Watercolor for Beginners - Value Studies & Edge Control - Part 2 | Rachael Broadwell | Skillshare

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Watercolor for Beginners - Value Studies & Edge Control - Part 2

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

10 Lessons (1h 3m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Value Exercise

    • 3. Edge Exercise

    • 4. Simple Foggy Forest Using Value + Edge Exercise

    • 5. Creating Form with Value & Edge Variation

    • 6. Rose - Part 1

    • 7. Rose - Part 2

    • 8. Rose - Part 3

    • 9. Rose - Part 4

    • 10. Conclusion

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About This Class

Welcome to Part 2 of "Watercolor for Beginners!" In this class we will build upon the basic applications we learned in Part 1 and begin to explore the concepts of value and edge control. All watercolor paintings, no matter how seemingly complex, are built upon simple applications, and variations in value and edges. While we tend to think of the beautiful and nuanced colors of paintings, it is actually variations among these foundations that make or break a watercolor painting. 

Being a transparent, fluid medium - creating value and edge variation with watercolor is different from most other artistic mediums. The fluidity of watercolor allows us to use the white of our paper to create a sense of luminosity rather than adding a white paint. And the amount of water we use can help determine whether an edge is soft or hard.

Just as in Part 1, 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. For the capstone project, I will walk you through the process of taking a complex subject (a rose) and simplifying it using the basic applications and concepts of value and edge control. 

