3 Watercolor Secrets: Create Your Best Watercolor Yet | Ron Mulvey✏️ | Skillshare

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3 Watercolor Secrets: Create Your Best Watercolor Yet

teacher avatar Ron Mulvey✏️, Artist / Art Teacher

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

    • 1.

      3 Watercoloring Secrets Revealed


    • 2.

      Great Materials Make Great Pictures


    • 3.

      How The 3 Secrets Work


    • 4.

      Playing In Paint Puddles


    • 5.

      Drawing Evergreens


    • 6.

      Misty Morning Pine


    • 7.

      Adding Glow To Your Watercolor


    • 8.

      Easy As One Two TREE


    • 9.

      Drawing The Birch Tree


    • 10.

      Transferring Your Drawing


    • 11.

      The Magic Of The 3 Secrets


    • 12.

      Adding Color Texture And Shine


    • 13.

      Sponging And Grass Stroke


    • 14.

      Final Polish For Birch


    • 15.

      Draw And Paint Your Cityscape


    • 16.

      3 Secrets Last Stroke


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About This Class


Learn three secrets that will add confidence to your watercoloring technique then create your first or best yet watercolors with Ron Mulvey, a professional artist, and respected teacher who has taught more than 100,000 students of all ages worldwide in live classes and online over the past 30 years.

Ron's  passion for teaching watercolors on Skillshare has opened creative pathways for an even wider student body. Join Ron in this class and discover the simplicity and effectiveness of WATERCOLORING

Secret #1 WET  (Find out why water is your best friend)

Secret #2  DRY ( All about soft and hard edges )

Secret #3 WATCH MORE PAINT LESS   (Step Back and let the magic happen. Let Your Brush Do The Work And You Take The Credit)

Whether you’re new to Watercoloring or a long-time Aquarellist this class will help you dive deeper, get more out of your materials, and take your work to the next level.


You will be discovering ONE TWO TREE (yes you read it correctly TREE as in trunks and limbs and leaves)  in this class. The three secrets will be revealed in our leafy and needly friends first and then you will 'branch' out into a few more fun watercolouring projects. 

VERY, VERY,  CLOSE UP OF OUR PINE TREE. All About soft edges in this 'Misty Morning Pine'.

Our First Cityscape is made easy with a few 'construction tips' and use of the 3 secrets,

Begin Your  Adventure Into Creative  Watercoloring with the 3 Secrets and discover all you need to know about Watercoloring. 

  • Materials that bring you success and don't cost a fortune
  • How to prepare your materials and get set up
  • The three ways water can make your painting glow
  • How to let your brush do all the work and you get the credit
  • Gain core design skills that you can use with every watercoloring  project.
  • How to find your artistic confidence and enjoy your watercoloring journey

 Let Ron lead you step by step as you get a secure hold on the techniques and principles of watercoloring. Throughout the class, Ron emphasizes the benefits and techniques of simplifying your subject matter in order to create the sparkle and glow that only watercolors can achieve.

 It's a perfect class for everyone who wants to be inspired by someone who loves to paint and loves to teach.

Want more tips? Take some of Ron's  other techniques-based classes: Begin Creative Watercoloring  -  Watercolor Essentials

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Ron Mulvey✏️

Artist / Art Teacher


I've been working as a full-time artist since 1980. I have had the pleasure of teaching art since 1983 and have taught thousands of classes on drawing and painting. I would consider it a privilege to assist you in achieving your artistic goals.

I have taught the basic and advanced mechanics and principles which give us the skill and confidence to express creatively, for the past 30 years. Sharing them is my passion! 

What Do I Like Teaching?

Watercolors and Acrylic are my specialty. I work with oils also but not as often as the water based mediums.

