Whimsical Watercolors for Beginners: Create Two Illustrative Paintings | Kavita Rajput | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Whimsical Watercolors for Beginners: Create Two Illustrative Paintings

teacher avatar Kavita Rajput, Watercolor Artist/ Illustrator

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

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

15 Lessons (1h 11m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Project

    • 3. Materials

    • 4. Finding Inspiration

    • 5. Complementary Paintings

    • 6. Setting Up

    • 7. Pencil Sketching

    • 8. Understanding Watercolors

    • 9. Demo: Wet-on-Wet Technique

    • 10. Background Washes

    • 11. Demo: Coloring In

    • 12. Filling In Color

    • 13. Patterns and Shadows

    • 14. Finishing Touches

    • 15. Final Thoughts

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Learn how to create whimsical illustrative paintings in watercolor. 

If you have always loved the translucency and elegance of watercolor paintings but didn’t know how to create them yourself, this class is for you. 

My name is Kavita Rajput. I am a watercolor artist, art instructor and children’s book author and illustrator and over the years I have introduced many people to their inner artist through my watercolor classes and workshops. In this class I will be taking you through my process for creating two small whimsical watercolor paintings. 


This class is structured as a fun way to introduce absolute beginners to watercolors. I will be taking you through my entire creative process step-by-step, beginning with finding inspiration and finishing with two ready-to-hang pieces of art.

While you will get a chance to practise some of the techniques you learn, you will also get the satisfaction of completing two paintings at the end. And throughout the process, I will show you some of the tips and tricks I have learnt over the years to make this process easier.


In this class you will learn:

  • how to work around a central theme and create a set or a series

  • the different elements that you can use to connect two paintings

  • the basics of pencil sketching and create your initial drawings

  • how to use the wet-on-wet and wet-on-dry watercolor techniques to create background washes and fill sections with color

  • how to add patterns and contrast to your paintings

  • how to add finishing touches to complete your paintings

At the end of the class you will have created two small watercolor paintings from scratch. You can use these for your home or give them as a gift to loved ones. And you will have also learnt the process and the techniques to start your own watercolor journey and soon have your own collection of mini watercolor paintings. 


Even if you are already familiar with watercolors, this class will encourage you to experiment with new subjects or styles of watercolor painting

You can find my work at:




Music - 'Indian Fusion' by Shahed 


Photos of my small paintings displayed on walls by Priya Luthra

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Kavita Rajput

Watercolor Artist/ Illustrator



My name is Kavita Rajput and I am a watercolor artist, art instructor and children's book author and illustrator. 

Born and raised in Mumbai, India, I spent most of my adult years in London, Singapore and New York. A big city girl at heart, I love people watching and working out of bustling cafes. 

I started my career in finance but soon left it behind to pursue my passion for the arts. Over the years, I have held successful solo exhibitions of my watercolor paintings, taught hundreds of hours of watercolor classes, run my own art studio and written and illustrated a children's picture book. You can see my art on www.kavitarajput.com/art and find out more about my book on www.bigcitykidbooks.com. 