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

And now, 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 broad wall and I'm an art teacher here on Skill Share. Welcome to part two of watercolor for beginners. In this class, we will build upon the basic applications we learned in part one and begin to explore the concepts of value and edge control. All watercolor paintings, no matter how seemingly complex are built upon simple applications and variations in value and edges. While we tend to think of the beautiful and nuanced colors of paintings as being the focal points. It is actually variations among these foundations that make or break a watercolor painting. Being a transparent, fluid medium, creating value and edge variation with watercolor is different from most other artistic mediums. The fluidity of watercolor allows us to use the white of our paper to create a sense of luminosity rather than adding white paints and the amount of water that we use can help determine whether an edge is hard or soft. Just as in part one, we will use a minimalist set of watercolor materials to explore these concepts. The projects in this course will progress from simple to gradually more complex. For the capstone project, I will walk you through the process of taking a complex subject, a rose, and simplifying it using the basic applications and concepts of value and edge control. This class is part two in my series on watercolor for beginners. So be sure to check out part one and remember to follow me here on skill shares so that you're notified when I publish more courses. Alright, let's get Painting. 2. Value Exercise: For our first exercise today, we are going to explore some different ways of building up value with watercolor. If you use my templates for my first watercolor class, you can use this same template just a little bit differently, but very easily in order to make three vertical rectangles. So what I'm going to do is I'm basically going to forget about segmenting these into squares. So I'm just going to trace around each square that is arranged vertically and just skipping that middle divisions. So instead of six squares, we're going to have three vertical rectangles just like this. And this is where we're going to explore three different ways to build up value. And by the way, if you are interested in transferring templates the same way that I am. I'm just using some transfer paper. It's also known as carbon paper. And it's a very easy way to transfer onto watercolor paper, which is usually too thick to trace on. But if you have a light box or if you just want to use the light through a window to trace, that is very effective as well. So I went ahead and I'm making my next template as well where we're going to explore edges just while I'm on a roll with tracing for my templates. So we'll get back here to value for now. And you can see here that we are going to explore creating value through a wash, through glazing. And then I'm also going to create a step value scale. First, let's go ahead and do the wash. This is going to be probably the easiest and quickest way. And you can never practice creating washes too much because it's something that we will use a lot. But since with glazing, I have to wait for each layer to dry before I add the subsequent layer, I'm gonna go ahead and just create the lightest value here, and we're going to build our darker values on top of this. So I have a lot of water, not very much pigments. And when it dries, you'll see that it dries even just a little bit lighter than it shows here. So for our wash. We're going to try to go from lightest value at the top. And then as we proceed down the rectangle, we are going to start adding more pigments and not adding more water necessarily unless we start really running out of water and it isn't flowing very well. But you can see that as I move down this vertical rectangle, I'm just going to my well to grab more and more pigments. And that is creating more saturation of that pigments. And you'll start to feel a difference in the viscosity of your mixture. When we have a very light value, we're going to have a very watery mix with not much pigment. But as we have more pigment into our mixture and less water, we're going to get a thicker mixture. And you can see here that I am almost purely using just pigment and I'm having a little bit of a hard time getting that to just flow onto my paper and that's normal. And typically when we're working with really dark pigments, we are not going to need a very solid large wash of that anyway. So that's not something that you necessarily need to worry about too much. Just take note of that viscosity and how it's not as flowy, it's not as fluid as it would be if we had more water in there. But our goal here is to keep it very dark in value. And so we're just going to have to deal with the fact that we can't have very much water in there for this. So for the step scale, I went ahead and I just started down at the bottom with my darkest value. And now I'm going to slowly start adding more water in. So this is basically the inverse of the wash. And you could go either way. You can start at the top of your step scale and just add more of your pigment as you go. And with your wash, you could start out with pure pigment and then just add more water as you go. So here I am adding my first glaze onto the glaze value scale. And I'm going to leave that very top section as that previous wash that I applied. And now I need to let this second wash glazed layer, go ahead and just dry. And for the step value scale, it's not so important that we have a clear delineation between each step as in a solid hard line. But you might want that just to make this look a little bit different from your wash. Because if we leave each one of these strokes wet and then apply the next stroke, what's going to happen is they're going to run together and you might want that. But I think just for the sake of this exercise, since we are doing this in steps, you might want to have a little bit more delineation between your steps. So you can see here that I'm adding more water and as I add more water, it's going to take longer and longer for each one of these steps to dry. And so I will just wait for these to dry and kind of fast forwarded through that. But I do want you to know that I waited for that to dry and that's why I'm getting a nice hard edge here. And edges or something, of course, that we are going to really dive into it this class as well. But for this exercise, we're not going to worry too much about edges. This is just a couple of different ways for us to build up value. So now I've got my step scale. And you don't necessarily need a certain number of steps. I think what is really important is just to start gaining feeling for how much water you need in your mixture to get certain values. So for lighter values, of course, you need a lot more water. You're pigment needs to be more diluted. And then as you need more saturation and more darker value, you're going to want to have more pigments. The exception to that is actually for the glazing because we're actually building up our values less through the technique of adding more or less pigment into our water. But this is actually just combining the layers and as they build upon one another, they are going to combine to create the illusion of darker values. And so in order to help speed up the drying process, since we need each layer to dry completely before applying another glaze, you can see here that I'm just using a regular hairdryer. It's a great way to get your watercolors to drive fast. If you're really just wanting to focus on that and not