, all the next video. So see you then. 10. Final Project: Layer Four: here we are. The final layer where we're gonna be painting our snow in three different areas. First, we're gonna paint snow on the trees. Then we're gonna paint using the light value natural tend to create the effect of, like, crunchy kind of snow on the ground. And then we're gonna paint snowflakes in the sky, so I'm grabbing my bleed proof white. Um, I remember I like to use my lid as a palate. And, um, I am just making sure that I have enough. It needs to be thick enough so that still opaque but not so thick that it, like, won't come off of my brush. So I don't want it. Quite a stick is like when you're painting with acrylics or oil paint, but not quite as liquid AEA's with watercolor either. So, um, and like we practiced in the snow, I'm going to just paint some using this white paint, uh, paint some snow and random areas on the trees. I'm going to start with the trees that are most in the front. Um, so these foreground trees Mara, What I'm starting with and still going in, like, branch like motions, but definitely not with a pattern or anything. Um and I'm just gonna go one by one through these trees to get snow on these trees. Sometimes I'm creating like a line where you can see the branch. And sometimes I'm just putting dots and random places. Um, I think it's really important to embrace randomness. And I've talked about that a lot already. Um and no. All trees have to have the same out of snow on them. I think that's important to remember. But they all have to have some snow on them because if this is so severe snow storm, they should all have some snow on them. It's also important to remember honestly, that as long as you leave some space is for some spaces greens, you can still see the tree underneath it. Nobody's gonna look at these trees and be like, Oh, my gosh, your snow looks terrible. I really don't think that is true. And that's why I think painting with with white instead of using white spaces easier. I think I'm going to do another class, maybe next month, um, Onley about using whitespace because I think it requires more study. But I'm glad that we talked about it at first in this class so that if anybody wants to practice said they can. But I think this is just doing it this way is a lot easier. So OK, definitely a painting. My biggest tree before painting the ones behind it so that I know where to put the paint. And again, I'm just kind off going wherever in branch, like directions in some places and not in others. I don't want those toe look like wine, so I'm gonna paint around them, grab more paint on and continue contain these last ones. Okay, so there's that one. Now I'm gonna do it's one behind it being really careful not to paint over the branches of this tree. Right. But honestly, it kind of just all blends together. At some point. I am not painting. Stow on the background. Um, misty trees. You'll notice because, honestly, I think when trees air thought far away, it's really hard to see what's on them. So that kind of adds to the whole mystery. Misty, ethereal kind of effect. Okay, so here's that on these last ones over here on this is just my technique. Um, may I remind you, I didn't. Nobody taught me this. I just kind of looked at snowy trees. Other painted other people painted and snowy trees that I saw him nature and photos, and I just kind of went for it. So if you have better ways to paint snowy trees, you should totally go for it and do that. But one of my favorite things to do is to try something and have it turn out decent. Like how I feel like these trees have. So those that is how I paint snow on trees. And next we're gonna paint Ah, some cracks in the white space on here to show that there's snow on the ground. So first I'm gonna paint. We're gonna do the edges of the trees. I am. It's this very, very light value of this neutral color, right? And where, like the snow may have, like, correct or bunched by the trees. That's kind of one going for here. So I'm painting like a little mound right here by painting the cracks along the side of it in this very, very light gray and doing the same over here. Um, and I got this technique honestly, by trying to paint snow by myself. Um, you just you notice that in snowbanks there are banks of actual snow, right? And the only way to see where those banks end and where they start is the shadowing in the snow kind of like on a mountain. So that's kind of what I'm doing right here. I'm trying to show that these trees are surrounded by the's snowbanks dry, using white gray lines to kind of gives the snow some shape. And it doesn't have to look perfect. It won't thought This is art. It's not supposed to look perfect. It's just kind of supposed to look like, um look like it kind of just to imitate what it's supposed toe, what it's supposed to be. At least that's what I like to tell myself, because I definitely don't always paint perfect things. Um, and honestly, I'm gonna I'm gonna call that good. I have painted. Maybe I'll do a little bit. They are like, right here. But I've painted little cracks in the white with his very, very light gray in like, kind of kind of jagged, the lines that makes like uneven piles of snow where these trees are, and especially where there are at the