You can paint. I'll show you how, one gentle step at a time. | Nicola Blakemore | Skillshare

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You can paint. I'll show you how, one gentle step at a time.

teacher avatar Nicola Blakemore, Professional Artist, Teacher and Creative Entrpren

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (37m)
    • 1. A welcome from your tutor, Nicola

    • 2. This is what you will need

    • 3. Start by Making a Frame

    • 4. Let's Start Painting

    • 5. Paint What comes into Your Head

    • 6. Start colour mixing by making green

    • 7. Start the apple

    • 8. Stage 2

    • 9. Stage 3

    • 10. Let's look at some brushes

    • 11. Let's look at watercolour paper

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About This Class

Learn that painting with watercolours isn't hard?  RELAX and PLAY and gain the CONFIDENCE to start to paint.

Many people would like to make art by painting, but many don't even try in their adult years because they 'believe' that they don't have a talent, don't know any technical stuff and more likely than not, somewhere along the line somebody told them they weren't any good at it !

So this created a belief which has limited them from enjoying a fun, enlightening, soothing and expressive creative pursuit.

Get ready to change that belief and enjoy painting for it's own sake through this non threatening and friendly 'play - cedure'.

With no one looking over your shoulder and no expectations you will find you are learning through play and gaining the confidence to do more. Most of all just enjoy doing it.

Please read the attached PDF where I explain more about how and why I have created these classes.

Enjoy your painting Nicola


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Nicola Blakemore

Professional Artist, Teacher and Creative Entrpren


Why choose one of my courses?

Because, as a self taught artist I understand how a lot of people feel about their creative work, sometimes anxious, sometimes overwhelmed and often that it's not 'good enough'.

Well I will hold your hand as you overcome these fears as I offer a friendly, relaxed and sensitive teaching style.

Do one of my courses and you will feel as if I am in the room with you every step of the way.

Here's a bit about me.

I originally trained as a graphic artist, and then followed a different career path working in the national media, travel and public relations in both London and Paris.

After sometime I returned to my creative roots full time, so to speak, and became a full time artist, teacher and creative entrepreneur.