wanting to have to wait for things to dry. So you can see here that even as I get down to the bottom of my value scale for the glaze rectangle, I really don't have to go into thick with pigment because I'm just layering it and allowing those layers to accumulate to create an illusion of darker value. And then for my very last little stroke care, even here you can see that I really didn't have to go in too much with the concentrated pigment and so it was a little bit easier to apply. So you might want to try all of these. I think that each one of these techniques is going to be ideal for different circumstances. And it's just good to start building up your skill set. And then you will begin to intuitively know what when each one of these methods is going to be the most useful for you. 3. Edge Exercise: And now we're going to do a very similar, simple exercise to explore the different kinds of edges that we want to be able to create with watercolor. And I think that edges are something that we may not think about necessarily when we're thinking about the watercolor process, but it's actually one of the most important things about watercolor painting because watercolor allows us to create a variety of types of edges. And that adds a lot of visual interest here, paintings. And you'll tend to want a combination of both soft and hard edges. So we're gonna start here with this first vertical rectangle. We're going to build up some really nice soft edges. Now there's really no big difference between this exercise and just creating a wash. But instead of creating a nice gradient in scale, I want a lot of variety in here. So you can see that I'm keeping everything very wet and not letting anything dry. And then in some areas I'm allowing there to be just more water so that it's lighter. And then in other areas I'm dropping in a lot more pigments so that we get some nice variation here. And this is something that I like to do, especially when I M painting something organic like a flower or an animal. I'll start out with a very loose wash full of soft edges. And I'll create a lot of really interesting variations. And that becomes kind of my under painting for the rest of the watercolor. And I think it gives just a lot of really nice and interesting character to a watercolor piece. And it's something that makes watercolor very unique. Another way to get soft edges, of course, is to use a little bit of lifting with your paper towel. You can also go and just drop clean water onto a lot of pigment and just let that kind of blossom out. This is one of those things where when it happens by accident it can be a little bit aggravating and confusing. But if you learn to do all these things intentionally, then you're going to understand also how to avoid them when you don't want them. You can also use your brush to lift up pigment and create nice soft edges. For example, if you have a lot of pigment in an area and then you use just a clean brush and dip it into that area while it's still wet, you can actually pick up some of that pigments and it'll be nice and soft because it's still wet. Now of course, we're going to also explore hard edges. And this is very much like our exercise in the first watercolor for beginners class, where we explored lines. So I'm just trying to kind of create some nice curves here so that it's not just that line exercise all over again. But really what I want you to notice while you're doing this exercise is that as long as you are painting on dry paper, it doesn't matter how watery your mix is, you can actually have a lot of water on your brush. But as long as the paper itself isn't wet and you're not coming into contact with other wet edges, you are going to be able to achieve a nice, crisp, hard edge. And so this of course, is very useful in watercolor painting frequently what we will do is we'll start out with our software edges and the first portion of the painting process. And then as we proceed through the painting, we are going to add more of our hard edges in. That gives the painting just a little bit more structure. For this last vertical rectangle, what I want you to do is just explore with combining both soft and hard edges. So you can see up at the very top, I allowed that to be very soft. I applied a lot of water. But then it has a nice hard edge at the bottom where it stops abruptly. And I can even start with a hard edge. And just by adding a little bit of water next to that hard edge, it's going to automatically soften it up. Just so long as that hard edges still at least a little bit wet. And again, What makes a watercolor painting very intriguing and interesting to look at is variety. So you're going to want to really spend some time thinking about how to build value and also how to vary your edges, because these are probably the two factors, maybe even more important than the actual colors themselves that are going to bring a lot of interest to your painting. And also explore with the fact that when you apply water to your paper and then drop pigment into that, the pigment isn't going to flow beyond where you apply it at the water. So you can actually achieve a nice edge just by applying water to the areas that you want the pigment to flow. And then leaving areas dry where you do not want that pigment to flow. And that's a really good thing to understand and be aware of, especially as you move on to more complex and advanced paintings. And so now that I've dried This, I can start layering on over top. And this is again, something that we'll do very frequently in watercolor, will kind of progress through the painting process by starting out with are lighter values and softer edges. And as we go we'll increase our values, darken our values and also begin to use harder edges. So practice with applying a couple different layers. And practice applying your harder edges on top of your softer edges to see how much variety you can add. And I think that very quickly, even if like me, you're just using a single color to do this exercise, you're going to see that you're painting begins to take on a more complex and layered feeling than it had initially. And you can even begin with a hard edge and practice creating a soft edge. So here you can see that I'm applying this stroke on top of dry paper. So this is a nice hard edge. But if I went to soften part of the stroke, I have to do is get a little bit of water and a mostly clean brush and then just apply it a little bit of water along one of those edges to really soften it up very, very nicely. And we'll just try that one more time here. So this'll be a little bit of a thinner stroke, but we can still achieve the same thing. So what we have here is a nice hard edge. And then if I just grab a little bit more water and apply it to one side, it's really going to help soften that up by allowing some of that pigment that's still a little bit wet on that hard edge to begin to flow a little bit. And there's really no end to what you can do with edges. And as I said, it's very important just to know how to control your edges and also to know that when you're doing software edges, your amount of control is very limited and you should just let those soft edges kind of flow into each other as they will and not try to control those too much. 4. Simple Foggy Forest Using Value + Edge Exercise: In this third exercise, I'm going to show you a very simple and fun way to begin understanding the way a watercolor painting is built. And we're going to be using both concepts of value and edges in this little exercise. And I think you'll be surprised about how easily this comes together. So what we're going to do is we're going to paint a very