Painting a Hedgerow in Watercolor | Chris Carter | Skillshare

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Painting a Hedgerow in Watercolor

teacher avatar Chris Carter, artist, illustrator and explorer

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

5 Lessons (42m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Body Easel Parts

    • 3. Hedgerow Technique

    • 4. Painting Hedgerow En Plein Air

    • 5. Conclusion

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About This Class


In this class you'll learn a useful technique for painting a hedgerow in watercolor, you'll watch as I paint a hedgerow en plein air using the DIY body easel and the DIY mini altoid travel palette, and you'll learn a couple of extra watercolor techniques that add live and energy to your paintings.

Meet Your Teacher

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Chris Carter

artist, illustrator and explorer


Welcome to Skillshare. I'm Chris Carter.

I love exploring the world with pen and brush whether it be by land, sea or air! Here on Skillshare, in tiny bites, I present tips and techniques I've learned over a lifetime of sketching, drawing and painting. My classes are designed with two purposes in mind: to present tips and techniques that help you learn new skills and master current skills; and as quick reference for those of you who have attended one of my live workshops.

I create large, abstract watercolors and oil paintings in my studio.  When traveling, which I do for more than half the year, I work realistically, mostly in sketchbooks.  I sketch from reality daily to keep my eye, hand and brain coordination well-honed.See full profile

