Watercolour Basics: How to Add Splatters to Your Work | Sharone Stevens | Skillshare

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Watercolour Basics: How to Add Splatters to Your Work

teacher avatar Sharone Stevens, Watercolour, Illustration & Lettering

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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

5 Lessons (15m)
    • 1. Intro

      0:34
    • 2. Tools, Tips & Techniques

      4:50
    • 3. Project Idea 1: Starry Night Sky

      3:49
    • 4. Project Idea 2: Loose Flowers

      5:23
    • 5. Final Thoughts

      0:40
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About This Class

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This class is a short introduction to the tools and techniques you can use to add watercolour splatters to your work. Splatters and sprays are great for adding fun, expression and movement to your work, and can also be used for more specific purposes such as stars in a night sky or falling snow. I take you through different techniques and then show you two fun and easy projects that you can do yourself to make finished pieces!

The supplies I use in this class include:

  • Cold pressed watercolour paper
  • Winsor & Newton watercolour paints & mixing palette
  • A variety of round brushes (from size 0 to size 8)
  • Water
  • Paper towels
  • A toothbrush
  • A speckling brush
  • A straw
  • Dr PH Martins Bleed Proof White paint
  • Washi tape

This class is the first in a new series of short classes so if there are any topics you would like me to cover in future classes in this style, please do let me know! I always love to hear your feedback!

Meet Your Teacher

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Sharone Stevens

Watercolour, Illustration & Lettering

Top Teacher

I'm Sharone - a watercolour artist, illustrator and modern calligrapher. Welcome to my little corner of Skillshare, I'm so glad you're here!

My biggest passions in life are creating beautiful artwork and lettering...and sharing all of my knowledge with you so you can do the same! 

I find painting and lettering to be both fun and also incredibly therapeutic, allowing me to calm my mind by focusing on each pen or brush stroke. And throughout my classes I hope to share that with you. Most of my classes are in real time so you can paint right along with me as I explain exactly what I'm doing and give you tips to help you progress.