simple landscape with some trees on a hill, like some forest, the trees on a hill. And maybe it's a little bit foggy. There's a lot of atmosphere. So we're going to start out with a very nice soft wash. We're gonna keep our value very, very light with this blue. And we're even going to let that wash just kinda dissipate into the white paper up at the top. And as I move down the wash, I'll add just a little bit more pigment, a little bit more value. So as you can see, this is just going to be at your standard gradient wash. We're going to start light up at the top. And as I move down toward the bottom of this piece of paper, I'm going to allow there to be a little bit more pigments. I don't wanna go too dark with my value at this stage of the painting. And then I am going to mix up just a little bit more blue here. And while this is still wet, I'm just going to start adding in a little bit of texture into the distance. These are going to be some distant trees. They're going to be very soft and they're going to be very cool and temperature. Because if you know anything about atmospheric perspective, that basically means that objects in the distance are going to be both softer in terms of their edges, lighter in terms of value, but also cooler in terms of temperature. So these trees that are going to be very far in the distance, it's really going to help that they have a nice cool appearance. So we're just going to stick with our basic blue here. I'm going to add just a little bit of texture by lifting up some pigment with ME, paper towel. And now with the same mixture I just added in a little bit more yellow. Now this is still very wet. I have not used my blow dryer to dry this at all because I want to keep this very soft still. So I'm not going to completely cover up all of the blue, but I'm just going to start adding in a little bit more of this green hue. And now I'm going to add a little bit more pigment in here so that I get a darker value. So I took a lot more of my blue and I'm also going to get quite a bit more yellow. We're going to get really a nice true green. The big difference here is that there's not quite as much water in the mixture. There's a lot more pigments. And I'm gonna go ahead and dry this for the first time. And now we're going to start building up some harder edges. I'm still keeping these strokes very loose and abstracts and of course I don't want to cover up all of those lighter values and those soft edges in the background. So I'm applying some harder edges on top, leaving them kind of pointed up at the top just like as if they are evergreen trees. And this is going to help us begin to build up both. Some variation in our edges and some variation in our values. So I tried that once again. So this is nice and dry and we're going to be able to make our value darker by adding more and more pigments in relation to the amount of water. And then our edges are going to become harder as the trees in the mid ground become a little bit more within our range of focus. And again, I went to vary these so that I'm not completely covering up those previous layers. Those are going to be very important to give that perception of distance and atmosphere. And I'm not going off any kind of photo reference for this and just kind of winging it. And basically what we want to do is just practice with our edge variation and our value variation. And so there should be a really nice, easy project for you to start understanding how we build most watercolor paintings. Because almost all of the time we're going to start with our lightest values and soft edges. And as we proceed through the painting, we will gradually build up our values, make them darker. And we'll also start beginning to integrate more of our hard edges. And that's why it gives a painting a little bit more structure. A lot of times watercolor paintings, when you're beginning them, they feel very unstructured because we have so many soft edges. And it's almost like magic when we start adding in just a few hard edges, it really brings the painting to life and it begins to make sense for us. So far, those final layer here, I actually added just a little bit of red into the mixture, but you can see that I am using a lot of pigment, not much water. This is very viscous paints. And this is where I'm going to add in just a few foreground trees that are going to have a lot of hard edges, a lot of texture, especially compared to all the trees in the mid ground and especially the trees in the distance. And you'll be able to see it once we have all of these foreground trees applied, that this really creates a nice painting, a very simple painting. And in fact, this is something that can make a really nice greeting card if you just need to make a quick card for someone at the last minutes. It's a very nice, elegant design. You don't have to look at any kind of photo reference for it. And most importantly, this is an exercise in how we can begin to think about the process of watercolor painting. So take your time with this, enjoy it. Maybe even experiment with using different colors. Maybe you have other ideas. Maybe you wanna do a mountain range or something like that. Because these same concepts are going to apply. So we'll just take a closer look and I hope that you can see that this came together really nicely. It's kind of abstract, but at the same time it makes a lot of sense. 5. Creating Form with Value & Edge Variation: In this exercise, we're going to continue discussing how we can use both variations in value and variations in edges to create really nice paintings. But we're going to take it a little bit further and we're going to start exploring form. So for this exercise, there is a template available for you if you want to just transfer this onto your watercolour paper, this is going to be a four-step exercise. We're going to look at using value and edges from very simple techniques to more advanced techniques to create a sense of form. And so there's also a photo reference for this exercise. It's just going to be this apple. And this is just a photo reference from a website called pixabay.com. It's a royalty free resource for you where they have lots and lots of photographs that you can use and that can be very useful for practicing your painting skulls. So feel free to check that out. We're really going to be using that only as a rough guide for this exercise. So this by no means is something that you need to really study the photograph and create exact likenesses from it. I basically have created this template so that the apple is very simple in shape and form. And we're just going to focus, of course, on building up value and using edges to create a nice sense of form with this apple. Now for this first step, what we are going to be doing is just having two values. So basically white, the white of the paper is going to be one of our values. And then we're going to be using just a single color. In my case, I chose blue to build up the other values, so the darker value. So this is basically going to be a two value picture and we're going to see how well we can create a sense of form. Now you can see that basically what I'm doing is I'm allowing the background and then the shadow form on the Apple to merge into a single shape. This in painting is called creating a lost edge. And for me personally I like to create lost edges within my shadows for the most part, that doesn't mean you can't do it for your lighter values, but I tend to create lost edges for my shadows. And that's where all of those edges just become one. And we get a very abstract sense of form. And I think because we know that this is an apple, we can almost make