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1. Introduction: Welcome to my painting ahead dro and water color class. I'm Chris Carter. In this class, you will learn a technique for painting a hetro. And whether you use that when you're painting plan error, or whether you use the technique in your studio, it really doesn't matter. The technique is pretty much the same. If you're in your studio working on a larger painting course, you'll use larger brushes, larger paper, more water, and you'll have a big bucket of water. Instead of just using a little atomized. I'm also taking advantage of this class by offering you an opportunity to see me using the body easel while painting plan air. And the body easel that I'm using is this one. This is the original body easel that I used the first time that I painted ballplayer gliding with my son. And this is the body iso that started at all. I found it was incredibly handy to paint in a crowd of people to really be able to go anywhere on plan air and not have a stool. Or sometimes I'm on a very steep hill and a stool would make me fall down the hill anyway, so I can just stand and it's super lightweight. So even though the class is not about the body easily do have a lesson in that, that goes through every part of the body easel and why it is set up where it is. I've also taken advantage of the opportunity to show you this little mini Altoid tin inaction. Now, both of those tools, I also have a class you're on skill share that show you how to make biodiesel and how to make a little travel kit. So that's up to you whether you use those or not, but it's kinda fun to, to see it in action. And then there's a lesson right here in this room that shows you the technique that I will be using when I'm painting planner out in my backyard, that hetero. And then you'll have a lesson that shows me painting plan error. And I will be doing a voice-over narration of that, reminding you of the steps I'm going through that I showed you in the previous lesson on the technique. And that's really about it. I hope that you playfully experiment with this. You can use scrap paper. This isn't really about a completed painting. It's about a technique to create those wonderful hedge rows are not the ones in the winter without the leaves on them, but it's a technique that shows you how to do masses of, of trees together where you don't see where one begins and the other one ends. And then you see all those great hard-edged branches that cut through the little peak throughs, you know, the negative space of the trees where you see the sky through it. And then the branches cut these great patterns out of the little sky pieces. So this is the technique that I use, at least my favorite one to create those hedgerows. Enjoy. Please remember to post your projects, even your little scribble is your little sketches. I mean, that is what the project is, is to experiment with the technique. So it doesn't have to be magnificent painting just, uh, uh, playing with the technique. Every time you post a new project in any of my classes, you do earn an entry for that month's contest and you can win all kinds of things. I change it out every month. So please remember to post your project, add your comments and your questions in the discussion area of the class, there are often great dialogues that go on between, between you, the students, the artists who are doing these courses. And I am always happy to answer your questions. If I don't have an answer for your question, I will direct you to someone or some place where you can find that answer. Enjoy the class, and let me know how you'd like it. I'm Chris Carter. 2. Body Easel Parts: What I'm going over right now is the body easel and how it actually works and some of the adjustments that you can make using it. And then I will be using the body easel outside in the next part of the lesson. So this can just sling across brackets, super lightweight. Now, you can carry a bag if you want, but if you're hiking around, you don't have to. It can just hang on the back. Now, these can be made in different sizes. I have another skill share class on how to make one of these. And you can make it any size you want. Just put it like that. Will be your head with your arms through the straps. And these can be adjusted. Because sometimes it's wintertime and you've got big heavy coats. Otherwise you may just have a little frog on. You can make these tighter. It's slipped, not really adjustable. You can share them with other people that are different size. Right now, the other thing that I want to show you, many things, I have magnets here. The reason for the magnets as that I put my palette on it, have another palette that I'm going to use that so, but I wanted to show you that you can use these two. And in my pouch is everything that I need. The palette that I'm gonna be using outside when I'm actually painting in this later, is this one. Mini Altoid. I have four pigments. I have a French ultramarine blue. I have a cadmium red light, and I haven't Alizarin crimson, so that's a cool red and a warm red. This is a warm blue. And I have kind of an in between. It's a handsome medium, I think. So it's kind of between a cool and a warm yellow. And then I have, these are all held in magnetically up too little cosmetic dishes that attached there so that I can mix. I can either have water in it or I can do mixes in it. And then this all attaches, doesn't fall off. Alright. The other thing I wanted to mention on here, this is a strap so that I can slip a piece of paper under it. It's made out of this stretchy elastic. Real easy. Now there's a reason that this stretchy elastic comes in all kinds of gorgeous colors. The reason I don't use the gorgeous color on this is because then when I'm painting, I can't help but see this blue. And that can really alter the choices I make for color, for value on my painting. So if I do use this, then I'm going to have it a neutral, either a gray or brown. And I make this at a foam core because it's very lightweight. If not, I'll make it out of corrugated cardboard, which is also fairly neutral. Or I will make it out of like a book board which is gray, and that's also a neutral so I can paint with any pellet. And the background color of my easel will not cause me problems in terms of a value or color. One thing I like about the void is it gives