Watercolor for Beginners - How to Approach Landscapes - Part 3 | Rachael Broadwell | Skillshare

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Watercolor for Beginners - How to Approach Landscapes - Part 3

teacher avatar Rachael Broadwell, Fine Arts Teacher

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (1h 33m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. A Brief Survey of Watercolors by the Masters

    • 3. Project 1: Value & Edge Study

    • 4. Project 2: Hazy Trees

    • 5. Project 3: Autumn Trees

    • 6. Project 4: Grand Canyon

    • 7. Project 5: Sunrise Over the Lake

    • 8. Conclusion

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About This Class

Welcome to Part 3 of "Watercolor for Beginners!" In this class we will build upon the basic applications we learned in Parts 1 and 2 and begin to explore the approach to landscape painting! We'll begin by surveying watercolor landscape painting by the masters and examine the simple techniques they used to create amazing, captivating works. I will also discuss and demonstrate how you don't need to be able to create "perfect" drawings to create beautiful watercolors. I will show you several projects -- beginning with simple and moving to more advanced landscapes. For the capstone project, I will show you how to create a landscape painting with mood and narrative by adding simple human forms.

Just as in Parts 1 and 2, we will use a minimalist set of materials to explore these concepts. The projects in this course will progress from simple to gradually more complex. 

This class is Part 3 in my series on "Watercolor for Beginners," so be sure to check out Parts 1 and 2! And remember to follow me on Skillshare so you are notified when I publish more courses.

Alright, let's get painting!


