Watercolour Sketching For Beginners: An Introduction to Watercolour | Imran Mughal | Skillshare

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Watercolour Sketching For Beginners: An Introduction to Watercolour

teacher avatar Imran Mughal, Graphic Designer & Illustrator

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

66 Lessons (6h 57m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Watercolour Paint

    • 3. Pans or Tubes?

    • 4. Watercolour Brushes

    • 5. Sable Brushes

    • 6. Sharp Point

    • 7. Synthetic Brushes

    • 8. Summary & Mixed Brush

    • 9. Surfaces

    • 10. High Quality Paper

    • 11. Stretching Paper

    • 12. Soaking Paper

    • 13. Taping Paper

    • 14. Drying Paper

    • 15. Other Supplies

    • 16. Highlighting Tools

    • 17. Fine-Liners

    • 18. Supplies Checklist

    • 19. Watercolour Characteristics

    • 20. Colour Swatch

    • 21. Applying Colour

    • 22. Transparency

    • 23. Thin Solution

    • 24. Opacity Levels

    • 25. Watercolour Techniques

    • 26. Wet on Wet

    • 27. Variations

    • 28. Mini Sketch Wet on Wet

    • 29. Paper Angle

    • 30. Using a Hair Dryer

    • 31. Subtle Textures

    • 32. Flat Colour

    • 33. Experiment with Colours

    • 34. Wet on Dry

    • 35. Brush Pressure

    • 36. Glazing

    • 37. Monotone

    • 38. Mini Sketch Wet on Dry

    • 39. Second Colour

    • 40. Smaller Elements

    • 41. Colour Mixing

    • 42. Completing the Grid

    • 43. Colour Values

    • 44. Mixed Colour Values

    • 45. Gradient Technique

    • 46. Full Sketch

    • 47. Smooth Colour Wash

    • 48. Light Tones

    • 49. Texture Variances

    • 50. Single Flat Colour

    • 51. Masking

    • 52. Painting Over

    • 53. Remove Masking

    • 54. Adding Mid-Details

    • 55. Glazing Over

    • 56. Colour Dots

    • 57. Lighter Dots

    • 58. Glazing Over Dots

    • 59. White Details

    • 60. Darker Details

    • 61. Boat Details

    • 62. Finer Boat Details

    • 63. Highlight Details

    • 64. Basic Shadow

    • 65. Class Project

    • 66. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Always wanted to learn how to use watercolours? Or tried watercolours already but they just didn’t work? Or not done watercolours for a while and want a refresher course? If the answer to any of these is yes, then this Watercolour Sketching For Beginners Class is perfect for you!

In this class, we will:

  • Go through all the basic materials and supplies that you will need to get started in the wonderful world of watercolour. All materials and items that are recommended and used in this class can be viewed in the resource sheet.
  • Look at how to stretch your watercolour paper to eliminate warping and bubbling to give you the best experience in applying watercolour to paper.
  • Complete simple exercises to demonstrate the characteristics of watercolours such as transparency and opacity.
  • Work through two main techniques: wet on wet and wet on dry, and complete mini-sketches using both techniques.
  • Explore: glazing, textures, colour variations, values, monotone and much more!

We will then move onto completing a step-by-step watercolour sketch and highlight further tips and techniques to give a complete rounded, first-hand experience in watercolour sketching.

As you work through the lessons in this class, you will accumulate a full set of reference sheets that you will create via the exercises that are done. These will become a super useful resource for you when it comes to your class project and any other projects you take part in with watercolour.

On completion of this class, you will be able to apply and practice all the techniques demonstrated in the exercises in your very own watercolour sketch/sketches!

This class will give you the direction, basic knowledge and confidence for you to be able to quickly start working with watercolours without having to buy every watercolour brush, paints and supplies on earth!

This class is aimed at absolute beginners with no prior knowledge required at all and each step in this class will be taught at a slow, step-by-step pace. This entire class is divided into three main parts:

  1. Materials & Supplies – Lessons 2 to 18
  2. Exercises on Characteristics & Techniques – Lessons 19 to 45
  3. Full sketch step-by-step – Lessons 46 to 64

The reference sketch outline for lesson 46 onwards is available on the resource sheet.

All materials used and demonstrated will be explained and links will be provided in the resource sheet to enable easy access if required. Please note that currently the reference sheet can only be downloaded via a desktop or laptop computer and not on the Skillshare mobile app (correct as of October 2020)

My name is Imran Mughal, and I’m a graphic designer, illustrator and artist and am totally obsessed with art and art materials! You can get in touch with me on my social media channels and can ask me any question you like on this class.

So sit back, relax, and lets get started!

SketchingFineArt Instagram

SketchingFineArt YouTube channel

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Imran Mughal

Graphic Designer & Illustrator


I'm Imran - graphic designer & illustrator based in the UK. I have over 10 years experience in the field of graphic design and illustration in both traditional and digital output and absolutely love all things to do with art!

In addition to my full-time graphic designer role, I am also the art wellbeing lead for my organisation where I deliver wellbeing classes and advocate mindful colouring to relax and de-stress - check out my published colouring books for adults: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B084RXHLFN

In addition to my design & illustration life, I am an active father of 3, oh and I'm naturally addicted to coffee! My illustration classes are all about getting back to basics mainly with traditional mediums and escaping away to relax with art!