me a white. And then I've got a real good dark with my magnets. So I've got it like a black and white. And then I can base my half-tones. So I really like to make use of, of everything I bring with me so that I can just get right down to painting. This. This is a funny little clip. Alright, I have another one that I'll show you a close up and you'll see what I do with that. So hard to talk maneuver this same time. Usually it just stays like that. The little clip I just showed you, it's like those and it it's kinda hard to open up and slip on to this. So I don't take that often on too much. But what I like about this, you'll see I can stick my traveled brushes are my pencil into it and not drop it, not lose them. And they're very careful about about having everything attached to me because if somebody bumps me in the crowd and I dropped my travel brush or my pencil or my Feldman pant or something then, then it's very, or the cap to it, it's very hard to find it if there are people milling around, if if I'm moving or sometime one time I dropped a pencil, I was very, very lucky. Some beautiful mechanical pencil. And I was on one of those, those kind of was a metal staircase all the holes in. I don't know what you call that. The you know, it's kind of a grid work. And I was halfway up the staircase and something happened, I dropped it and it, you know, was aiming to go right through and it would have gone down three flights and i would have been wrecked or I would never have found it. But it did just kinda land sideways and I was able to retrieve it. So I keep things in here as little zip pocket. I always put my fountain pens in there and zip it up because I just don't want to take a chance of the rain coming. I gather my things out quickly and I bend over and my, my fountain pen falls out. So that's why I can put a lot of things in this snap part that the zip part, I had to have zips to keep my my favorite tools in my expensive tools safe. Okay. So let me get into pulling out the other things that I have that I take with me. I, I forgot to put this in here, but this fits in here. This is, this is actually just a cover with an insert in it. This is my sketchpad and I made this myself out of postcards from an exhibit that I had one time. And inside there are little sleeves that I made and you can put notes in there. Or sometimes they put the, the palette that I'm using different strips for different palates. So I'll put that in one of these little side pockets. Is an accordion sketchbook. Rice even work on both sides. I've done some things on this side that you can see. And when I go outside for the demo next, I'll be working on this side. And it just slips right in its real easy lightweight to bring with you of trips. And when I get home, I, I bind these together to make one big journal of the trip I've taken. Now I also have another little slip here and this has a magnet on it. So if I don't have my body easel with made which I don't always bring up when I travel. I can just hold it like that to fat on. Okay. And I'm good to go. Alright, so this is in my little pouch use and I have a rag and it's hooked on again, this was all developed for pair gliding and you can't drop something because it eventually could hit somebody in the head if they're down there on the ground. And you don't want to hurt anybody posts, you don't want to lose things. So I have hooks, lots of hooks and I just hook it onto there. And that way too. And I don't want to drop it in a crowd and see. I have of course my wrist sock. And for those of you who don't know better risks, OK. It's just a cotton sock. You cut the end of it off and then you use it to clean off mostly your water brushes and Y right here. Okay. So you have a water brush and so that you don't mix your colors up when you don't want them mixed up, you just would clean off like that. And you can also control the amount of water in your brush with you travel brushes, right? So I have a little atomized yada miser. This what I damp and my pigments with. And this has a little loop. You can either hook it on to one of these hooks or you can loop it through whichever way you want to attach it. But then if you drop it, it doesn't go into either. And you can there are four of these rings all the way around, so you have lots of places you can attach them. Okay. So what else do I have in here? I have a mechanical pencil to that has a hook. So I can draw if I want to. And then I can add that to a little ring and not visit. And then I have my travel brushes. The de Vinci traveled brushes are my favorite. Has lots of different kinds. So I usually have two different sizes. And not the other favorite is a squirrel brush. It's all sort of traveled brush. So I can put those right in there. I have my paints. And if I want to have something more than just this little dish for water, I can hook. Is Tim on that's usually for oil paints where you put your medium or your turbine time in there when you're painting planner, but it works for water. The other thing I'd say, the last thing to show you as far as the supplies go Is this clip. This is a magnetic clip. It can flip upside down onto a board if you don't have magnets or if you just want an extra space, alright? That also, it holds it fantastically. Those are great. If you don't have a body board, you can clip this right to a sketch book. And then you have your palate. It works for that palette. It works for that palette. It's very, very strong, right? It also works for your, your water. So you can bring two of these with you. The only thing I don't like about this is the thickness, so it's not it's not as easy to pack, but but it's really pretty small, so it doesn't make any difference. Okay. I think that that is all I need to show you. As far as how the body easel works. You will see it. Inaction outside where I won't be talking so much. I'll be filming it and then I'll do a voiceover to walk you through it because I want to be outside painting. And the, the cicadas and the birds and the papers and creepers and all those things. You're just making so much noise. So see you in the next lesson. I'm Chris Carter. 