I am on a c... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Hello everyone. I'm Kavita Rajput. I'm a watercolor artist and art instructor and a children's book author and illustrator. Nine years ago, I quit my job in finance because I fell in love with watercolors. The more I painted, I got mesmerized by the stunning medium and the magic that it can create. Over the years, I've held successful solo exhibitions and I've even illustrated my own children's picture book and I have helped many non-artists find the artists in themselves through my watercolor classes and workshops. In 2015, I gave myself a postal challenge to create 365 small watercolor artworks in one year. I did this to challenge myself, to explore new subjects, to learn new techniques, and to improve my skills. This is how I discovered my more whimsical and illustrative side. Through the pink elephants and the corky reindeer that were born. In this class, I'm going to take you through my process of creating two such small, whimsical watercolor paintings. The class is meant for absolute beginners but it will go beyond just learning different watercolor techniques. I will take you through my entire creative process and it will result in two finished pieces of work. While I will be showing you my drawing in my painting process step-by-step, I will also be talking about what happens before that process starts, like finding inspiration and choosing a subject or a theme for your work. I will also show you how I do my background washes, how I add patterns, ingredients, and finishing touches to my pieces. By the end of this class, through your projects, you will have created two watercolor paintings from scratch. You can use these for your home or give them as a gift for loved ones. But what's most important is that you will have learned the skills in the process, to create many more such paintings on your own. Hopefully, you'll soon have your own collection of watercolor works. I can't wait to take this journey with you. Let's get started. 2. Project: For this class, your project will be to create two small whimsical watercolor paintings. These can be of any subject you like, and in your own personal style. My only condition is that the two paintings should connect with each other in some way. This is a great project to start out with as a beginner in watercolors. Because you can choose the subject that you're most comfortable with drawing. It can be as simple or as challenging as you want it to be. It will still give you the satisfaction of having created two finished pieces at the end. You can begin by deciding a team or an emotion for your project, and then choose a character or a subject that will help you convey that team. Think about how you want your paintings to connect with each other. You can do this by using similar backgrounds, or complementary colors, or by even having the characters in both your paintings interact with each other in some way. These characters can be human or animals or even objects. I will be talking a little bit about the initial idea and the inspiration that went behind my paintings in the lesson finding inspiration. I will also be showing you some other paintings of mine, which I think look good together in the lesson, complementary paintings. I hope that these two lessons together help you a little bit in finding your own direction. As you go through all of the lessons and work on your projects, I'd love to see your pencil sketches, your background washes, and of course you completed paintings. So please do share them in the project gallery. Also let me know the team that you've chosen and how it inspired you. The more you emotionally engage with your work, the more joy it will bring you. This joy really shows through in the paintings. If you're ready to get started, let's find out what materials you need in the next lesson. 3. Materials: In this lesson, I'm going to show you all of the water color materials that I use and love and I'm also going to highlight some of the factors that I think are most important when it comes to choosing your watercolors. Let's begin with paper. In my opinion, the paper is the most important material when it comes to watercolors, because it can make a huge difference to the quality of your output. I really recommend buying good quality watercolor paper. If you had to choose one thing to splurge on, I would say spend it on the paper. My favorite people is the Arches 140 pound cold pressed watercolor paper. I'm going to explain this terms a little bit to you. The 140 pound refers to the thickness of the paper. Generally, the thicker the people, the more water it can hold without buckling. The 140 pound watercolor paper is probably the most commonly used by watercolor artists. This paper can take quite a bit of water and scrubbing. The term cold press refers to the texture of the paper. This means that this watercolor paper is going to be very lightly textured. This is different from a hot press paper which is extremely smooth as if all of its wrinkles have been ironed out with a hot press. You can get your watercolor paper in the form of loose sheets or pads or blocks. I personally love these blocks because they are glued in on all four sides and so this means that you don't have to stretch them before you start painting. For a beginner it's absolutely fuss free and for this class, I use the size 7 by 10 inches, because it works perfectly for my many paintings. For my pencil sketching, I use a very sharpened number 'H' graphite pencil and a kneaded eraser. If you've never used a kneaded eraser before, this is what it will look like when you buy it. Once you open the packaging, you need to knead it like you're kneading dough or clay and then it ends up looking like this. The great thing about this kneaded eraser, is that it is not very harsh on your watercolor paper and it doesn't leave any crumbs. Also, you can mold it to any shape you want to remove tiny details from your drawings. My favorite paints are the Winsor and Newton professional range of watercolor paints and I recommend them even if you are a beginner. These paints are highly concentrated and so even this 5ml tube will last you ages. Once you finish painting and your paint has dried in your palette, you don't need to wash it off like you would do for say, oil painting. You can just add more water and start using it whenever you start painting next. I recommend a list of nine shades to start out with. You can always add on to these later but as a beginner, these nine shades should serve you really well for a long time and through many paintings. What you will notice is that there is no white or black in my list of shades and this is generally the case with a lot of traditional watercolor artists. The reason for this is primarily that watercolors is a transparent medium. There's no real reason to have transparent white because then