I love trees, mountains, rocks, water, flowers, and all that nature has to offer. Getting out into nature always gives me a creative boost. You get the real energy and feeling of space and belonging.See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. 3 Watercoloring Secrets Revealed: [MUSIC] Ron Movie here and welcome to the three secrets. The first secret is about the nature of water. By its very nature, water does three things; it runs downhill, it puddles, and it soaks. [MUSIC] What does this first secret reveal to us? If we understand it, it will reveal to us that water does most of the work in a watercolor. Here's our second secret, water creates soft edges. What does that reveal to you? That secret reveals that if you don't have a lot of water, you're going to have a hard edge, and art is about hard edges and soft edges. Those are the two qualities of edges. When we see things, they're covered with edges. The edges of my hands, the outline, are they soft? Are they hard? The edges of a clipboard, is it hard edged or soft edge? The edges of hair? Soft or hard? Clothes, soft or hard? No matter what you're looking at, whether it's representational art or abstract art or illustrative art, it's going to have two kinds of edges, soft and hard. Water creates soft edges. Therefore, less water creates a hard edge. Now, the most important secret is coming up. Number three, this is the biggest and the best kept water coloring secret. Watch more, paint less. I'm going to give it a swipe and get it in behind here. See wiggle, swipe. That was bold, watch it. Don't judge it, don't panic, watch it for a second. Some great stuff happening here. This third secret reveal to us? It reveals to us that the very nature of water coloring is that water coloring is a spectator sport. We are the spectators and the water colors like to do all the work and all the playing around. You need to step back from your work and watch what's happening with secrets one, two and three. Wet, dry, watch. Whether this is your first painting or your 100th or 1000th painting, these three secrets will definitely help you. Watercolors are natural, spontaneous, creative agents. If you work them wet and dry and you stand back and watch them, you can take all the credit and they can do all the work. Let's get started. 2. Great Materials Make Great Pictures: A quick overview of what you could use if you were doing water coloring. Essential, some color, some water, and even just one brush. I've done many paintings with water, color, paper, palette, and one brush. In this class. I will probably be using this, right here. That's my favorite, it's a squirrel hair brush. Now there's 1, 2, 3, 4 brushes here, any of these will work. Anything from a number, say 10 or 12, down to about an eight. Between eight and 12, round brush, and the reason it's a round brush is because the brush is actually round, goes round. I always like one fine brush. This is a sable brush, this is just an inexpensive box store brush, maybe it cost $3 and it works just fine for fine details. Now, you can use tube colors. I always like two reds. An alizarin red, or we call it crimson, and a cadmium red. You can also go with quinacridone or not full, there's lots of different reds. But get a dark, deep crimson red, and then a bright, well, I hate to say, but a Coca Cola red, or farmers tractor red. Then for the blues, there are about five blues, but I'd like to use theilocine blue because it stains well, and ultra marine blue because it makes very good grays if you need gray. There's cobalt blue, and there's azure blue, and civilian blue, but these are the two blues that I like to use at this point, teaching because they're easier to use. Then we have our yellows. There are so many yellows. You can use a cadmium light yellow, you can use a Hansa yellow, you can even use yellow ocher, which is over here in my little tray here. That's yellow ocher, although it doesn't look very bright, it's a good yellow. It doesn't make the high key greens that this yellow does. Another one is Nickel yellow, or Nickel AZO Yellow, and AZO yellow. Lots of yellows up there for today. Get a bright yellow, some nice clean pure blues, and a few reds. Now, these are tube colors and they squeeze out here, and they're very squishy. They blend well for putting on very thickly and letting the water disperse them. But you can also use the tray colors here. Just make sure you give them a little squirt and moisten them up before you start, and they'll work really well. Moving on, we have our essential brushes review, our tube colors, and our cake pan colors. Now over here, we have some sharpies; permanent pens, pens that don't bleed when you add water to it. A common office pencil works great, that's an HB. It's not too hard, it's not too soft. Or you can get a German Staedtler, are little softer. Any pencil that you feel comfortable with. Here we go. Let's go see what else we have here. Over here, we have a razor blade, very handy. Sharpen your pencil, if you can't find a sharpener, it cuts paper and scrapes the paper, if we need some white highlights. Today, we are going to use a sponge to get foliage on a tree. Gets some texture with a sponge. That's our new instrument. Right over here, on the side, we have a selection of big brushes. Now, big brushes are great if you need to get big things done. It would be very difficult to use a very small brush to do a sky when you could do it with one or two swipes of these brushes. We have an unusual brush here for some people, and not for others. This is an Asian brush. We're going to do a little bit of that today. They come in all different sizes. I love these brushes. They're made of goat hair and they don't hurt the goats. This is a Picasso brush also. It's a new one they've put out. I like it, it's about $9. You get it at a paint store, it's called the Picasso brush. This would cost you about $150-200 if it was a real fine art brush, great brush. Squirrel hair, but it's synthetic. Look for synthetic squirrel hair brushes, wonderful brushes. Here, we just have a synthetic flat brush, which I've had for like 10 years. It's Robert Simons, very good quality for about $12. Green painter's tape. Wonderful for taping the paper. That's how I got this nice clean edge here. We tape it, we painted, and removed the tape, gives you a very good presentation. That's the painter tape and it's not acidic. Last but not least, for the materials, except for the paper, is an eraser. Do get a good vinyl or white eraser. Erasers are for getting results. They help us draw. They do not, I repeat, they do not get rid of mistakes because there are no mistakes in art. Whenever you use your eraser, make sure you're using it to its best advantage, to help you draw. We will find out about that. Here we are. Four brushes, one pencil, one fine sharpie, and one when extra fine sharpie, and one fine sharpie, water to rinse, water to mix some colors. I like to keep this handy just in case I need it, the razor blade, never know. Sponge, maybe not yet, but in one of the projects. The tape, and our three secrets, wet, dry, watch. Wet, dry, watch, and it all depends on the water. These three and water. Let's put the secrets to work now. Here we go with our first project, which is going to be painting the tree. 3. How The 3 Secrets Work: Underestimate the process of wet, dry and watch. This is ultramarine. I'm going to stick with the ultramarine to start with and watch me take my brush up just learning about wet and dry. On the card stock, I will give a little swipe on the 90 pound dry paper a little swipe loaded up again, on the mat board a little swipe, on the sumi paper, a swipe. That one really soaked in immediately. On the 140 pound watercolor paper, a swipe. Now, you see the paints getting what we call little dry. I'll just give another swipe. Each of these looks fairly much the same except card stock, it's a little darker, that's wet and dry. Wet paint on dry paper. Here's the dry brush. Now, I'm going to use this paper right here, and I'm going to show you how to get to a dry brush stage. Popping the brush on like this, it's called stippling. As you move across on the 140 pound paper, the brush is getting drier and drier. It creates texture for bark, for grass, for hair and that's called dry brush. At the end, you can actually just stroke it like that and you'll get a beautiful texture for say, a fir tree or pine tree. As the brush gets drier and drier, remember wet, dry, watch. As the brush gets drier, it gets scratch here and creates hard edges great for foliage in pine trees, textures on brick, pavement, stone, and look. What's happening here? The paint is drying, it's just scumbling. This is called scumbling. Over the top of the paper and it isn't getting under the into the paper. There we go and do that whole side of the paper with this dry brush technique. Now, the dry brush technique works on the sumi paper also, here is the semi paper, let me find the edge there it is. Let's try the dry brush technique on the sumi paper. This time, rather than putting it all over the paper, I'm going to just get rid of some of the paper here and touch it to my paper towel. Let the paper towels soak up, here we go. Let's try it on here. See what happens. Notice how it's a little quicker to lose all the paint. Of course, I didn't do this but, nevertheless, this is definitely love. Look it's gone. Let's do a full one on that. Let's not empty it into the towel. We're experimenting with wet and dry. Now, we have a fully loaded brush we didn't touch it to here. I'm going to put that above it a bit. See what happens, my goodness. Look at how that soaks in. Look, it's that paper has sucked all the moisture out of the brush very quickly. Look at that, didn't take any time at all to do that. Will that do it on this paper? Let's see. There's the full, we just sit there for a minute, and notice we're puddling here. See the puddle, it's puddling. I'm probably going to go much further than the sumi paper before my brush runs out of paint. I'm still laying on top a very thin layer of the blue. I got all the way to the edge did not work here, that's sumi paper, gets a great results with it. Let's move on to another paper and see what happens to it not sized. That means that it's going to react like the sumi paper which doesn't have sizing alum. The sizing is alum and that's what prevents the paint from going into the paper too quickly. That's what we like about watercolor paper, the traditional Western ones. Here we go. We're doing the same as the sumi. You'll see it's still puddles. It's not quite as receptive or it's not quite as absorbent as the sumi paper, but you'll see that it's still goes across for quite a while. But we do have a puddle. We're going to talk about puddling. Remember, it's one of the secrets and one of the qualities of water it runs downhill. We haven't even done that. All we're doing right now is seeing what happens with wet paint and dry paper. We're going to move to the 90 pound paper and that's nice too, it puddles a bit and it reacts very much like the 140 pound paper. There's is a puddle. The card stock is going to be like the sumi paper and the mat board because it's not size. Here comes the card stock. It probably won't puddle because card stock has a coating on the outside, it's shiny. Look, it's responding very much like the watercolor paper. There we go. That's the coating on it. Definitely different results. Next, we are going to see what happens when we tilt the paper. These are dry and I'm going to be putting yellow over them. I'm going to take a little bit of the yellow, and I'm going to thin it down right besides the Hansa yellow. Now, I'm going to tilt, water runs downhill. If I don't tilt the paper, it won't run downhill. Here we go. I'm going to go over the dry blue here, and there's no water to run. What do I do? I need a little more water. Wet water will not run unless it's has water runs downhill, so you need enough water to get it running. We'll put a little more on there. I'm starting to get a puddle now. Just tapping it. I don't know if you can see the puddle. I can show you what happens when I touch it. See the puddle keeps following because of gravity. You want to have a puddle all the time if you're doing a wash. You can really see the puddle now. There was a little bit of blue, now my yellow has become what we call solid. I'm going to take some clean yellow put it here. There we go. That's a little cleaner then I take some pure water. Hey, I got some blue in this brush. Watch what happens here? Now you tilt it because water runs downhill. Oh, it's wet. Did you see what happened? As soon as the color hit the wet yellow, it went downhill. Well, water runs downhill this way too. So you see that the paint is doing its job and I'm watching, I am watching now. I wet it, it went on to the dry paper and now I'm watching it. This is where having a few different brushes so you don't sally up your colors. Is the paper's still wet? Yes. How do I tell? If I look at it on an angle, it's shiny. Now I can drop in. It's still creating a soft edge, see, soft edges. Why? The paper's wet. I'm watching now. I'm going to come at the wet area from the dry paper here. Look, I'm getting a hard edge right here. All along the outside, I'm getting a hard edge because the paper's dry here and wet here, so if I put it in the wet part, it will disperse and mix, as long as I watch it. If I fiddle with it, I can lose the beautiful variety of mingling that it will do. I could encourage it by blowing, which creates even a softer edge. Now, because this edge is hard up here, I'm going to come at it with some water, so I need to clean my brush off very well, so it's clean. I only have a little jar of water here, usually I would have a huge thing of water because I don't want to get up and change, but this is going to work. Now I'm going to run water along the edge, and you'll see that because it's not totally dry, the