I love to ... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Welcome to my class, Watercolor Sketching for Beginners. My name is Imran, I'm a graphic designer and illustrator, and this class is for anybody who wants to learn the basics of watercolor, whether you're an absolute beginner or whether you're somebody who has not used your watercolors for awhile and he wants a refreshing course in the wonderful world of watercolors. We will start off this class by going through some of the materials and supplies that you will need, absolute basics, that is beginner's watercolor class. We will look at watercolor paints and different grades. We will look at the different types of brushes you get with watercolor. We will also be delving into the different surfaces that you can use in water color painting, and as a bonus, we will be looking at how to stretch your watercolor paper and the benefits of stretching your watercolor paper. Then we will also look at the other items, small items that will really give you a nice enhanced experience in your journey in watercolor. We will then move on to some of the characteristics of watercolor and do simple little exercises that will get you warmed up in this fantastic medium. We will then work through examples of watercolor techniques such as the wet on wet technique, wet on dry technique, glazing, creating textures, creating color variations, looking at values, and also looking at monotone painting. We'll then be moving on to completing a full step-by-step sketch, where we will be demonstrating and implementing all the techniques that we've learnt. On completing all the many exercises and the full sketch and the examples that we go through, you will have a nice library of skills and experiences that you just developed to be able to implement into your amazing class projects. This class is for absolute beginners in the field of watercolor. So we will be covering things very slowly and step by step. What are you waiting for? Grab yourself a nice drink, get yourself some nice treats, sit back, relax, and let's get started with this class. 2. Watercolour Paint: Okay, welcome back. Let's start off this class by talking a little bit about one of the main components of watercolor. That is the watercolor paints itself. Now, watercolor paints are made up of pigment and binder. The pigment is usually coming from a natural source or a synthetic source. The pigment is what gives that watercolor, the actual color of that particular watercolor. Now the higher amounts of pigment that you have in a watercolor, the more saturated color you're going to get and the higher quality of color that you're going to get. The binder part of this component is usually what binds the actual pigments into a usable paste. Otherwise, the pigment is usually just a powder that you can't really apply. Now the binder tends usually to be a gum Arabic that most companies use to get this paste like consistency. Now, the watercolor paints generally themselves can be divided into two main categories. The first category is a graduate grade watercolor, so the student grade watercolor or a second category, and the main category is the artist's grade or the professional grade, watercolor. Now the difference between the two is the actual quantity or the ratio of the amount of pigment of binder. With the graduate grade, you can have a lot less pigment inside the actual mixture of that paint and with the professional artist quality watercolor paint are going to have much more pigment to binder in the ratio. Now this does not mean that the graduate paints have inferior pigment to them, lots of brands produce a graduate version, and it's basically a student's version and a professional artist's version. They usually have the same pigment that's in it but the quantities of pigment, the ratio of pigments to binder is different, so it's a lot more in the professional artist grade and a lot less in the student grade. This translates to price, so the difference in price is what is determined by the difference in the amount of pigment. The graduate grade paint, the student grade paint is going to be a lot cheaper than the artist quality grade, so the question arises, which one should you go for, especially if you are an absolute beginner in the field of watercolors and you're taking this class and you want to learn about this beautiful journey of watercolors. I would recommend that you go for the graduate student grade unless you really want to try the high pigments and highly saturated professional colors, it doesn't make a real difference at this stage. I would say, get used to using these graduate grade colors. You'll be able to have more colors available at a cheaper price. You can experiment, learn the medium, and then maybe move on to the professional colors and you'll be able to appreciate that huge significant change from that graduate pigmentation all the way to that highly saturated professional pigmentation, so that choice, I'm going to leave to yourself. All of my recommended paints and sets and brands are going to be in the resource sheet, accompanied with the advantages and disadvantages of each, so do check that out before you decide to go ahead and buy and follow them class. If you already have watercolor paints, then that's great. If you've got sets of graduate quality paints or even some other brand paints so different types of paints absolutely use them. But what I will suggest is that if you've got some really cheap paints, for example, like you've got Boston watercolor sets from the pan shop, or an own store's brand. I would say, don't follow this class with those paints because usually the cheap paints don't have much pigment in them at all, If any. Lots of these one pound, two pound paint sets that you get they are usually made up of cheap dyes and they are buffered up a lot with clay and gum Arabic to produce these really nice vibrant pans of color. But when you use them, the experience just isn't there and you just can't get the effect that you can with the graduate grade paints. I would say avoid using them. Stick to graduate grade. You can get some really, really good value graduate grade watercolor paints, so absolutely go for them. Now let's talk about the different formats that watercolor paints, come into. Let's move on to that next. 3. Pans or Tubes?: Welcome back. Let's just talk a little bit about the formats and modes of these watercolor paints that we can get in the stores. While there is, I'll just quickly run through some of the advantages and disadvantages of these so that you can make an informed decision as to which ones you want to go for, especially if you're a beginner and it's the first time you're purchasing some water color material. Firstly, we have over here, we have the pans. Now these pans are basically set of watercolors in these small little wells which are filled up and they need to be activated with water and they can be used. Huge advantage of these is that you usually get some wells on the side where you can actually color mix and start activating and creating your washes of paint. That's a huge advantage, that you don't need to carry any extra clutter or pallets with you. I would highly recommend getting yourself a small set of watercolor pans. Now, this one that I've got here, this small one, This is a graduate grade. If you remember, like we discussed earlier on, that the graduate grades are a lot cheaper than the professional. Again, I would recommend going for this type of graduate grade small set rather than a biggest set like this, which is the professional grade. Again, this is probably nearly five times as more expensive as this one. You do get a lot more color in it however, for this beginner's class, I highly recommend that you just stick to the graduate grade. Now if you really want to just start off with a professional grade, absolutely go for it if your budget allows it. But what I don't want you to do is just spend lots of money on an art material and then later on, if it's a medium that you don't really like or you're not going to use much, then that would be a waste of money. With the pans, you've got a huge advantage as we discussed before. You have these wells for mixing. You can easily remove the pans and replace them with the colors that you need to replenish. That is a great way of keeping up-to-date and keeping your colors full so you never run out of colors. Again, these you can buy from the shops, from the art stores. What I will say is that depending on where you live, in which parts of the country you live, it will depend on your local art store supplies and brands that you have in the country that you live in. Because these brands the I'm using, these are usually available in the UK. These are actually made in the UK. If you can't access these brands, then what I will do is I'll suggest other brands in the resource sheet that are from various locations in the world that are very high-quality, high-grade painting company brands that I would suggest that you go for. This is Winsor and Newton and this is the main brand, that I use in quite a lot of my supplies, not just in watercolor. I would highly recommend them, they work great. The graduate range in them is excellent. The saturation level is actually very good. You're not going to get high saturation as you get with professional paints, but the level of saturation is fine, especially for this beginner's level. That's basically the pans. Again, some of the disadvantages having these pans is that sometimes they can get stuck. If you see here, I've got all the paints wedged in between each pan and each holding well. Sometimes that can be tricky to remove it once it's finished, all you need to do is just get a sharp blade to wedge it out and that's about it. Generally, I wouldn't say there's any other main disadvantage apart from the fact that when you do use them, you can get this cross contamination of the colors going from one end to the other. If you're