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Rachael Broadwell

Fine Arts Teacher


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1. Introduction: Hello and welcome to my studio. My name is Rachel Bradwell and I'm an art teacher here on skill share. Welcome to part three of watercolor for beginners. In this class, we will build upon the basic applications and concepts we learned in parts 12 and begin to explore some simple strategies to landscape painting with watercolor. All watercolor paintings, no matter how seemingly complex are built upon simple applications and variations in value and edges. And now we'll also look at some color theory to create a sense of depth in our landscapes. Many new artists feel intimidated by drawing for their paintings. But in this course I'm going to show you that you're drawing does not need to be complex or even terribly accurate to create beautiful watercolor paintings will start the course off by looking at some watercolor paintings by the masters to see how they used very simple techniques and concepts to create amazing works. Then we'll apply these ideas to our own paintings, all while emphasizing a loose and playful approach. Just as in parts 12, we will use a minimalist set of materials to explore these concepts. The projects in this course will progress from simple to gradually more complex. However, I'll emphasize the use of basic techniques throughout the course because this is how we can create paintings that seem advanced. For the capstone project, I will begin to show you how even the most basic representation of human figures can give a sense of context and narrative to your landscape painting. This class is Part three in my series on watercolor for beginners. So be sure to check out Parts 12, and remember to follow me here on skill shares so you are notified when I publish more courses. All right, let's get Painting. 2. A Brief Survey of Watercolors by the Masters: Before we start painting today, I want to take a couple of minutes just to do a quick survey of some watercolor paintings by master artists. So I'm gonna go through some slides. These are not in any particular order. I went to Wiki art.org to get these images. And so you'll see that the artist's name is over on the left at the bottom, and then the title of the painting is on the right. But what I'm gonna do is we're gonna go through some of these watercolor paintings and I'm going to zoom in just to draw your attention to some things that I think make these watercolor paintings very interesting. And I also want to point out some of the basic techniques that we've learned and how they were applied to these paintings. And the big takeaway that I hope that you'll get from this is just how simple these applications can be. And so watercolor painting really shouldn't be anything intimidating that makes you afraid of making mistakes. You really should approach watercolor painting from the point of view of just having fun and relaxing. So let's zoom in here on this painting. And what I want you to see is just how simple these shapes are. Now I think that this artist probably combined Inc, maybe with his watercolor. But look at all these figures now, again from a distance. We can clearly see that this is a crowd of people watching a horse race. But if we pay more attention, we can see just how simple this is, even to the point that this horse is green. And yet that basic shape of those legs that are kind of sprawled out and the rider on top. We just get that general impression of a horse. And the same with these figures, we can see some indications of umbrellas. But really when we look at these figures, they are just a bunch of lines, almost stick figures. So I hope that you'll keep that in mind as we progress through this course. Because even a very complex and maybe intimidating looking composition can be simplified in this way. Now I want you to pay attention in this painting by John Singer Sargent, who I think a lot of people overlook the fact that he did a lot of watercolor paintings because he's most well-known for his oil paintings. But he was a very prolific watercolor paints her and so I encourage you to check out his watercolor paintings. What I want you to notice here is that the face of this woman, it's almost nonexistence. It's very impressionistic. It's very much just an indication of shadows. And that is enough for us to be able to read that as a phase. And then if we look to at some of the strokes that he applied in the water, very, very simple and yet gives that indication of ripples in the water. And it's these simple, basic applications of paint that really engage us and make our paintings very interesting. Here's a painting that really, I think reads as very stormy and dark. And yet when we really look into it, there just isn't a lot here to indicate what is going on, but we get this overall sense of a mood and energy. And that's all created through a lot of these applications of wet into wet washes, allowing the colors to really merge together in unexpected ways. It feels very chaotic and energetic. And for boating almost. And yet, this artist didn't have to use a lot of literal drying or indications of a landscape or a C it just reads as a storm over some very active waters. Now, this is an interesting artist, and I think that we all recognize Mondrian from this work over here on the right with the grids and the squares in the primary colors. And I think a lot of people take this artist for granted and don't quite understand what he was trying to achieve. Now, the squares and rectangles and grids. Those were his later works. His earlier works were more like this and he did a lot of work in watercolor. So I threw in some of these extra images for him just to kinda show you how he evolved as an artist and how he saw the world. And I think that you can begin to see that in some of his paintings where he's starting to look at the world through the natural grids that are created. But he also did a lot of his studies and paintings in water color. And you can see that he approached the very differently. Then this artist, this artist, I think was more expressive. He was a little bit more controlled with his watercolor. And we're gonna see a lot of variation between these artists in their techniques and their approach to this medium. And I threw this painting in here just to show you how much information can be communicated with just a few strokes. So we can clearly see that this is a painting of some barren trees. And essentially the paper is just left as is to indicate snow. And yet it communicates so much. So a watercolor painting isn't a matter of spending hours meticulously detailing everything that you see in a landscape. It's really about giving an impression and creating a mood. This is by the same artist and I included this because obviously the painting is very beautiful and minimalistic. But I also contrast that with the very long title that he gave to this painting, which is Footprints in the Snow next to the new peer on the Cooper River. And yet the painting itself is so minimalistic and yet it reads as a snowy landscape. And then here's a monochromatic landscapes study. And we are going to be doing one of these in this class because I really want to emphasize again how important it is to think about value and edge control in watercolor. Even more so than color because we can really communicate a very effective composition just through value and our edges. And we don't really have to worry too much about color. We can kind of let that go. We don't need to worry about matching colors to what we observe in either a photo reference or if we're painting from life, it's really more important to focus on your values and your edges. Here's a painting by Anders Zorn. He's another Impressionist artists whose most well-known for his oil paintings. But he did do a lot of his studies in watercolor, and they're very beautiful. And what I want you to notice here is the contrast between the large bright sky, the lake that's reflecting that sky, and then really just some dry brush over the areas that indicate landmasses. And I don't want to zoom in because I know this is a photo that is actually a very low resolution. I'll, I'll zoom in a little bit, but you can see that we get an impression of a lot of boats in the water, some structures on the land, some trees, but these are all really created by stumbling and dry brush and using dark values rather than going in and meticulously drawing out every single item. Here's another painting that's almost edging on being more realistic. And yet it's very simple. As a matter of fact, if we look just at the background, we can really see three main values. There's that light value of the sky and then there's two values that create those distant mountains. The tiger is really kind of just some splashes of orange, some lighter value showing through. And then structure is given to the tiger by adding these darker markings on top. And then we have some dry brush technique in the foreground to give a little bit of texture. And it makes a very effective painting, even though overall it's very simple. Here's another painting that I think is a great example of how we can just have fun with our watercolor and not worry too much about having perfect drawings and being very detailed. Let's take a look at these figures in this painting. You can see that, I mean, really these are basically stick figures painted with a brush. Very simple. And yet when we are looking at the composition as a whole, it's very apparent that this is a composition populated with a lot of people that has a lot of activity and energy to it. And yet very, very simple applications. And even the trees in the distance, you can see how simple they are. So a lot of times with watercolor, and of course it's going to depend on your ambitions as an artist and what's important to you. But I think that what I hope that you'll get from this is a very relaxed mindset to know that a composition comes together as a whole. And you're not going to be judged on your ability to replicate items in life into a drawing that you then paint on top of it. It's very much a carefree medium and I think that we should embrace that. Here's a more realistic painting and yeah, I want to draw your attention to how overall simple it is. Let's look at just the colors of this painting. It's basically a lot of greens, some yellow, and a little bit of warmth right here in the barn to give a little bit of contrast. But I believe that the way that this was probably painted was with just a lot of splashes of green and some light washes, a lot of soft edges. And then the artist could come in later and add some of the darker dry brush strokes to give more texture. For example, to the details of the barn, to the trunks of the trees. Those are things that we're probably all added in toward the end of the painting process. And if we looked at this before those were added, and I think that what we would see is just a lot of splashes of greens and yellows, some variations between the values. But really overall, a very abstract painting. Here is a beautiful painting