paint, the water will soften the edge. Clean my brush again, and I'll try from this side, see hard edge. I might want a hard edge in my painting, but I'm just showing you that the water softens the edge. You're going to be very gentle with it, and you only have to put the water on once you don't have to rub it. Rubbing a water color, it's not the best thing you can do. Unless you want a certain effect. By softening the paint here, watching is the most important thing. Why do I say that? I'll tell you why. Because I'm starting to see a tree here. I didn't start out with that idea. I just started out with technique, learning about wet, dry, watch. Now that I'm watching and I see something, I can do something. I want to mix because I've have tree in my mind now, I'm thinking tree. I'm thinking strong, this is wet. As long as it's wet, it will do something. Now it's getting dry up here, I can feel it. Let's see what happens when all it's getting dryer, that means it's spreading less. It's actually quite dry up there, but it's still wet here. How wet is it? Let's pull this stroke into the dry paper and see what happens. I'll push it down and I'll flick it. You see the edge here is dry and hard. I'm just going to go up and down like this, pointed up a little this time, and right to the end of my paper. See how when it hits the dry part, it takes a different quality. It gets hard edged. If I want that, I leave it. If I want to soften the edge, I'll be very careful because this thylacine likes to spread. Wow look at that. That's a big spread there. I like that hard edge, I might leave that hard edge here with the paper. I think I'll soften underneath all the edges but leave the tops hard. I'm leaving the top edge hard and then bottom edges are softened. Good. Now if I want a dark spot here, I clean my brush off, I'll take a little bit of the Alizarin, and rather than mixing the Alizarin to try and get brown, which people think all trunks are brown, they're not, I take that Alizarin, clean my brush. Notice how I put the Alizarin in fairly strong. It was not thin, it was quite strong and they I'll add a little blue into it. See I'm rubbing a little bit into the Alizarin, that will give me at darker color. I'm working with dry all paints, meaning there's less water in the paints. Now I might want to take and add a dark green, so what do I do? Always cleaning my brush see? I take a little bit of the yellow, but less water, wet, dry, and watch. I'm going to use dryer paint, I'm going to add a little bit in here. Notice we've got this bright area behind the tree. We could call this rim lighting. That's when the light is hitting the tree from behind like a sunset. I could put that in here. Now I want a darker green, I could just add blue to it, or I could mix the yellow and the blue, that will give me a secondary color. When you mix two colors, that's okay. Once you get up to mixing three different colors like red, yellow, and blue, then you can get muddy colors. Muddy colors can be disastrous for a watercolor. Look at that color, there's my dark green. Let's what happens. Look at that, I've added a bit of dark green here now. There we go. We've actually done a tree even though I didn't want to or I mean, I didn't intend to, but we did it and we used to wet, dry and watch. 4. Playing In Paint Puddles: Okay, I've turned my papers over and the next thing we need to really learn before we start our first real project is the really wet paper. So we're discovering wet, dry, and watch. The watch part really is important in this one. I've put on four good swipes five of water and I have a puddle, water puddles. Now, I'm not going to let them soak very long, because I want to show you the puddling nature of water and what happens when we add fairly stiff or dry paint, full strength from the tube or rolled around in your cake pans. There's the first one we did there's a huge puddle on there. I'm sure you can see it. Watch what happens. Okay. It's only going to go to the edge of the puddle. Now they all look pretty good. They all have a very magical effect because we're watching, we wet it, we took dryer paint, and we're watching the dry paper on the edges none of them are going past the edge of the dry paint. Now, what's happening here is the paint has done its magic. It's done things we could never imagine. Because it's wet, if you start rubbing at this point, you destroy the magic. That's why we need to watch. Now, we can add to this, but we can't rub it if we want to keep this magic. So if I added a little bit of paint, I have to be careful what kind of paint. Am I going to add thick paint or thin paint? If I add paint with too much water, it's going to do something here that you may not want. So here I'm going to add a medium paint into well, it's already drying here let's add it to the dry part, no spreading see. Already even that little bit of time. Spreading a little more, is very wet here. Okay, as a like a puddle, that's not what you want in a watercolor. So what do we do? It's all puddled. What do we do here? Well, it's drying here you can actually see it drying. If I add water to it, I will create what's called a bleed mark. See? Now if we leave that for a minute, you'll see what happens to that. So this yellow is too thick. It's a thicker color. So hence the yellow, if you want it to be transparent, has to be very thin. Let's see how Alizarin responds to the dry. It's spreading more than the yellow to the not so dry and to the extremely wet puddle. Look at that. Whoa, that is a puddle. You can do if you've got this puddle thing happening. You can clean your brush off. Whoa, it looks like I need to change my water bracing and you can bring that puddle. Whoa, oh my gosh, look at that water does run downhill. So here's where you might think, oh, I'm out of control, not true. Wherever you could hit the soft. Wherever you touch with the brush creates a soft edge. Water will follow wherever you create a wet pathway. Water runs downhill. So these little experiments are great. But in and of themselves, it's really just play day, you have to know why the water does this and when you want to use it to do something. Here's the hard edge. There's still wet here, and it's dry here. Dry here. Okay. If it's dry, I'm going to take some Alizarin crimson with a little bit of water on my brush or to touch it here so that it's not too wet. I'm going to put in a dry stroke in the middle. But I'm going to let it touch the edge. Now I have a hard edge where the white is a soft edge here, and look at that beautiful little. So this is doodle art if you want to call it, its non-representational but you certainly can learn a lot. You don't have to be able to draw a darn thing. You're just learning the principles of wet, dry, and watch. Give this one a real swipe. See? Wet, dry, and watch. If this is wet, I can bring my brush wiggling it. See, wiggling it gets more paint out. Skip a spot, touch the wet, skip a spot, touch the wet oh, it's starting to dry here. That's good. Finish it right off to the bottom here. Just experimenting with wet, dry, and watch. I know it's wet here, is very dry here. It's a little wet here, it's still wet here, so I'm going to put a swipe through here. I haven't used water runs downhill yet. Oh, there we go. I found a little downhill. Now watch I can encourage it with little drops of paint. See, water runs downhill. Water puddles, and water soaks. I'm not going near here because it's drying. But if I did, I would know what happens and I'll tell you what's going to happen. If I take some blue and I come up to this little wet area right here. Let me turn it around. It's wet here, it's wet here, but it's dry right here. So if I add a little bit here, it's going to make what's called a bleed mark. Then watch, see where the dry paper is? See that? There's a great watercolor artist called Wassily Kandinsky, and this is what he did in a lot of his watercolors. He just played with edges and there are two kinds of edges. Dry, hard, wet, soft. I'm going to go a little darker there. My paint now this is the fellow is quite dry. Rub, rub, rub, just a little drop. Now, can you see some puddles on my paper? Because the water's running downhill. Look at the puddles. The yellow has mingled with the blue. When the yellow and the blue reach the red, they formed a gray and you see that gray puddle here. If I want that gray, I have one option which is to have a clean brush, and add water to it, but this is dry. So I think what I'll do is pick up the puddle, dry off the brush, keep letting it run into there because I don't really want gray right now. I want to keep my painting bright and clean. So the yellow went in the blue, formed a secondary color, traveled down here. Those two colors mingled into the red and started making it gray. Let me see if I can, oh, here's another one here happening here. I don't mind this one. I think I will encourage this one with water, soften the edge and there we go. Oh, I see another one, I mean I could spend hours on this just using these principles. Wet, dry, soft edge, hard edge, wet, dry, wet, puddle it, add dry paint it disperses and always watching, watching, watching. Now, let's do a project. 5. Drawing Evergreens: All trees have different growth patterns on their branches. Let's take a pine tree and let's do a very simple drawing of one first, we take the trunk, put a little bit of a ground. It looks like it's in the ground. Now let's look at the pattern of the branches. There's going to be one here, one here, one here. Pine trees are trees that have radiating branches or radial branches. The branches all go in the same place right up the tree and there's always three or four or five depending on how it grew. That's the pattern for getting a pine tree. Now the bottom branches are going to point down and we're pretending there's nothing on the tree. The next ones are going to come out a little more, is still going to point down a bit. The ones right about here just you're only going to see a little bit of that one because it's going to be pointing right at you. The limbs are going to start pointing up because you're under the tree and the perspective will look like this and by the time you're finished, that's what it would look like. The leaves or the needles then attach onto here in different places. If you look at a pine tree, you can figure out exactly what it's going to be by the look of the needles and the branches. We don't need to know the names of trees, but we do have to recognize their growth patterns. That's what makes certain trees look the way they do. There's my pine tree and we're looking up at it. A cedar tree is a frond tree. They have little fronds under my desk, and they attach to the branches. Actually the other side shows two. It's usually darker. That makes it look like it's hanging and that's the shape of Cedar. Great in the winter because the snow covers over these and the snow usually sits on top of the branch and comes down like this and this is a light green. Different types of trees have different types of leaves and different types of needles. Here we go. Let's do some quick little trees. Let's try five different types of trees. Let's try first the evergreen tree. To get the evergreen tree, I want you to practice this trope that goes back and forth like this, it's almost like a wiggle or zigzag. [MUSIC] That's more of an evergreen tree, or we might call it like a fir tree. Another way to do it is just put in the trunk. Then this is like a flicking stroke, which works good for Pine trees. Tamarind trees. See the little flicking. You could do this with a brush. [MUSIC] They're both evergreens. You can add in here. You can start to add the trunk and then maybe a few branches thick enough. Next one, the Hemlock tree, spray little tree. We call it the Parrot Tree here cause it has black spots all over it. The Hemlock tree, see the little strokes I'm using bends at the top. Then I'm doing this sort of a combination of this one and this one, you can do a lot with a pen. There's three evergreen trees. I like to stylize trees myself. I like to kind of sometimes just wiggle strokes them. Make them fanciful. Always putting the center line in. You can come up with your own design for trees. I mean, look at Dr. Seuss. I don't think his trees really exist anywhere, but they're fanciful and illustrative. Those are your evergreen trees. Let's move on. 6. Misty Morning Pine: One of my favorite things to do is to divide the picture up so that you can get two pictures out of it. They don't have to be exactly in the middle but I'm going to put a line through here. I'm going to put two here because eventually we're going to be probably cutting these into two pictures. We want equal white space on each side. Then we just go around the edges with this tape. It's painter's tape, so it has a very low acid and it's not tacky. It doesn't leave a lot of residue on your picture. I like these small pictures because small is easy to handle and you don't need really big tools. There we go. I'll just finish that up. I want to show you our first little evergreen tree and how nicely it's going to fit in here. This is just a quick little sketch. Lots of vertical as you see, a few horizontals, a lone tree, it's going to be misty. We're going to be using our wet paper and some rocks. Let's take a look at this and let's draw this picture and then transfer it onto here. I've gone over it with my pencil. I put it on here, tape it down, and then go over everything with my pencil, just rub everywhere here. All these areas get rubbed. It'll show up on the back side very faintly, which is what I want. I wanted faint, now I have two options. One, let me just show you. Well, let's see it. I could take my pencil if you like pencil work, and you can go over it with your pencil because you're going to be doing this in watercolor. There is our other drawing beside it if we need some help. I even have this one. All these reference