working really fast, but quick solutions of that is, you just use a damp cloth or a damp tissue to just wipe off the contaminated areas. Not a huge deal breaker on that. The alternative to pans are actual water color tubes. This is basically what we discussed before. These tubes have got the same material that's inside these pans and they're inside the tubes. All you've got to do is you've just got to squeeze that out and you're ready to go. They need to be activated with water, just like the pans did. However, there are already a ready-made paste because of the gum arabic and this water solution that's inside them. They're a great way to actually replenish your pans. You can actually empty out the entire tube into one of these empty wells. You can use that to create your own palette, but I guess you can do that once you've got yourself used to using different colors. That again, I'll come back to it. I personally think that it's better to just go for a set of pans rather than go for these tubes. Because you will end up having a lot of wastage, especially at this early stage where you're just learning how to use watercolors. Again, it's really up to you. I wouldn't say don't ever buy tubes, if you really want to buy the tubes, maybe just go for the primary colors. Like you've got yellow, blue, and red. Maybe just go for these primary colors and buy the small tubes. You can get much larger tubes in these as well however, the larger you go the more money you're going to end up spending. Like I said before, I'd rather that you spend minimum, but get the best experience that you can in this beginner stage, in the wonderful journey of watercolors that you're about to begin. That's pretty much it for these. We went through some of the advantages and disadvantages of pans. With the tubes again, the disadvantage is that they are really expensive, another disadvantage is, I guess, would be that you can easily lose them because it's so small and you don't have a container to keep them all nice and compact in. Whereas with these, you can easily just close these or take them on for your travels and do watercolors sketching wherever you are on the go. Sometimes with these, especially with this particular set you even get a little brush. Getting some extra freebies is a win-win situation. Let's move on to the next one where we will discuss a little bit more about this amazing journey into watercolors, and we'll be talking about watercolor brushes. 4. Watercolour Brushes: Okay. Welcome back. Let's now talk about the wonderful world of watercolor brushes. Now, watercolor brushes are the main tool that you apply your watercolor with. They are an essential item in the journey in watercolors. Now, the ones that I've got here on the screen, you can see I've got a variety of brushes here. Do you need to buy all of these bushes as a beginner in watercolor? Absolutely not. What I'm going to do is, I'm going to divide these brushes into three categories. Then I'm going to give you a recommendation for this beginner class level on which ones you should go for. Then slowly and gradually as you learn this medium and learn tools, you can build up the set that you have with more experience. Let's start off by moving all of these watercolor brushes away so that they don't look too daunting, and we'll start dividing them up into different categories. Okay, let's now talk about some of these main types of brushes that we have. On the left here, I've got sable brushes. This is one of the main types of brushes that you'll see in watercolor. Sable brushes are basically original real hair brushes. They usually made from animal hairs, such as squirrel hairs or even goat hairs. These are kind of the premium type of brushes that you can get. So the first category is the sable brush. The second category, which is this group that we have over here. These are the synthetic brushes. Now, synthetic brushes are not real animal hair or they're not real hair at all. These are synthetically made fibers that mimic what real hair should be like. These are the kind of secondary brushes that you get which mimic sable brushes but are not real hair brushes. Then the third category, and I only have one of these brushes. I guess this is probably my most important brush that I use. This category is the sable synthetic mix. This brush over here, this category of brush has both sable natural hairs in it. It has synthetic hair in it mixed together to give you best of both worlds. Now let's talk a little bit about these individual categories and look at the advantages and disadvantages of both and See how they're applied using watercolor. 5. Sable Brushes: Let's now talk about our natural hair brushes, the sable brushes. On this sheet over here I've got three different types of brushes. I've got hake brushes on the left here. These two are called hake brushes. These are made with natural goats' hair. In the middle I've got probably the most expensive sable brushes that you can get. These are the Winsor & Newton series 7 Kolinsky brushes. I'll talk a bit more about these towards the end. Then on the right, I've got more of a basic brand in sable. These are the Pro Arte range sable brushes. Again, the cost really varies depending on the type of brush that you buy, and especially the type of hair, the natural hair that's in the sable brush. As I said, these ones that we have in the middle, these are the Kolinsky brushes. These are renowned brushes for their quality, and they have a historic royal attribute to them because they were apparently ordered by one of the queens of our country, Queen Victoria, back in the day to Winsor and Newton. They were commissioned to create this brush as her number 7 Kolinsky brush. It's a world-famous brush. It's the series 7 brush and she wanted the number 7 done. You have a bit of royalty with these brushes. Again, with royalty comes a royal price. These are very pricey, very expensive. I would not recommend getting these as beginners purely because you're starting off in the world of watercolor and you don't want to be spending 50- £100 pounds on your brushes, just on a couple of brushes just to test them out. What I'm going to do is I'm going to quickly show you, bring this closer to the screen, what this brush is really all about. I've got a couple of sizes here. I've got a size 5, and I've got a size 2 brush. These are round brushes. Watercolor brushes, just like any other paint brushes, they can be divided into sable, or synthetic, or a mix of both, and they can be so categorized into their different shapes and sizes. You usually get round brushes in most paint brush types or mediums, and you get flat brushes as well. These are considered as flat brushes. These hake brushes that we have. We have this flat side to them. You get many different types of brushes. But for this beginner's class, there's no point us going through every single type of brush that is available. I really want you to start off quickly and not get confused about all the different types of brushes that are available so that I can recommend to you maybe two or three different types in maybe sable and synthetic, and that way you can quickly get started, and as you go along in this journey in watercolor, you can really build up that experience and then you will know your preferences, whether you like sable brushes, or whether you like synthetic. This was the Winsor & Newton series 7 Kolinsky brushes. Absolute expensive brushes. I don't recommend them. Just wanted to show you these to give you an idea of the price range. One of these brushes, this number 5 brush here, is around £50. Which is a lot of money for a brush, especially if it's a brush that you are just testing out. If you're going to be using this like I do on a daily basis in my career, then it's worth getting. But it's definitely not worth getting for a beginner, not at this stage anyway. Let's just put these royal brushes to the side for a minute and let's talk a bit more about these Pro Arte brushes that I've got here. These Pro Arte brushes are basically exactly the same as these Winsor & Newton sable brushes. The only difference is that the hair in them, the natural hair, is not at the high quality as it was with the Winsor & Newton. The Winsor & Newton they use a hair from a Siberian squirrel, I think. But do check that out. I might be wrong about that, but it is a very rare hair that they use which has some great properties of holding water. Whereas with these brushes here, you do have natural hairs in them, but they're not going to be Siberian squirrel hairs. They're just going to be general animal hairs that they can find. You're not going to get that same performance out of these, but these, I would say, are a good start point to your journey into the world of sable brushes. I wouldn't say that you need to buy sable brushes because you might not even like the feel, or the performance of sable brushes compared to synthetic ones, which we're going to come onto next. But it's just having an idea of what's out in the stores because it can get really confusing especially when you're trying to buy brushes for the first time, so many different types, and varieties, and shapes and sizes, and you just don't know where to start off. My recommendation is, whether you go for stable or synthetic, start this journey with a round brush. Because a round brush is probably the most flexible and advanced brush in terms of you can make as many different types of strokes with it as you would possibly need, especially at this beginner level. I highly recommend going for a round brush. These are the Pro Arte ranges, you can get different sizes in these. These often come in sets. I think I got this quite a long while ago, in sets. You get the zero sizes, 1, 2's and 6's. I would recommend getting maybe a mid-range size such as a size 5 or a size 6. This is the size 5 in the Winsor & Newton, just to give you an idea of what that size looks like. This is a size 6 in the Pro Arte