it looks just like water and pure black tends to be a little bit too heavy for the generally delicate effect on watercolor paintings. Instead of black, I use the Payne's gray and sometimes I add a red or a blue to it to make it even deeper. Your brushes can generally be segregated into rounds and flats. As a starting point, I recommend getting at least three round brushes of various sizes. Maybe an eight or nine round brush, a four or five round brush and maybe a one or zero round brush for the tiny work. I recommend getting a threefold inch flat brush. When you're choosing your round brushes, makes sure that it has a pointy tip. This ensures that even if it is a big brush and it can hold a lot of water, you can still do a lot of well-defined work with that tip. Some of the other materials that I'm using for this class are: a watercolor palette, half an inch masking tape, a palette knife, you can also use a paper knife instead, a paper towel, I sometimes use masking fluid for my work, but for this class I'm not making use of it, I use a pair of scissors to cut the paper once my paintings are done and you can also use a hairdryer to dry out the paintings faster. In this class, I spoke to you about all of the watercolor materials that I use for my work. I highly recommend these because I've used them for many large watercolor paintings as well as small illustrations and I know exactly how they behave and how they interact with each other. However, if you already have good quality watercolor materials at home of a different brand, please feel free to use those instead. In the next lesson, I'm going to talk to you about finding inspiration and choosing a theme for your project. 4. Finding Inspiration: A blank sheet of paper can be really daunting. I especially felt this when I was creating a painting a day for my challenge. In this lesson, I'm going to talk a little bit about the inspiration and the thought process that went behind the two paintings that I'm going to create for this class. Hopefully that will help you think a little bit about your central idea and your theme for your project. Initially, I think it just started with the idea that I wanted to paint something that was hopeful and inspiring. I think right from the beginning, I knew that I wanted the central subject to be a girl. The more I thought about what hopeful means to me, the images that kept coming to my mind were of someone flying high, soaring through the sky. From their on, the idea went in two different directions. I think I got the inspiration for the balloon girl from the movie up where the house starts flying because of thousands and thousands of balloons. The butterfly girl, as I like to call her, came from a quote I read somewhere. It said, "When she gave up being a caterpillar, she discovered she had wings." I just love that quote. So there you have it. This is how I first got inspiration for both my balloon girl and my butterfly girl. Now, after I've decided a general direction for my painting, I like to go on Google images or Pinterest, to look for art of photographs around that theme. I generally don't end up downloading any of these images, but I like to keep looking through them. I spend some more time on images that I like looking at and that I get attracted to. I like to think about what it is in an image or a photograph that I particularly like, whether it's the colors or the subject, or the expression on the subject's face. I tried to think about what I would like to create in my painting. With all of that inspiration floating around in my head, that's when I get down to sketching. I like to look at a lot of paintings and artwork and photographs because I don't want to get influenced by one particular artist or image. And then I just let my creativity flow through my pencil. While I'm drawing, I generally don't end up looking at any other image after that. Unless it's for something technical, like the shape of a hand, for example. Hopefully I'm now giving you a direction to start thinking in. For your projects, I'd like you to choose a theme and then decide a subject that you can draw. This does not have to be complicated. While I'm drawing two girls for my paintings, you need not draw human figure if you're not comfortable doing that at this time. Choose the subject that you think you can draw easily and choose something that makes you happy. In the next lesson, I'm going to give you some more ideas by showing you some of my paintings that I think look good together. 5. Complementary Paintings: To help you start thinking about ideas for your projects, I'm now going to share with you some of my paintings that I can go well together as sets. These are not necessarily all of them [inaudible]. Some are realistic florals, and some are simple landscapes, but they all connect with each other in some way. I hope that they will give you an idea about what can work. For your project, I'd like you to explore how you want your paintings to interact with each other. So think about what you can do to bring them together. You could play with similar backgrounds or similar colors or choose similar subjects. It's up to you. 6. Setting Up: In this lesson, I'm going to show you how I get my paper ready before I start sketching. If you're using a watercolor block like I am, there's really no need to stretch the paper. The only thing I'm really doing in this lesson is dividing the paper into two so that we can create two paintings simultaneously. I'm going to show you exactly how to do that. If this is your first time using an Arches Watercolor Block of paper, you might find that when you open it, which is black inside. Don't worry, you have not bought the wrong thing. This is just a seal, and I'm now going to show you how to open it. Take any palette knife or paper knife, and if you tilt the block, you will find a little section of white there. Now, insert the palette knife in such a way that the seal is separated from the rest of the watercolor paper. Now, cut away the seal from the block by pulling it along the edges like this. Your seal is now removed, and this is your block of watercolor paper. At this point, I highly recommend that you take two or three additional sheets of paper out in the same way. These will become your practice sheets. Now, this here is my practice sheet, and this is my main block of paper. Next, we have to divide our paper for our two paintings. This block is 10 inches by seven inches, and we have to divide it into two sections of five by seven inches each. This is how I do it. I take a ruler, and I mark the midpoints on both the lengths of this paper. I try to do this as precisely as I can because I want both the sections to be equal in size. Then very lightly with the pencil, I draw a line through the center of the paper. I then take my half-inch masking tape, and put a section of it along the center of the paper. I see to