T... See full profile

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1. A welcome from your tutor, Nicola: Hello on a really warm welcome to all of you out there who have decided You want to learn to paint for those of you who think you can't paint for those of you who are probably told that you have no talent tool for those of you probably got all the game. I have no idea. For those of you have probably given it a go. But all the teacher didn't help you very much. And everybody else seemed better than you. Eso for all of you out there, All of you slightly battered artists. Welcome to this beginner's class with me, Nicholas. I'm gonna take you very gently by the hand through a learning process that will help you get started painting. Now, it may be that over the years you have got more and more convinced that you couldn't do this. And you've built up this limiting belief that stops you from either starting. Well, I'm gonna get you started on the best way to learn anything is through play. And that's exactly what you're going to do. You're just gonna play with your paints for a while? Get used to them, see how they work. See how they mix and play together on the paper and things like that. So no nerves, please, no or can't do it. I just want you to have no expectations. What so ever? So go find those paints, papers and brushes on Let's have some fun. 2. This is what you will need: let me take you through the materials and equipment you're going to need for doing this beginner's course I am assuming that you are all starting from scratch on. Therefore, you're going to be either looking around the house for an old paint box or going out and buying something. So I kept the materials and equipment to the bare minimum. Please be guided by budget. You'll need a little sketch pad. It's size is up to you. It could be bigger. I would suggest double that size just to get you started because of the way we're going to be working. We're going to use just a pen to begin with for making marks so you could get a nice felt. Or you could even use a pyro if you wish. That's entirely up to you. Later, Ron. Through this course, you will be working in pencil, so the pencil I recommend is called a two day up here Pencils. The middle range of a pencil is an HB. If you go harder, they go into a church, and if you go softer, they are called be pencils. All that means is that the softer the pencil, the mawr lead and less graphite. So for this purpose, you want to go for something that's fairly solved. Okay, so that's your pencil. You will also need something. Put raising your pencil marks on this is called an art razor. Get it out the box to show you These are very good because they are very soft. You can actually sort of mold it. Okay, so that's great. If you're working on something and you want to really get into a tiny area so that is the arrays that you are looking for. Don't use the usual white once that you could get a school. They can leave pencil marks quite often. Your paint box. If you are buying a paint box again, be governed by the budget. What you can afford on when they come, you will find that usually they are beautifully wrapped and labeled in cellophane. It'll rest of it. But make sure that you have looked at side to see if the name is printed off because sometimes printed on rather, sometimes they are printed there. So if you re part along the wrappings on, throw them away, you don't know what your colors are. So you need to remember what your colors are, so I always suggests when you haven't you paint box is that you cut a little piece of paper . Your water killer pape. Other on. Do you paint a little bit of each color on right the name. It's also very good exercise because the colors you see are some of them look a bit grubby . Course this box is being used, but the color in the palm we call this a pan is often nothing like it is. When it's on the paper, you can get your watercolor paints in tubes or in pounds like this. For an absolute beginner, I would suggest just a little box. Also, look carefully at your box because you might find that it actually sort of bits. Come out so you can extend it and make a bigger palette. Beauty. Make sure your colors in. Okay, so that's the paint box. Decide side of things. Paintbrushes. Well, they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. You have these natural ones, some of squirrel, some disable. A lot are a synthetic, so a synthetic is quite good because they are less expensive. What you don't want for water paints is a bristle on. They're too hard to rough something like this. The idea is to hold the water and hold the paint. So you want a nice soft paintbrush. Hold it before you buy it on and make sure it feels comfortable. And I would suggest something round about a size six. For this course, you will also need on old paintbrush to jam jars for water. Want. Wash your brush in on one for clean water to mix your paints, so I hope that helps you sorting out your materials. I will add mawr Aziz. The course goes on about any extra things you might require, so be governed by budget. You need paintbrushes that are soft and will hold the water. You need a soft pencil on. Finally, the paper watercolor paper. This is very stiff. It's 130 grams. 300 grounds of ports. Andi. It's a very stiff paper. So you're looking for if you can, 300 grounds would be good, because the more you paint, the more you might use water. You might use your colors wetter. It just depends on the style you develop, so you want something that isn't going to fall to pieces after a few, Um, apply applications of paint with your brush. If you have any questions whatsoever, please ask me. 3. Start by Making a Frame: So here we go. You've got your postcard shaped piece of watercolor paper and you can take your black felt tip for you by row first. And you're just gonna make some shapes. You're gonna start off. Let's put or dsp faint isn't. Let's put a little frame around. It doesn't have to be exact. See how wobbly it is? That's fine. Now, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna make some shapes inside it. Whatever comes to your head. Oh, I think I have a triangle there. And while I'm on that mood, I love that we'll have another triangle. What will go that way. Okay, so now I've started to get annoyed Idea We'll have Let's have something sort of that shape . It