that really embraces soft edges. So the artist has chosen to really minimize how many hard edges he had in this painting. So let's look over here where we just see the sky merging in with those distant hills and peaks. But then here we have one peak that's breaking through that haze. And so that draws a lot of attention to itself. It's very beautiful. Down in the water we have more soft edges and then we have just some very small hard edges I think that indicate a little bit of human activity in the foreground. But there's just not enough detail for us to really determine what's going on. And yet it gives a lot of context to this painting. Here's another watercolor by John Singer Sargent. And really the same thing is going on here that we saw in the other painting of the woman on the gondola. So we clearly can see that this is a painting of the Sphinx. And yet when we look really closely at the face, He didn't go in there and tried to pay in the eyes, the nose, the mouth and make it look like a portrait of the Sphinx. He left it very general. And I think that that just really adds a lot of interest to a painting because it activates our minds. It invites us to kind of participate in the painting. And again, I think that that is a great way to think about approaching a painting, to know that it's not all on you as an artist to spell everything out for your viewer. Because as viewers we really like to be engaged with the art. We like there to be a little bit of mystery. So you should use that as kind of a permission just to be very loose and whimsical in your approach. Here is a beautiful painting. And I want you to see that really there's so much contrast in value here and a lot of contrast and edges. So if we look at the sky, we can see a lot of soft edges. And then as the artist is building up more of the foreground of this painting, he's using darker values, harder edges. And another reason that I included this painting is actually because obviously it's a painting of a rainbow. But it looks. Oh, faded and pale and you might wonder why the artist painted it that way. Well, I am guessing that he probably did it. He probably used some very bright colors for that rainbow. But one thing to know about watercolor painting and water color pigments is that a lot of times these more bright, vivid colors, they tend to be more fugitive in terms of their permanent C, meaning that they will fade over time. And I think that that's probably what happened with this rainbow. So it's important to pay attention to the permanent C rating on the paints that you choose. I know that when I started painting watercolors and I was using really inexpensive student grade pigments. I've noticed that those paintings that I still have years later have faded to almost nothing. So it's really important to pay attention to that because you might paint something that you really love. And over time it can fade if you don't pay attention to the permanent C rating of your paintings. But for some pigments that cannot be helped, There are some pigments that are just going to be fugitive no matter how high inequality you buy. Here's another painting I think that shows a lot of amazing contrast between the soft edges, especially in the sky. All these colors just kinda merging together those distinct cliffs really create a soft edge between the sky, allowing them to appear more atmospheric, a little bit more hazy. And then as we move into the foreground, we have some harder edges, some darker values. But also notice how simplistic these figures are, even the figure that is most in the foreground. He's very simplistic. And yet, when we look at the composition as a whole, hoops, we can see that this is coming together and that we have all of this human activity, even though none of these figures are drawn out in detail or painted in a detailed way. Here's another painting I wanted to show just four, really its simplicity because when I think about deconstructing this painting, what I see are splashes of yellow, green, and orange. And then once all of that was allowed to dry, then the artist was able to go in and actually adds the trunks and the branches of these trees later. And so it's important to know that you're, watercolor paintings are almost always going to start out being very abstract, very soft. And we will add structure and our darker values as we go. Here's another painting that I think really shows how simplistic drawing should be for a watercolor painting in general. I want you to notice all these soft edges on these distant trees. All these trees are kinda merging together. Heating go in and try to paint each tree individual from one another. He just went in and allowed these colors to kind of merge together. And then he created a more distinguished look when he later added the trunks and the branches of the trees. And also notice how he allowed those branches to get broken up where leaves were overlapping them. And that gives a really nice organic, natural sense. So the overall painting. And notice too in the reflection that he didn't have to exactly copy every mark that he made in the trees down into the reflection. Really what we're going for is just general indications, general impressions, rather than being very meticulous in our drawings. And then to contrast with a lot of those other paintings, I threw this one in because it's very, very detailed, very tightly rendered. This has a lot of dry brushing in it. And obviously the drying element in this painting is much stronger. And again, it's going to depend on your personal style and what your goals are as an artist as to how much detail you want, how accurate you want your drawing to be, because you can really go either direction. But I would encourage you, even if your ultimate goal is to be a very realistic painter, that you should approach watercolor with a very carefree mindset because a lot of the realism in a painting is going to be built up at the end. And it really helps to have more of a carefree foundation for any watercolor painting. And I think that you can see in here, you know, there, there are some loose markings, especially in the distance. I'm sure that he started out with a very nice light wash of soft edges. And then he built all of the structure on top of that foundation. And then the last painting I want to show you is just a great example of negative painting. So as I said earlier, in this series, when we're painting in watercolor, we build up from our lightest values and then we work up to our darker values that can present a little bit of a challenge when you have a background that is darker than the foreground, it means that you're going to be painting around the elements that are in your foreground. And that's exactly what is going on here. So for all of these illuminated balloons are lamps here, these were all painted in first, and then the darker values were actually added around those nice bright colors. Alright, so that is it for our survey of master watercolors. And let's go ahead and get into painting. Shall we? 3. Project 1: Value & Edge Study: The first thing that we're going to do today is a little warmup value and edge study based on some of the principles that we had learned in the previous course. And I'm going to show you how you can really simplify any subject and understand it better by first doing a simple value and edge study. So even if you are pretty experienced with painting, but you feel intimidated by a certain subject matter, I would really recommend starting out this way where you're just using one color and you're just working on understanding those very important concepts of value and edges. Because again, that really makes up so much of what watercolor painting is. And if you can break down a composition into those core principles, then you're really going to understand it much better. And you won't have that factor of color thrown in the mix right away. That can make decision-making just a little bit more difficult. So I like to do my values studies in blue just because I get a more full range of value, I can go very dark with it, and I can also go very light. So I would never do a value study with say, yellow, maybe read. But you're just not going to get the deepest values. And in fact, in this painting, when I need my darkest value, I'm going to find that even my blue isn't quite dark enough. So I will actually add a little bit of red in there just to darken that value a little bit. So here I am starting with my lightest values and my soft edges. And when we are painting landscapes, One thing that we want to always be thinking about is atmospheric perspective. And with atmospheric perspective, typically what we're going to see is that our lightest value in the composition is going to be in the sky. That's true almost all of the time, of course, except if you're painting a Nocturne, which is a landscape painting that you paint with a night sky. Or if you have a very stormy sky with a lot of storm clouds than your sky, maybe darker than other elements in the painting. But for the most part, if we're doing a daytime scene, our sky is going to be our lightest elements, so we tend to paint that first. And I can just go ahead and apply a kind of light medium wash over the entire painting. Because in watercolor, we paint from our lightest values to our darkest values. And that means that we can always apply our darker values over everything else. So when we start a watercolor painting, we're going to be very general in finding those lighter values. So you saw that I used my hairdryer just to dry this up a little bit so that these edges will be a little bit harder. I allowed my paper to remain just a little bit damp because I don't want these edges to be too hard because this is kind of the mid ground. So I'm looking at those trees that are kind of in the middle range. And you can see that in this photo reference we have a really nice Hayes going on. And that helps to really boost that atmospheric perspective, which is why I chose this photograph. And I also want to mention that all of these photo references are going to be available to you for download or for viewing. And these photo references that I'm using for this course, these are all coming from a website called pixabay.com. It's a great resource for artists because is royalty-free, meaning you don't have to pay for the use of the images, and it's also copyright free, so you don't have to worry about any legal implications of using this photo references. And if you go to the original source for all of these photo references that I'm using. You're going to notice they're a little bit different than what you see here on the screen. That's just because I have cropped them so that the composition is a little bit more in line with what I once. So you can see that now that I've got those mid-range trees in place, I had used my hairdryer again just to dry them up because now I want to really go in with my harder edges and create some texture. And I'm going to be using a lot of dry brush. And that happens to work very well with the darker values because I want to load up more pigment onto my brush and not have quite so much