Apply Texture to Your Watercolour Paintings | Gintare Budvytyte | Skillshare

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Apply Texture to Your Watercolour Paintings

teacher avatar Gintare Budvytyte, Watercolor Illustrator

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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.

      Introduction to Class


    • 2.

      Materials Needed


    • 3.

      Texture 1 - Bubble Wrap


    • 4.

      Texture 2 - Table Salt


    • 5.

      Texture 3 - Water


    • 6.

      Texture 4 - Alcohol


    • 7.

      Texture 5 - Masking Tape


    • 8.

      Class Project


    • 9.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Do you feel that your watercolour work is lacking something? Well maybe that something could be a simple texture!

Textures are something that can bring your work to life and add character. It creates a magical atmosphere and if done correctly can give your painting more depth. Textures can add just the right amount of detail to your painting too. Learning how to apply textures to your paintings will give you a chance to liven them.

This class is going to teach you how to apply various textures to their watercolour paintings. You will be learning in depth about how specific techniques work so you would be able to use these techniques with ease. 

This texture class is aimed towards both beginners and advanced painters looking new ways to enhance their watercolour work. 


  • Masking tape
  • Bubble wrap
  • Alcohol
  • Water
  • Table Salt

At the end of this class you will have an in depth understanding in how these 5 texture techniques work and you will be able to apply them to your watercolour paintings with ease.


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Gintare Budvytyte

Watercolor Illustrator


Hello, I'm Gintare and I am an illustrator behind my brand One Tooth Moose. I specialize in watercolor and love working on a large scale. My paintings are full of texture and little details as I absolutely love studying paintings that have lots of texture. 

I recently started focusing on producing short creative process videos of my paintings for my youtube channel and it has become something I absolutely love. 

Since I have found my voice in art I decided it would be amazing if I could teach other people the things that I know and help them out with their artists blocks. I want to share my tips and tricks with everyone and give back a little bit to the community that has tought me so much!