really doesn't matter. It's entirely up to you. This is the nice thing about this. You are just playing. That's all you are doing. You are playing when you're starting off with the shapes. Uh oh, do that one. That, and we'll have an oblong there. So there you go. You've got your little postcard shape with you shapes within it, and we're going to start coloring those in 4. Let's Start Painting: now you can choose whatever colors you like. It's entirely up to you. Here's my little paint box I've got here. You probably got something similar. If not, it doesn't matter. Andi, I'm going to go. Starting off just that end with the yellow, the first yellow there. And I'm just coloring it in, and I'm doing it very roughly. Prince. In my brush on now, I fun see a bright green. Just have fun playing. It doesn't matter if you go over the marks the pen marks that you've made, it doesn't matter at all. Uh, now what? I'm just literally going where the mood takes may. There's no plan. There's no color scheme. Nothing. Tool. Just have fun. This is where we're going to start. Okay, Now I'm going to leave that one blank because we're going to do some other marks within it . So I'm going to leave that on now. I'm going to go to consider it for this shape that looks a bit like him. A capital I or a capital age. Depending which way you look at it. I'm going to leave that one blank, and then I'm going to go for another yellow This is the next yellow along in my palette, slightly different color than one's quite lemony. But this one it's a strong the yellow. But also I probably got a bit more paint on my brush again. It doesn't matter. Doesn't matter how thick your paint is, how runny it is. It's just for fun. Here's into the green. This is a less bright green. This morals looks more like a natural green doesn't. So I'm going to cover that one in there. Um, that one there, let's go to the blue again. So that sort of all explosion there. And I think I'll have what shall have let's have this sort of burnt orangey color on, and I want to go to I want to go to Brit. You see, I'm not having any plan at all. I'm just literally going to what suits me where my brush takes may. So there we are. You're starting place. Okay, so I'm gonna let that dry off a minute, and then we're going to come back to it. 5. Paint What comes into Your Head: right. Those have dried off quite a bit enough for the next stage. I'm going back to the first square on I'm using the same color recited before, and I'm just going to put half of it with the same color and see how much dark Ritter's I always think working watercolors is great Phones like stained glass window, one layer on top of another. Andi. It just gets darker and darker, and I'm going to take the same color again, and I'm going to put over half of the orange, see how it's changed it quite a bit under going to use the same yellow again. I'm gonna paint half of that there, so all you have to play and just getting used to you paints you also actually learning a little bit of back colors and color mixing. I'm going to the red now into that, either Capital I or H who look at that lovely color, same color. Just dip my brush in the water and in the paint and put in outline around there. The nice thing about doing these little postcards, there's no pressure. There's no expectation. He literally just having fun playing. Let's go to that triangle there, and I'm gonna use the same color, which was that sort of burnt orangey brown. And I have done that. Yeah, that's good on then. What shall I do now? The the blue one up there. Let's do the same with that one. But let's go across instead. I'm just the food without still got that. Blew my brush. Woo gone over. Thought yellow there in just a bit of the yellow coming through. Andi. Well, with that go over that red. Okay, on with the bright green that we use, they're the same color. Just do half of the triangle. So we're gonna start getting some shapes now. Okay. Let's, like, Let that dry off again on will come back to it in a minute. 6. Start colour mixing by making green: now without thinking about it. You've already being mixing some colors in your previously composed cards, where you've been overlapping, getting darker shades of the same of the same color like that green there oranges, yellows and greens. So you'll be mixing without realizing it. But now we're actually going to go on to mixing some greens. Now I have two yellows in my box, that one and that one on I have to lose. So I'm going to call those one in to basically. So what I'm going to do is take a bit of yellow Number one, put it in my little lid there no brings my brush, take a little bit of the blue. Always take the dark to the light, because if you start off with blue and you get some yellow win and it's too dark, you'll be adding yellow forever. Okay, so that's the That's the one shade of green bit visible, wishy washy. We can add some more on if we want to. That's made with the yellow number one and the blue number one. Now I'm gonna take the same yellow, and I'm going around the second Blue a bit too much blue there, sir. See what I mean? You could write a lot more yellow. There's a big difference. Okay, then I'm gonna take my second yellow. It's just wipe that out there. So text my yellow number two all that's a lot right recently, Andi flu number one. Just a little bit. See, It's quite a stronger color, but all still in the same sort of shade. Now I'm going to take yellow number two on a bit of blue number two. So, really, you can see that is the yellow that's making the difference there More than anything, there's the green from our paint box, which is the nearest natural sort of green. And if we take yellow number one, mix it with that. Get a nice bright line game on. What you can do is you can keep adding your colors on top so you could keep building that up. Yellow number one on blue number warm that is a bit more blue. Then we get a really dark sort of evergreen fir tree sort of green. And if we had a bit more yet a number two two blue number to that one, it was quite a lobotomy green, so you can see you can start to get all sorts of different effects in different shades with your paints. Just mixing How that's yellow number. What I think. Number two. He's just make her around there. It doesn't matter if that colors there was a lot. And then let's have a bit of