water on my brush so that I get those darker values. And I also am going to be able to achieve more texture. It can be a little bit difficult to get the paint to transfer from your brush onto your paper when you're using a dry brush technique. But it's just a matter of maybe adding a little tiny bit of water may be just dipping the tip of your brush into the water so that you can get enough fluidity to make that transfer. And you can also see here, this is where I've added just a little bit of red into this mix, just so that I can distinguish these values from those mid-range values a little bit better. And so here you can see that when I'm doing this dry brush technique, I don't have much water on my brush. And if I did have a lot of water on my brush, what I would do is just block my a Brussels onto a paper towel to remove some of that moisture. And I'm holding my brush at a very low angle. And really using this to do that stumbling technique over the rest of the painting so that I get some nice texture. I want to make sure that as I build up my painting, I'm never going to completely cover up those previous values because of course I applied them for a reason. They are important. But we want to create enough variation and layering to give a sense of atmosphere and depth in our paintings. And you can see here that even without color, we really can get a strong message across. And you can begin thinking about the different techniques that you want to use in your final painting. And you start working out some of the issues that you might encounter with the painting. So it's really great to always do a value and edge study before you approach a subject that you might find a little bit challenging or you're not quite sure how it's going to work out. And then I'm also doing a little bit of stumbling and dry brush here in the grass just to give a little bit of texture here. And it's really important too, when you're painting landscapes, especially to begin to think about how you're going to create different effects without going in and trying to paint. For example, individual leaves are individual branches are blades of grass. So what I like to do just to add a little bit of texture and that impression of grass in the foreground is just to do a little bit of dry brushing or scrambling to give a little bit of texture until let those values in the distance be lighter and the edges to be much softer. And as I move to the foreground, I can use more hard edges and my darker values. And that gives a lot of context to the painting and really helps it all to come together. So here you can see the final painting. And even though we really only used blue tiny bit or read, it really came together. 4. Project 2: Hazy Trees: And now that we've done a quick values study, let's go ahead and try this same composition using color. So what I'm going to do is talk a little bit about drawing for watercolor paintings because I know that this is something that new artists feel very intimidated by. They don't feel like they're strong drawers. They worry that they need to work on their drawing skills before they get into watercolor. And maybe some people just aren't super interested in drawing. Well, I have some really good news for you because a lot of times we are better off keeping our drawings very loose and simple and not getting too worked up about details or being able to draw everything that we think needs to go into a good painting. And I hope that you saw when we went through that survey of master watercolor paintings, that really the drawings can be very loose and very forgiving in this process. Because what we're really focused on, again, is the values, the edges. And now we're also going to get into building some very interesting colors. So when I'm doing a landscape painting in watercolor, I start my drawing usually by finding the horizon line, putting that in and maybe finding the main line that separates the sky from some of the other subject matter. And I like to do it pretty light you can see here. And don't worry if your pencil marks show through your watercolor painting, you're going to develop a feel for how much pressure to apply with your pencil over time. And honestly, some people really like the pencil marks showing through it gives a little bit of structure and helps the watercolor painting just feel very loose and easy and relaxed. And that's what we really want to achieve with our watercolor paintings. Not just in the result of the painting, but we do want to be very relaxed and have a very easy going state of mind when we're doing watercolor paintings. So don't worry too much about the drawing. Don't worry about your pencil marks showing through. And just get to the painting part because that's really why we're here. I think. So again, I'm starting out with my lightest values and my softest edges, but now I'm working more with colors. So I went ahead and I located the lightest, brightest color in this composition, which is that little streak of yellow in the sky. And so that was going to be the first pillar for me to apply. And you saw that I whetted my paper before I applied any color just to make sure that I get a really nice soft edge between all of these colors to make that sky feel like it's glowing and alive. And even still while everything is still wet and I'm gonna go ahead and put in those most distant trees. And I basically mixed up a nice soft pastel violet. And I'm keeping the value very light. So I have a lot of water in that mixture. And I want those distant trees to blend in with the sky just a little bit. So you might find that when you're working wet into wet colors, start merging together in ways that you didn't expect or once. But I would encourage you just to let those go. Because the more you dip your brush into your painting and tried to shift those colors around in the way that you think that they're supposed to go. The more your colors are actually going to end up looking very muddy and overworked. So no matter what happens, just commit yourself to allowing the colors to flow together the way that they Well, because I guarantee that in the end, you're going to forget that that was ever something that you didn't want to happen. And you're going to end up with a lot of those unexpected mixtures that make watercolor paintings so interesting. So I really encourage you to let that go. So now I've got all of my light values in place. And you can see that I applied a nice light wash over the entire composition. I didn't really want to leave anything white for this. And there's really no need to because I'm going to build up my darker values on top. And while this paper is still just a little bit wet, well, I wouldn't say what? I would say. Maybe damp. I'm gonna go ahead and put in some of these mid ground trees. And if you remember from my value study, I actually used my hairdryer and dried this up before I applied these in that value steady. But I decided from that trial and error process of doing that value study that these actually might be better served as being a little bit softer. And so that's why I decided to go ahead and place these in while my paper was still a little bit wet so that I still get a little bit more distance built up and a little bit more atmospheric perspective. And again, while this is still well, I'm gonna go ahead and start adding in some richer colors, some slightly darker values into the foreground so that I can build my dry brush technique on top of that. And here I am finally drying this before I get into my darkest values. So now I want to have a lot of pigment, not much water in my brush, but enough that I can at least get some good coverage. So I'm kinda just testing it here after I blotted that off on my paper towel, I want some of those middle values to show through to give a sense of these trees are not completely solid blocks, but especially as they get closer to the top there going to be a little bit more broken-up shapes. So I'm using more of this dry brush technique up at the top of the trees. And then as I get down to the bottom of the tree, is there going to be a little bit more solid? And so I can actually have more water on my brush and make larger strokes. But here you can see I'm doing my dry brush technique where I hold my brush at a very low angle, almost flat, almost parallel to the painting surface. And I just use the broad side of the brush to make short sweeping motions to get. Some of that dry brush and stumbling technique. And I'm working hard to keep my values pretty dark of added a lot more blue to this mixture. Whereas up at the top of these darker trees, it was a little bit more violet. And now I want to work closer to more of a black, so I need to actually mix in a little bit more yellow. Because remember when we're mixing neutrals and blacks were going to have a combination of all three primary colors. And if we really want a nice rich black than we want that mixture to lean a little bit closer to blue. But we also need to have some red and some yellow in there as well. And here I am again, applying a little bit of stumbling and dry brush to the grass in the foreground to give it a little bit of texture. And you can see here that things are still just a little bit light. But if you notice the sky and then those most distant trees, they're really blending together very nicely and they create a very subtle atmospheric effects. So I'm gonna go ahead and completely dry this again before I go in with my deepest darkest value and my hardest edges. So I'm gonna start out with yellow just to make sure I get enough of that in there. It doesn't matter what order you mix your colors when you're trying to mix a neutral or a black. But I think that you do want to kinda think ahead a little bit as to, do you need this to be more of a warm brown neutral or do you need this to be a cool black neutral because that's going to impact how much of each color you put into the mixture. So I actually wanted this to be a little bit warmer. And so that's why I started out with my yellow and my ride and then added some blue to that. So that this would lean a little bit closer to those warmer colors and be a little bit more of a brown. And that gives a nice contrast as well to those trees that are mostly violet In the mid ground. So here's where I'm starting to build up the more solid shapes in this foreground area. And you can see here that I'm using more stumbling, more dry brush up at the top where this large tree is going to be. It's not as dark right now as it's going to be, but I want to start out lighter. When you're watercolor painting. If you are unsure of a value, it's always best to err on the side of going to light because with watercolor, we can always add our darks, but we can't bring back a lighter value. So it's better to, if you're going to make any mistake, make the mistake of making things too light, and then you can evaluate it later and darken it up as needed. So again, I want the shapes to be a little bit more broken up toward the top of these trees. And then as it gets to the bottom where things are a little bit more condensed because there's kind of a mixture of short plants with the tall plants, so we get a more solid shape here. But you can see that even though we added a lot of color here and we used a lot of neutrals that we were able to really, again, effectively communicates this landscape through the use of primarily value and edges. Doing a little bit more dry brush down at the bottom before I finish this up, adding a little bit more dark. So here I just went in with some blue and I'm just laying that on top of these warmer neutrals just to give a little bit more depth to these trees so that they don't look completely flat. And now I'm just kinda looking around the composition, seeing if there's any final adjustments that I need to make before I pull the tape off. Maybe just a little bit more dry brushing to make these shapes down here a little more solid. But that should basically be it. For this, it's really important to begin to think about at what point you want to stop. And just like with all of my painting classes, I really emphasize taking some time away from your painting if you begin to feel doubtful about whether or not it's done, come back to it with fresh eyes and evaluate it at that point. Because a lot of times you'll find that less is more with painting. And the worst thing to do is to overwork a painting with watercolors. We certainly want to keep them very simple and whimsical and relaxed. 