range. You can see there's not much difference in it. I think that's a pretty good size to start off with. The key in any brush is the brush's ability to hold a sharp point. If you look at both of these brushes you might be thinking, "Well, they don't hold sharp points. They're quite roundy from the edges." While that is usually the case with these types of natural hair brushes because they do lose their shape over time. However, the real test is when you dip them in some water. Let's quickly get some water here. 6. Sharp Point: I can show you what this brushes look like. So we'll start off with the Winsor and Newton. All I'm doing here is, I'm just dipping it into the water here. I'll bring this a little bit closer. You can see that that brush just dipping it in, giving it a little swivel, not smashing it on that basis, just normal plain water, give it a little swivel. Take it out, and you can see that it's gone to sharp point. Now that's the key in any brush that you use, whether it be synthetic or sable. A quality of the brush is determined about how that point is made. You shouldn't have to make so much effort for it to get to a sharp point. Again, that is why these brushes are so expensive, because they're purely that good. If this is in your budget, I would maybe recommend getting a smaller size sable brushes, Winsor and Newton one, one any other brand sable brush that uses natural Kolinsky hair. In the resource sheet, I'm going to put down all the different brands of brushes that have Kolinsky hair in it that you can get. It's not just Winsor and Newton. You can get them in different brands, there's Da Vinci brushes. There's many other brands. I'm going to leave all that information for you to have a look at in the resource sheet. We just literally popped it into water and look how sharp that point has become, I mean, the point was pretty much expanded like this Pro Arte one and then just putting it into water. I just made it gel up together really nicely and that's great. That's exactly what we want. Let's test this out on the Pro Arte one. This one tends not to usually go into a sharp point purely because the quality of the hair really isn't that good. But I still would recommend this brush as a beginner, for a beginner, just to have as an experience in the sable brush world range. We have got a little bit more of a sharper point than we had before, which is not bad, but it's definitely not as sharp as that Winsor and Newton point that we have there. This is one of the key aspects of the brushes to maintain and hold the sharp point. When they dry out, they usually falls away and they get rounded, but once you just pop them into water, they should retain their shape and go back to a sharp point. You see, it's still not too bad and that's what it's really all about. We've got the Kolinsky expensive brush on the right, we've got the Pro Arte brush here. Now, we've got the other Kolinsky brush here. This is just to know the smallest size. What I will do with this is I'll just quickly demonstrate this again. Just add it into water, just twist it around a little bit, bring it out, and there you have it. You've got yourself a beautiful sharp point there on this smallest size brush. Maybe we do the same with the Pro Arte smaller brush. I mean, I guess this is probably a similar size, this is possibly a size 2. We can move these other ones out of the way. If you see right away, you can see it's quite dispersed on the tip right over there. So if we just add this to the water, twist it around a little bit, make sure you don't press down, especially with sable brushes. You don't want to be pushing down towards the bottom of your jars because what that will do is damage the brushes, and with sable brushes because they are so soft and natural. They will not hold their shape very well over time. Sometimes, they do get ruined very quickly, so you can see that we've got a pretty decent sharp point. There you have it then. This is what we've got for the sable brushes and natural air brushes. Again, I would recommend going for the Pro Arte range ones if these are some that you can get hold of. There are other more budget versions of sable brushes. Again, all the details of those will be in the resource sheet, the Hake brushes. Now, these ones, what I'm going to do with this is I'm just going to wet this and show you these don't retain any shape because they are just flat brushes. But just to give you a demonstration to keep everything nice and complete, we can just wet this up. You can see it wets up and it holds a lot of water. There's a lots of water soaked into that hair and that's the massive advantage that you have of natural hair brushes which hold up and they can release a lot of water, and that really is the key to watercolor painting, watercolor sketching. I would recommend maybe getting a couple of round brushes and a Hake brush, maybe a one-inch Hake brush like this, and maybe a size 4 or a size 5 round brush like this Pro Arte one, and I think that is a great start point. We will demonstrate these later on in the class and you'll see how we use these brushes together. So now, let's move on to the synthetic brushes. 7. Synthetic Brushes: Looking at our synthetic brushes, the brushes that are not natural hair, they're made-up fibers that replicate natural hair we've got a nice little range over here. Now, starting off from the right, let's look at this funny-looking brush down here. This is what we call a water brush, and this is one that I would probably say avoid using for watercolor because I personally, from a personal perspective, don't really like using these because I think that they're a bit difficult to control. But you might like using them, so I've just thought I'll show you one of these, if this is something that you might think that you might like. They're not very expensive at all. Maybe just if you fancy trying this one now I'd maybe get a normal size in it. I'm not quite sure what size numbers they come in because I bought these a long time ago. You can get these in packs and sets where you have many different size variations. They have their own little caps on at the top, and you can see mine have gone quite dark with that because I've probably not really used them for watercolor, I've used them more for ink. But I guess they are handy, especially if you go traveling and you don't want to carry any water with you. What you do is you literally just open up the back and you fill this little well area full of water, and then you can just control the water flow by squeezing out that water onto your paper and then just dipping it into your paint. But again, personally I don't really like using these, but maybe something that you might want to look into. I thought I'll just quickly go pass that one and we can just move that one back in its place. Now, the ones that I really recommend are these four over here. Now, this first one is the good old round brush, like we mentioned with the Winsor & Newton brushes. If you remember, we had the Winsor & Newton round brush. This is just a replication of a round brush in a synthetic form. Now, this is just a own store brand, you don't need to worry too much about brands with these synthetic brushes. I would definitely recommend going to your local art store or having a look at your local art store's website and checking out what their own brand synthetic brushes are like. Just make sure that you get the ones that say watercolor synthetic brushes because brushes are available with acrylic paint, oil paint, ink brushes, you want to be going for the ones that say watercolor on it because the fibers have specifically been created and treated so that they can hold watercolor, and what you don't want to be doing is using an oil brush or an acrylic brush with your watercolor paints because it's not going to produce very good results and you're not going to be very happy. With this one, this is a size 10. The sizes are going to vary from brand to brand. The size 10 in this own store brand won't be the exact same size as a size 10 in, say, a Winsor & Newton, you are going to get some discrepancy. But I say maybe a size 8, between an 8 and 10 is a good starting point to have as a nice, decent, wide, round brush that you can use to apply your watercolor in this watercolor journey. Round brush, nice short handle. That's another thing to mention. Watercolor brushes come in short handle sizes, they come in long handle sizes like this as well. That's entirely up to you which size you're comfortable with. I prefer the short handle ones, the long handle ones are generally created to hold like this towards the end, especially if you've got your watercolor paper mounted on an angle on a board. They do have their advantages of having long handles, so you have less pressure on them, but we will go through that in the upcoming lessons. Short handle, long handle, the only difference is in the grip. The advantage of having short handle ones is that you can actually hold them like a pen. If you're used to doing drawings with ink pens or with colored pencils, you can actually mimic that style of holding your brush, and that's what I personally do. That's pretty much my style of art. I like to draw my watercolor paintings with the brush, if that makes sense. That's the first synthetic brush, absolutely brilliant. I would say it's a must-have for any watercolor class or any watercolor project. Moving onto this next one, this is a Filbert brush. This is a watercolor size 8 Filbert brush which is basically just a rounded-off, chiseled-off brush that works nice, especially if you want to add in some edges or want to create some details. Now, I wouldn't say that you have to have this brush or it's an absolute must, because, again, the more brushes you buy the more money you're going to spend. I would say if this is something that you want to try out, then go for it. This is a Maestro brand aquamarine watercolor brush. Again, I'm going to leave the