material, that's what you want. You can take your time filling it in, use your finger to rub it in. You could spend a fair amount of time just drawing it in pencil. There we go. A couple of these lines going down here just to remind me that the mist is falling down. It's going to be a beautiful misty little drawing. Now that is a simple drawing. I could take my pen, which I like pens, and just add a few marks in here and there. You don't have to do that. You can bold this just a little bit. There we go. Here I can put my name before I finished it. I like it. It's got simple, nice vertical, round, very pleasing shape. I can't wait to paint that one. I got a big jug of water now. We're going to get serious. We're going to take our little picture that we did. We went through the process. I'll put it there for reference. That was the pencil one which we transferred on here. I taped it up with this low tack tape. We're ready to go. Let's get started and take the biggest brush you have. We're going to wet the paper. We're going to use this clean water here just for wetting. I'm not going to use it for cleaning my brush. I have my big squirrel hair brush here, and I'm letting the paper get a good little soak of water. Now, as I'm putting this on, it's the French watercolor paper, the arches. The paper is now becoming wet. It was dry, but now it's wet. It's not puddling, but it's soaking. The water is going down into the paper, and the fibers of the paper are moistening and getting receptive for any moisture. It's like a sponge. Once the sponge is wet, it will only take so much water and then it will be saturated. Why isn't my paper buckling, crinkling? Because it's 140 pound and it's taped. Now anything under 140 pounds, say 90 pounds, it would probably buckle a bit. But if you stay small, as a half sheet, you'll do fine. You can't paint right away. Let it sit for a minute. You can see the big puddle of water there. Tilt the paper a bit and just tap it gently to pick up the big drips. Puddles work sometimes but mostly we want to just tap out the extra water. Water runs downhill. I have my brush here with the blue, and I'm going to just come down with a blue stripe right here. One there. Take a little more. One right over the rocks here for a shadow area, and one more right beside it. Depending on how I tilt my paper, if I tilt it this way, they'll run together. That depends on how wet your paper is. If your paper is really wet, now it's going to run all the way over to the other side and fall down. I can coax that a little bit by putting another swipe right across there, and now it's running downhill. Water runs down hill. One of the attributes of water. You notice I'm watching it now. Let it keep going downhill. I'm actually looking at it from here. I'm going to clean my brush in the big jug and I'm going to keep that tilted. If you have to switch hands, go ahead, because you don't want to pass over your paper with a wet brush, you might drop water on it and ruin the effect. You'll notice that I'm very patient. I've been waiting, and look what it's doing, it's doing all the work for me. All the work is being done. Now I clean my brush and I'm going to take a little bit of the yellow here, not much, and I'm going to sweep it across the bottom. I think I'll do one more sweep here beside the tree. This L-shape there. Now you know when this hits that, it's going to turn into green which is okay, because it could be misty green behind here. Misty green field mountains. But you know what I think I'm going to do, is I'm going to clean this off, again in the big job. I'm still watching, see, I really haven't painted much. I mostly watching, cleaned it off. I'm going to take a little tiny bit of Alizarin crimson. Like very level, see how thin it is, then add little more water to it there. I'm going to sweep it. Look at the green. See the green happening down here, but I'm going to sweep it right in here. When the blue eventually gets to the red or the crimson, it'll turn into a nice violet, and it probably won't sink much more. Something behind the tree. I think a little violet. Violet in here just a bit because it's wet. You see the violet picked up a little bit of the yellow. That's okay. Actually, I think I will add a little more of the yellow and red together to get more of an orange bar. I don't want to put it here because that'll turn gray, but I can pick up the drip now. See the big drip here? Dry my brush off. I could pick it up or I could run it back. I'm going to see it looks like if I run it downhill again. Why don't we go too far? Because that's sky up there. I'll be a little bold. I saw some things happened there, watching is very important. I think I'm going to be safe and pick it up. Look what's happening, because the paper is wet, I can lift off along as I dry off my brush. I can lift off some of the paint on the rocks. I could even lift up things here, but this is drawing. Because that's drawing, I don't want to be touching that too much because any additional water going on that, will change it and I like it the way it is. I'm picking up my drips. You know what? That's a pretty decent. I think I'll just watch that now, put it down flat and watch it. Everything is wet everything, but it's drying up here. The rocks are still wet. I'm going to go for a smaller brush, and I'm going to mix on the paper. The paper is wet. A little tilt will put some red in here or crimson just to drop, and here to drop, and here we're going to watch and see how much it spreads. Note this is really wet, so I'm not even going to touch that. Look it's going up here, that's okay. We like that. Clean off my brush. Let that dry for second, watch it. The Alizarin really disperses quite a bit. It's one of the paints that disperses really well. Very thick. Look, see? Quite thick. I'm going to put a little dot right in here and mix it on the paper. The paper is starting to dry so it's not dispersing quite so much, maybe a little bit there. I'm going to start with a little bit into the tree, just to drop. Look at that goal, look at that disburse with a drop up there. That amazing? Just a little teeny touches makes it work. We got little rocks here, I'm going to put a little touch in. It will touch here. We have these little strokes here. Not quite sure what they're going to be, but it might be trees. I think I'll leave that alone. This one, I'm going to stroke it through with the blue, and this one with the blue right into the rock. Nice. Clean off my brush. I'm watching it. The paper is wet, the paint is fairly dry. I don't care for this too much, but it I'm going to leave it. Mind you the paper is wet, but it's drying. Best to leave it for now. Here's what I'm going to do, I'm going to take a very small amount of yellow now, and put a little yellow where it's red. Just working a little yellow in. This is not going to look exactly like this when we're finished because the paints are going to mix together on the paper. Notice that mixing the paints on the paper rather than in the palette. There we go. Time to let it dry and watch it. It's dry a little bit, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to add a little bit of water here. I only waited like a minute or two. I'm going to gently pull a little bit of this rock texture. Notice how is turning brown, down into the water like this. That will bring off a little reflective quality right through the water, and one straight across here. I don't want to hit the top of the rock, it rather be through the middle there. Because this is darker here, I can tap my brush gently and come in there with a little darker there. May be a little dark. Notice I'm using vertical strokes for the reflections. Then I can clean my brush off really well. Remember the paper's wet, I can do a lot with wet paper. My brush is really cleaned off right there. See it's quite clean up and now I'm just going to stroke through here with the nice dry brush. Lift off a little of the paint, drop it. Lift. There we go. Best thing to do now is to let it dry for a few minutes, say five minutes. 7. Adding Glow To Your Watercolor: The paper's just drying so I can take some fallow and whip it in there. See that? Come across. Look at that. Because it's going a spread a little bit and just taking little tiny bits of fallow, I'm going to put a little bit down here too and darken up this edge and one right through here. I don't want to get my rocks too dark. But look at that beautiful. Clean my brushed now and do the next part which is to add a darker fallow in here to get those black lines. Look how it spreads because the paper is wet. I can get some tree shapes in there. May be one more here. Don't be afraid, it's going to dry lighter. Now see how this is moving up? I can take the end of my brush and gently just by pushing down a little bit. Especially on those dark marks. I can add some tree tops, not hard, just gently. One more here, and add a little bit of alizarin crimson into the bottom here to darken it up, especially around the rocks. See how the rocks are really showing up now. Remember these are all going to dry lighter. Thinking of light and dark here. I'm just adding little bits of paint. Lengthwise lines for reflections and vertical lines. Well, that's looking good. Now this tree looks pretty close. That's probably because of the ache. So what I think I will do is I will switch to my little brush and I'm going to mix up a little bit of a lit up the fallow. Quite strong, and remember the paper is wet so, then a little bit of the red, I should get a fairly dark color in here. Let me move it closely and really see what I'm going to do. I'm going to bring this in behind the rock and right up to it. But I'm going to add a few dark spots over here too. So it brings this little tree form to look like it's right behind the rock but not sitting on top of it. That's where I'll darken these little boys here, little brush comes in handy. Maybe a couple of these, this tree is not on top of this rock and growing out of it. Nice and now one more dark line here. Now I'm establishing my darks and I think I'm just about done. This picture and a couple of little dark accents in the water here. Paper is getting dry so let me let it dry, come back, lift a few areas, throw in a few finishing details. So far, wet, dry, watch. I'm watching because I wet to paper and I was very conscious of drawing the paper drawing. No hard edges here except for the rock. But it is a misty day so we didn't do too much dry, but we did lots of watching. I can see some white areas coming through here so I might take my brush and just a little pinch of the blue, very light, hardly any. What I'm going to do is on the dry paper, is bring down a little bit of a beam, a light beam into the water, and now the edges hard here, so what do I do? I clean off my brush and soften the edge. Now I've got this light section coming down here. I think I'll do it over here too. Just going to bring it right down, like that. Little bit here. See how that works? Creates reflections. I might take a little darker here with this tree. Darken it a bit. Well, I got a little rock coming out here. See that little rock? Didn't even see that rock. Wherever it's dark and put little dark reflection straight down. There we go. Last but not least, because this is a razor blade, I can pick out oh, that's wet. I think I better let it dry for a little bit longer. Never razor blade on wet paper, wait till its dry, wet, dry, and watch. Of course you can always use a hairdryer. It does speed up everything. Just remember guys who's back. If it's not yours when you're finished. That's going to be dried and we're going to use are reasonably. Here's the razor blade and what I'm going to do is nip off or neck off a few little white highlights, especially in the water here. Those are really just going one direction. If I was going to do this picture say a few times, say I liked it. I wanted to do a series. Probably leave a little more white paper next time. Now I like to add a little bit of white here. Just where the rocks meet the water. See that? Maybe, a little bit up here around that distant shore just put it in, flick it. You can't do this with cheap paper. That has to be good paper. See those little white flecks? Barely perceptible but they do add a little sparkle to your watercolor, and sparkle is important. There, I thinks that's finished. Let's take off the tape. When you're taking your tape off, to make sure that you've pull it away from the paper. Always going away from the paper. Leave that went on for the next one. There we go. Takes my razor blade and then just hold the blade. You can use scissors if you want. There's our little picture that's our first one, learning about wet and dry and watching. 