5. Project 3: Autumn Trees: For our next project, I want to show you how basically the same approach for watercolor is going to apply even when you have a landscape that doesn't have as much depth and atmospheric perspective presence. So we're going to paint this nice autumn scene. And again, this photo reference is from pixabay.com. It's going to be linked in the projects. And you'll find that I did do some cropping here to this just to make the composition a little bit simpler. A lot of times when we're doing painting, it doesn't really matter how experienced you are. A lot of times having a simpler composition is going to be better and sometimes that doesn't translate over to photographs. And so a lot of times if we are using a photo reference, whether you took the photo yourself or you're using a site like pixabay.com, you're going to find that a lot of times you're going to benefit a lot by going in and cropping the photo into a composition that is a little bit simpler. It's going to make your painting translate better. It's going to be, of course, easier to paint and easier to understand. I encourage you to always play around with that. So in my painting you saw that I started out with wetting my paper and then I looked for the lightest value in the photo, which in the photo I actually looks like it's white. And a lot of times with photographs were going to get blown out areas that look like they are white. With painting, we usually want to translate those into some very light value. And so for this, I chose a very light yellow. And as I move my way down this painting, I'm keeping all of my edges very soft and my values, of course, very light. But I'm looking just for a little clues of the colors that I will be building onto this painting. And so right in the center of the painting you saw that I mix up kind of a nice warm, neutral color, almost a gray. And then below that and next up a nice neutral green. And then down at the bottom, it's a very nice earthy orange. And I'm gonna go ahead and dry this completely before I move on. Going in with more red and yellow here, because I'm looking at not just the next value, so kinda in the middle value, but I'm also looking at what color is really going to be the center of this painting, the focal points, and I of course see a lot of orange and a lot of red. So I'm going to start out with my orange. And you can see here I'm using kind of a combination of having a little bit of water in my bristles. But as I move that stroke outward, I'm allowing that stroke to become a little bit drier so that I get some of those nice hard edges. And that brings a lot of energy to the painting. And this is something that's really fun to do, I think, especially with trees and foliage. So start out with a little bit of water on your bristles. But then as you move the brush across your paper, you're naturally going to lose some of that moisture. So just allow that stroke to dissipate into a harder edge pen of a stumble. I'm going to just do this very carefree all over the painting. I have added more yellow into this mix to give a little bit of variation. And I am just looking for areas where I can add a lot of this really nice bright color. So at this point I'm not really mixing up any neutrals, but there are going to be a lot of neutrals in this painting overall. So now I'm going to mix up a little bit of green. I want it to really lean At this point toward yellow because as I add more blue to the green, it's going to get to a darker value. And of course right now I'm just looking at middle values, but you can definitely see that I'm allowing a lot of those lighter values to show through. And if you look up in the upper right-hand corner where I applied that light wash of yellow. At this point, that area almost does look white, but you'll see when I remove the tape at the end of the painting process that this is a nice bright yellow. It's not completely white, but it does give that nice luminous impression of a bright sky in these trees are a little bit backlit. So here I'm mixing up more of a neutral. I've added some blue into that mixture and I'm gonna go ahead and start just lightly brushing in some branches. And one thing I like to tell people about painting trees is that you should not try to copy every branch and a twig that you see in the photo reference, because of course a photograph captures everything and we don't need to copy that. So what I would say is to not have too much water in your brush, but enough for you the paints or flow and use kind of sharp, jaggedy lines. Don't worry about straight lines. And also allow those lines to break up, especially as you get to the top of the tree, it can actually bring a nice sense of lights here paintings or have those broken up so you don't need solid lines. And for these trees that are more in the distance, you can see that I've added quite a bit of water into that mixture so that they blend in a little bit with the background. So that's going to give a very subtle impression of trees in the distance without drawing too much attention to themselves. And here I'm adding just a little bit more blue to make that value a little bit darker. And I'm doing a little bit of dry brush down at the bottom where we have some of those fallen leaves accumulating. And that's going to give us a nice sense of depth in this painting which, you know, because we have all of these trees that are so close to the point of viewer. There's not a lot of depth in terms of atmosphere in here, but we can create that just by using more of our texture and are harder edges in the foreground. And then in the distance we're using are lighter values and are softer edges. So again, these trees that are more in the distance, I'm being very careful not to have. Very saturated colors for these because I want them to be there to give a little bit of that texture in the distance. But I don't want them to add too much contrast back there because that's going to draw our attention into the distance too much and create a painting that feels a little bit chaotic. So anything that I'm painting more in the distance, I'm going to leave a lighter value and allow it just to kind of merge in with the surroundings. And again, as I'm painting some of these branches, I am not worrying at all about copying the trees that I see in the photo. I'm just really using more of a gestural approach. So I'm just going in with my brush and I'm flicking it. I am allowing the paint and the brush to do just what it's going to do and that's going to create more natural markings. Then if I was trying to meticulously draw in copy every single branch that I see. And quite honestly I'm adding a lot of branches into my painting just because I feel like the photo reference is a little bit lacking in terms of structure for this painting. So feel free to kinda just, you know, do what you want. You might want to keep your trees more minimal and focus more on the foliage and the colors by wanting to have just a little bit of that subtle structure in the distance. Alright, so as I move toward the objects that are more in the foreground of this painting, I'm going to add more pigment to my mixture, so less water, more pregnant, a lot more of my blue, although this is still leaning very much towards the red side. Until now, I'm adding in a lot of blue here, little bit more red. And you're going to find, you know, whatever colors you're using. You're gonna find that one of your pigments is much stronger than all of your other pigments. And in my case, red is very overpowering. So even when I add a little bit of red and it really takes it over to the red side of that mixture. So if I want it to be, otherwise, I have to usually add in more blue in this case so that I get that darker value. So now I'm starting to work on the tree trunks that are more in the foreground. So of course I need these to be much darker, much more saturated. And I'm allowing the edges to be much more defined and harder. And it's important to just to ground these trees. So I'm adding a little bit of a cast shadow where they meet with the ground so that they don't look like they're floating. And again, notice the gesture that I make when I'm painting the branches. This isn't something that you might think of as drawing. So I'm holding my brush very loosely, kinda toward the back end of the brush. And I really encourage you to do this because this is going to loosen up your strokes. And you're actually going to get more naturalistic markings by using a very loose grip on your brush. And I don't have a lot of water in here, so I can get these harder edges, but I'm not trying to control these lines too much. And as I move towards the bottom of some of these branches and trunks, I'm going to use more blue in there just so that it feels a little bit darker. And don't worry if not every branch that you pay on your tree comes into contact with the trunk. Because again, it's not about copying the exact likeness of these trees. It's really about capturing the gesture of the trees and creating an impression and a texture. And on this tree that is over on the far right side of the composition, it's broken up a little bit by some of the leaves that are in front of it. So it's really important that I don't pay a solid line all the way from the bottom of the composition up to the top because I want to give that impression that there's actually leaves overlapping that tree. So I'm gonna use a lot of broken lines in that area, a lot of stumbling. And now I'm just kinda looking at over trying to think if there's anything else that I need to do, it's important again to kinda take a step back away from your painting. Take a break, come back to it and see how you feel about it. Because it might be done or you might see some areas that just need a little