sense out of this shape. But I think if you were looking at this all on its own, it would seem very abstract. And then I'm going to just soften up that edge where the shadow of the apple meets the light side of the apple. And all I did was just add a little bit of water to that hard edge while it was still wet. So for this next step, we're going to practice having three values and we're going to use two colours to achieve this. So I'm going to start out with red. And again, y is going to be one value, but this time the only white that I'm going to leave is just going to be the highlight on the top of the apple on the light side. And everything else I'm gonna just cover completely. Read. I'm gonna do my next value in two different steps. So while this is still where I'm gonna go ahead and go back into my blue. And I'm going to start adding my next value, but I'm going to allow all of these edges to be very soft and you're going to see that the water will start flowing even into the read of my Apple. And I don't have a lot of control over that. And one thing that I think is really important for us to become comfortable with in watercolor painting is that when we're doing soft edges, sometimes you are going to have your edges flow together in ways that you maybe didn't envision or necessarily once. But rather than trying to control that and fiddle with it and kinda overworking your painting. It's just really good practice just to let it be. And I think that more times than not, you're actually going to find that those accidental convergences that you didn't really plan for or necessarily want, actually add a lot of characters here painting. So go ahead and just let those be. So now I'm doing the next step. This is going to be approximately the same value that I already applied with the blue where it mixed in with the read. But this time I want to create some harder edges. And so I had used my hairdryer to go ahead and dry all of that pigments that I use to create the soft edges. And now I'm going in, in, in just a few areas. I am going to create some harder edges. I don't want to change that value a lot of course, because I still just want this to be three values. But you'll see that compared to that first step, we will create a much more convenient, convincing sense of form by using three values rather than just two. It's still pretty abstract. And I think that this is actually a little bit more interesting to look at and we can begin to see that this is an apple, although it's still very abstract. But of course, in watercolor, we really want some of those abstract features. We want some areas to kind of be very soft and flowing and abstract. And then in just a few other areas will add a little bit more structure. Now for the third step, I'm going to have four values and I'm going to use all three colors. So I'm actually going to start out with my yellow. And that's because yellow tends to be lightest in value. And so I will actually do this a lot, especially when I'm being a little bit more loose and abstracts, I'm not paying so much attention to the actual color of the picture that I'm painting. And I'm paying more attention to just creating a sense of value. I'll actually start out with a really light wash of yellow. Now it's hard to see here, but I left just that little bit of highlight on the apple white. And that's going to be the only area in this section that's going to main completely white. And while this yellow layer is still wet, i'm gonna go ahead and add in another color. I'll go with red. And this is going to be my second value. So it's going to be just a little bit darker, a little bit more concentrated than that yellow was. If you look on my palate up at the yellow dot I mix, there's a lot of water in there, not much pigments, and it's very light and value. For this red, I have a little bit more pigment in the mix and I'm gonna go ahead and just very loosely start applying this. I don't want to completely cover up the yellow because of course that is my first value. And so I do want some areas where that's just really showing through. And again, I'm not copying necessarily the coloration of the apple in the photo reference. The photo references really there as a guide for me to see where the light and shadow shapes are. And since I actually drew the main light and shadow shapes onto the template, you might find that it's actually easier for you to just follow along with the exercise without paying too much attention to the photo reference. Because a lot of times when we have a photo reference, we tend to see every little detail and feel like we are going to replicate every detail that we see in the photo. But for this exercise it's really best just to keep it very simple. So now for my third value, I mixed up in nice violet, so I added some blue into that run. And everything here is still pretty wet. I'd have more pigment in this mix. So it's not quite as watery, but it certainly isn't the darkest value that I could possibly mix. You can see that as things start to evaporate and dry on the papers and the water is evaporating, I'm able to achieve slightly harder edges. I wouldn't call these really hard edges, but these are kind of intermediate. So there's just a little bit of flow between the edges, but not too much. Gonna go ahead and try that with my hairdryer before I add the final value and the hardest edges here. So I'm going to grab a lot more pigment and not going to be using nearly as much water. I still want to use kind of a violet. So I'm mixing my blue in with the red. And now I'm going to go ahead and add some harder edges just to a few select areas to bring a lot of interest and structure into this painting. And this is really still quite abstract, especially because we have that nice lost edge between the shadow of the apple and the background. But you can definitely start to see that there is a little bit more form given to the Apple and it feels a little bit more tangible than in the previous two examples. And there's a time and place for everything, generally speaking, anything that is not the focal points of your painting, you actually want to leave a little bit more abstract and loose so that it doesn't drive all that visual attention away from your main focus. So it really is very useful to know how to make something just appear a little bit more ethereal and soft so that it's not grabbing quite so much attention. Now for this final step, I'm gonna go ahead and use colors at will. So basically I'm trying to create a more realistic representation of the apple, but I'm still following the same concept of moving from my lightest values toward my darkest values and using my softer edges at first. And then going in, in the final stage with some of my harder edges and darkest values. So I'm starting out here again with just a little bit of pale yellow. In the light side of the apple that's receiving more light leaving not highlight White. And I'm just being a little bit more careful here. Whereas before I applied some of those washes over the entire square. Here, I'm being a little bit more reserved in where I apply things. So this is all still what I haven't tried anything off. And I've already got three values in here. I've got my lightest value up where the yellow is. I've got a secondary value where the red is. And then I went ahead and created this nice violent and this is what I'm going to use basically for the remainder of the shadow areas. And I'm still going to have a little bit of a lost edge in here, but I'll add just a little bit more structure so that there's some delineation between even the shadow side of the apple and the background for this