links in the resource sheet for all the sizes of brushes and brands for you to check out and read up on the reviews or to purchase if that's what you want to do. But again, this one is absolutely not necessary, but it's a good one to have. Let's move on to the next one, and it's this huge massive size brush here. This is what we call a quill brush. You can see over here Golden Taklon Quill. These are quill brushes, or in some cases they may be called mop brushes because they basically look like a mop. These are absolutely brilliant for doing backgrounds. They soak up a lot of water, you can get these in the sable versions, but they're going to cost a lot of money. You're looking at well over £100, especially for this size of a brush. I would recommend going for one of these quill brushes. This is a size 220, the number of the size, it depends on the actual brand. This is by Silver Atelier, so it depends on which brand you go for. Again, I'm going to leave the links to all the different brands for these quill mop brushes. Absolutely, brilliant for backgrounds and you're going to see me using this in the upcoming lessons. Finally, we have the good old flat brush. Now, these flat brushes, I would say, again, these are really, really good for watercolor, especially if you're doing light washes and you want to quickly lay down your watercolor without making too many rendering lines or mess. Now, this one is again an art company own brand by Jackson's, and it's a one-inch brush. I think one inch is a pretty good start off size. I wouldn't go for anything bigger because for the beginner's class, we're going to just work on small-sized paper, no bigger than A4, and these size brushes are ideal to start off in. Again, the synthetic, you can get the sable versions, but they're just going to be too expensive. That's a nice little roundup of the synthetic range. Again, if I were to choose two brushes out of these five and recommend to you to get to start off in, I would probably say go for the round brush synthetic and either go for the flat one or the mop brush because you can get similar effects with both, they're both created to create big washes to cover up space quickly. Either one of these would be great. The Filbert-style brush, I would say if it's something that you really want then go for it. But it's absolutely not necessary, it's just a good one to have. This brush, I don't recommend it at all. I don't personally like it. There's a lot of watercolor artists that use this, especially when they go out on their travels when they're sketching on the go. But I personally don't like them, but I'm going to leave that up to you whether you want to get that or not. It's definitely not necessary for this class. Let's just do a quick roundup of what we spoke about with the sable brushes and the synthetic, and then we'll move on to the final brush that I use probably more often than any, which is the sable synthetic mix. 8. Summary & Mixed Brush: We went through sable brushes like we've got here and the synthetic brushes like we've got over here. I recommended that you go for a round brush in either or in sable or in a synthetic. Maybe have a couple more options with the synthetic brushes for the wider brushes, for your bigger washes like these two down here. We have the hake brush, so it's a good brush to have just to have big wide washes of brushes, but it's not necessary. These brushes that I have got on display over here, these are the ones that I would generally recommend for this class. Alternatively, you can get yourself a set of brushes where you have a set of round brushes or a set of mixed watercolor brushes, absolutely try them out if you want. But generally speaking, when you buy set brushes you tend to probably only use two out of the six or seven brushes that you get in a sets and the rest are usually a waste. You really want a brush that you can make fine details with, so something like a number 2 in size, in a round, and then something a little bit bigger than a number 2, a five or six, that would work nice for bigger washes of watercolor. Then I would say you probably need a size 8 or 10 brush, such as the synthetic one to really give you some good coverage when you're doing your watercolor paintings. Then finally, a nice big, heavy wide brush, like the quill brush and it's flat one-inch brush to give you a nice range of being able to the thin marks, medium marks, and wide wash marks, to give yourself all the options that you can at this beginner stage. Now, you can make even thin marks with the biggest brushes depending on how sharp the point that they can maintain. Again, with this synthetic brush over here, if we deep this in a bit of water. We got my water jar hair just with plain plain. I'm just going to mix it up and you can see the color is slightly changing. You do need to wash your brushes up after you use them. That's an absolute key, and I clearly haven't done that. So that's not very good demonstration. We've got this nice little point that you've got over here. On this brush, you can do some really nice detail work even if you have a number 10 brush. If you don't want to buy five or six brushes initially, then I would probably say just get yourself a number 8 size brush, around eight size brush and that is it. You don't need to spend any more money. Get yourself a good own brand, artist brand, number 8 size, synthetic watercolor brush, and get yourself some paint, nice small sets of graduate grade paints, and you're ready to go in this class from the watercolor paint and the brush side of things. Finally, after going through the sable and the synthetic, there is one last brush that I want to talk about, and this is this one over here, which is the sable synthetic mix. Now, I'll just move this to the side so you can see this one a little bit better. This is basically a hybrid brush of the sable and the synthetic. You're getting best of both world. This is the brush I personally use more often than all the sables and the synthetic brushes that I have, and the reason for this is, that it has the flexibility of a synthetic brush because synthetic brushes are a lot more flexible than the sable brushes. The sable bushes are made with natural hair, so they tend to bend a lot more. There are a lot softer, and they do tend to lose their point quite quickly. Whereas with the sable brushes, they're a little bit more rigid because of the fibers they artificially produce, they bounce back. There were a lot more springy. What you really want, or what I really prefer is to have best of both worlds, and that's where this guy comes in. This brush has the springiness of a synthetic brush and it has that water-holding quality of a sable brush. I personally think that this brush is one of the best brushes that you can get. However, these are quite pricey brushes. They are a medium price range brush compared to sable and synthetic. It all depends on your budget, what you want to spend initially. Now if you really want to try this brush out, I would say go for a size 8, between a six or an eight, and eight I think is absolutely perfect. The width of this brush is great. It's completely black because of the fibers that we use. It just black colored fibers, and it works really well. I think it has squirrel hair in it, I'm not sure if it's kolinsky, but this is by a company called Silver Black Velvet. You may or may not have seen a lot of watercolor artists use this absolutely gorgeous brush and it works really well. Absolute solid performer. I would recommend this if this is what you want to go with, and maybe if this is just the only brush you want to go with and you don't want to bother with any of the others then just go with this brush if that's what you want. But a summary, I would say if you're a one brush person and you just want to start off by using one brush. Then don't go for the sable brush, don't go for the mixed sable synthetic. Instead, just go for the synthetic round brush and either get a size 8 or gets a size 10 to start this journey in the wonderful world of watercolors. That's about it for the brushes side of things. There are many other brushes that you can get in watercolor. You can even get these fan brushes which are great. bow again, for this beginner's class, I don't really want to delve in too deep onto the like in a shapes and forms of brushes. I'd rather just keep it nice and simple for you to really warm yourself up in this excellent world of watercolors. Now that we've gone through the brushes, we've gone through the paints, all we need to do now is move on to the third essential item, which is the surface. It's all about the surface. Let's move on to that next. 9. Surfaces: Welcome back. Now let's talk about the third most important item that you're going to need in the journey of watercolors, that is, watercolor paper. Now you can paint with watercolor on different surfaces. There's many different surfaces that are available in the forms of paper, board, even some canvases that you can paint on that have been treated for watercolor. However, for this beginner's class, I'm going to recommend that you just stick to watercolor paper. Let's start off by going through a cheap brand of watercolor paper just to get you warmed up. This one that I've got here is by Reeves. I don't recommend that you get this to do your final watercolor sketching on or to follow the class on because this watercolor paper just won't work. However, it's a great pad of paper or a water paper that you can use as scratch paper just to practice the color saturation, or just to test out your brushes before you actually start doing your real watercolor exercises. So the weight is the most vital part of watercolor paper and I'll show you here on the screen. I'll just bring this up. The weight of this particular pad of paper is 190 GSM. This is not adequate for good watercolor adherence and absorption. What you want is a 300 GSM, which is the equivalent of 140 pounds in weight. Now