bottom. So it kind of looks like the trees have crunched onto the snow. Almost. Um, that's the look I'm going for. And if this is confusing and if it's not, you don't even understand it all. That's because it's hard for me to explain and on because I just kind of tried something. Um, and that's just me. So that's just kind of the kind of teacher on the kind of artist I am, which is seeing how to create snow. You create snow by trying to create the contrast around it, and it's not perfect. But they're so there is the snow on the ground in like little Tufts. And now for the fun part, this we're going to create the snow in the sky. If you've ever painted with me, especially wilderness, I often do stars, um, and painting snow splattering snow is very similar to splattering stars, except the one thing I talk about with stars is, um if you have too much water than the your stars, we're gonna look bigger and more like snow or refuse too big of a brush. They're gonna look more like snow. And this time that's exactly what we're going for. So I'm using around number to brush, and I want there to be enough water so that my paint will come off and drops not so much that it's transparent, but enough that it will come often drops. So here, we're going to give it a try. So there's a good amount of paint on there, as you can see. And ive even if some of them looks some of this water's look small enough to be stars. That's okay, Um, because this snowstorm is gonna be all in the distance. So I'm just gonna go for the way that I hold my brush is I hold it with my non dominant hand and I just like pound on it, okay? And if your splatters aren't big enough to look like snow, then I would add more water. And when you when you splatter the paintbrush is gonna splatter in a line, and so you want to make sure toe hold your brush in different directions as you splatter on here. And I'm just gonna do this several times to create the look of like a blizzard happening and you might have to go back and add more page. Get more paint here. Lt'd pilot. And if you do that, you definitely need more water. You see if I can get some big flurries. Oh, yeah, some nice big droplets. This is the time when you want the huge drops. One way to avoid if you get, like, a line like I did right there. One way to make it look less like a line is to hold your paintbrush the opposite direction and on top of it, so that there's more. Do you have a higher concentration? I mean, so that you add just add more splatters to that spot so it doesn't look quite so much like a wine. And I am just about done gonna add a little bit more over here because there's a lot of snowflakes right there. But mostly I that looks pretty cool. So one thing you can also do is if you have a white gel pen. You can also take the time to add in some snowflakes where you want so that, like, if I have a really concentrated place over here, I can add in some myself when it's already random. I'm not. I'm not worried about my additional snowflakes. Um, making it look to like, too much like a pattern because I have so many random ones over here. I'm really just using the Joe Penn to fill in the places where, um, where I might where my brush might not have cooperated. Quite so I wanted to dio or to make some bigger flurries. Two is a good idea. Yeah, just like that. And there you go. There's my stormy. It's kind of like a harsh snowstorm, I guess. But that's my stormy, snowy landscape of a forest. So I cannot wait to see yours. And if you decided to paint along with me, please post it to the project gallery. And if you post on instagram, make sure to tag me. I'm gonna do a quick recap video in the next slide. But, um, thank you for joining me, and I cannot wait to keep painting with you. 11. Recap: you did it, you're done. And if you painted along with me, then you'll have a scene that looks something like this. And hopefully you had a lot of fun painting and learned a lot and can use thes techniques to create your own original designs and further experiment with watercolor. But more importantly, I hope that you've come away from this class feeling empowered and capable and feeling like an artist. Because if you painted, if you put your brush to a paper, that means you're a painter and I'm really proud of you. So thanks for following along with me. And thanks for joining me for this class. If you had a lot of fun and you think that other people would get a lot out of this class or any other class, please feel free to tell your friends. Also, it would really help me a lot if you left a review. Um, leaving reviews helps it. So other skill shar members can see my class and I can get a riel a sense off, maybe what they might get out of the class to. So if you have a minute, that would be really helpful. Also If you are just really proud of the painting that you painted today, feel free to share it on instagram and tag me. My handle is this writing desk. I regularly feature some of the paintings from my classes and my stories. So you might be featured if you if you tag me on that. And also please, um, post your final product to the project gallery. I would love to see it and be your biggest cheerleader and tell you how great you did. So, um, thank you again for joining me for this class and see you next time.