example. But I'm just letting everything really run together and be very soft at this point, focusing more on my value buildup. So obviously with this violet, I'm getting a little bit of a darker value, although I will be able to go even darker than this when I get ready to do my hard edge. But it's very important to note that I'm just allowing things to flow together. I haven't used quite as much water and so I won't get a lot of flow between these edges, but they are all wet and so there's going to be a little bit that's inevitable. And since I didn't use quite as much water and this one is I used in some of these previous examples. This is all going to dry quite a lot faster. And so I can build up to my darkest value in my hardest edges rather quickly. Now, on a side note, I want to also mention that when you are ready to add in your darkest values, you almost always are going to want everything to be dry. So even though you might want some soft edges, if you have everything very, very wet and you go in with your darkest value, you're going to end up actually removing some of the water that still wet on your paper with your brush. And so then you're going to get some spotting. You're going to actually end up lifting some of your pigments out of your paper rather than adding more pigment in. So when you're ready to do your darkest values, you do want to make sure that you're painting is, I would say at least 90% dry at that points. So now you can see I'm going in and I'm able to achieve some nice hard edges because I didn't use so much water. It didn't take very long for this to dry up relatively well. And I'm using some hard edges to help delineate a little bit between the shadow side of the apple and then the background. I added just a little bit of darker value along the terminator Of the form shadow. And you can see that there's a little bit of reflected light coming up onto that bottom part of the apple from the background. And what I'm going to do to help that kind of feel a little bit more natural is I'm going to end up using my hairdryer just to help this layer dry really, really well. And then I'm going to apply a final glaze of just pure blue. And that's going to really help bring that area to gather. And adding a glaze right to that area is just going to help it feel a little bit more unified as well. Because again, when I am working in the shadow areas, I really liked things to kind of merge together a little bit because usually my focal point is going to be in the area of the form that's receiving more lights. And so I really want to kind of unify all of my shadows so that they're not drawing so much attention. So I'm just going over this with a glaze of my ultramarine blue just to help unify these shadows a little bit. And that's basically going to be it for this exercise. So this was basically a way to help you see that there's different ways to create form. Different ways to use value from the more simple and abstract to the more realistic. And also how we can use that variety of edges to really create visual interests and help us to develop a nice focal points. So I hope that you enjoyed this. Remember that there is a template and a photo reference available to help you with this exercise and just have fun with it. 6. Rose - Part 1: The capstone project for this course is going to be combining the concepts of value and edge to paint this rose. The photo reference is from pixabay.com and I will actually have that linked for you in the project section. And this template will also be available for you. And you may want to adjust the size to print to whatever size you'd like. I am working on a five-inch by seven-inch sketchbooks. So the template that I'm using is a little bit smaller and I would recommend starting out smaller rather than going larger, especially if this is your first time. So what we're going to be doing is again, just focusing on these concepts of value and edges to break this more complicated subject down into simpler steps. And the first thing I'm going to do is just show you really quickly how I would recommend transferring the template onto your paper. So of course, with a rose, there's lots of petals that can be a little bit complicated and a little easy to lose track of what you've already transferred onto your paper. Again, using my carbon paper, also known as transfer paper. And I'm just applying light pressure all the way around the rows. And I think that the best way to keep track of what you've already gone over is to kinda start in the middle of the rows and work your way out. And before you remove the template from your sheet of paper, just take a look and make sure you have left out any important lines that you want to transfer. You want your lines to be relatively light because some of the values that we place on here are going to stay light. And so if you're markings are two dark, those will show through in your final painting. But at the same time you want them to be bold enough that you'll be able to still see these lines even after applying a wash. So it can be a little bit of trial and error just to figure out the right amount of pressure. And I would recommend just practicing a little bit on a separate sheet of paper so that you kind of get a good sense of how much pressure you need to apply. All right, so we're going to start out with a very light value wash. And what I'm going to do is apply some clear water over the entire blossom of the rows. And what I'm doing is I'm just being careful to stay within the contour, the rows. Now if you're planning to paint a dark background, this may not be quite as important, but if you want to leave your background white as I will be at least for the beginning of this painting. Than you might just want to make sure that where your water ends is the contour of the rows and that will contain the pigment as it flows through this wet layer of water. Now I'm going to just go ahead and go into my red paint. I'm going to keep the mixture pretty diluted, pretty watery because I wanted to keep my value very light. And I'm just going to apply this over the entire rows are not paying any attention to the individual a paddles or any of the lines or details within the blossom itself. One thing that I am going to try to do is just to have a little bit of variation. Even though I'm keeping the values light in general, I certainly don't mind, and I actually desire to have just a little bit of color variation within this base layer. So I'm going to allow some of the areas to be a little bit more pigments. Especially where I know that there's a lot of shadow falling on these petals. I can allow there just to be a little bit more pigment in those areas. And that gives a really nice texture for this foundational layer. So don't worry at all about the individual petals in here. Just go ahead and lay in a general wash. Keep it very loose and simple. And if you want to, this is completely optional. You can just add a little bit more variation. I've just taken a little bit of my blue, added it into my red mixture. It's still very light in value, very watery, and I'm just going to drop a few spots of this red violet into a few areas. And now I am actually looking at the photo reference and just trying to see in general where there's going to be some darker values. And so I'm just dropping these right into those areas. But I'm not worrying if the paints and the color flows outside of where I apply it because of course this is all still very wet. But because it's very light and value still, it's really going to add a lot of interesting texture. And it's not going to be dark enough to be very distracting. And remember at this