this is only 90 Pound in weight and again, 190 GSM. This will not do. If you have any other type of budget watercolor paper that's in this weight level or is even lighter than this then, absolutely avoid it, even avoid this one if you don't have it already, but if you do have something like this just at hand, then you can use it as a scratch paper. Which ones should we go for? Let's pull this one out of the way, the one that we don't really want to use, and let's switch to probably one of the best watercolor papers you can get and that's is lo and behold, Arches. Now you might be thinking that Arches, if you already know about Arches Watercolor Paper, this is a very expensive paper. But the main difference between this and this cheaper grade paper is: there's two main differences. The first one is the weight. On this one, remember I said 300 GSM is key and that's exactly what this is. This is 300 grams per meter squared, 140 pounds. So that's the ideal thickness and the weight of the watercolor paper that you want. This watercolor paper has an additional specialty to it and that is, it is made with 100 percent pure cotton. That makes a massive difference in your experience of watercolor. What that does is it absorbs off the watercolor itself. So the actual pigment, it has a different effect in absorption of the pigment and absorbing the water. It will bring out the best colors of the colors that you have, whether they be graduate or professional artists colors, this will really bring out the best in the watercolor that you're using. So I highly recommend this. They are very expensive. So what I would suggest is maybe get yourself just one pad of this Arches Watercolor Paper and get in either a hot press or a cold press. 10. High Quality Paper: The difference between hot press and cold press basically is, hot-pressed is a smooth finish. I'll show you here, the paper has a really nice, smooth, lovely finish on it. You can do a lot of detailed work on it, especially if you're going to use pen. With the cold press, which is also known as the NOT, this is the medium-grained paper, so you've got a texture on this. I'll just show you, I'm not sure if you can see this on the camera. What we'll do is we'll just bring this closer to the screen, and if you can see this, it really has a nice texture to it. It's got this nice velvety type texture, and it just feels lovely. When your watercolor painting is dried or your watercolor sketch is dried, it just gives it that gorgeous, gorgeous look and texture. Either, or, get one of these. I would recommend. These come in different sizes and formats. This size that I've got here is the standard 9 inch by 12 inch, and it's the same here with this hall press pad. This is my go to paper. This is what I use on a daily basis, if not on a every couple of days basis when I'm doing watercolor work, and I just can't highly recommend this enough because it's just brilliant. It's absolutely brilliant. I've been using this for years, and I really wouldn't go to any other watercolor paper. However, if this is not within your budget range, then what I would suggest is getting yourself a good quality, paper-based, watercolor paper. Now, an alternative to this would be, in my experience, Bockingford, which is a great watercolor paper. This comes in different varieties and sizes. I've got these blocks here. These are watercolor blocks. The difference between these blocks and those pads over there of individual sheets is that these blocks are actually glued on all four sides. You've got this side here of the watercolor paper block glued up there, and the other side is glued on this long end. On the other side is completely glued. Then on that opening side where you open it from, I will try bringing this closer to the camera and show you, you have a slight gap. So what I'll do is I'll just try pulling this gap. If you can see this, you've got the slight gap where what you do is, you just paint on your actual watercolor block, on the front page. You won't have any seepage going through. Once you're done, all you've got to do is get yourself a ruler or a palette knife, and you've just got to literally put this under the sheets that you've painted, so just there, slide it in there, and then lightly just push across the edges all the way across. What that does is, that releases the glue attachment on the paper from each corner, and just like that, you can see, I've released that paper. Now, you've got to do this all the way across to release the full sheet. I'll quickly do that while I'm talking, and I would highly recommend Bockingford watercolor blocks. You can get these in individual sheets as well. I have them here, bought like that, they're just really easily removable, and then you've got a complete sheet. Now, the advantage of these Bockingford Block that I've got or this Bockingford paper is that, again, the key is that it's 300gsm, 140 pound in weight. This one is a cold-pressed one, the NOT, so it's the one like the Arches green one, like this. It's exactly the same texture as the Arches. The Arches has a slightly different feel to it, but this is, I would say, a decent brand of paper. Now, there are many other types of brands that you can get. This one's actually made in the UK, in England, and it's mold-made, its acid free, and archival, which is again, great qualities to have. I would not recommend any other brand that I know of, but if you have different brands where you live, there are Canson and then this Fabriano, which again, is an expensive brand. These are usually not 100 percent cotton boards or papers, and what you'll find is if you do use cotton and non-cotton, you'll find that the colors show slightly different in terms of absorption and saturation, and it really does make a huge difference in my experience and opinion. I would recommend that if you don't want to spend too much money on the Arches paper, then maybe go for Bockingford, maybe buy a block. You can also buy these in individual sheets, like I've got over here. These come in individual, bigger sheets, so they might be a lot cheaper for you in terms of economy. You can cut these sheets down. Now, the only thing to notice here is that if you're using a cotton paper such as Arches, it will not buckle up as quickly as the mold-made paper, fiber paper. When we come to buckling, and we'll discuss this on the next lesson, we will look at how both of these papers are impacted with water and the level of water, and how they buckle. Buckling is basically just the warping and bubbling up of the paper, the surface, when water is applied to it, and that's a key issue with watercolor paper. Every paper will buckle, that's a given. Some will buckle a lot quicker. The Bockingford will buckle a lot more quicker than the Arches, but the Arches, even though it's an expensive 100 percent cotton paper, it will also buckle. Now with the Arches, you can buy the Arches in a block as well. However, the blocks usually quite more expensive than these pads. The pads themselves, they just have 12 sheets in a standard pad. It's just standard pad, 12 sheets. Open it up and just tear out the sheet itself. All you do tear tear out the sheet, and you're ready to go. Best to use the front surface, but you can also use the back surface. I would stick to the front. Another way to avoid the buckling is to stretch the paper, and we're going to talk a bit more about stretching the paper to minimize that buckling and warping. That's another step that you'd have to do if you want to do it, but we will discuss that in the next lesson. Just generally speaking, I would suggest go for Arches if you have it in your budget, and maybe also go for Bockingford as well to have as a secondary paper. But if your budget doesn't allow you, then just stick to the Bockingford. It's a lot cheaper than the Arches, and you can get some really decent results with it. Again, it comes with the hot-pressed, the smooth surface, or it comes with the cold-pressed, the textured surface. I'll leave that decision up to you. All of the links to these products will be in the resource sheet, so do check them out, and I'll also put links to other brands of watercolor paper that come highly recommended that I have used in the past. But again, my main two brands that I use, and the ones that I recommend, are the Arches and the Bockingford. Now, a third type of watercolor paper item, I would say is probably worth having a look at, is a watercolor sketchbook. Now, watercolor sketchbooks are great because you can just do some practice work and it keeps all your watercolor paintings in one place. These are usually paper mold-made and they tend to walk quite a lot. This one that I've got here is a small version and then it's just a bigger version here. Links to these sketchbooks will be available in the resource sheets again, and I'll just quickly show you over here. This is the type of things that I do in my watercolor sketchbook, and I use this every single day. I go through quite a lot of sketchbooks because I do, do quite a lot of drawings and illustrations on a daily basis. These are the type of results that you can get. Again, my style is quite loose sketching, heavy ink work. I do a lot of ink work and then I go over with the watercolor, and that's pretty much good for what I use it for. I do recommend it, maybe get a small one of these. These are fairly inexpensive in the grander scheme of things. I would probably suggest getting a small watercolor sketchbook. Now, you can also get watercolor sketchbooks that are made with the 100 percent cotton paper. However, those are quite hard to come by and they can be very, very expensive. So I'd avoid them, wouldn't worry too much about them because even cotton paper buckles and warps, so there's no real point in spending that much money on a sketchbook that's got cotton paper in it. These will work fine for the type of things that we're going to do in this beginner's class. I'm going to leave it up to