it that the masking tape is spread evenly across both the sections, and then I use the palette knife to press it down so that there are no gaps in the middle. I then press along the side of the board to secure the tape. Now, this next part is completely optional. You can actually start drawing at this point, but I'd further like to add the tape along the four edges of the paper as well. What this does is it gives a nice little frame on all four sides for my paintings once they are done. Notice how I'm putting only half of the tape on the paper, and half along the side of the paper. This ensures that there is an even quarter-inch border along all four sides for both the paintings. Now that one of my sides is done, I'm going to do the same thing for the other three sides. I pressed down the tape on all sides of the palette knife one final time, and now our block is ready for sketching. In this class, I showed you how I get my paper ready for sketching. The primary reason for doing this is so that I can work on two painting simultaneously. Especially when it comes to big washes, I don't need to wait for one painting to dry completely before moving on to the next painting. This works great, and saves time. If you are working on a loose sheet of paper, I recommend that you stretch it on a wooden or another base before you start sketching. Now, if your paper is prepped and ready, let's move on to drawing. 7. Pencil Sketching: In this class, I'm going to show you my pencil sketching process. I don't follow any set of rules when it comes to drawing. Very simply for me, the process is about making marks on the paper, and then constantly revising them to create lines and shapes that I like, and to erase lines and shapes that I don't like. It takes me a fairly long time to get my sketch to a point that I'm happy with it. I use the eraser a lot, and which brings me to the most important point for this lesson. I make sure that my pencil is extremely, extremely light. When you are doing your drawing, makes sure that you have a light touch, and you don't press down the pencil onto the paper. This is especially important for watercolors, because the light pencil makes it easily erasable. Sometimes unwanted dark lines cannot be erased easily, and then they show through your transparent watercolor washes. Now, if you haven't done a lot of drawing before, you can use a reference image to study, but I recommend not to exactly copy that image. Let some of your creativity flow through. After all, this is a whimsical piece. It does not have to be anatomically perfect, or perfectly proportion, or accurate by anybody's standards. Just try to create a sketch that you are happy with. That's all that matters. You can try practicing your sketching on a different sketchbook before, if you're not feeling confident to start on the watercolor paper immediately. If you have your pencil and your eraser ready, let's get started. Now, as I've mentioned before, there is no real science to my drawing process. I start with trying to draw a very rough shapes of where I want my subject to be. In this case, I'm going to draw rock shapes for where I want the girls head to be, and where I want her body to be. I'll probably try to decide the angle of the body. Maybe the shape of her arms. I'm drawing over her head, and her body, and rough lines for her arms, and her legs. As you can see, or you probably can't see, my lines are extremely light at the moment. This is indentation. Like I've mentioned before, I want my lines to be very, very light at this point. The girl state should be easily erasable. I would only start going a little bit darker when I'm sure of the direction I'm digging. From your line, it's just a process of constantly looking, comparing, revising my lines, and shapes till I get happy with my sketch. Go ahead and start to sketch, and don't be afraid. Use every line that you make as a rough guide that you can keep changing, and not as something that you have to commit to till the end of the painting. Be kind to yourself and enjoy the process. When you begin, you will start with a lot of rough loose lines. But towards the end of this process, your aim should be to have one clear defining line, rather than a series of loose rough lines around the shape. I'm now going to speed up this video a lot, because quite frankly, I take a long time to get happy with my sketch. Now that I've finished my first sketch, I'm going to use that as a point of comparison to start my second one. This definitely makes it easier. I want the second girl to be roughly the same size as the first one. I want both of them to be done directly inward towards each other. When I know that the first mark that I make is not going to be the right one or the perfect one, that immediately takes the pressure off of trying to create a perfect drawing right from the beginning. I just let my pencil flow, and then trust that my eyes, and my hands will eventually take my sketch to a place where I'm happy with it. Once I'm happy with my drawings, I do one trial thing. I take my kneaded eraser, and I dress it on every area of the drawing. Notice that I don't drop the eraser, but I press it down and twist it a little bit. Now what this does is, it takes away the excess graphite that's on the paper, and cleans it up and makes your pencil lines lighter. While you're doing this though, remember to keep using different parts of the eraser. Because as you keep doing these, your eraser will start gathering a lot of graphite, and you don't want to add smudge marks on your paper and cleaning it up. In this lesson, you saw how I created my pencil sketches. I'd love to see yours. Please post your pencil sketches in the project gallery as soon as you're done. In the next lesson, I'm going to talk to you a little bit about what makes watercolors unique, and some of the things you need to remember before you start painting. 