point in the process, we're keeping everything very loose, very ethereal, and very abstract. So we really can just relax and enjoy how the pigment flows when we drop it onto the wet paper. And then once I have all the pigment dropped in here that I want, I am going to use my hairdryer to dry this completely before I move on to the next step. 7. Rose - Part 2: Now our first layer is completely dry and we can begin to move on to some of our middle values. I'm going to keep the mixture is pretty simple for this demonstration. So all I'm doing is adding a little bit more red into this mix that I already had an Yes, there is a little bit of blue in there and I'm not going to worry too much about that because I'll be adding more red to that mixture as I go. And so we'll get some really nice red color and maybe even a little sense of Fuchsia since there's just a little bit of blue mixed in. Now for this part and going forward, we are going to need to pay a little bit more attention to our photo reference. And what we really want to be looking for here is any area that is not getting as much lights. So some of the folds of the petals and even down into the areas where there's more of a cast shadow. We're going to want to go in with a little bit more pigment and we're going to keep our edges a little bit harder, which is much easier to do now because we have allowed that base layer to dry completely. And as I'm applying this layer, I am not adding a lot of water into the mixture. Now I do need to be careful that I don't go to darken value too fast, because what gives a flower that nice soft appearance is actually the subtle shift between the values. So we want to keep this just maybe a step or two darker than that initial washed layer. And even though this isn't going to be the darkest value that we apply, we can go ahead and just apply this middle value over every part of the flower that isn't receiving direct light. So we're basically going to leave parts of the initial wash exposed where the flower is receiving the most direct light and everything else, we can begin to apply this somewhat darker value. And this helps to begin to delineate some of the individual petals. And it's also a really good exercise in just paying attention to value relationships. And if you find that there's an area that needs a little bit of a softer edge like what I just applied there. Go ahead and apply your pigment. Allow there to be a little bit of a harder edge. And then all you need to do is dip your brush into a little bit of water and then bring that water back into the edge that you want to soften up. Because there are definitely going to be times, especially in this part of the process where we need a variety of edge types. So for the most part, I think that we can do with the hard edges. But you might find a few areas where you went to soften the edges. So again, you can add just a little bit of water to those areas. You can also use a little bit of a stumbling technique. And remember that is where we remove some of the excess water from the brush and leave a little bit of pigment in the bristles. And we allow that to drag a little bit so that that underlying color can actually show through just a bit. And this part of the process does require a little bit of patients. And I'll be honest, if you haven't spent a lot of time with flowers and they feel intimidating, you may want to begin with a much simpler flour like a daisy, so that you can just practice with these subtle value shifts and not have to worry about complex pedal arrangements. And if you want to try the rows, I really do encourage you to do it. I pick the rows for this class specifically because I wanted to give you a challenge, but I mostly just wanted to show you that even a complex subject is really just about a pattern of value and then variation of types of edges to achieve a really interesting and complex look. That's really just the buildup of several very simple processes. It might take you a couple of attempts to get a result that you really like. But I do encourage you to give it a try. Be patient, and just be very mindful of how these value patterns fall within the flower itself. And I know that it's difficult for you to see from my camera, but I can still see a lot of the transfer marks on my paper through the water color. And that is really what's guiding a lot of these strokes right here. And at this point, even with just these mid values, you could almost call this a finished flower painting because we have a really nice sense of form. And since we had a lot of variation of color and texture within that initial wash, there's actually a lot of nuance that looks like it was meticulously painted on here, but really it was very haphazard. So I think that if you like the painting at this point, you can really call it Don. I am going to take it just a little bit further than this. And of course we need to very quickly start blocking in our stem, in our leaves. I'm gonna keep it very, very simple to begin with, very much like when I began the blossom itself and just going to apply a general wash over this entire area. I'm not going to paint the leaf and the stem separate. They're all just going to become one mass here. And then I'm gonna go ahead. And once I have that blocked in, I'll allow that to dry. Before I add any kind of detail or more structure to that area, I'll add just a little bit of variation in here while it's still wet. Just added a little bit more blue to that yellowish-green. And of course, I started with the yellow green because it's going to be the lightest value and the brightest color that I might see in that area. And then we will allow everything to dry entirely before moving on. 8. Rose - Part 3: As I said before, you can really choose to leave this flower just as it is right now. There's a really nice soft quality to the pedals of this flower because the values are so close together. And there's just enough variation to delineate the petals from one another. But I decided I wanted to add just a little bit of drama to this rose. So I'm really going for some strong cast shadows, especially on this bottom side of the rows. So what I've done here, of course, this entire thing is completely dry and so everything I'm applying now is going to have a nice hard edge. And I would technically qualify this as a glaze. So I've mixed up a lot of red, a little bit more blue, but I certainly want this to really lean closer to the red side of a red violet than true Violet's. So I left a lot of red pigment in my mixture. And you can see that there's a lot of pigment and not too much water, just enough water really just to allow the paint to flow from my brush on my paper. And here I really need to reserve these darkest values for where they are really needed. Because if I over apply these dark values, what I'm going to end up with is a flower that looks like I've just applied outlines to all of the petals and we don't want that. We really want it to stay soft and natural. But again, just to add a little bit more depth to some of these shadows and to give this a little bit more of a dramatic quality. So I'm looking on my photo reference really just for the areas that are very recessed and furthest away from the light. So where the petals are a little bit deeper and maybe there's even a cast shadow on them. Those are the only areas that I want to apply it this darker value. And you'll notice throughout this process for this painting and for other paintings that were going to be able to go over a large surface area with our light values. That as we move into our darker values, we're going to progressively have a smaller and smaller