See full profile

Related Skills

Illustration Creative
Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction to Class: Hi. My name is Gintare. I'm an illustrator based in West United Kingdom. Some of you might already know me from my previous classes, and to those people, I say a huge big welcome back. To those of you that are new here and seeing me for the first time, I'm an illustrator that specializes in watercolors, and I make these expressive watercolor paintings that are full of detail and a little texture. But today we're going to be learning all about texture. If you look at my work, you can easily see that I use texture in all of my paintings, no matter how big or small they are. Textures can really contribute to the message that you're trying to convey, the feelings, the emotions can make your painting just pop out and add a lot of life to it. You know what the best bow of that is, is that most of the materials you can easily find at home. However, I know that sometimes using texture when you haven't used it before can feel a little bit daunting and scary. That's why I wanted to create this very easy guide where you can really easily follow me and create these beautiful textures. The textures vary from very easy to do to a little bit more complicated, but once you really nail them, they're not going to be that hard to do. I will give you all the tips and tricks that I've learned throughout my journeys, so you don't have to trial and error anymore. I've done it all for you. At the end of this lesson, you will have an in-depth knowledge of how to apply these five texture techniques to your watercolor paintings. For this class project, we will be creating a black and white object, be it an animal, a household object, or a plant with a very textured background. I am very excited to be back, but most importantly, I am very excited to teach you a thing or two about how to apply textures and really make your paintings pop out. Without any further ado, let's go over the materials that you'll need for this class. 2. Materials Needed: For this class, you will need watercolor paper, any bubble wrap, coarse salt, and fine grain salt. If you do only have table salt, then that is also perfectly fine. Masking tape, water, pure alcohol with a pipette. Ideally, alcohol should be 99 percent. You can easily get a small bottle of alcohol and a pipette on Amazon or eBay. Lastly, we will need watercolors. Gather all materials and meet me in our first tutorial. 3. Texture 1 - Bubble Wrap: Often we buy things off the Internet and often they come wrapped in a bubble wrap. A lot of times we do just tend to toss that paper into the bin without thinking twice. Well, today is the day when you're going to start saving that leftover bubble wrap for your future project. When done properly, bubble wrap can really contribute to your painting. It looks like a honeycomb or berries, and honestly, it looks fantastic. However, you do need to know how to use this technique properly so it does leave this very nice texture instead of just blobs on your paper. It is one of the most time-consuming techniques because you can't use a hairdryer for this technique. You will need to air-dry it. Sometimes it can take an hour or two for the paint underneath a bubble wrap to completely dry out. It's a very good technique to use when you also got other projects going on on the side so you can focus on them while your painting is drying. Let's not waste any time and get to it. We're starting by painting the background in your desired color. I decided that doing a little bee is going to be very suitable for this texture technique as it does resemble a honeycomb. Bubble wrap is an extremely fun texture you can add to your artwork. It is also very easy to do if you know how. I will show you how to do it correctly so you can add this beautiful texture to your paintings too. Now, bubble wrap comes in different sizes, with smaller bubbles and larger. Grab a scalper or scissors and start cutting your bubble wrap in different sizes. Long stripes, triangles, little squares, the more variation, the better. Then pick your desired color and generously apply paint to your paintbrush. Then lightly coat the bubbles with paint. Just make sure that the paint isn't too watery. Very carefully place your painted bubble wrap piece into your desired place and lightly press onto it. This secures the bubble wrap in place and makes sure that all bubbles are pressed onto the paper. Do this with the rest of your strips. Use as many or as little as you like. Remember to keep your paint quite thick so it would give it a nice, even coat. Now that your bubble wrap is all placed, it is time to let it dry. I would strongly suggest to let it air for at least an hour or even longer. You want the paint to be completely dry underneath. Once the paint is dry, you can start removing the bubble wrap. Now, the reason we leave the paint to completely dry is that this way bubble wrap creates this cracked honeycomb texture instead of just colored circles. This is definitely not the quickest texture technique, but it is so worth the wait. Now I'm just going to quickly finish this piece by drawing a bee in the middle. Bubble wrap can really liven up your paintings. It is hand down one of my favorite techniques to use, not to mention that we get a lot of things wrapped in bubble wrap as presents or just parcels that we order. Always leave undamaged bubble wrap pieces in a drawer. They will come in handy, especially that a lot of them vary in sizes. Some key points to keep in mind, coat bubble wrap in an even paint coat that isn't too watery, press onto the bubble wrap to secure it in place, and leave it to dry for at least an hour, maybe even longer. It is the most crucial part in making this texture. You can see how using bubble wrap gave this painting more character. Without it, the painting might have looked a bit boring, like it lacks something. But just by adding something as simple as bubble wrap can add more quality and meaning to your painting. Meet me in my next lesson. 