8. Understanding Watercolors: Now that our drawing is done, I'd like to talk to you a little bit about water colors so that you understand this medium better and know how it behaves. The fundamental characteristic of watercolor is that it is transparent. This is where most of its beauty comes from, but also where some of its challenges lie. So before we start painting, I wanted to talk about a few points that I think you should keep in mind. Begin your painting only once you're completely satisfied with your pencil drawing. Because it will be extremely challenging to change your drawing at a later stage. So if you still want to make any changes to your pencil drawings, make them now. Always start with a lighter layer of color. You can make this darker anytime, but adding another layer of paint on top of it. On the other hand, it is not as easy to reduce the intensity of a darker color once it's already on the paper. When you choose the same color over itself, you will see a darker color because now you have two layers instead of one. In fact, I like to do this very often. It's one of my favorite ways of adding patterns to my paintings. Finally, always keep the relationship between the colors in mind when you are adding layers on top of each other. For example, if you have put a red over a layer of blue, it will show as purple and not as red because both the blue and the red are transparent, or if you try to create light yellow polka dots on top of a layer of blue, they will show as green. Now, if you're not too familiar about the relationships between the primary and the secondary colors, here is a quick snapshot. I have also added this to the class resources list. So from all of these examples, you can see how every little layer that you add to your painting has an impact because it transforms the painting in some way. Herein lies both the beauty and the challenge of this medium. After those little nuggets of wisdom, in the next lesson, I'm going to teach you how to use the wet-on-wet technique to create the background washes for your paintings. I'll see you there. 9. Demo: Wet-on-Wet Technique: In this lesson, I'm going to show you how to do your background washes around your main subject using the wet-on-wet technique. For my paintings, I'm creating a blue and white sky for both of my paintings, but you might choose to do a solid color background or even a combination of two colors for your background. In three different demo videos, I'm going to show you how to do all of these combinations of backgrounds. I suggest that you watch the entire process first and then practice doing a few of the background washes on your practice sheet before you move on to your project. I'm going to use this Windsor blue paint for my demo, and I'm going to take a little bit of it out in my palette. You don't need a lot at all. Then I'm going to start adding water. Now the way I like to do this is I use a brush to add water into the palette , but I don't touch the brush with the paint till I've got enough water in my palette. This reduces the amount of paint that goes back into the water container and ensures that your water remains cleaner for longer, and that the paint is more in the palette rather than the water container. Now, how do you decide how much water you need to add? There's no formula, of course. But while you don't want your paint to be extremely light, I like to see that it's watery enough that it will spread freely on the paper. Make sure that you have a paper to hold handy at all times when you're painting. Now I've cleaned all the paint off the brush, and I'm ready to start the background wash. This process starts with getting your paper wet first. Take your big flat brush and start wetting the entire area everywhere except your main subject. Here I'm going to make sure that Mr. cloud remains dry and all of the background around him is evenly wet. The bigger brushes hold more water, so make sure that you use them as much as possible when you're doing the wash. The time it takes for your paper to dry depends on environmental factors, so which part of the world you are in, what time of the year it is, even whether you have the air conditioner on. These are all factors that will affect the time it takes for your paper to dry. The secret to smooth clean wash is that you ensure that the entire painting process is done before the paper starts drying. From the beginning, make sure that the paper is wet enough. After I've covered as much area as I could with the big brush, I move on to the smaller brush, and go even closer to the edges of the subject. Now it's time to add the paint. Now the first time I saw this, I was absolutely amazed at how the paint just does not go into the dry area. For this part of the demo, I'm doing a simple, plain background. It's all about just getting the paint evenly across the entire area. Having the paper wet, definitely helps and makes the process easier because the paint spreads more smoothly and freely. For this demo, I've already with the paper because the process is the same as the last one, and then I'm adding paint. I'm just going to add it in bits and pieces. Because I want to give the effect of white clouds against the blue sky, I'm going to roughly create cloud shapes by painting around them. I'm painting the blue sky, which is around the white clouds and not painting the white clouds. This is a background I'm going to use for my two paintings. You can practice all the three demos that I do in this lesson and decide what you want to do for your paintings. If you do choose to do this background for your paintings, ensure that you leave enough white space because there is a temptation to keep adding paint and you might end up with a blue background and of the blew and white background. If at any time you feel like there's too much water on the paper, you can lift some off with your brush and then dab it on the paper towel. Now, I'm going to do my third demo with two colors. You can use more than two as well. Once again the paper have to be wet, and the process is similar to the one I did before. But I just check to see if there's enough balance of all the colors in the background, so when I'm adding pink and blue, for example, I see through that there are certain areas with just pure pink in them, some with the pure blue in them, and some with the mixture of the two. In this lesson, I showed you three different process demos to your backgrounds. I hope you had a chance to practice some of them. If you have, please post some pictures in the Project Gallery because I'd love to see them. The main thing to remember when you're doing wet-on-wet technique is that you need to be fast enough so that you finish the entire process before the paper starts drying. If you're feeling a little bit more confident about doing your background washes now, let's move on to the next lesson where we start doing it on our actual paintings. 