surface area that we're applying paint too. And it's really important to carefully judge your values of your photo reference or if you're painting from life so that you don't overdo it with your darker values. Now I'm going in and just adding a little bit more structure to the stem and the leaves. Now I definitely do not want to overdo the detail here because of course my focal point is going to be the blossom of the rows. And I just want to give enough visual information to the leaves and the stem to be convincing but not to be distracting in any way. So I won't need to do much there. I just went in and glazed over a little bit more of a blue-green. So you can see here, I'm testing to make sure that things are really dry before I apply this final dark value, you can see that I added a lot more blue to this. And as I said before, because this is a much darker value, it's going to be applied most judiciously. So I don't want to cover too much surface area with this because it's going to flatten the form of the rows and it's going to make it feel just a little too heavy. And again, what I really want to accomplish here is just adding a little bit of drama. And if I was going to leave my background white as it is right now, I probably would have stopped with this rose before I even got to this section of the process. But what I'm actually going to do is create a nice dark abstract background for this rows. And that will help this to really work a lot better because I think with the white background, it does feel a little bit heavy at this point. But I do want to show you how to apply a background to something like this if you choose to do so. So again, I am being very judicious and where I apply this darker value, applying it only to the areas that have a cast shadow from petals that are over areas. So here you can see him kind of focusing on the center of the flower because these very small petals in the center, because there's so many other petals around them, they're going to be getting a lot of cast shadows from where they are folding over one another and converging. So I'm looking in that area and then of course there is this area on the bottom side of the rows closest to us, where there's a large area of casts shadow. So that's where I'm going to mostly be focusing this effort. Again, being really careful that I don't overdo it and make this rose feel too heavy or too outlined. I'm also going to use a little bit of dry brushing just to add a little bit of texture along some of these outer petals that maybe are a little bit more weathered and frayed. And of course, when I do a dry brush technique, I just apply a little bit of the pigment to my brush, but then I bought it off on my paper towel to remove some of that excess water so that the pigment, when I apply it, it has a little bit more of a texture. So now I'm going to finish up the leaf and the stem. What I've done here is just darkened migraine. I added more blue to it. I added also a little bit of red. And again, I'm going to be very minimal in how I apply this darker value. And again, I'm not going to spend a lot of time thinking about all the nuances of the leaf and the stem. I really just want to have it supporting the role of the flower. So it's really a secondary feature. I don't want it to draw too much attention to itself, but I also don't want it to be too simple so that it doesn't look like it belongs with the flower. I decided at the very end to apply a really, really light glaze of yellow to some of the parts of the petals that are in the direct light. This just helps to warm up those areas and help them feel a little bit more lit as though this rose is out in the sun perhaps. But that glaze has to be very light in value so that it doesn't end up turning the rows orange. So let's just take a closer look before I move on to the background. So I think that you can see there's lots and lots of value shifts in here that helped to bring the rows to life. And now let's go ahead and do a little background. 9. Rose - Part 4: There's certainly may be times that you don't want to bother with a background at all. But I do just want to show you the general process of adding a background around a subject. This is going back again to that concept of negative painting, where we're going to be painting around an objects. And to achieve a nice, loose background that is very abstract and simple, we really want to use a nice wet into wet process for this. And because I want my background to read as just a little bit dark, I'm going to keep my pigment quite concentrated, but I do still have to add enough water in order to help create some nice soft edges in here. The trick with this is that we're going to have to simultaneously work on two sides of this background at once. And the reason for that is that if I just focused over on one side, then inevitably there's going to be by area on the other side that's going to dry and then we're going to end up with a hard edge when we go to finish up that side. So it's important to move back and forth between the two sides of the subject so that you are applying paint next to what? Paint to keep those edges nice and soft. And something that's really fun with painting loose abstracts backgrounds is that you can really have fun with the color and add a lot of variation back there. If you wanted to have a completely solid background with no variation whatsoever, that would actually be very difficult and ultimately less interesting to look at. So I encourage you just to play around with your mixture, keep it very dark and saturated, but play with the balance of the colors that you have in this mixture. I've even had some areas in here where I added quite a lot of red. Even though in general, I think that this background should ultimately read as green, it certainly doesn't hurt to have a little bit of that warm tone back in there as well. Especially toward the bottom of the painting where there's just a lot of green already. So you can see me just kinda moving between the two sides to make sure that I don't let the edge on one side dry completely while I'm working on the other side. And then once we get to the bottom here, you can see that everything comes together very nicely. There's lots of variation back there. And for my flower in particular, I thought that it was really important to go ahead and have that background. And that's because I wanted, of course, a little bit more drama within the flower itself. So I have some really dark shadows in my flower. But I would say that if you didn't want to bother with a background, then keep the subject a little bit lighter in value overall, Maybe you just keep it to the middle values and forego these darker values altogether. So that's really it. It's simple, but there's a lot that you have to think about and it's a little bit of multitasking during that process. But the more practice you get, the more fun it becomes. Now I'm just gonna go ahead and clean off my palate some watercolour artists like a nice messy palette. I personally like to keep mine pretty tidy For the most part. I can't say the same thing for the rest of my workspace, unfortunately, but that's just a personal preference where I like these porcelain palettes and I like to kind of wipe them down at the end of a painting session. So whatever works for you, you should do whenever you prefer, because there's really no right or wrong way to keep a palettes. Alright, so that is basically it for this rose. I hope that you enjoyed it and I hope that you'll give it a try. And remember, just focus on value and your edges and you'll do great. 10. 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.