4. Texture 2 - Table Salt: Salt technique is known to a lot of us, but it's also a technique that we forget that exists until it's too late. I know I've done so many paintings and only remembered about the salt technique after I finished the painting. It was just too late to add it. An added bonus, but you either have salt at home or if you don't have at home, it's extremely cheap to buy from any supermarket. You can get it under a pound probably. However, this technique sometimes can be a little bit tricky. But don't worry because I'm here for you and I will show you how to use it so it works for you every single time. Grab that salt, grab your watercolors and let's do this together again. We're starting off by painting the background. However, we will be painting the background in sections as it is very important for the paint to still be wet when applying salt. Now that we have a little section covered in paint, let's start adding some salt. I'm using a mixture of coarse salt and table salt. Start scattering the salt around the area you want that texture to be. Don't be scared to add quite a bit of salt. [MUSIC] Because we are working with salt, we need our paint to be quite wet when applying the salt. However, you don't want the paint to be too wet as it then creates pools of liquid and the texture will not turn out very nice. As you can see, the salt starts absorbing the paints straight away. It doesn't look like much is happening but I promise you, you will be surprised how amazing this will look. I personally prefer using table salt. I love the fine grain and texture it leaves when drying. The larger and more complicated your painting, the small the sections you want to be working on. If you have a quality watercolor paper, the paint will not dry as quickly and you will have more time to apply salt and even have a little thing. Now you can let it either air dry, but I will strongly recommend using a hairdryer on the lowest setting. You can now really see the beautiful texture salt has left. It reminds me of frost, ocean, and fragility. When the entire background is completely dry, you can start removing the salt. Now, this can be a little bit tricky. You can try removing it with your fingers. But I would suggest using a strong thick card and gently scrub the surface. I find this is the easiest and quickest way to remove a lot of salt. Just make sure not to use a lot of force when removing the salt. Just be very gentle and slow. Now you can really see how complex the texture looks and how much it enriches the plain color. This salt technique is by far the most fun and satisfying to do. It is simple yet has very magnificent results. I will quickly finish this painting off by drawing a few flowers to really show how a simple household material like salt can enrich your painting. I honestly love how certain textures can really act as a way of symbolizing something in a painting and just adding so much more character. A few things to keep in mind, apply salt on a wet surface but not too wet. Use a hairdryer to dry the surface. Use a thick card to gently remove the salt from the surface. Here we have a beautiful frosty look. Meet me in the next texture tutorial. 5. Texture 3 - Water: Water can be a little bit tricky to us as a technique, but I will try to make it as easy as possible for you. But don't get discouraged if it doesn't work out from the first trial. It does take a few attempts to start feeling how water behaves when it's dropped on a very wet surface, when it dropped on a semi dry surface. When is the best moment to start introducing a little bit of paint to enhance your texture even more. Using this technique of well banjo would go on paper. If you are using a very good quality watercolor paper and you don't want your paper to be destroyed or bends beyond repair, I would strongly recommend stretching your paper. There's layers of YouTube tutorials of how to do it. It's nice and easy technique and it will help you to reduce the bending as much as possible. Also securing your paper to the surface that you're painting on, let's say this table, will also prevent bending as much as possible. It will not prevent all of the bending, but it will reduce it. Let's not ramble too much. Let's start, shall we? Start by painting a background of your chosen color. Same as in the soul tutorial we will be working in sections. Once you have one small section covered in a desired color, take a small paint brush, dip it in water, and start by scattering drops around that area. Now, the little trick is that you don't want your paint to be too wet. If you see that the area is quite wet, let it air dry for a little bit or use a hairdryer to dry it just a little bit. You don't want any big pools of pain because water will not create the desired texture that you want to create. When the water drops start drying you can then drop some more water in the middle of the light circle to further deepen the brightness. For this technique, having a hair dryer is a total must. I am using a hair dryer right here as I'm planning to deepen the brightness even more. I can only do that once the area a semi dry. You can already start seeing the difference where our only play is water drops on an already wet surface and then more drops on a semi dry surface. The first one blends in with the other colors, while the second creates a border. I strongly encourage you to try and play with both wet on wet and wet and semi dry to create different results. I love using a hair dryer on the lowest setting at the same time while placing the water drops. However, you are risking the area to dry a bit too quickly. It is a beautiful technique to use that is quite often forgotten. Here we see a clear difference between wet on wet and wet on semi dry. One looks way more blended in while the other has a more defined border. Let's finish off this painting by drawing a teapot and some mugs. Water can be a tricky technique to master. But the more you work with it the more you start understanding how it behaves and can really contribute to the meaning of your paintings. I have never really thought of this technique until I stumbled upon someone else's painting and someone asked the artist how the background was made, and the artists replied that it was made in just water. I realized that I must try this technique. It took me quite a few attempts to get the feel of that technique, but now I use this technique in a lot of my paintings. It really looks like a marble background and makes a simple painting more complex. Again, showing how a simple texture can really contribute to the final look of your art piece. Here's the finished look. Meet me in my next tutorial. 