10. Background Washes: It's finally down to start doing the backgrounds for our main paintings. The process that I'm following in this lesson is pretty much the same as the process I followed for the demos. Only this time, it's likely more challenging just because of the time it takes to get the entire paper wet because the subject is slightly more tricky now and has edges that you have to avoid very carefully. A lot of artists choose to use masking fluid for this. They cover the entire subject good masking fluid and then wash over it with the watercolor paint. Personally, I like to use masking fluid only when it is absolutely unavoidable, because I find that when you remove the masking fluid, it leaves an unnatural edge, which I then have to work to fix. But if you have masking fluid at hand and would like to try it out, please go ahead. It definitely makes it easier. If you're ready, I just have two final tips before we start. Use the big flat brush and go faster over the larger areas and use the medium-sized brush and go a little bit more carefully when you come close to the edges. That's it. Let's go. Great. Now I have all my material setup and I'm ready to go. I have my blue paint, which I have already taken it out of the palette from this two. I have my three-fourth inch flat brush. I have the number A drawing brush and the number 1 drawing brush. I'm going to start with the butterfly girl on the right. I want to keep all wings transparent. When I'm wetting the background, I'm going to wet all of the paper, including, her wings because I want a bit of the sky to show through her wings. This three-fourth inch flat brush holds a lot of water, and so try to use as much of it as you can for this wash. It's definitely easier to do larger areas with this brush. But be very careful when you come close to your subject. Once that is done, I move to the number A drawing brush and I try to paint as close to the edges as possible. I think there's still a bit of blue left over in this brush from the practice. But since it's really light and because I'm going to paint the background blue anyway, I'm not too worried about it at this point. Now, with this round brush, you need to go as close to the edges of the subject as carefully as you can. At the same time though, you need to be relatively quick as well, because you don't want the rest of the paper to dry up while you're doing this. As you can see from the shine, the paper is still quite wet, so I think we're good. I'm now going to start adding the blue paint. Now, the minute I did that, I realized that the paint is probably a little thicker than I would have liked, so as I keep working on this background, I'm also going to try to add more water to the paper and try to make the paint more dilute. Then now that I have made the paint a little bit more wet it's spreading much better. I like to have my corners and my sides a little darker, the corners more than the sides because I think they frame the image in a nice way. Once again, be more careful when you're painting close to the subject, and when you are away from the subject, you can be more free. Overall, I'm trying to create some balance in the background. I try to see that there are enough different intensities of blue and that there's an white space as well. Now, I switch to the number 1 brush to go even closer along the edges of my butterfly girl. Finally, I'm going to darken the lower right corner a little bit more so that it balances the top left corner. I feel like I'm happy with this now, so I'm going to leave that to dry and move on to my balloon girl. This time I want the balloons to be a little transparent. Once again, I'm going to wet everything including the balloons, except for the girl, of course. This process is exactly the same as we did before, so I'm going to go pretty quickly with the video. In this lesson, we learned how to do the wet on technique to do your background. In the next lesson, I'll show you a couple of ways to fill-in color in a section, and I'll also show you a little trick on what to do when you make a mistake. I'll see you then. 11. Demo: Coloring In: In this lesson, I'm going to show you two ways of filling a section with color and showing a gradient. You can watch these demos and then try them out yourself by using the backside of your practice sheet. I'm going to start with quickly drawing two circles for our sections. The first one is very similar to the background washes that we did before. We start with wetting the entire area, the entire section first and now add color. Always begin where you want your color to be the darkest. Start from that side, put color on the darker section and then you slowly start spreading it across to the lighter section. This is how I lift paint off. If I feel like there's excess paint or water on my brush, I lift it off my brush and then just dab it on the paper towel. Notice how every time I add paint to the section, I always start with putting it in the darkest area because I don't want a situation where I've suddenly added too much paint in a place which I wanted to be lighter. I go very carefully towards the lighter sections just to ensure that my lightest area is preserved as much as possible. That's it. It's the first part. Now for the second round, I will begin with adding paint first and I'll add paint to again the darker side, then it's pure paint. Its thicker and it doesn't spread as much as it does when you have water on the paper already. Immediately start adding water and blending it. Notice how I'm pushing the water towards the darker side because I don't want the paint to start moving to the lighter side until I'm sure of the intensity. If you're doing this for the first time, you might struggle a bit with controlling how much paint goes into the brush and how it spreads. But over time, you'll get the hang of it so keep practicing, make as many shapes as you want on your practice sheets and fill in these areas. Just try to create gradients, have different effects of light and dark showing in your colors. Over time, you'll start getting a sense of how much water your brush holds or how much paint your brush holds, just instinctively. This brings us to the question, which technique should you be using and where? Generally, use the wet on wet technique for the larger areas and the wet on dry technique for the smaller areas. The reason for this is that even in this case, ideally you should be finishing the painting process before your section starts drying. Since it'll take a longer time to finish the painting for a larger area, it'll be easier if you have that entire section wet first. Now as a special tip, I'm also going to show you what you can do immediately in case you make a mistake. Let's say you're filling in color in this little section, and while you do that, you go out of the line a little bit. Now immediately add more water and user a paper towel to dab it all out. This is the reason why I always keep my paper towel folded in a very neat because then I get to use this edge very easily to fix my mistakes. If you act immediately, you should be able to successfully get the paint off in a very clean way so whenever you start painting, make sure that you have your paper towel with you for what I call those SOS moments. If you have practiced the do techniques of filling in color, and you are ready to jump into doing it for your actual paintings, let's go to the next lesson. 