you, to which surface you want to get. Again, I'm going to leave all the details in the resource sheets, so do check that out before you decide to go ahead and buy. If you've already got watercolor paper, then just go ahead and use that one. In the next lesson, we're going to talk about the dreaded stretching of watercolor papers. Let's move on to that one next. 11. Stretching Paper: Welcome back. Let's now talk about watercolor paper stretching. Now, as we mentioned before in the previous lesson, we need to stretch our watercolor paper to minimize the buckling or the warping that you get when you add water to watercolor paper. You can stretch your watercolor paper in a number of different ways. Generally, the principles are the same. The tools that you might use might be a little bit different. This technique that I'm going to show you, we're going to be using gummed tape. We've got gummed tape on the left side over here and all gummed tape is is paper tape that has a glue on the inside of the tape. You can see over here on the screen, we've got the paper part on the outside and we've got the glue on the inside. Now, the glue at the moment, it's not sticky, so it's not sticking to anything. How you activate this is by adding water to it. The glue will become activated by water and that's why we have a water bottle or even a wet brush at hand to just get this activated so that it can become sticky and we can use this to tie down our paper. This is the first item that you would need in this method of stretching your watercolor paper. The next item we need is the board that we are going to stretch our watercolor paper on. Now, the board that you use is very important, the surface of the board is important because what you want is a completely flat surface. You don't want something that's too shiny or too laminate because then the tape will just keep spreading on it and you don't want it to be completely porous that the water just sinks into the board. There are many different options that you can use. You don't have to specifically go out and buy a watercolor paper stretching board, but that is an option if that's what you want to do. I will leave again all the links and details in the resource shades under this area of watercolor paper stretching of all these materials and the different types of boards that you can get. But there may be something that you already have in your house that you can use. For example, over here obviously is just an old chopping board that I have. It's a nice, lightweight chopping board and this will work fine. Also got here a backing board from a picture frame. This is a backing board that I just took out from the picture frame. You can see that's how they usually caught and these will work fine as well because they have a nice shin finish on it that's not too slippery, it's just right. It will resist the water and it's nice and thin and it's really lightweight. That's another thing to consider, the weight of the board that you're using. You can also use an empty shelf board if you have one lying around and I often tend to do this. I've got an empty shelf board here so you can see I'll show you on the camera. This was just a empty shelf board that I had in the garage and it works great. It just has like a table finish on it and this is absolutely perfect for what we need to do. What I'm going to do is I'm going to demonstrate this on the shelf board that I have over here so that you can follow along. Don't worry if this is something that you've never done before and you're a bit nervous about using your watercolor paper. Watch me do this in this video and then give it a go yourself. But by all means, you don't have to stretch your watercolor paper. I prefer to stretch it purely because I like to have a complete flat surface to paint on. Now, that's not a prerequisite to watercolor. If you're happy with your watercolor bubbling up or becoming a little bit wonky, that's entirely up to you. But I'll go through the stretching method for those of you who really want to have a maximum flat piece of watercolor paper that you can paint on, and I think personally, I think that experience that you get will be absolutely brilliant. Let's make a start with this one. Step 1 is to actually cut your brown tape, your gummed tape into its right sizes so that we can do this in advance without having to worry about it because once you start wetting your paper, then what you don't want is you have wet fingers and to handle this in contact because the moment any drop of water goes onto this tape, it's going to become super sticky and it's going to stick all over the place and the glue is going to move around and you're just going to get super frustrated. We need to cut our paper tape into size. So what I'll do is I'm going to get my A4 watercolor paper here and we'll start cutting this up into its right size. What you want is you want to have extra overlap of the tape that goes beyond the length and size and edge of the paper and that is so that it sticks to this edge. What we're going to do is we're just going to roll this out about this much. You can see over here, I'll just move the board a little bit higher. I'm just resting that there, I would leave maybe this much space and then just cut away the same amount of space on both sides and you've got yourself a nice strip that will fit this side here and it will fit the top side. Again, we just need another one to fit the top and bottom and it will curl away like this. The best way to deal with this is putting glue side down. It's not going to stick on anything because it's not been activated yet. That's all I'm going to do. Again, all I'm going to do is roll this out and have approximately the same size like I've got up there and what that will do is give me two nice strips that are ready to glue and take down. Again, what we want is a strip to go about this much. So I'd say maybe an inch and a half or maybe two inches above or bigger than the size of the actual paper edge and that would be just right. You've got that one going there and then we're going to do another one pretty much the same size as we did before. You don't have to have this perfectly measured. It doesn't matter if you have some going bigger than the other. The key really is to make sure that it covers the length of the paper and beyond so that we have nice sticky point that we'll seal each other, and that's what we're going to do. We're going to basically use these to seal the paper top, bottom, left, right, just like so, and another tip in this is that how much should you actually glue inside. Now, I would suggest maybe one centimeter to one and a half centimeter. It's always a good idea to get this measured on your paper. What I'm going to do is I'm just going to get myself my little pencil, and with my pencil, I'm just going to measure one centimeter point inwards here and another centimeter point here on each corner so that I can have a bit of a guideline to follow when I'm gluing my tape down. Let's get on with that now. We've got a nice one and a half centimeter border going all the way across and that's our rough guide where we will be overlapping the tape over so that we have a nice little guide where we can go into, so it doesn't all go wonky and you'd have a very nice finish. We've made our guidelines and one important note to mention here is that the brown tape that we put on, once we've wet the tape and the paper has been wet and it has dried out and it's being stretched, you're going to effectively lose this border area because the gummed tape is very difficult to remove without leaving residue on the paper and that's what you don't want. What I mean by that is like you can see on this sheet of paper, I stretch this and I move this off just for purpose of illustration. You get this horrible, it's all glued area because the glue is very strong on these tapes and that's what you don't want. It's best to just cut that off and disregard this area of your paper. You do lose it, but if you want to use that later on when you're framing your work, that's absolutely fine and it can get hidden within the frame. Our next step is we need to wet the tape. Now, this is one of the most important parts, steps in this method of stretching. You need to wet the paper completely. So not just the front side, but we need to wet the entire sheet from back and front. The best way to do this to have it really efficiently wet is to have a bucket or a square container full of water and just submerge the sheet into that container. That's what we're going to do next. 12. Soaking Paper: Okay, so now I've got my buckets full of water. You can see I've got water over here. This is just normal lukewarm water. What you don't want to be using is warm or hot water. Cold water, lukewarm water will work fine if the water is too warm or too hot, what will happen is the actual sizing inside the watercolor paper may get dislodged or move, or just come out. Sizing is a substance that they put inside the fibers of the mode of the watercolor paper. That is the key ingredient that pulls and cleans onto the actual watercolor paints itself. So if the sizing is removed, the watercolor paint won't adhere properly or fully onto the watercolor papers do bear that in mind. I've got my sheets here, that I marked with a 1.5 centimeters border going all the way around the edge. What I'm going to do is submerge that into the water like soap, and just ensure that all corners have been submerged properly and the timing of how long you need to keep the sheet in water, that's going to depend on the brand that you're using. But just generally as a rule of thumb, I would suggest between five all the way up to 10 minutes having it's submerged. You might think that's a long time to have a sheet of colored paper or any sheets of paper submerged inside water. But I assure you nothing will happen to the paper. It won't come below because it really is that type of paper that can withstand this