bit more improvements. So what I decided that I needed to do here was just to brighten up some of these yellows. Now watercolor of courses, a very transparent medium. So these yellows that I'm applying here while they're wet, it looks like it's making a big difference, but as it dries, it's going to become very transparent in that effect will be much more subtle. I'm gonna do some stumbling with some red down here at the bottom because I know that I need some darker values at the bottom so that this painting, again has that nice sense of depth and texture. And I also decided that because I have all those oranges and yellows and I needed a little bit more variation in the leaves themselves. So I'm stumbling with just a little bit of red here. And I'm actually going to do some spattering with the red as well. And this is a technique that can be really fun to use in watercolor. I didn't cover it in the basic texts techniques class because there's not really a way to demonstrate it onto a tiny little square. You can see here that I've loaded up my brush. It has quite a bit of pigment and quite a bit of water in it because we need that pigment to be able to kind of flick off of the bristles and onto the painting. So it's a balance between having enough water and enough pigments so that it shows up. And with a scene like this where we have a lot of foliage, This is a great way just to add a little bit more texture into the upper parts of the trees. And you'll have to just kind of experiment with knowing where the water is going to land when you spatter. And also, of course, you want to be in a work area where you don't mind things getting a little bit messy. Watercolor paints can be very staining and permanent. So if you're doing this technique, just make sure that you don't have anything around that you don't want spattered because it's pretty difficult to control exactly where the founders go. And I think with that, and maybe just a little bit more value on some of these branches, especially the foreground branches. And actually what I decided here was that this branch or this trunk needed just to be a little bit thicker because I didn't think there was enough variation between the thickness of the trunks. So I added a little bit of thickness there with a very dark value. And going to neutralize this just a little bit more with some yellow. Just go in here, there's some leaves in the upper corner. Maybe I should've left those out, but you know, you make decisions on the fly and sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. So I think overall, this painting worked out pretty well. And this I think is just part of knowing when to stop and when really things look good enough in seeing that there might be things in your photo reference that don't necessarily need to go into your painting to make it work. So I would say that was the case there. I didn't really need to add those last strokes, but, you know, you do what you do and you learn. And overall though, this composition, I think, worked out pretty well, and it's pretty simple. 6. Project 4: Grand Canyon: Now that we've painted some simpler compositions, let's go ahead and start looking at some more complex compositions to see how we can use all of these same very simple concepts and techniques to apply them to any composition. And so for this one, we're going to be painting the Grand Canyon. And the Grand Canyon is such a great subjects and you'll find, of course, lots of artists painting the Grand Canyon, ideally from life if you get to actually go and visit. But in our case, we're just going to be using another photo reference from pixabay.com. And again, if you look at the original photo reference, you're going to see that I cropped this quite a bit. This was really a very panoramic view. But the reason that the Grand Canyon is so amazing to paints is because we have such an amazing view of so much distance. So we can see for miles and miles because we're so high and we have a very clear vantage point typically. And so what we're going to get is a lot of really strong atmospheric perspective, which makes the painting so interesting. And the color variations are going to be very nuanced and fun to mix and of course beautiful to look at. So again, I'm starting with a very, very simple drawing, keeping my shapes in the foreground kind of rigid and jaggedy. So holding my pencil very loosely, of course, just as I do with my paintbrush. Because again, we're not really going for a very tight drawing or its height painting. We want to keep it very whimsical and lighthearted. So again, don't get too wrapped up in the drawing, just find some of these most basic edges that we need to distinguish. And I know that you can barely see it, but I just very lightly penciled in the most distant top of the canyon. And again, not trying to copy that shape exactly. And I think a good way to sort of keep yourself in check to make sure you're not getting too preoccupied with accuracy in your drawing, is that the photo references just a jumping off point for you. People are going to be able to look at your painting and know what you've painted. And they're not going to say, hey, you know, there's an angle back there that you didn't quite get right because they're going to be looking at your painting. They're not going to be looking at your painting next here, photo reference and comparing them. That's just not what we do. We loved paintings because they are made by us with our hands and they have that quality to them. So I'm gonna go ahead and start off painting the sky. There's a lot of cloud coverage back here. So I want a little bit of value variation in my sky. So I have a little bit of lighter values over on the upper right-hand corner of that Skype. So I left that a little bit lighter and then I went in with more Violet's on the left side. And now while this is still what I'm going to just very loosely start putting in the top of that most distant canyon. I'm going to allow that to just merge with the sky wherever it's going to do. I'm just going to leave it. Going in with more pigment and less water. And that will help to control that edge just a little bit. But of course, because everything is wet is all going to just merge together and create a really nice soft fusion. And now I am looking more at the Kenyan that I would say is in the mid range. So we have a canyon really far in the distance that is going to read as a little bit more of a blue violet. And then in the mid range we're going to have a canyon that's a little bit warmer. So I added in a lot more orange and yellow. So that, but we're going to neutralize it a little bit so that our most saturated colors are going to be the foreground where the viewpoints is. So again, keeping this very abstract, very loose, it's all just a big wash of light values, soft edges and bright colors at this point. And this is going to be the foundation for what we can build this painting upon. So that's very important to not go in trying to paint individual items in the painting at this point, but to kind of capture that overall sense of soft edges, bright colors, light values. And really even if things at this point are not going the way that you thought that they should. Maybe some colors are merging in ways that you don't necessarily like at this point. These are all going to be such light values that in the end, they're not even going to be at noticeable. Now I just added a little dab of blue back here to this most distant Canyon, while this is still soft so that I can get some really nice soft edges here. But I don't want to overdo that blue, so I need to keep it fairly light. And I'm gonna get some blooms. And again, that's just another thing that you may not plan for. But I would say just let it happen. Because I think at the end of the painting, first of all, it's not going to draw too much attention to itself, and it's going to add a lot of character to your painting. Now that I've dried this off, I'm gonna go in and I'm going to have some of these more distinct Kenyans Be a little bit more defined by i need to be careful that I keep my values very light. So a lot of water in the mixture, because I don't want to have too much contrast between the sky and these most distant Canyon edges. Because again, that's just going to drag too much visual attention into the distance and make that seem like it's the focal point when really we want that to be there for context. But it's not the focal point really. The foreground is going to be the focal points. So now I'm adding some warmer tones to this canyon side in the mid-range, doing a little bit of dry brushing just to capture some of the striations of all of the rock forms. And what I really need to do for this canyon that's kind of in the mid range is I need to neutralize it right now. It's a little bit too warm. Not a big deal at that point because we can go over those warm colors with some neutral colors and do a little bit of glazing to kinda tone those down a little bit. But that's something that I need to start thinking about at this point. Because when we have so many formations, which of course all of these canyons are essentially made of the same materials. And so we get that bluish, violet, hazy color only because of the particles in the atmosphere that are kind of accumulating between the viewpoint and those cliffs. And that's what's kinda changing our perception of the color. And so when we're painting, we need to keep that in mind that even though all of these closer made out of the same material, and if we were standing over on another cliff, it would look very warm and kinda have that reddish orange color to it, just like the foreground here. But because there's so many particles or molecules of atmosphere, of oxygen between us and those cliffs, that's going to be what creates that nice atmospheric haze. And so we need to make sure that we are keeping those colors neutralized in accordance with that concept of atmospheric perspective. And as I move now into the foreground, I am going in with a really vivid warm color, lots of yellow, little bit of red and just a tad of blue. I'm going to start building up a little bit of that texture. So I wouldn't necessarily call this dry brush. I would I would call this kind of a wet on Drive because I'm not doing any stumbling. But I am allowing some of that lighter value just to show through. But what I need to do here is really start building up these more vivid, saturated colors so that they are distinguished from the cliffs and the canyons that are more in the distance. And something that I hope that you'll start to notice as a pattern as we go through all of these paintings is that we are going to spend most of our time and effort in the areas of the painting that are more of the focal points. So where we want more visual interest, that's where we're going to really end up spending most of our time. And I mentioned that because it's important to know that with portions of the painting that are not your focal point, maybe they're more in the distance. It's really important to stop yourself from fiddling with those areas too much because they can become