3. Hedgerow Technique: Before going outside and filming the actual painting using the body easel and the small alkaloid ten travel kit. And the optimizer and travel brush. I'm going to go through the technique here and walk you through it so that you'll understand what I'm doing when I'm actually outside. Now when you're outside, of course, the sun. And depending on what part of the world you're in, you are paints will drive faster or slower and you'll just have to take that into account for this demo, I'm using the exact same equipment that I'll be using outside. Now the technique is the same, whether you're working on something small like this or a big painting. I mean, of course there's some adjustments, but basically the technique, because it's a pretty much wet in wet technique, leaving dry spots on your paper. And I think in terms of layers, I am going to be doing a hedge row. That's what this class is about, is how to paint a hetro. And what I love about hedge rows is that, and there's this combination of foliage. You can't really tell where one tree begins and the other one ends. But what I like is the sharp branches and trunks that you see in the little peak throughs. Here we go. I'm going to start off pretty pale because I'm gonna be painting foliage over the top. I can always drop in a little bit denser light. Now, we're going to work fairly fast two, and add some. I want, with clear, I want to soften this edge. I don't really want to have heard edges to begin with. But I do want some white and some clouds. Okay. I'm also going to paint some very light field in the background. And there too. Now I'm, I'm not dampening the paper because I will want some white areas. Right now I'm going to start dropping in my trees. There's also going to be grass. I'm mixing it up all kinds of greens, dark greens. Light greens. I may do a little bit of a spray there to soften it up a little. I do want some warmer ones to add. It's going a little bit orange. So I had to put a lot more that n. And because I only have the one blue, I can't get really beautiful spring greens because my yellow is kinda warm and my blue is far deeper with that. And if it's getting a little too dark and I do want to keep areas dry so that you'll see when I put the branches and trunks and see as I drop it in, where I'm just keep adding colors. It's adding different plants. Okay. Alright. Clean this out because I'm going to make my dark violet neutralize and a little bit warm red. Basically with my warm red, I'm adding some yellow to, uh, to neutralize. Okay. Now watch. Tiny branches that consists is still wet, it leads nicely into it. And if sum gets to be a little dark and go back in, green, still flicks like severe wrist. Vary the color. And you can see when the paddle loses it shine, then it's dry, are starting to dry. And if you're a really outside, you can look up and see where there's some shadows. And just plopping and colors. Maybe some negative space. Now I lost my field that was behind there. Okay, now another technique that I'm gonna be using outside stories. I'm just flicking a little bit of paint to get a sense of leaves that you don't want to paint individually. Adds a little bit of life to it. Just flicks. And then what I like to do, and you'll see me do this outside, is I like to do a few little spots red because it really makes it come alive. Watch, Hey, there we go. So that's the basic technique. And when this dries, it won't be quite as bright. And wanted to show you how you can add an indication of the field behind. There are some trees in the distance behind back there. So sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. The, certainly the land behind is not looking like lamb behind. Just play to your heart's content. And now I need to do some more red. That red really livens up. You just take the chance. The idea is to play. 4. Painting Hedgerow En Plein Air: I began by moistening my paints and then I'll squirt a little bit into this extra bucket. I start with a light. Wash up sky. Keeping it light because I'm going to be painting the hedge row on top of it. Remember it will dry a lot lighter. Going right? And afterward quickly. Suggestions of trees. And to use this as a bit of a palate to suggestion of the field behind marketing lights and darks. Pulling out some light. Suggestion of the hedge row B, the field. Going to clean this out and mix my darks for the trace. Little flecks of the brush. I'm gonna wash my brush off little bed. Go back and with a much darker green, blue cranes, calligraphic lines. Then my level flicking. If I can flick with the other hand so that you can match. And now I spoke of red for this path to Brad, I need brush to be clean again. That's it. 5. Conclusion: This brings us to the end of the class on painting hetro. I hope that you play around with it and you don't have to use greens. You can, you can use purples and blues, you can use any color you want. That technique is the same, doesn't really matter what colors you're using. I used greens to be a little realistic with the hedge row at this time of year in my backyard. This is a technique that you can use and really, really accomplished a great deal. In the autumn. If you're in the Northeast where the trees just change beautifully, or other parts of the world where you get wonderful transitions of trees. Try dropping the different colors into the wet puddles and see how rich and beautiful it can be. Plus you can add more and more trees that have already lost their leaves. Really just adjust the technique for whatever purpose you might have. Remember that there is a class that shows you how to make your own body easel. And one that shows you how to make your own little mini Altoid travel kit. Please post your projects, check out my other classes. I think that the pulling the puddle classes will be very beneficial to you. It's a great way to get more comfortable with using wet and wet techniques are just pushing the puddle, pulling the puddle, dropping colors into the puddle, changing them from dark washes into lighter washes. So that's, that's a really popular class that has, has light bulbs going off for a lot of artists, I get a lot of comments and private emails about how their work improved so much after taking the pulling the public classes. I'm having a great time making these courses for you on skill share. And please, if you are interested in a technique that you think I can help you out with, contact me and let me know that you'd like me to put it together. Thank you for taking the time to take my class. I'm Chris Carter on skill share.