12. Filling In Color: I hope you're now ready to start filling in color into your main paintings. Before we begin, I have three points for you to remember. Only start on a section once all of the areas around it are completely dry. Think about where you want the color to be darker or lighter within the section before you begin. Always keep your paper towel ready to act immediately in case you make a mistake. All right, I'm going to start with the balloon girl first. I'm currently obsessed with pink hair, so I'm going to make her hair almond rose and I want to make the line that's touching her face and the bottom part of her head darker than the top part of her head. Those are the areas where I'm going to add paint first and then I'm going to take some water and use that to make the top of her head lighter. I'm using the number five brush for this and this brush can hold a lot of water, so I have to be really careful while I'm using this for this tiny area. To make sure that your brush doesn't end up holding a lot of water, it's a good idea to glide it against the side of the water container a couple of times so that the excess water can drain off. Now, since I've moved to really tiny areas here, I'm using the number one brush because it holds lesser water and gives me more control. This is just the first layer of paint and while this is looking quite dark right now, it is going to become much lighter ones it dries. Now, I want to paint her two braids separately because I want them to show up as two distinct sections. So I'm going to start with one braid first, wait for it to dry completely and then paint the second one. Oh, I just love the pink hair. Now, if I've started using one color, I normally like to do other sections in the painting with the same color all at once, provided all the areas around it are dry because this reduces the amount of paint mixing in the water container hence the water remains cleaner of longer. Notice how I always start paintings from the darker site and then use water to spread that paint over to the lighter side. Now, while we wait for that to dry, I'm going to move on to my butterfly girl and I'm going to start with her wings. I'm going to use turquoise for her wings and I want them to have a very strong gradient. So I want it to be quite a deep color near her back and then I want it to get extremely light towards the outer edges of the wings. I'm using the number one brush here because the area under her hair and near her back is extremely tiny and I want to be very careful when I'm covering this area. As I mentioned in the demo videos as well, as you move from the darker areas to the lighter areas, be extremely careful because you need to preserve the color in the lighter areas as much as possible. That's what brings the translucency to watercolor paintings and makes them shine. So whenever you add more paint to a section, always start from the darker side first and then add water and spread it to the lighter side. Now finally, as I'm working on the lightest part of the wing, notice how I add water first to the lighter side and then bring that into the darker areas of the wing. I do this so that the least amount of turquoise can move from the darker side to the lighter side. In this way, the lighter side of the wing remains extremely translucent. I just love how little paint you need to create such a beautiful effect. Coming from the world of oil paintings, when I first saw this, I was just completely mesmerized. The great thing about working in this size is that you can easily move the paper around so that you're able to access different areas from angles that you are most comfortable with. So do use that to your advantage. There, doesn't that look gorgeous? Next, I'm going to you use the same turquoise for her leggings and I'm going to speed up the video now as I keep doing all of the different sections in both the paintings. For the skin tone, I'm going to use a combination of yellow and almond rose and I'm going to mix the two colors in my palette first and then just like I did for the others, I'm going to start painting from the darker areas of the section and then use water to spread the color into the lighter areas. Now that we've finished filling in all our basic colors and that everything is dry, it's time to start adding in some backgrounds and maybe some shadow effects to our paintings, so I'll see you in the next lesson. 13. Patterns and Shadows: In this lesson, we're going to add patterns and shadow effects on our paintings. Before you begin, I'd like you to look at your painting and think about what patterns you might want to add embed. These could be polka dots or stars, or stripes of gold lines and you can even add them in pencil before you start painting. Also think about what shadow effects you might want and where. This doesn't have to be very complicated. Just slightly darker color in certain areas also creates a dramatic effect. Before we begin, just remember two points. One, you can use the same color on itself to create a darker pattern. You can create, use a different color. But just remember the relationship between the two colors that you are using. That's it, let's get started. I'm going to first start with the polka dots on the balloon gone, the ones which are watery drawn in pencil. For this I'm using a combination of the green and the turquoise. By filling in all of these patterns, I'll just use a simple bet on dry technique. Next I'm moving to the wings where I'm filling in the pattern which I had already drawn in pencil. This time I want these little areas to have a strong gradient just like the rest of the wings. Next I'm going to add pink stripes to her hair. It's adding the same color on itself to get a darker pattern. I haven't drawn these lines with a pencil first and I'm going to directly go over them with my number one brush. This might feel a little bit doubting at first to some of you. But don't worry. Once you get started, it'll feel really relaxing. Remember once again that if you go slightly off, you can always use a paper towel to immediately make changes to it. I like to add additional layers of patterns in the darker areas of the section because it adds to the contrast and makes it look slightly more three-dimensional. For the same reason, it's also lightning the patterns in the lighter part with my paper towel. Now I'm going to create some shadow effects on her green dress. I usually use paints gray for my shadows, but for this one, I'm using golincer blue because I don't want a very dramatic shadow effects. I just want a slightly darker green in certain parts of address. Once again, I've started by adding a line of windsor blue, where I think it should be the darkest. Then I'm going to spread that paint with water. As you can see, the blue doesn't look like blue once it's on the green and it just looks like a darker green. Next, I'm going to darken the shadows of the pink balloon using another layer of pink. I'm simply just adding darker pink where it was already darker on the balloon. Then in the same way as before, I'm going to spread that color a little bit with water. For these two paintings, I'm not creating very strong shadow effects. They are just simply, slightly darker areas on each object that make it look slightly more 3-dimensional. But