8. Easy As One Two TREE: A few things to know about trees. I'm going to use my pen and I'm going to give you some very basic things, and you know basic is the best, about trees. One, trees have a trunk and the trunk is always different on one side than the other. The trunk goes into the ground and down underneath. We want to make sure our trees are anchored in the ground, rather than what we call lollipop trees. Lollipop trees are great if you do it intentionally. But generally, you might find these in a city where it looks like they go like that but in nature, the roots always spread out at the bottom. There are several kinds of trees. We're just going to do one, two, tree. One, two, tree is a way of drawing a tree and learning about it. I'm going to do it right on the same piece of paper. Let's pretend we have one, like the number one. Then we're going to add a zigzag for two. So one, two and then one up the middle, maybe a bit longer. You add the same thing again here. Now we start to build the tree in a very symmetrical fashion. If nothing every bit the branches, this is how a tree would grow exponentially. Things would start crossing. Something might happen like a deer might bite this branch so we wouldn't get one here or maybe this one would grow but this one wouldn't grow. Things start happening. But if you had a perfect tree in a perfect growing situation, this is what it would do. As we keep going, the little branches come out and form into twigs and everything starts with one, then it goes to two, and then tree. One, two ,tree that's right. Tree, T-R-E-E not T-H-R-E-E. One, two tree will give us a basic growth pattern for an oak tree, maple tree, birch tree, beech tree, chestnut tree all kinds of trees. But something's not quite right because the trunk is a little skinny. Here is what happens. The amount or the thickness of the trunk, let's just thicken this up a bit, if you could measure all this wood, in this part of the tree, you would have the same amount of wood here but spread out among three, like cutting your pie in three pieces. You've always got a whole pie. The amount of mass here equals the amount of mass here and then so on and so forth. It keeps matching the mass. That's why the tree is stable because it's not top heavy or bottom heavy. This of course, is the perfect tree. Everything gets skinnier or thinner but we still have the same amount of mass at the top of the tree as we have at the bottom. Once you've done your one, two, tree, you can go about thickening parts and you're really going to discover what trees look like. This is just a tree. Sometimes they might have a couple extra ones shooting off. This is just a stylized version of a tree. One, two, tree. One, two and tree. 9. Drawing The Birch Tree: Although most trees we think are straight, the birch tree especially, likes to bend a bit. I get one side straight and one side slightly bent like this, curved. The next one comes over a little bit, and we're leaving some room at the top. Remember our 1, 2, 3. We've now given a little bend. If this is your picture, I want you to try to avoid this, which is when you've done your tree, stopping the tree because the top of the paper is here, see. We don't have to stop the tree because the papers, or we can extend past the paper. I'm going to be showing you that is we're not going to be stopping just because the top of the papers is there. Here's our next step. Now, so we have one there, let's add a few of the little birch lines. Now, the birch lines are very, very interesting because as the tree turns, the birch lines turn, and the little lines are slightly curved. That gives the tree it's birch line. Of course, sometimes there's little spots on the tree and all kinds of things happen on birch trees. Here's our next one, remember it's one, now we need to get two. So here comes two. Remember the zigzag, one, and then on this side, two. Don't be afraid of the top, we're just pushing through that boundary. Now, you're going to come back, not too thick. Remember that the size of these two and the one in the middle are going to be both the same as this. Here comes number 2, and then this one wiggles. Let's wiggle this straight right to the top, right off the paper. I started with one and then two. I tried to make each limb a little different than the other. But I have 1, 2, and 3, 1, 2, 3 makes a tree. You can continue your little lines. Drawing trees like this is great because you learn about trees. Later when you're out looking at trees, you go, I see. What's next on our agenda? Well, we have 1, 2, 3. We do 1, 2, 3 again. One, two, and birch trees tend to start leaning and pushing over. We do 1, 2, 3. Here, there's not much room here, but we still do, one, two, and a little one in the middle, and there's none here. Now, we have three, and three up here. But remember, branches come off. One, may be break this one over here, is always going to be three in the perfect tree. I think what I'll do is I'll put one coming this way. But this one somewhere along the line, something broke on it. It only has two. It didn't grow very much of this side, it tended to go over here. That's why its curving this way to keep his balance. I think I will get one coming off here. You see how I'm building my tree? Let me show you a picture where I use this idea. Here's a picture of a few birch trees that are dying off. The tops are broken, and there's the limbs, and you can see the little lines. I did these on the side of a road in acrylic. I'm just adding more colors and brightening the colors, but you can see the pattern of growth. You have the one here, and then two, and there's another little one here, that makes three, 1, 2, 3. This one started bending. It started with two but then it broke off eventually. This is a leaner, and they can sometimes go up like 10-15 feet before they start dividing. Birch trees like to have lots of block branches. Now, I'm going to be adding my little twigs. See the twig branches, and they go right over too. I'll move that and adding little twigs on it. I might add some of the little birch leaves now. The birch leaves are a little bit of a heart shape. I'm just putting in little star shapes, heart shapes, adding a few branches here and there, putting a little bit of grass on the bottom, some little shoot up, some little twigs with little fall, foliage on them. Now, I've got a nice little birch tree. I wonder if I have another birch tree somewhere. I think I do. Just hang on, let me go get it. I found it, there it is. Look at the scene behind here, you can see branches are coming out this way. This might be a poplar tree, or a different. I think this is a white birch. They're a little different, but look at the nice colors. I can use this and clouds. I can use this in my drawing for a background. You can see how I'm using my sketches to bring a studio picture into existence. There's the front. I had one more. What did it have in it? Here it is. It's a little muddy, but I kept it because I liked the way, and I also had to cut these birch down for firewood. But I like the rock. You see the rock? It also had a few coming out, see. It's not unusual to have some renegade limbs on your birch trees. I'm going to put in the little rock too. Let me put it in a rock right here. Now, the trick about rocks is already in the ground. They have a top, side, and a top, and I usually add a little bit of shading to them. There we go. We add a couple little guys beside. There we go. Got a little rock. Now, I move over this picture. We're going to add just a flick like that. See that flick? Then another flip here. Sometimes a little moss hanging on them too. See all these little facts start to help you draw. I wasn't too fond of this here. What I'm going to do is bring it over a little, see? Now, it looks like they're a little more in perspective. Put a few dark black marks on here. Starting to have a good time. Put some leaves on the bottom. Now, here we go with the horizon line. I'm going to add a little bit of a zigzag there, a couple more of these. That's going to be. You can see my mountains, I hop over, hop over everything. Don't go around the grass. Just top over this another one here. Well, that's right in the middle. I don't want to be exactly in the middle, I'm going to be off the middle here. Here's my other land. This one comes in here, and there's little cloud. By doing little sketches here in there, you can put them all together in the studio and come up with some great little pictures. This can be all beach here. This was down by Kootenay Lake. I like this. This might make a great watercolor. 10. Transferring Your Drawing: So what do you do after you've got a picture like this and you don't really want to redraw it because you like what you did here. Then you might want to change a few things, here's what you do. Just get a thin piece of paper like this, you can see right through it and give yourself a couple of minutes and trace your own drawing. It doesn't hurt to put a little tape on it also, you put a little tape here and you have your nice drawing, let's take a minute and transfer. So if you want to add a little fun to this picture, you can just transfer it like we've done other times where you darken the back and I'm going to show you two ways to transfer this. You just darken the back of your picture, like that. Because I drew it in pen like that back and traces, and it'll come out onto watercolor paper but here's another way to do it which is neat too, it's called flipping the picture. So you put your tape on here and you draw your picture and take your time with the pencil and just redraw your whole picture, and I'll show you what to do after we're finished doing that. I've drawn my picture in pencil from here to here and now I keep my little pieces of tape, I'll put this one aside and I will take a little piece of watercolor paper. I liked the Arches watercolor paper, 140 pound. There are many, many, many watercolor papers, this one it's good because you can always use the other side if one side doesn't work out, so I'll just keep it in the book. Now just to go over the two ways, if you want to take your ink drawing all you have to do is put pencil all over the lines on the back and a good way to do this if you can't see through it is put it up against a window and backwards like the windows here and you'll be able to see it perfectly. So that's one way to do it and then you just put this side on your water colored paper and trace your drawing once more and it will transfer exactly as it is to your paper. The reason we do this is so that we don't have to erase on the paper and damage it because watercolors are sensitive and they don't like the paper being rubbed. Now, you'll notice that this is bigger than my paper and that's fine. I don't mind that at all, I just a small amount of tape and what I'm I doing? We flipping it, we don't even have to do that you put it this way, hence on side down. I think you'll like this because we are really used to seeing things a certain way, this will change it. So what I'm going to do am going to show you a few of the marks after I do it. After I go over and just pull over the back, it's going to transfer, see. So here's my rock, I just go over with a pencil, the rock is starting to show up, see. So I'll take a minute and I'll transfer it, still going just going to check my progress. It's happening. Now the softer the pencil the easier that it transfers so I'm not gouging my paper, I've just going back and forth and back and forth. Now this is a fairly large piece of paper, if you want and you don't want to get too frustrated use a smaller drawing, just make the drawing smaller. Artists are always looking for a different way to get something so that's the difference. Let's take the tape off here, now you can't see it, it's in pencil but I can see all of it and all I'm going to do is I'm going to take this off and give me another minute I'll go over it in pencil once more. This might be interesting to watch a change to a Mirado classic which is a softer pencil. Now, everything is on the opposite side to what I usually draw because I flipped it. What makes it really interesting is that you're drawing differently because everything here is going to the left, and if you're left-handed or right handed, that makes a difference. I'm going to put a little chunk in that rocks here I'm changing a few things, my finger because it's watercolor paper I can start to get some shading. I have to adjust everything here because I'm working right to left now, here it is and notice I can make changes if I want. This would be the first time drawing, then the copy, and then the flip so it's really that the drawing is starting to become a little more designed because I keep working on it and I'm getting familiar with my subject so let me just finish this up. As you can see, I've really adopted a few things here and changed a few things. Looking at my original sketch and pretty some flicks in. Remember this can be a watercolor so I don't need too many lines but I do like a little this shading here and lets talk about little shading that get them this round is just take your finger when you've got a little pencil, baby finger. But remember the end of the birch tree, the ends are darker. That's what makes it different than a poplar tree. Poplar trees, the branches of the same color everywhere. Now we can add a lot of details later but I'm going to make a few of these to shoot off here just like we saw and I think I'm just about ready for my watercolor on this ones. A couple little clouds, just a couple little pencil marks, nothing drastic, maybe a little one down here. That's going to be a good picture for us to watercolor. 