overworked. And the more time we spend on an area of the painting, the more attention is going to take because we've put too much information back there basically. So we need to make sure that we're keeping those areas really more on the side of being undone or unfinished. And very light and not have very much visual information in those areas. And then in the area where we want the viewer to spend most of their time looking. That's where we're going to spend most of our time painting. So at this point, I am going to leave. Everything that is in the distance and the mid ground alone. And I'm gonna spend the rest of my time working on the foreground up this painting, building up some interesting textures, some nice dark values. And you'll notice too that we have a lot of plants in the foreground, and I haven't even begun to paint any of those yet. And that's because I really want to focus more on the areas in the foreground that are a lighter value. Of course, those plants are pretty much all a darker value and so I don't need to worry about them at all just for the sake of the fact that I can paint in darker values on top of all of these lighter values in watercolor painting. Which again, is really the amazing thing about using a transparent medium like water color. Because we don't have to plan everything out ahead of time. We can really focus on the big picture first. And then as we progress through the painting, we can get more into those finishing details. So right now I'm really just focused on building up the chroma or saturation of all of these rock formations in the foreground where the viewpoint is. And then after I have all of that in place, then I'm going to go ahead and start adding in some of those smaller details. So I went ahead and I dried this completely because now that I have a lot of the software edges in place that I once, I'm going to start using more pigment, less water, and really building up some of the details here in the foreground. So the first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to mix up a nice yellow green. So a lot of yellow pigment, and we do have to use a lot of that yellow pigment because adding too much water into that yellow pigment is just going to make that disappear on our paper because it's going to be too light. So because I wanted to put some yellow on top of some of these features in the foreground, I need a lot of pigment. And at this point, not very much green because we can, I'm sorry, not as much blue because we can add more blue as we go. Again. Blue has a darker local value. And so it's really important to err on the side of being too light for us because we can go back in with the darks, but we cannot go back in and add lighter values with a watercolor painting. So you can see here now that I've kind of blocked in some of the plants that are more in the foreground there catching a little bit more lights. And so they're going to be a little more yellow. I've got those in place. Now I added a little bit more blue to that mixture and I can start working on some of the plant life that's more in the distance. And it's going to be a little bit darker. And then this one that's a little more in the foreground as well. And you can see I'm making adjustments from the photo reference onto my painting. I don't have to paint the plants exactly where they're located in the photo reference. I can change that up for the sake of a better composition. So that's what I'm doing and moved up one of those plants really to the immediate foreground so that there isn't so much empty space right there in that immediate foreground area. And as I add these, I wouldn't, again called this a dry brush technique because they do have quite a bit of water in the bristles. But this is going to be a dry or I'm sorry, a wet onto dry technique so I'm able to control the flow of the water in the paint that I'm applying because there's not a lot of water in here. I've got a lot of pain to a lot of pigments and enough water to get a nice transfer from my brush onto my paper. But I'm not at this point going for a dry brush technique. I will starting really at this point. And now I'm adding some darker value two, the bottom of these plants because that's going to help ground them a little bit more so that they don't look disjointed or like they're floating. Gives them a little bit more depth. Of course, being sure not to overpower the lighter values that I had applied. Letting a lot of those light values show through. So I'm being a little bit more minimalistic with these darker values. And a lot of times when I need a darker value on an object that's green, it's a good idea to actually add a lot more read into that mixture because red is the complementary color of green. And so we're going to get a nice contrast between the greens and then those darker values. And it's also going to boost the appearance of the greens to have a little bit of red in the mix. And here I'm starting to do a little bit more dry brush. So I'm not going into my water very much. Only enough just so that the paint is more malleable and can transfer from my brush to my painting. And I'm going in and I'm looking at some of the crevices in the ground and again, adding a little bit more depth to some of the plants right at the base of them, just to give them a little bit more of a solid foundation. And this is the point at which I'm going to start evaluating things just to see if I'm really achieving enough depth. And if not, you know, starting to think about what I can do to overcome that. 7. Project 5: Sunrise Over the Lake: At this point, I really hope that you're beginning to see that no matter how complex the subject matter may seem, it's really a matter of applying these very basic techniques that we already learned. And then those concepts of value and edge control that really can make or break your painting. And if you start to think about the painting that you want to do in terms of first value and next edge. I think that you'll find that you can very easily simplify any subject matter. So for this project, I want to do a composition that might seem a little bit more complex just for the sake of it has some human subjects in it. And I want to show you right now as I'm doing the drawing, how simple truly your drawings can be. So I'm not going in and trying to make Ticulate mostly copy the exact shape of the boat or the people. I'm basically looking at the size of the boat and its relative shape. And then even for the people, basically what I'm going to have is a little circle where the head is going to be and then where the body is. It's just going to be kind of a rectangle. And I'll just angle that in the way that the body's our position and that's really going to be the arms are really not anything more than just some lines. And what I love about adding figures to a painting, especially when the figures are kind of in the distance, is that with very simple marks, we can really create the impression of people and we can even give them a sense of action very easily. And we don't have to worry about having a detailed or intimate knowledge of human anatomy to pull this off, it's very, very simple. And we wanna keep this very loose because that gives a lot of life to the painting. I hope that you can see these figures how simply they're drawn. I've not gone in and drawn little curvatures to indicate where their muscles are or anything like that. So very, very simple. And then again, for some of these primary breaking points where we have some edges, I'm being very, very loose and I can be a little bit more dark and heavy handed with my stroke in the edges where the value is going to be the darkest. And as I move my way back, you can see that I'm using a much lighter stroke, less pressure on my pencil so that those lines are not too dark. Now, I'm not going to draw in a circle for the son. I'm going to show you instead, I think an easier way to paint something like that, rather than drawing the circle and then trying to paint around that circle. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to start out with just a really nice bold dash of yellow. And when I started this out, I was trying to actually paint a circle, but then I realized, you know what, I don't have to do that. So I'm basically just going to take some of that yellow and just kind of there we go. Just kinda make a mess right there because I'm going to go around that with that nice bright orange. The important thing here is that if you do want a nice hard edge to indicate where your son is, you will have to dry that yellow first so that your orange doesn't bleed into the yellow. But quite honestly you could go either way. You could have a nice soft edge there. And that son would just look a little bit more hazy and it would still look very, very nice. So what I've done here is I've added just a little bit of red to that yellow. It's still a very light value. And actually what I'll end up finding out is that it's almost too light of a value. I need more contrast between that orange sky and the nice bright yellow sun in order to really create that sense of lights. But this will do for now. Again, as I've said before, it's always better in watercolor painting to err on the side of going to light, because we can always go over that with more vivid colors, darker values very, very easily. So here I've added a little bit more red, but I'm going to go for a general coverage over this whole, entire composition because really I'm thinking about this as having everything really basking in that nice warm lights. So I'm gonna go over the whole, entire composition. The figures are going to be a darker value. So of course, I don't need to leave any space for them because I can apply the darker value right on top of all of these lighter values. And I'm even adding a little bit of blue into this mixture for this area of the sky that's a little further away from the sun. Again, just to give a little bit of variation, I don't think it's necessary to try to go in and have the most even coverage over the entire painting. I think a lot of people kind of stress about that. A little bit too much. Being able to achieve a nice even wash. But in nature, we almost never see that. We always see a little shifts of color, variations in value. So I think it's important just to be very experimental, especially at this stage of the painting where everything is really kind of noncommittal. We can have a lot of fun and be very loose at this stage of the painting. And it's not going to have a huge impact on the end result. And the impact that it does have, I usually find it's universally positive. So now I'm going in with a slightly darker value for the most distant trees that are kind of up on a distant hill back there. Added a little bit more blue in there. But again, typically with atmospheric perspective, what we're going to see is the objects in the background have a cooler or more blue tone to them. But that really applies mostly to daytime paintings. For a painting like this where it is early morning, the sun is rising and the sky is very warm. Things in the distance are going to have that same warm tone. So we don't