that. The yellow, the two mixed with a bit of green. So already you're starting to learn about kind of mixing and just playing around with colors. And you can have fun. Good fun doing that. See how the water has pushed the pigment? Because the paper is textured, it's pushed the pigment. Barrett. It's rather interesting. I'm gonna mix some more of that yellow number one with blue number one. Oops. That's why you start off with pale color first. That's just put a bit more. Now you're starting to make the object. Look around. We'll do the same. I have here a bit more color, same color on top from the game with this one same color on top. So it just gets a bit darker, and by doing that, you're starting to make your objects look around. Nights will let that dry and we'll go to the next stage 7. Start the apple: I'm not going to show you how to do the apple. You've seen the photograph of it. You've seen how I've broken it down into sections on. Now I'm going to do it on the Post Guard for you to show you how I'm going to go about it. We're going to be painting the apple with paint, but we're going to do the shading with the pen, So I'm going to start off by putting the stem in because that sticks above the apple itself . And if I looked a bit of a funny angle is because of where the camera is. There's There's also a little dip round where the stem goes into the apple and through to the cork, and then I'm going to do the apple itself. Try and get a reasonable shape you longer and join up there. There you go. There's your apple. Sorry about the strong shadows. It's the light of the modes of it. Tricky. I'm not going to put the shadow where you're in which, if you look again at the third graf goes something like that. Okay, so that's our first step. Now I've mixed a green. If you go back to our greens. You Maybe you made a little chart. I haven't decided, in fact, that I'm going to make a green up out of number one yellow on the green that I have. Which is that green? Which thank you. Me, That nice sort of limey green for my apple. You can always hold up a bit of dab, a bit of paint onto paper first. I always do that before I go straight to my painting, and you can actually put it next to the object if need be. If you look for a minute, though, these three circles are made with the different shades of green. I did the's in preparation for the apple because you could see on this one particularly how I just put more and more paint of the same mixture onto that one there and see how it actually looks as if it's curved. I did the same with that one, so you got a deeper color there, and some of this one here is bled through into that because, you know it was wet and it just runs across the paper. So that's OK, but can you see already? You're starting to get a shape. So we go to do that sort of thing here. I'm just going to port minute so I can get the lighting a little better. 8. Stage 2: Well, I hope you can see that. Okay. Right. I've mixed my green color on. What I'm going to do is put some water. Just put some water trying to the whole of the that poll area for now. Don't worry, just do it. It's fine. Then pick up some of my paint and then just drop it in. You see, if you put Wall Trump first, it helps it to run around a little bit. A lot of people want to control water colors, and in a way, it's a pity, because you have much more fun if you don't. Right. Okay, so there we go. That's all. First first stage. It's all right. Okay. Now what I'm going to do is at a bit more green to the color of already mixed to make it a bit darker. So now the green will look a bit more like that. I'm gonna put a little bit flood. You just keep referring back to the photograph. Remember the line drawing that I did to show you where the highlight Waas and the Shadow Well, the highlight is the So you see all after is double parked with a piece of absorbent paper about the bit of paint leaving the white? No, with that dark, agree enough. Just mixed. I'm going around up there because again, if you look at the line drawing, you'll see that I designated this area was being a bit darker because the light is coming from that direction. See you starting to get the shape already, even though we've drawn a line around it. That's OK, you know, later on, as you as you get proficient, you probably won't need to have added a bit more green again just to get that dark, dark side there because of the light. Spit is in shadow. Okay, now just release my brush up a little bit and I just want to soften that edge because the highlight it sort of very gentle on the apple, Cajun's on harsh line. And then I'm also going to because the apple has these sort of little blemishes little white spots on them. I'm just going to tap in places. Excuse me, cack handed because of the position of the camera time. So there you got those. And again we can just soften those off a little bit. Just much. The Milica bit, so they're not so defined now. That's last starting to look really good. I got more of my grieve again. I hope you've mixed enough. And I'm going in even darker up there because that's where it dips in to the stork on. We'll do some more work on that in a bit. And also round here much dark. Right? I'm going to leave that for a minute to dry off. 9. Stage 3: So there we have it. Your apple. While that was drying off, I just put a bit more pen marks under here because with the light coming from that way, the shadows there and this is the darkest because the light isn't reaching it. See how the shadow, the darker areas working on that Andi on that, and the little dimple where the story goes in on the little shadow. And I've just taken a double brown paint to do the stork and you see just by playing with water and with the paint dubbing bits out, you can create quite an interesting effect in front. That's really rather good. It's just an apple, but it's one that you've painted, and I hope your turns out well as well. Three Shadow could have done it with a bit more work on this. I was working a bit, are trying to get around the camera eso that could have been tired here, but you get the idea of not doing everything with paying too fat. You're working with mixed media A to this stage, but it works on, and I hope you've enjoyed doing it. There's an extra supplementary lesson at the end doing something similar with yellow pepper . If you want to crack on and just keep practicing any old bit of vegetables and fruits really good, because they're nice. Easy shapes on Do you can learn a lot from those. So there you go. Congratulations. I hope you've got a nice apple. 