11. The Magic Of The 3 Secrets: First thing we're going to do is wet all the picture with water. Now depending on the pencil you've used, it may smear a little bit. Don't worry about it. That'll just add a nice effect to the picture so here we go. We've wet the picture on one side. Of course the water is puddling. That's okay. As long as we know what happens when water puddles this'll be fine, so wet the paper. Then I have selected a new paper towel. I give it as couple of seconds to sit and penetrate. One of the secrets about water is it penetrates or it's soaks in. Okay you see this thalo blue. I'm going to put it in like that. See how it's paddling and spreading. I'm checking what's called the dispersion. I'm seeing how far does it disperse. Not too bad. We put a little bit in the sky here. Remember you don't have to have perfectly blue skies all the time, so very watery paint going onto watery paper. Wet, everything here is wet. I think I'll just pull that blew over there. Wet, not thick paint. Just wet paint and the sun is coming this way so I'm thinking of a shadow here. Look at that spread. I don't even mind if it goes a little bit on the tree because part of the tree could be in shadow also. Notice just tapping along the top, checking how it's dispersing. We don't want to be fiddling around trying to paint in between all the limbs so I'm going to take some of the pure yellow and find a nice clean spot, put it on the edge of the brush. I'm going to give it a little bit of a stay away from the blue. I'm going to put it where it's a little bit clean and white. I'm also looking at my other picture. It had some yellow in the foreground so I think I'll put some yellow up here. Notice I'm staying away from the birch tree. Got a big puddle up there. Think I'll deal with that right away. What do I do? Tilt the paper a bit and pick up the drips. Just tilt this paper right up. There we go. Take a little bit of the ultramarine this time, see what it does. Ultramarine is a little bit thicker and pastier than the thalo but it really has a great hue to it. Let's see what happens. A little gray or blue. Look at this little cloud I'm getting in here. Paper's drying there. Okay, I put a little bit up there, put a little bit in here. Just going to let that disperse downwards. See, just put a little bit along the top of this guy. I don't care if it goes over my birch tree because this blue comes out nicely. You can lift it very well. Thalo's a little hard to lift up so notice I'm not painting right over my tree but I'm painting near the limbs. Because it's wet the blues going to fall down. Almost looks like rain but I want it. Look at this here, this is great. I think I'll take my small brush, so when you see a little happy accident like that don't be afraid to put it along a little farther by taking a little bit of water, add a little blue in there. Just drop it in and that cloud is going to show right up. Think I'll do some here too. Now my paper's wet so I can add small amounts of blue without any fear of big hard marks. Because it's wet there's not going to be any dark lines. The edges are all going to be soft and I leave it. Notice I'm watching. I put the color on and then I watch and see what it does. This is a very important spot here because it's starting to drift. Now what happens is, your paper, if it's too wet and it puddles too much, the paint starts drifting up like that, so what you do, get yourself a dry brush. Very dry like that. Tilt the paper. Let it drift down this way and pick it up with your brush. We don't want too much paint drifting around. There's a drip. Keep an eye on your drips. These are all light tones I put in. There is no dark tones. I haven't use red yet. Now I'm going to take a small brush and I'm going to get the birch tree on the side. I'm going to see if I can do this with a little bit of thalo and a touch of ultramarine. I'm mixing my two blues. I wanted to be just a little bit of paint, see? Touching it. I'm going to do it check right here. See the yellow's moving into here. No problem, watch this. Take a little towel, touch it. We want a little bit of yellow at the bottom because the light reflects into the bottom of the tree. But let's see what happens if I take a little bit of this on the edge of the tree. I want the tree to look like it's three-dimensional. I think I'll take the right side of the tree and add a little bit of blue. Now that blue there and this blue are getting hard-edged, so I take a little water on my brush and clean it off. Soften the edge and leaving the white middle. Birch trees have a shine to them. In order to make the shine, you have to leave a little bit of white in the middle. They also have a little bit of a violet cast to them. I've added a little alizarin on that side. I don't know, this is still a little dry, but I think I'm okay there and there. Down in the ground, put a little bit on the rock. See how I've added just little touches. Look, it's bleeding out there, see? Which tells me it's still a little wet so what do I do with that? I can leave it and deal with it later or I can fold a towel into the shape I want. Put it right into the tree, take my finger and just press down a bit. That'll suck up the water and stop it from drifting over. Perfect, actually I like the whole thing there. I've put the paint on, that's looking very birch tree. Nice, be careful. Don't touch anything else. Lifting off a little bit here and there. You can even ripple a little piece of towel like this and go over some of it so that you get the white paper back. Look at that. It's perfect. That nice white section up there. It doesn't look like the sky is behind it and I wasn't fussy. I didn't have to put in a mask or anything like that. Just carefully setting my boundaries as to what soft edge and what's hard edge. Just touch it to a few of those little birch lines. Because I gave this the paper towel treatment, see it's not drifting all over the place. The very little bits of paint can make a great difference. This is probably very wet. I think I'm going to stay away from there. Little voice is saying "James, touch that one." I'm going to try, see what it's like in the middle here. Not too bad. Might drift a little bit, no. Now remember that the branches on the birch tree are darker at the ends so I'm just trying out a few little touches here. This is drifted a bit, but I like it. I think I'll add a little more over here on this side. See the little rubbing of the brush, we don't have to do big areas. We can just add little sections and maybe a couple of these for now. Okay, next thing before we let this dry a bit is to get this a little darker here and here to set off the birch tree. I'm going to make up a little bit of ultramarine with a very small amount of red. I want to tilt my paper. I'm going to tilt it this way. That's pretty dark. Coming right up to the birch tree, see? Pretty brave Mr. Movi, holding my breath. But I want that contrast of dark and light. Now I could turn my picture upside down here or over like this to get this edge, you see? Because water runs downhill, I don't want to point it at my tree. I can get this little branch back later probably with a razor blade. But I do want that birch tree to stand out and have a good contrast there. Hey you know this is working out well because, wow, look at this. This is great. Looks like I have that piece of birch bark that's come away from the tree there. Remember anything you don't like, you can always change later. Wow, that looks pretty good. I would leave that now because watch is very important. You want to watch what you're doing. Don't be always doing. Makes some of your doing watching. I'm going to put a little bit in here because I have it here. Now I'm matching tones. The paper's still wet so I can add little bits into. I'll even show you a dark here, quite a dark ultramarine and alizarin. Drop it in. Little bits makes the difference. I'm going to let that dry for a minute and we'll come back to it after it's dried. 12. Adding Color Texture And Shine: Small brush does small things. This is really dry now, and I want to show you how to work on dry paper. Now, there's that little spot that looks like bark coming up, so I'm just taking a little bit at this paint here. Have a little piece paper just to dampen it a bit. I'm just going to darken around that little spot with a small brush. There's times when you want to be very, very careful when you're painting. Other times, you want to assume a boldness, so that your painting is a combination of pleasing little effects done carefully and boldness. People get excited about certain areas of your picture. Now I'm not too worried about the color right now, I'm really concentrating on what we call contrast. There's a little limb coming out here or a branch, and I'm making that so that I don't touch it. Dry paper, when not touched by the wet brush, remains dry, and you can keep that contrast and get a good sharp image here. Now I'm going to start fading it out here, and I'm going to add a little more red to it. Just using three colors. I can extend that later. Now you'll see I'm coming to the rock now, and I think I'll go right over this section here. I can make that branch go up a bit later, or I can shorten it right now to about there, which I like. Now I'd just take water. Water will create a transition from the dark paint to the light paint, and it's still darker than the top of the rock. Now the purple is going over the yellow and the lovely warm brown color. Now it's too hard there, that's a hard edge, dark right there, so I'll just tap in a little more to get a soft transition. So not only can you have soft edges, you can also have soft transitions. This is starting to look like another rock here. I might just round that off. Now that's what we call a nice little happy accident. We ended up with another rock, although it was grass in the beginning. So watching is important. You're watching what happens. Let's get a little bit of the pure blue in here too, a little bit more of the phthalo, and let's make a soft transition. A hard transition is like from cold to warm. I'm gradually building up with this little brush a nice transition. There we go. Paint there with dry brush. See the dry brush? It'll make that right into water there. You really can't go wrong with watercolor if you go dark very gradually. Now I'm just going to give the mountain a little bit more of a character by adding some green mixed in here. Just little strokes of green. The paper is just damp enough so that it's going to give me a tree texture. There we go, just adding a little tree texture to it. Texture is very important. Texture is exciting. Makes your picture dramatic, tells a story. We're just going to leave that, right like that. Take a little bit of this brush here and just dry brush, some grass into here. Some texture. Texture. Time to establish a little bit of an orange. You can see from the photograph, birch trees can have very, very dramatic oranges. So I take a little bit of the hansa and a little bit of my cadmium red, and right up in the sky, I could almost close my eyes and just pop in a few of the orange leaves on the extremities and in the middle in here, and a few on the ground to show that it's fall and some of the leaves have fallen. There we go. Now, there will also be a few green leaves, mix up a very beautiful warm green and add a few green leaves. Color accents always make your picture exciting. Too much color makes it very, very unpalatable. Just too much color. Let's add a couple of dark ones. You see, random. Don't try to plan or try to control. Get your leaves in there and get some random leaves in there. Perfect. Let's take a little break. Now, a small brush is a safe brush, so don't be afraid to get safe. If you feel like you might be losing control sometimes, play it safe. Take a small brush and take a small area, put little paint on. Add a little water and take that little blue area here, let's define this cloud. Painting your picture upside down or sideways sometimes will give you a better perspective on what your picture has as far as design qualities, shapes. Shapes are important in pictures. Because this is wet now, I could do something, I can add a very strong blue. So take a little bit of the ultramarine, I'm just going to drop it in here. Whoa. Even I got a reaction on that one. Add water, bring it over, and let's see what happens if we let the painting do the work. I like that. Let it run down, and then return it. Use your paper towel, soften the edge. Pick up the drip, and leave it for a few minutes on an edge. Let it run downhill for a while, see what it looks like. But before you leave, pick up that little drip or you'll get a bleed mark. This is what really makes a birch tree and that's the shine in the middle. Now in order to do that, you need a cool side and a warm side, and white in the middle. We will start with the warm, a very small amount of the cadmium red. You could use a small amount of orange, anything that will get up the side of the birch tree. I'm just going to do one little section to show you. Now you see the white paper here. Then I'll come on this side with a little bit of the warm. I'm leaving this white space in the middle that follows up the tree. Then I'll just take a little tiny bit of the phthalo blue and I'll bring it up to the warm red. Now I have to clean off my brush very well. I've got my water here and make sure my brush is really cleaned by touching it to a paper towel or a rag. Yes, it's clean water. Now I want to still leave the middle dry, remember, we're balancing dry and wet here. Soften just a bit of the edge there. Especially up here you can see it. Now because this is wet and this is wet, I can probably add a little more darker blue in here, and see if I can make this white part stand out a little more, there we go. Now I just continue up the tree with that little bit of blue on one side in order to make the shine on the bark. You always adjusting a few things and maybe adding a little more shadow down the grass here. There we go. A little bit here. A little bit there. Now we have a little bit of a shine on the bark. 13. Sponging And Grass Stroke: Let's try a little sponge work now. Of course, sponges work best when they're wet. We put a little bit of the sponge into the water, let it soak for a minute, and then expel the water. Quite a bit. We don't want the sponge really wet, we just want it absorbent, but not super absorbent. Now I have a little piece of sponge, I can even rip a little spot off. I'll just use the whole thing. What I'm going to do is dry it just a bit more. I'm going to get a little texture on the rock. Now how do we do that? Well, just get some dirty paint. We call it dirty paint, which just means mixing a few colors with the sponge as if you're cleaning your paint. This is blue, and I'll just check it on a little piece of paper, see what it looks like. That's blue, and I want to adjust that with a little bit of warmth. I'll take my brush and add a little bit of orange to it. A little orange in here. It's definitely not orange yet. There we go. I might say, I think I need a little more blue in that, to get it a little less, there we are. There's a rocky blue, and I'll just tap my brush, not my brush, I'll tap my sponge in there. Check it out. Ready to go. I will now tap the sponge. You can even cut the sponge, notice this is a little bit round and I'll just tap it into the rock. I'll get some texture on that rock. There we go. Some rock texture, doesn't hurt to turn your paper little bit. Hey, I'm getting some nice texture, also in the grass. Watch this, see, I'm getting now a little bolder with my sponge. How about if I swipe the sponge? Excellent. Look at that. That's great. I love that. Fine here. Get some texture on my water, oh look at that. Oh looks like this is behind now, see. [inaudible] a little bold, it doesn't hurt. Again, nice straight line, pull it across. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I like it. Sponge, you know what, I'm going to get a even a little bolder, and do some work on the birch bark with the sponge. It's not too wet, so I'm going to take a little more wetness to it. Now I've got some dark purple in here. Always check it first. I'm going to check it on here and see what happens to my drawing. Oh, I like that. Now I know birch trees because we use them for firewood. I've cut many down, when they're just at the end of their life and we've used them for years on our property. Here we go. I'm going to tap a few, even over that little white section, I'm just going to tap a little bit of texture onto my tree. Because I'm using just the edge of the sponge, I can control exactly where this texture is going. I like that. I can even go back to my rock and add some dark texture on there. Oh, look at that. Like it. Maybe a couple down here. Couple right up here. Don't be afraid to use credit cards. Don't use them at the store, you use them in your studio. They work a lot better. I think I'll try a drag on here with the edge of this sponge. Look at that. It's almost like painting. Well it is painting, we're using a sponge. One more good dark right here, there. Now I can use the very tip of the sponge to make little textures on the tree. There we go. The rock, I could probably control it a little more. Tap, you feel that texture, great texture, on the rocks. You could do green, all different colors using your sponge to create texture. I'm staying away from here, just a couple coming over, right up into the trees there. I can add little flowers on there. Very nice. If you're tired of using a brush all the time, get a sponge going, mix up a little light purple and just because it's wet now, I can get some hard edges back. The sponge does create a soft edge, but it can create a hard edge also. I'm coming across here with some little shapes on my rock. Always keep your rocks lighter on the top, because the sky is hitting the top of the rock. Now this is dry. Let me just put a little wet, warm wash over this rock. I really like this rock. I'm going to start a little bit down here. Just touch it with a bit of red, and then just tap up, and spread that red. Don't touch the white on the tree. Look at the trees now, the rock is behind the tree. I'm going to leave a little bit of that yellow showing. I like that rock. This is a little dark, so I'm going to pull that down a bit, soften the edge. If they're near a lake, they could be soft edged rocks, like river rocks, or if they're field rocks, just popping out of the ground, then they're rougher. But want to lose the rock, into the ground. Of course now I see that this probably should be a little darker, and the papers slightly wet. Put a little bit on, get a soft edge here. I like a soft edge there, and you know this is starting to really move along. There we go. What I'm going to do is bring it right over like this. Once again the small brush, you can regain some control with your small brush, and just fade it up into the dry paper. Let me take a look at that. Yeah, I like that better. I like that better. I might even just finish it up a little more. What we're going to do now is darken the ends and spots on the branches of the birch tree and I'm using my small brush. Notice how I'm holding it. I am just using little dots strokes and the reason I'm doing that, or I'm just pulling a few strokes here in there, turning my paper so that I can get a great control. My palm is resting on my table so that I can get a good strong pull on my brush. It's okay with painting to turn your picture around simply because you don't want to have your hand all over your picture. Now you see this branch is a little darker, so I put a dark at the end, put a couple little dark spots on the bark. Like I say, the ends of birch trees are darker than the trunk. The trunk is the white part. Once you get up to the branches up high, they start to get darker. You can see I'm just filling in a few of the branches with nice controlled strokes. I'm going with a very dark purple here, right down in the shadows of the rock. Adding some deep dark accents into the shadows. That's where the darkest darks are, in the shade. You can pop a few marks onto your rocks if you want. You can mix up a good strong green with the fallow. As I'm nearing the end of a session, I start mixing the paints all over the place, and I'm going to show you how to get some grass strokes. Hear that sound? That's the sound of boldness. The brush is just hanging over the paper, and then what I do is just lower the brush and just concentrate on that hand moving. I don't worry about if it's going to look good, I just worry about nothing and just adding the grass texture using my whole arm and holding the brush up straight, and grass grows up, water runs downhill. Don't draw your grass with downstrokes. Make all your strokes go up. Now that's my first layer now I can bury the rock with some grass strokes. I'm on to feeling confident because I've got this stroke moving in different directions. Now I'm going to darken it. I want some darker greens. Away we go, just twisting the grass one way and another up over the rock in here. I can spend a little bit of time, taking my time, putting in the grass strokes. But we do have some orange grass too, red grasses. Let's add some little seed pods, orange seed pods on the ends of the grasses. Let's add some strong alizarin crimson pods on the end of the grass. You're adding texture, different things in nature all over the place. What I'm going to do is I'm going to bring it across from here, and I'm going to tilt my paper because I want a uniform color over my mountain. I want it to be seen as a complete shape so it doesn't take away from my tree. We'll pick out these little flowers later. Now you see my puddle that's happening here? Can you see the puddle? Now I have to turn it this way, because I'm going to have to hop over, but water does run downhill, so it's okay. There's that little white spot on my tree. Now if you have a little pasty area, and that's with ultramarine, this little fallow wash is great because it will thin down the ultramarine and make it a little more transparent. There we go, coming right across this wash, going around my little limb there. Now because it's getting to be a smaller section, I'll put that brush down, I'll take my cleaner brush, and I'll take a little bit of the grayish blue and start bringing it across. That makes that stand out a little bit more and then as I get over here, it will turn that lovely yellow brown into the right tone. There we go. As you can see, it's a little bit too strong here, so I drop it in and now I'm adjusting so that I get a graded wash from here right across. That's looking better. Just here is not quite right for my liking, I'm going to take a little stronger fallow and pop it right in there. I'm going to create, not a shadow, but I'm going to create a bit of a formation on the hill to give it more height. See, I'll just pop it in a little bit here. Might even just rub this a little bit to get it a little bit lighter and rub it on my paper towel and lift off some of the ultramarine using the fallow mixture. See that? Because I'm trying to get a good transition between both sides. There, I think that looks great. Think that's it. Dropping little more there. See how the paint's puddling, it's okay to have a little bit of a puddle. Now the next part is just going to go across with a little bit of this and hop over both the grass and just add a little bit more on the water. Thin washes. A little dark here, clean it off. Paper's dry, the paint is wet and I can get a little graded wash right there, put a little bit in here. The yellow, I'm going to go over that with a little bit of this. Maybe the yellow's a little bit too strident, let's add a little cadmium. A little smitch of cadmium. See what that does, I like that better. Now remember we're going to let it dry. If it's a little bit too red, we'll take our brush, bigger brush clean it off and just pull it right over the whole thing, see? Put the whole thing in shadow there, I like that. A little bit of the red on here too, [inaudible] there. 14. Final Polish For Birch: The last is a little bit of the yellow plain water. Start with lots of water on my brush. Going to test it first, just to see. Yes, that's it. Here we go. I'm going to stay away from right there, but I'm going to start about here and some of these clouds are going to show up. There's a great one right there. Remember, all I have to do is make sure I don't touch anything wet. I keep turning my brush and keeping things wet. Notice I just dipped into the water and now I can put a little bit of the clean paint and water just near the horizon here, keeping control on the brush. We don't want to touch that it's wet. I could've waited and let it dry completely, but little bit of tension is good in painting. I'm coming over here. What am I going to do with all of these, I'm going to leave this area alone. I can see there's a little bit of blue in here, oh, and there's my cloud, see my cloud? I can easily go over this brush because it is dry. That's nice, I like that. Look at this little clouds showing up. Remember it's all about dark and light, wet and dry. This is good and now I'm just popping in a little bit of blue here and there. Now if a little bit of blue is hard edged, its okay. So I'm getting some hard edges where? Here's some hard edges, but I like those. I think I'm going to pop a little bit in there. See you have just popping in a little bit of the blue. It's actually sky through there, and there's a cloud there. How about a couple up and downs here just to get some vertical motion here too? Wow, I like it. I think that's just about done. I think I just need a little darker in here. See putting the phthalo blue over the outer [inaudible] , really makes that a real sky blue. Now the sky's lighter over here, so I don't want to go too far but now I'm just going to watch it now and because this was wet, it's going to go up, going to get, I like it. One more shadow there. Look at that. I think that's just right. I'm thinking I'm going to leave that. Wouldn't mind something just a little angled like this. Should I do it? Yes. The paper is wet, I've just to get a little bit of paint and adjusting it with water. I like that touches on this picture right here and one of the finishing touches is done with, whoop, there it is, a razor blade. So here we are at the end of this picture. I have a razor blade and I'm going to pick off a few top highlights on the rock here. Just a couple of just going to clean up a few edges on the top of the rock. Good to pick up a few little white specks. That's the grass going up. Always good to break through boundaries. The boundary of the foreground and the background. So popping that up a bit, not too much or it will look mechanical. There we go. More on the rock here, a couple little white highlights down in the shadows. I like the way this turned out. Then it looks like I'm going back and forth and it only pulling the razor blade one direction. So you see the little shine we're getting on the birch tree. I could keep going on this and darken the branches, but I think that we've learned something here today. We've learned the three principles or the three secrets of watercolor and those are wet, dry and watch. Keeping control on the brush, wouldn't want to touch that, it's wet. I could've waited and let it dry completely but little bit of tension's good in painting. There we go. I'm coming over here. What am I going to do with all of these, I'm going to leave this area alone. I can see there's a little bit of blue in here, oh, and there's my cloud, see my cloud? I can easily go over this branch because it is dry. That's nice. I like that. Look at this little clouds showing up and remember it's all about dark and light, wet and dry. This is good and now I'm just popping in a little bit of blue here and there. Now if a little bit of blue is hard edged, its okay. So I'm getting some hard edges where? Here's some hard edges, but I like those. I think I'm going to pop a little bit in there. You just popping in a little bit of the blue. It's actually sky through there and there's a cloud there. How about a couple up and downs here just to get some vertical motion here too? Wow, I like it. I think that's just about done. I think I just need a little darker in here. See putting the phthalo blue over the outer [inaudible] really makes that a real sky blue. Now the sky's lighter over here, so I don't want to go too far. But now I'm just going to watch it now and because this was wet, it's going to go up. We're going to, get I like it. One more shadow there. Wouldn't minds something just a little angled like this. Should I do it? Yes. The paper's wet, I've just used a little bit of paint and adjusting it with water. There. I liked that. Yep. I'm thinking that's just right. One dark accent on the mountain. Just a little bit as to dry brush again. Pop it in a little bit here and there. There. Okay. There it's always a little darker near there. That's it. You just never know when to stop. But there's a little voice in you that will say that's enough. Put your brush down because don't forget we have our three secrets, wet, dry, and watch. Off comes the tape. Couple of ways to do this. One is keep your fingers