want to go back there with a bunch of blue for those more distant trees because that's actually going to create a lot of contrast between the orange sky and then some blue trees. And that's going to, again draw our attention into the distance too much, create too much of an unintentional focal point back there. And it's going to feel a little bit awkward. So it's important to notice that when you're painting, there are some general principles. As I said. Generally speaking, with atmospheric perspective, things in the distance are going to have a more blue, hazy appearance. But that's not going to be true when we're painting a sunrise or a sunsets. And as I move closer to the more mid ground trees, I'm just going in a little bit more with this violet, leaving a lot of reds in there. Again, because we want these trees to look like they're kinda basking in that nice warm morning light. If you look back up at my son, You can see that now there actually are some blooms because I tried to go back around the sun with some white color, so there's Bloom's appearing. I don't necessarily want those, but again, I am not going to worry about that at all. In watercolor painting, we have to just let things happen as they're going to. Because the more we go back in with our brush and tried to manipulate things on our own, the more we're going to get muddy colors. And there's almost always a remedy for any issue that you might encounter that you really do feel like is going to be a problem. Unfortunately, because I painted my sky to light of a value, I actually do need to go back over the entire sky with a more vivid reddish orange. So now I've let everything dry completely and I can go back in and redefine the sign. And because I'm going over these lighter values with a darker value that has a lot more chroma or saturation in it. It's very easy to redefine those edges and you won't even notice those blooms anymore. Now in comparison to how I painted this guy before, this seems really dramatic. But I realized that in order to create that nice sense of luminosity in the sign, I really do need to have this much contrast. So I'm going to be very brave and very experimental here. I'm just going to glaze over that entire sky with this mixture that is mostly red, little tiny bit of yellow. And then as I move toward the outer edges of the son, I'm going to add even more saturation of read into that paint. And since it's all still wet, it's just going to create some really nice fusions. And then as a move toward the edge of the painting further away from the sun, I just added a little bit more blue in there to give a little bit of variation. And so now that I've re-adjusted the sky, I also have to readjust these most distant trees. So just going back in there with a slightly darker value and glazing right over top of those trees. And so because this composition includes the actual son, the sky around it needs to be a darker value and that's going to push the value of the entire painting a little more toward the dark edge. So when I get to the trees that are closest to the viewpoint, I'm really going to have to put a lot of effort into building up the value. So it's dark enough to give. It contrasts between. It's self in these kind of mid-range trees here, which you can see right now, I'm painting quite dark. I'm allowing those edges to be a little bit soft. I haven't dried this since I painted the most distant trees, so those will kind of blend together very nicely. And now I also need to have the water kind of matching the intensity of the sky. And that's something that I think when you're painting water that can feel a little bit intimidating. A lot of times people feel like, especially if there's a reflection in the water, that they have to create an exact upside-down duplicate of whatever is being reflected. But I really want you to think of the water as really you're going to paint it the same way that you would paint the sky. And so it's basically just going to be a replication of whatever we see in the sky, especially if it's still water like what we have here. So I'm going to try to match that intensity of color into the water. And while that dries, I will go ahead and start working on some of the darker values. So lots of blue, lots of red, tiny bit of yellow to neutralize it. So it's not just completely violet. And then we're going to see if this is going to be a dark enough value. Of course, I want to make sure everything is really dry because here is where I want some of my harder edges adding a little bit more yellow because I can already tell that I need to distinguish this color and value a little bit more from those mid-range trees. And that's going to be a little bit of a challenge here. So I'm going to have to use a lot of pigments. This is basically going to be a base layer and I'm going to have to build up some value on top of this. And that, again, is another great thing about watercolor. So that we can kind of create a base layer. We may not be able to get as darker value as we need right away, but as we layer on our pigment, we're going to be able to create a nice sense of a dark value just by layering pigment on top of pigments. And up at the top of this trees, I'm allowing a little bit more of that dry brush technique to come through and create some nice broken lines for the tops of those trees. And so I'm not going to go overboard in terms of all the plant life that we can see poking through the water. But I do want to give a little bit of a sense of that plant life. And so I'm using some dry brush just to add in some of that, not all of it that I see in the photograph, but just a few indications of where some of these tall grasses are showing through the water. Because that I think gives a lot of really nice contexts. And I'm also just waiting for those foreground trees to drive so that I can layer on some more pigment and intensified the value there. So I'm gonna go ahead and use the same dark mixture to start blocking in the bow in the figures. And one thing that you might notice is that if you look closely at the photo reference, which again is supplied to you in the project section. You will be able to determine that the color of the bow is yellow. But that doesn't mean that we're going to go in and paint that yellow because the sun is in the distance, we get a backlit effect on this entire composition, meaning that the boat is actually going to appear darker in value than what a yellow would allow. So we're not going to paint the boat yellow. But I think that that can be very confusing because we are able to look at that and see that it's yellow boat. But that doesn't necessarily translate into its actual color. So it's actual color is not the same as its local color. The local color is yellow, but the actual color, because it's a little bit of a silhouettes, is going to be much darker than what we could paint, a yellow to b. So now that these trees are driving, just going over them with more pigment, more dry brushing just to start building up that darker values so that we can get the appropriate amount of contrast. And you can see I've left the figures in the boat and the boat itself very unfinished at this point because I'm just blocking that area in. And at this point to I am just trying to think of how to approach some of those colours. For example, the fishermen on the boat or wearing life jackets, they're very bright red. I don't know that I necessarily want to paint them that bright vivid red color because I really want the focal point to be on the figures as a whole and not on the color of their vests. And anytime that we add human figures into a composition, they automatically become the focal points, even if they're very, very small and not detail. It's just the way that our human brains work. We're going to pick out human shapes and that is going to drive a lot of our attention. It's important to keep that in mind. And I think that that's going to help you also to not feel like you have to go in and create a highly detailed painting of these figures. Because just that general shape of a human form is going to drive our attention and our brains just automatically can read that and understand what is going on. That there's a human element in there and that's going to be driving most of our attention. And our brains are just going to read that as important information because it is the general shape of humans. So we definitely do not need to worry about adding in a lot of details or driving too much attention to that area. Because we want it to read as kind of a narrative here. We want to think more about the feeling or the mood of the painting then about a detailed portrait of two fishermen out early in the morning. So that's just a reminder to keep your mind kind of on the big picture and not get too wrapped up in those details. So now we've basically got the fishermen in place. I might make a few more adjustments to them as we go. One thing I decided to do is break up this shoreline here so that it's not completely straight across. So over here on the left hand, just bringing it down a little bit so that we have more of a broken shoreline, not just a straight horizon line. And I realized too, that in a lot of the other paintings that I did for this class, we did have kinda just a straight horizon line other than maybe the Grand Canyon painting. So I wanted just to break that up a little bit, bring it down a little bit. And now I'm going to add a little bit more of a dark pigment. So just a couple of areas of the fishermen, primarily the heads and then the arms, and then some of the detail in the life jackets. Because I think that that gives a little bit more contexts that those are life jackets and not just red shirts. So I think that we'll call this done at this point and we'll go ahead and just take a closer look at how this turned out. And I really just hope that you can see that even though everything that we did was based on all of those simple techniques that we learned in the first part of this series. And then we focused on our values and our edges. We were able to communicate a very complete picture. And the human element just automatically makes a composition a little bit more interesting to us humans, and adds kind of a sense of storytelling, I think, to the overall composition. So don't feel intimidated to add little figures in the foreground or even the mid ground of your paintings. You certainly don't have to be an expert on human anatomy to add basically a little stick figures into your painting. And that creates so much context and makes the painting just that much more interesting. 8. Conclusion : Thank you so much for taking this course. I really appreciate it. I really hope to see your projects in paintings in the project section of this course. And again, if you have any questions or need further clarification, please feel free to post any questions that you have in the discussion section of this course. And remember to check out my catalog of other painting courses here on skill share, you'll find a lot of information and I'm always adding new courses, so be sure to follow me. And as always, happy painting.