you could add stronger shadows outside the object, falling either on the ground or on the wall behind them or on another object. Generally, even if you're adding patterns to a section, that section would also need to have some sort of a shadow effect. You can do either one first. You can either add buttons and once those buttons dry, you can make the darker parts slightly darker or you can do it like I'm doing for the balloon where I'm creating the shadow effects first and then adding patterns later. I found this part of the process extremely therapeutic. I put on some relaxing music, get a cup of tea and start adding patterns all over the painting. I feel like the balloon need some more contrast so I'm going to use blue this time to create some more dramatic shadows. As you can see, this is a very gradual process for me as I go from light to dark. I don't immediately go to the darker shadows, but I go layer by layer as I get more of a feel for the direction that the painting's taking. Now that I've shown you a few examples of how to create patterns and how to create shadow effects and you know what to watch out for. I'm going to really speed up the rest of the video. As you go through the rest of the videos, you will notice how I go over each section several times, building it up layer by layer. I do hope that you join me with your own paintings and as you're creating your patterns, discover how wonderfully meditative and mindful this experience is. Now that most of the other sections are done, I'm just going to darken the areas near the eyes, the nose and under the smiles a little bit, using the same color that I prepared for this kindled. Once again, I boot it up very gradually and I don't go too dark too soon. All right, we are very close to the end now. I hope that you've learned a lot so far. As you keep on painting more, keep exploring different patterns and different effects because these are really fun to do and they can add a unique style to you're painting. I'll see you now in the next class where we'll add some final finishing touches to our paintings. 14. Finishing Touches: It's often difficult to tell when a painting is really done because you can keep adding to it. For me, when I reach a point when I feel like the painting is balanced and there's enough contrast in it. Sometimes all a painting needs is a few finishing touches here and there before it's done. So in this lesson, I'm going to show you where I add all the finishing touches to my goals. When I'm at this stage of the painting, I spend a lot of time just looking at the painting and looking for areas where I feel like the contrast is lacking. It's the contrast that makes a section or an element of a painting pop. If there's not enough contrast in any part of the painting then that area looks a little washed out. The easiest way to increase contrast is by making the darker areas slightly darker. One example of doing this is adding an outline like I'm doing on the balloons, but only on the darker areas of the balloons. For this I'm using the same color as the color of the balloon. So an outline of turquoise for the turquoise balloon, and outline of green, for the green balloon, for example. Another great way of increasing contrast, especially when it comes to patterns, is going over the patterns with one more layer, just where the shadows are. I really love the effect that this creates. Now, just like I did the stripes in this one, I am going to just go over the crosses where the shadows are darker. Next, I'm going to add some finishing touches to her dress. Again, these are not going to be big areas covered just slight lines here and there, which add a little bit to the contrast. Once again, not full outlines all over the dress, but just tiny lines where the shadow is stronger. Next I'm going to use ink, I'm using the Micron 005 pen to do the eyes. But you could also use paint for this, in fact when I first started painting in watercolors, I was really strict about only using paints and not using ink at all. But since then loosened the rules that I put on myself. Now, I don't mind using black ink here only because the eyes are really tiny. If they were any bigger, I would have used paint, and used paynes gray instead. Now that going to darken this lines, I am adding paint only around the center of this line and not around the ends because I want the ends to be lighter and less permanent. I just noticed that this leg was much lighter than the other one, and so I'm going to darken that a little bit. Then just look around for areas which need a little bit more. I'm doing the balloon strings again with ink because it's just easier, and they're really thin strings. Again, the black won't be over-boring for the painting. From time to time, do hold your painting up and look at it from a distance and squint your eyes to see if all the things that you want popping up are in fact popping up. Now that we finished up paintings, the only thing left to do is take off the tape, cut the paper, and frame our masterpieces. I love this part because it feels like I'm unwrapping a present for myself, and the sharp white edges really make the painting come alive. Now it's time to cut the paper into two, and I found that I also need to cut a little bit extra around the sides of the paintings so that they can fit in a 5 by 7 standard frame easily. Now I'm going to put them in these white frames I bought off Amazon, and it's ready. Congratulations. We've come to the end of our painting project, and I really hope that you learned a lot and you had a lot of fun while doing it. I'm really looking forward to seeing your pictures in the project gallery, so please put them up. Now, I will see you in the final lesson for some parting thoughts and tips. 15. Final Thoughts: I hope you-all had fun. This was my first Skillshare class and I really enjoyed creating it. If you're absolute beginner before you started this class, I hope that I was able to give you a fun day of discovering watercolors. I hope that you will keep exploring this medium further. In my opinion, the only way to find your artistic voice and confidence is by going on creating. Please don't stop now. If you haven't done so already, please post your pictures in the project gallery, and if you share them on Instagram, please tag me at @kavita_rajput. Now, if you have gone through all of my lessons but are still feeling and really intimidated about starting your own projects, please take that first step. I promise you it will bring you joy. There is no right or wrong in the creative process. If you are a beginner, take baby steps, be kind to yourself and start creating. If you keep drawing and practicing and painting, you will find a style that will make you really happy. I'd love to know if you enjoyed this class and if there are any questions that I can answer. Thank you for joining in and I'll see you later.