away from it and pull the tape always away from the picture that remember I told you in the beginning that this was in pencil so I can clean up my edges with pencil. The reason I'm not using my fingers is sometimes we can get our fingers dirty. So this is another way to do it. But my hands are pretty clean. This little spot here, I'm really glad I did it or I like I gladly left that. Hey this is still wet. I'm going to just while the paper is wet remember, wet, dry, I'm just going to add a little bit of banging here, which will show up later. Now, I can take an eraser and I'll clean my edges up. You'll remember I told you about poor erasers. Erasers help us draw and I know this is a little wet, but that's okay. I'll be okay. Take a soft brush, this is actually a shaving brush I found in a store for a couple dollars and badger hair, real badger hair, a couple of bucks. I've never used it for painting, but it's great for cleaning up your pictures. This is wet still, but you know the pencil lines, you have to ask yourself if you want to get rid of them. If you do, when it's totally dry, you can erase them. I feel for this picture that the pencil lines give me a nice outline and I wouldn't get rid of them. This is a nice little sketch, a happy little picture. Here we are at the end of this picture. I have a razor blade and I'm going to pick off a few top highlights on the rock here. Just a couple of just going to clean up a few edges on the top of the rock. Good to pick up a few little white specks. That's the grass going up. Always good to break through boundaries. The boundary of the foreground and the background. So popping that up a bit, not too much or it will look mechanical. There we go. A little more on the rock here, a couple little white highlights down in the shadows. I like the way this turned out and it looks like in going back and forth, but I'm only pulling the razor blade in one direction. You see the little shine we're getting on the birch tree? I could keep going on this and darken the branches, but I think that we've learned something here today. We've learned the three principles or the three secrets of watercolor and those are, wet, dry and watch. 15. Draw And Paint Your Cityscape: Really very important just to do a little warm up here. Don't get bogged down with perspective, learn how to do some straight lines. I call these the flicking lines, they flick down, flick over. Let's do five, then we'd go besides them again. You notice I'm just using my wrist action, I'm not using my arm. Using little more arm this way, but coming down, just letting it flick. Try and make them smaller now, gets bigger to smaller. Cities are comprised of a lot of straight lines and a few curved lines, so practicing lines is very important. You don't want to be doing this. I hope dotted lines straight, I hope I make it straight for this building. There's no character in it. Let's talk about line though. It's better to really just let it go like that. So sit there and practice some straight lines, big little straight all directions to the right, to the left, up, down, up, push up, pull down, across this way, across that way. Practice, practice, practice those lines, get them going and a couple of curved lines. I'm starting to see buildings already, palm trees, it's good, it's good exercise. I'm going to just practice it on the card stock paper first, just a little cityscape start with two lines. It's a building, no big deal. Add two lines at the top and let's do a higher one this time, but let's put it behind this one. Behind, in front, behind, very important, in front or behind. Let's add a couple of little lines this way. Let's flick, flick, flick, flick, flick, flick, flick. Add some windows, I am not going to be drawing all the windows. This looks like all and then add a little top to it and it's more of a 1960s or '50s New York style building maybe even '40s. Something superman might jump off and start flying. Okay, so two buildings. Now, let's add some random lines going in different ways, but if we come to these two buildings, we have to stop and hop. You see? Now, I'm not conceiving anything here, just playing with straight lines and that's all I'm doing. No linear perspective, this is just easy. Now, here we've got some warehouses going on here. Let's put the windows this way. Let's make a little thicker. Here we go. I went to New York City once I got dizzy, I never went back. A couple little flicks at the bottom. Some more windows. Windows this way. This is going to be more of a modern building, it's got a sculpture on top. It's actually a solar heating panel, it's a modern city. It doesn't have little windows, it has a large window that brings in power. So cityscape, just start thinking, buildings and lines maybe a curve on that one. Looks like a library, Carnegie Library. Okay. There we go. I've just had a good time. Now, imagine if you actually had a city in front of you and you are able to gather a few shapes from that city. I'm going round up here, a big tower, restaurant on the top. There we go. Now, let us just drift over like that with some shapes. We could make this a night scene and then this is the important part. Put a couple little long sweeping lines in front. Better put something there. Put a few little dark sticks like this for people. A couple little trees here and there along the avenue. Maybe some round trees behind. Look at this, could be a park behind the city. I'm telling you that it's not hard if you just keep moving that pen and now what we're going to do is we're going to do one little perspective trick and it's this, a straight line here. Pretend there's a little dot an [inaudible] dot right there, right in the middle of your paper basically and the lines are shooting from the dot. Now, there was only going to be one straight line, and that's the one right in the middle. Now, you see it's shooting in, that could be a walkway and we put a couple of trees there, shade them in. Let's open in the middle, let's put one right there. I love steady trees actually they are well cared for and they're lovely shapes. There we go. What's here? I don't know maybe a bench. Some of you people doing this might even be an architect someday. How do I know? There we go, couple of clouds. Let's put it in Vancouver, Canada, put the mountains behind it. Now, next time I go to Vancouver, if I want to do a cityscape, it's not going to be hard. For now, I'm just going to take a pencil and I'm thinking where I'm going to put some water here and the mountains behind it. Just give me a few minutes and you take a few minutes, take a small piece of paper, draw a little cityscape and we'll be right back. Okay, here's my little drawing. I found it very simple and I thought of a few design principles, a few odd shapes, a few regular shapes, round shapes, and I'm going to just take my fine sharpie and I'm going to ink this little pencil drawing. Take a little brush. Take a small bit of the fallow blue, just put a just a drop in there. Okay, that's called dispersion. Look how it's dispersing and if I don't like that, I can just take my paper towel, touch it, and you'll notice it's stained the paper. We can't get rid of it. We're so used to making our skies blue. Let's go for sunset, oranges, and let's just take this yellow and see what happens. The yellow will never really go psh. The psh factor is for the state or colors like alizarin and tallow. Yellow just behaves itself all the time. Notice, I've put my yellow on here, my paper's flat, and then, I'm doing it for the reason is I want you to realize that when the paint is wet, you can't pick it up. Some yellows, like cadmium hansa, they're a little on the thick side, so they like to go on and then pull from off a bit. Pull up-down now. Now, we can start pulling it down. Wherever we see trees, well, there's the trees, so the reflection in the water, maybe a little bit in here. Look at that one swipe of yellow, what is done. Now, because the yellow is behind the buildings, and we can make that into a nice little cloud later, but I'm not going to go green, so I stay away from it. Okay, I'm going to take a little bit of the alizarin just to drop looking a little help, a little bit of paint I'm using, and watch how far it goes. Okay, I'm going to put some of this. oh my goodness, look at that. Brush has some blue on it, and I can take a pinch of yellow. I have the three colors here and I can just sort of boss them around, and like this. It will make it a gray. Now I can take a little more of the blue, I'll put in here. Take some blue into the mountains, into the water, and I'm just putting it a little bits of paint. To make reflections, remember, just subtle strokes downwards. I'm going to put a little bit of the red into the cloud up here whoa, look at that. This paper is still very wet so I can dry off my brush. Just soak it up a bit. What I'm doing here is putting a little bit of the red into the yellow, just to drop into the yellow sky, because it's sunset. We can bring a little bit down over here now; though, notice how I'm not reacting. I'm watching. Don't react to your picture. Well, unless you get a good reaction like, "Whoa, that's cool", but don't react in a way that stops you from continuing. Just keep watching. What happens when we drop little dark areas in. Well, now here's the fallow. I'm going to go for a little stronger fallow right here. Look at that. Just got the psh factor, I call it. Getting some darks into my greens, look at that, whoa. Okay. Tap it out. See the peak, because the paper is wet, if you're fast enough and it goes too far, just tap it out. But I'm going to do a secondary color. I'm going to take a little bit of the red, put it in here, see that, clean off the brush, and take a little bit of the, not the fallow am sorry, the ultramarine, just to drop and put it in with that to get that purple cloud. See? Now, this is not quite so wet anymore, so I can add little bit of purple there. I can now start putting a little maybe down into the water, and in here. Now I'm just having fun with my small brush and small amounts of paint, so I can't really get into too much trouble, keeping things controlled with little bits. What light sort of passing through here at this point. Remember, just because it's a small picture doesn't mean it won't take you a little bit of time. Small doesn't mean no work. You can get a fast small picture, you can also get slow small pictures. Once the paper's wet, you can put some more paint in it to make it darker. That's where my reflection is going to go straight down there. Start darkening a few things, but always leaving a little white showing for the reflection. You can't do a very strong yellow with the tallow sine. They can't leave that one just the way it is. Alizarin, and since this is the end of this little session here, I'll mix it with a little bit of this green, and I will get a very dark color and look that dark area. See now, getting into the darks, I might want my windows dark and the papers just drawing rightly, so it's not spreading all over the place. I'm starting to add some darks and designs. Watch, keep watching things, and it will turn out. Have fun with it. If you're not having fun, you're not doing art. 16. 3 Secrets Last Stroke: Then one day it happened, the watercolor started pouring out. Perseverance, persistence, keep at it until it breaks. Once it breaks, you've got it for the rest of your born days. Now this painting just needs another 15 or 20 minutes of work and it will look just fine, but at the time I thought it was what we call a stinker. But it has all kinds of good things, soft edges here, soft edges here, a little hard edge here, soft and hard, and definitely the paint mixed in all by itself here, so I did stand back and watch. It's just that when I stood back and watched, I didn't like what was happening, why? This is why. I have been very used to very controlled watercolors, using washes all the time and very small bits of paint applied. Now this painting's probably 20 years old and you can see there's a lot of control there. If I take it away, you'll see a lack of control. I was used to controlling things and not letting the water colors control. Although this is a good picture, I could just as well have done it in oils or acrylics. It didn't really capture the creative genius that lies dormant in a watercolor. There's our principle at work, stand back and watch what happens. Let's see what happened a little bit later when some of them started working and I started to understand how they weren't. Things are starting to happen here. Remember all these paintings were done outside, none of them were done in a studio. I had between 20 minutes and 35 to 40 minutes to complete a painting because if I worked on them too long, they would just get very heady and I'd start to put things in that I thought should be there, so this started working. Beautiful soft red cloud up here, I would never think of doing that, look at this here how it just sort of went like that. It was winter, so there's little bits of snow all around the place, a lot of areas in this painting worked. Now I could take this in a studio and I could add gradation and work on this in the winter months and make it into a fine watercolor. First step is wet, dry, and watch and bring it home and put it away for awhile and bring it out later and see if there's something you can do to it. Let's look at one more when things really started happening. Here we have a tree out by the river, probably about a 20 minutes sketch and it's got some great hard edges and soft edges. I took it home in the studio and did a little bit of lifting here and there and added a few darks and within another 20 minutes, I had a nice little picture of a tree. Now, this is what we're talking about is get outside and use the tree secrets, bring them home, let them sit for a while, keep it up for awhile until you start to see how it's happening and what you can do.