6. Texture 4 - Alcohol: For this technique, you will need pure alcohol. You can easily buy pure alcohol off eBay or Amazon, and that small bottle will last you forever. My bottle is a very small one. I think I'm going on a second year now of using the same one. You will also need a little pipette to dispense the alcohol. Later in the video, I will show you how to use alcohol without a pipette if you don't have one. It's not going to produce the same kind of texture, but it's going to produce you a similar texture. Alcohol is probably one of my favorite things to use because it's not only satisfying for the eye to see how alcohol reacts to the water, but it also leaves just amazing texture behind and you can really use it to your advantage. For example, for the octopus' tentacles, or for bubbles or creating some spaces. Honestly, there's no limits to it. It's extremely beautiful texture. Without anymore rumbling grab that alcohol, pipette, watercolors and let's start this technique. For alcohol to create beautiful texture, we need for the pain to be wet. Once you have a small area painted dip your pipette into the alcohol and start slowly dispensing drops onto your wet paint. Alcohol will only work if your paint is really wet. So don't wait for the area to semi-dry. This technique requires quite wet surface to work with. As you can see here, the alcohol started drawing my paper pretty quickly. This doesn't normally happen if you use high-quality paper. But for these exercises, I used a regular dollar around the cold-pressed paper. You can really see what a beautiful texture alcohol creates. These bubbles can be interpreted in so many different ways. marbles, octopus tentacles, bacteria, space, and so many more. Keep on working in then the sort of manner of painting a little section with your paint and then adding some alcohol then painting again then alcohol, so the paper doesn't dry very quickly. To create tiny circles, just carefully place the tip of the pipette on the paper but don't squeeze any alcohol out This technique feels a little bit magical as you can see straight away how alcohol interacts with water on the paper leaving this beautiful circles. If you don't have a pipette, you can use a paintbrush. Just dip the paintbrush and alcohol, let it absorb it and start dotting at around the area you want the texture to be. However, the circles will look a little bit different than they look dispensed from a pipette. They won't be as pronounced. Pipette graced this circle within circle texture. Now, I will quickly finish this off by drawing a fish The way you select the color palette can determine what kind of meaning this textual carry. Give it a dark black and purple background, and it will look more like a galaxy. Purple, pink and blue, and it will look more like part of the tentacles. In my case, I chose blue and green and as I felt that it would make my fish look like it is swimming in this magical water. This technique does have a small downside, you can get addicted to it. I know I did when I first learned this technique and I just wanted to use it and all of my paintings have a little bit because this texture is so loud. Do you need to be a bit careful not to make your painting look a bit too crowded? I hope you had a lot of fun using this technique, but now it's time to move to our largest texture. 7. Texture 5 - Masking Tape: [MUSIC] Ninety nine percent of us artists have masking tape at home. We use it to secure our paper onto the surface, so it doesn't move when we're painting or drawing, and it creates a nice border. However, not all of us think about using masking tape in a little bit more of an unconventional way. If you look at my painting, so a lot of the portrait paintings that I've done have masking tape applied on the person in the painting. It's kind of leaves this raw and unfinished love, but it can really contribute to your painting. It's one of the easiest techniques to use, so it's a non bonus. Let's grab that masking tape, grab your watercolors and meet me in this lesson now. As usual, we start off by painting the background. For this technique, you can paint the entire background before applying masking tape texture. I love using this technique for my portrait paintings the most. [MUSIC] Now grab your masking tape and break some of it off. [MUSIC] Now, choose the color you want to be using, and on the sticky side apply some paint. [MUSIC] Carefully places it on the area you want that texture to be and gently press with your fingers and lift it off. [MUSIC] If you want a more pronounced texture, press into masking tape a little harder. For lighter texture, you can just softly touch the paper with the masking tape and quickly lift it off. [MUSIC] For this technique to leave nice texture behind, you need your paint to be quite thick when applying onto the masking tape. If it's too watery then it will leave just rectangles on the paper. [MUSIC] Work in this manner until you feel that you have enough texture. [MUSIC] For smaller parts you can wrap some masking tape on your finger with the sticky side out, apply some paints and carefully dab it onto the area you want that texture to be. However, this can be a little bit tricky to do. [MUSIC] Now I know it looks a little bit messy, but trust the process. I will quickly draw my little tiger now. [MUSIC] This technique is by far one of the easiest to do and creates a very raw unfinished look. You can even get masking tape that has some texture and that can work really nice too. [MUSIC] It is a nice and easy way to spice up your paintings. I think this was my first texture techniques that I have used on my paintings when I started working with texture. [MUSIC] You can already see how a little texture can liven a simple painting and that's just a little bit of masking tape. [MUSIC] I hope you had fun, but time to move to your class project. [MUSIC] 8. Class Project : [MUSIC] For your class project, I want you to select one object, be it an animal, a household object, or maybe a plant. It will be a black and white drawing. You can choose collage, watercolors, or markers, just like you see me do in the tutorials today. Then I want you to select one or more texture techniques that you've learned today and apply it to your background. Once finished, I would love if you posted it in the project gallery for other peers and me to see, and so we can appreciate it, we can comment, and just support each other. Also, if you would like you can post it on your Instagram and tag me at one_tooth_moose, I can see it, I can comment in it, and I can share it with my audience too. I can't wait to see all of your work. Good luck, guys. I can't wait to see what you have created. [MUSIC] 9. Final Thoughts: [MUSIC] I really hope that this lesson has helped you to deepen your knowledge about texture making and has encouraged you to start using texture a little bit more. I said before applying texture to your paintings can sometimes feel a little bit daunting and scary, but I promise you that the end result will just look so magnificent. Also, thank you so much for taking your time to learn more about texture. If you would like to be notified in the future when I upload my other lessons, make sure to follow me on Skillshare. I'm also on Instagram at [inaudible], if you would like to see more of my work. I also share many tutorials, how to fill up your sketch-books, and giving you some little ideas about your projects. I try and inspire you. It was an absolute pleasure to teach you today and I really hope I'm going to see you in my future lessons. Thank you guys and bye for now.