10. Let's look at some brushes: Oops. Okay, let's have a little chat about brushes. But as you can probably imagine, like watercolor paper, there's a really big choice out there of what you can use. There are many, many makes, and they are all different shapes and sizes on some of them are made off natural fibers such a squirrel hair or sable, badger or hog's hair. Ah, but watercolor brushes are also made of synthetic fibers, which are perfectly good. I use a lot of them myself, so they do tend to be less expensive. So that's probably a good starting point for you now what you need, really. I think you could start with two. Maybe three would be good on. What you're looking for is something like this one, which I call a chisel brush. Some people call it a flat brush on the thing with this, it covers a big area quickly. So if you want to wet your paper before you apply your wash, that's the chap to use. Okay, I mean, you wouldn't paint a wall in a room with a one inch brush, would you know? So we choose the brush for the job. This also gives you some nice effects, which I will go into later on in more detail in my course. So this one is a number 10 chisel, Brooke. So that's one that I would recommend you get something like that. Okay, Now, the next one, this is a round head or a point or a mop on. This also is a number 10. So let me just show you how it could work. Now it has quite a nice point on it. So when you're getting started, it's important to practice with your brushes on. Also, when you're buying them, hold them and see what they feel like. Now, this brush can give me quite a few marked it. Give me quite a fine line. But if I press down, it gives me as they climb. Now notice where I'm holding this brush. I'm holding it right down the bottom by the feral, as if I was writing with a pen on. This is because I've got more control over it now. If I wanted to do some natural shapes like tree trunks or something, then I probably hold it up here on. Let it just sort of wiggle around a little bit more easily on the paper. So learning how toe hold your brushes on how to use them is really quite a n'importe thing . So you hold it further down there for more control and further up here, if you want less control, the other brush you might want to consider is a fine a point. Remember that brushes get finer as the number gets smaller. This is a number two on again. It's a synthetic brush on. This one will get me some very fine lines for those of you who want to go in detail. And also I can whips, I compress it dying. I get more with on it. So there are three brushes for you to consider their all synthetic. You've got a chisel brush. You got a round brush on another round spina brush, the smaller the number of smaller the brush on these are synthetics, and also the way you hold your brush is very important. So I hope that helps you cut through the wealth of the range. Out there on this will get you started with your pain 11. Let's look at watercolour paper: Let's talk a little bit about paper that you're going to be painting on. You need watercolor paper on. That is because the whole point of painting with watercolors, if you do tend to use ah lot of water. Now, I'm just gonna do a quick demonstration to explain what I mean. This is the sort of paper you would put through your printer. Okay? And if I start painting on that for any length of time, it's not gonna absorb anything. And it's just going to go all said, and it will come through the other side. See, it's starting to wrinkle already, because can you see that Starting to gold probably like that on Dhere is a piece off sketch paper, sketchbook, paper and again, if you go in there and start adding water doing anything else, that too will not take the water. Can you see how that has really sort of wrinkled? And that is starting to do the same. So what you need is a heavy weight paper. Now don't get bogged down with the detail. There are simply hundreds of different makes all different weights, all different colors on the market. You can get um in bright white like that, or a creamy color, and you could get some heavily textured like that for smoother like that. Lots and lots of different weights and colors on that one is a botanical ultra smooth because the botanical bank painting you want the color of the background to be really bright. You can also get a variety of hand made papers on Looked at these goodness. These are from a supplier I use in England. Sometimes Jackson's Now that is 100 and £40 30 chunky that is £200. Can you see? There's hardly any bend in that, and that is £560. I can hardly bend that a tool. So a lot of different papers out there. What you are looking for as a beginner is to get something which is 300 grams or £140. Now that relates to the weight of the paper. It relates to the thickness of it and the durability. Don't worry about the make of this stage. I think when you're starting your more concerned about budget than the finer points of papers paints, so don't get too hung up about it. I would suggest you get a least in a full size Andi that will give you a good sort of area to work on a full size being. Theo. Usual printing paper size. Okay, on you can get blocks of it where the edge is all sealed ground there with blue. So what you do is that you paint on your picture, you're your paper, so it's all nicely sealed down on. Then when you finished, you peel the layers off the block. Now, out of the three things paints, paper and brushes Personally, I would say the paper is the most important issue. It doesn't matter how good you paints are. How much is skills are. If you paper isn't strong enough to withstand the work you want to do, it's going to cockle on. It'll spoil it. So if you're going to splash out anywhere, I would suggest you do it with your paper. So that has given you a little insight. You see, that's starting to go or gooey now. And you just caught. See, I heard that explains the point of why you have strong, thick paper. So I hope that helps you understand a little bit more about the paper side of things. If you have any questions, of course. Just asked me, and I'm here to help you.