I'm always learning myself and welcome any feedback and suggestions for future classes and would love to ... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Intro: This class is a short introduction into how to make watercolor splatters. Watercolor splatters can be a really fun addition to your work, to add expression and movement, or you can use them for more specific purpose, like stars in the night sky or free snide. In this class, I give you an overview of the tools and techniques for creating splatters and snide, and then show you two different project ideas for you to practice them yourself. Grub your supplies, and let's get started. 2. Tools, Tips & Techniques: In this video, we'll be looking at the different methods we can use for making splatters and sprays of watercolor paint. I've added some paint to my palette, and I'm just adding a good amount of water into this blue. First let's look at using our paintbrushes to makes splatters. This is a size for round brush that I'm using. I'm just coating it with my paint so that the brush is saturated with paint, but it's not dripping with water. Now I'm going to hold my brush with one hand and use my finger to pull back the bristles and then let them go. You can see it's making this lovely fine splatter on the page. I'm holding this fairly close to the page, probably about an inch away and the type of splatter you will make will vary depending on how much water you have in your brush, how far away from the page you're holding the brush, and how fast you flick the bristles. So is why will spending a little bit of time practicing and mixing up these variables. You can see with this one is a little bit bigger because I've got a little bit more water on my brush. This can be a little bit unpredictable. If you want it to be in a certain place on your page, you may need to practice to figure out which direction it will be going in. You can see this is going directly above where I have my paintbrush. This can get a little messy. So just make sure you have plenty of paper towels around to protect your table and to clean your fingers with. You can use different size brushes for different size splatters. A bigger brush, we'll make a biggest splatter and a smaller brush will make a much finest splatter. Now, I'm going to use a size zero. You can see this is making a much more subtle splatter on the page. Another way you can use your brushes to make splatters, are by tapping them onto another brush. So I'll come back to my size four loaded my brush again with pigment and I'm just tapping the end of the brush onto another one. You have to be fairly firm with this if you too gentle it won't do anything. This method creates bigger and a bit more unpredictable splatters. You can see it's spreading a bit further across the page as well. Again, using this method with the smallest size of a brush will make much finest splatter. If you have too much water on your brush when you're doing this, you may end up just getting big blobs of paint on your page. If you don't want that, it's worth practicing and figuring out that sweet spot of how much water you need, for what type of splatter you want. Other tools you can use to make splatters include toothbrush and a speckling brush. Both of these have much stiffer bristles than a paintbrush, so we'll make a much finest spray. Let's start with the toothbrush. I'm just going to add some of my paint to the ends of the bristles using my paintbrush and then just face the brush downwards and as before, pull the bristles back and let them go. So I'm just running my finger a long the brush like this. You can see this has made a really fine and quite dense spray. All of these little speckles are really close together now. Now let's look at the speckling brush, which has these stiff nylon bristles. You can get these online or they should be in your local art store. Again, I'm just adding the paint to the tips of the bristles and you can also dip it in the paint if you wish. If you've got a bigger pool of paint. The way this works is it has a metal spike running up through the bristles and you hold on to the wooden bit and twist the handle and when you twist the handle, it moves the metal spike around the bristles and flicks the paint. With this one, you don't get your fingers messy which is an advantage but it also creates a nice even spray across the page and could be really nice for things like stars or snow. Another way to add splatters to work is just manually, and you can combine these with the finest sprays to make really nice effects. I'm just dabbing my paint onto the page with my brush and I'm just going to add a bit of water and then use a mix of wet on dry to create some different effects. Finally, to make a different splatter effect, you can use a straw. Start by adding some paint to the page. Make sure you have enough water in there because we want to add to blow the paint outside of this area. Then just hold the straw over the paint and give a short sharp blow. I find that if you use longer brass or more gentle, it doesn't tend to do as much. So you just have to have a play around and see what works. Okay, in the next video I'll be showing you a couple of examples of how you can use these splatters in your work. 3. Project Idea 1: Starry Night Sky: In this video, I'll be showing you a quick project idea for using various platters of paint and I'll be showing you how I painted the simple landscape scene with the night sky full of stars. To start with, I added, washi tape to my page so that the painting would have nice clean edges. I've made this into a rectangle with the longer edges on the left and the right side. Washi tape is great for this because it can be easily removed without damaging your paper. Then I used my indigo to paint the background. I love this indigo because it's such a deep dark blue, it's great for skies because you can get a really lovely concentrated color out of it. I added a bit more water to the bottom half. As you can see, the top is much darker and the bottom becomes fairly light in comparison. This is fairly blended but don't worry too much because any areas that are not blended in that well will probably just add a nice bit of atmosphere to the piece. Now we want to wait for that to completely dry. Now I'm going to add some of my Dr Ph Martin's bleed proof white to my spectrum brush to get the splatter of stars. I'm going to add that to my palette and I want to water it down slightly first because it's a really thick paint. Now I'm just dabbing that onto my spectrum brush and I'm just going to work this spectrum brush, moving it around to make sure I cover all of the darker sky at the top. You can see this is creating a really nice, fine, dense splatter. If you want to, you can use your brushes to add in a few more splatters, few different size splatters and bigger stars. You could also manually paint in some little lines for some shooting stars if you want to. Now I'm going to be using my ivory black to paint in silhouette of some trees. I'm just starting from the tip at the top and painting them downwards so they're all in a triangular shape and just leave a few bits at the background to show through and that will show you some light coming through. When that's dry you can remove the washi tape and you should have these nice clean edges. If you want to turn this into a snowy scene, you can just add some of your white paint to the tops of the trees like we did in the snow globe class and maybe add a bit more of that splatter to cover the trees as well, so it looks like snow is falling over them. That's the first project done, check out the next video to see another project idea for using splatters for a different purpose. 4. Project Idea 2: Loose Flowers: For this project, I'm going to show you how to paint these flowers in this loose style and some splatter for a bit more of a fun and expressive look. I've just covered up the left side of my page with a paper towel so I don't get any splatters on my first project. We'll be using wet-on-wet for this, so make sure your water is clean. I'm using a size eight round brush, so a fairly large brush for the main flowers. Then I'll be using a smaller brush for the stems and the buds. Start by adding some water to the page for the first flower, not too much. You don't want to pull of water on there. Make it into a semicircle with a bit of a pointy base. Then grab your red, I'm using scarlet lake, and just run this around the edges. Dot it around, don't cover the whole of the wet surface. Let some of the paint bleed into some of those white spaces so you have some contrast. You can add some more around the edges to make some areas darker, and just dot it around so it bleeds in nicely. Now do the same for the second flower, however, on the right facing in the opposite direction. Now I'm switching to a slightly smaller brush and using my sap green to paint some buds in. I'm just painting the bottom, as we want to leave some space for the red for the petals at the top. Now add in a touch of red on the top, so I'm using my scarlet lake again. I'm going back to my bigger size eight brush now to add one more flower in. Again, I'm starting with the water and then adding in the red so it bleeds in. Now I'm going back to my smaller brush, a size two, and using my sap green to paint in the stems. I'm just going to add in a little hair at the base of the flower, in a triangular shape, and attach it to the red so it bleeds in a little. Then connect to all the buds as well. Now, I'm just going to add in a little bit of water to the page, and just touch it against some of the paint so that it bleeds in slightly. This will add that looseness to the style. Make sure you don't go overboard. You don't want to lose too much of the shape of any of the flowers. Now I'm just going to add a bit more red, adding in some more color to some of the dry areas of the page and in some parts of the flowers to add a bit more definition, and to add some back petals. I'm working quite quickly on this, I'm not too worried about making it too exact or too defined. I want to keep with that loose style. Now it's time for some splatter. I'm going to start with some red paint, and I'm just going to concentrate on areas around the big red flowers. Now I'm going to grab my sap green and concentrate this splatter a bit more around the base and the stems. We're done for our second project. Keep watching for the final video, where I'll just be going over some final thoughts, and I'll be asking your opinions on my future classes. 5. Final Thoughts: Hi everyone. I hope you've enjoyed this short class, thank you for watching. I really hope you've been inspired by the projects and I'd love to see any of your work that you have made from this class. So please do share as always in the Projects Tab, and you can share on Instagram and tag me. If there are any other short classes or introduction classes like this that you would like to see, let me know in the Discussions Tab and I can make a little series of short classes for you. Don't forget to leave me a review to let me know what you've thought of the class. Your feedback is so important to me and I really do take it on board when planning my future lessons. Okay. Thanks again for watching and I'll see you soon.