water. The point of doing this is to stretch the fibers of the paper out before you start adding watercolor paint to it, because the papers have fibers have not been stretched out. They have nowhere to go when water is added to them. So they naturally want to move. If you've already got them stretched out, then they've already been fully expanded. That's the whole purpose of stretching your watercolor paper. I've just submerged in. It's only been about half a minute now. All you do is just keep turning it over, press it down. Don't press too hard because you might get like bumps or little scrapings of your nails going into the paper. Just use the tips of your fingers just to keep it in and eventually it'll stay down. That's all you need to do. If you don't have a square bucket or square container, like I've got here. This is just a drawer from a sets of plastic chester drawers that I use, which works perfectly for an A4 size sheets of paper or 12 by nine like I am using here. But if you don't have this, then alternatively you can just run your sheets of watercolor paper under the tap, under the faucet. Just run it under the faucet for a few minutes and that will work. It's just that it can get a little bit messy. This way, you have everything in control and can control where the watercolor paper is being wet or moist and where it isn't. Just like that I'm just twisting it's over. You can actually perform a test to see whether it's been properly soaked or not. The usual test to see whether your watercolor paper has been soaked properly or not, whether it's ready to put on the stretching board, on the board is to see if the paper flops. If you hold the paper upright like this, it should flop over. You can see that took a little bit a while to flop over. It's not flopping over completely, so it's not ready yet. Even if you hold it from this side and you see is it flopping over see that's still a bit steady, it's going down but not as quick as it should. So it needs at least five more minutes in the water until all those fibers have been completely soaked. That way you will get the best results. Now, I've let my watercolor paper soak for about five to six minutes. You can tell now it's very floppy. It's not holding its shape at all. It's got no rigidness left in it, you can say it's completely soaked. We'll just do a quick little test. Lift it up and before I even I lift it up, it's already falling down, it's flopping away. That's pretty much ready. What we're going to do now is, we're going to remove the sheet and we're going to put it straight onto our board as it is. 13. Taping Paper: There we go. So I've just got my sheets and you're going to place it onto my board, I'm just going to let it drop down, and just lightly with nothing else I'm just going to spread out the sheets so that there's no air bubbles. Now, it's important that you don't have any air bubbles underneath the actual sheets. So while these, I'll just gets a quick little zoom in on that. You can see over here, what I'll do is I'll just move this a little bit forward. What we don't want is we don't want air bubbles going in here at all. Because if you have air bubbles in it, once its dried out, those air bubbles will appear again when you apply the water. So very important to make sure that just with your fingers very, very large, you don't press down to hard, just lightly finding out those air bubbles and ensure that it's completely flat. So there we have it. So what I'm going to do now is I'm just going to dry my hands with some paper towels. So that's always another thing to have handy, some paper towels and tissues, because what you don't want is you don't want your fingers to be wet when you're handling the tape. Now, before we start applying the tapes to this, I'm going to get my little bottle spray, and what I'm going to do is I'm just going to spray around the edge of the paper. So what I want is I want that board area to be wet. Now, the reason I'm doing this is, so that I don't have to overly wet the tape before I put it on. When the tape hits the actual board and the paper itself, then it's already wet and it will activate the glue and we won't have to move it around. The more you move the tape around while it's wet, the more that glue is going to slip over, and you may end up getting pockets of air going in between those gaps that you create. So just with your spray bottle lightly spray the paper as well. Just to see you've got a nice bit of moisture going all the way around. That way, we'll avoid getting into trouble with the tapes. Again, just lightly, make sure there's no bubbles there or there's no residue or anything on top, and we're ready to go. So we've got some nice bit of moisture around this whole area here and dry your hands, make sure your hands are completely dry, get all of your tape and ensure that you are not touching the glue side. So I've got my tape here. This was the longest side. So this was the longest side here, and line it up with the actual line that you've got. All I'm doing here is I'm just lining it up, lightly pressing down, not pressing down hard at all, and you'll notice, it's difficult to tell on the screen, but you'll notice when you do this. At the moment, you end up putting that tape down, it's automatically adhering because that glue's touching that water and it's automatically adhering to it. So you can see now I've gone slightly behind the line that I drew, but that's fine. Don't worry about that because you're going to lose this side of the paper anyway. Lightly, with your finger, just press down on this edge here to make sure there's no air gaps down here. Lightly just run your finger down this across the edge and if you can see anymore air gaps over here, make sure to press them out. The paper should be completely wet from underneath. There should be no dry areas underneath, and that's pretty much it. So what we're going to do is we're going to do exactly the same. Dry your hands with a bit of tissue, your finger tips and then get hold of the next roll of tape. What we're going to do is we're just going to overlap this on top. Now, this area is not going to have any moisture on it. So good thing to do is just get your spray and just lightly spray that area, little bit of moisture so that the tape adheres over there so we don't have a gap. Again, all we're going to do is line this up with the line that we did, and lightly press down with our fingers, run it down, and you can see it's added that beautiful seal at the edge where that paper meets the brown tape. You've got that gorgeous seal going on there and it's completely wet just like we did before. Dry your fingertips and then just run your finger across the edge. So you get rid of all those bubbles, those potential air bubbles, because they're the ones that are going to be the little monsters that come to bite you when it dries off and we don't want to have any of them. So let's just run our finger across there. There we go, it's completely sealed from where the paper is. Now, another thing to check is to make sure that you've not added any air bubbles while you're doing this. Just run your fingers past this again to make sure that the air bubbles are out, and this one is looking good and don't dry your fingers, and we're going to repeat that process. There we have it through the center, bring your fingers out, get rid of any potential air bubble, and then outwards, center and outward so you run your fingers across that, make sure it's sealed on these edges. Dry your fingers and just do a final run, with your dry your fingers across it, make sure it's completely attached to the board. There should be no air gaps on these edges from the tape and there should be no bubbling of areas on where the overlap of the tape is over the watercolor paper. So I'm happy with that, and if you do see like some tape coming forward or coming off from the edges, just get a little bit of water with your watercolor bottle, spray it, and then just spread it across. What you don't want to do is over saturate the tape with water because that will just make the actual tape move around, and that's the last thing we need. So there we go. So we've got our watercolor paper taped down, and the next step now is to wait until it dries. Now, this can take about 4-6 hours if you let it air dry. Alternative is again, your hair dryer out and let it dry out with your hair dryer. Personally, I don't like using hair dryer because I think sometimes if it's a little bit wet or moist and you end up using your hair dryer, too much of the high power or a high heat, that can also skew the tape a little bit. So I always prefer to let it dry overnight and then I deal with it the next day. This step, if you're going to do this the way I've done it, do this the day before you decide to actually do your watercolor work, and then by the next day it will be perfect and ready. So I'm going to leave this as it is, and we'll come back tomorrow. 14. Drying Paper: Welcome back. I've left my stretched watercolor paper on the board overnight and it's completely dry. The test that you can do to see whether it has been completely dry is if you just feel it with the back of your fingers, it shouldn't feel cold or damp. It should feel completely dry the texture of the paper is what you should be able to feel. You can see here that the tape is nice and snug. It's not coming apart from the edges in this side. This now is ready to paint on with watercolor. Do remember, you don't want to be taking these tapes off and then painting, because you're going to have the same problem again. What you want to do is keep it as it is, and then you can go in and paint. You can remove this once you've completed your painting or your sketch in watercolor. However, it can be quite tricky because what you've got to do is you've got to wet it. I guess what you can do is use your spray bottle or a brush, a damped brush and just brush it over with water. To be totally honest, I never do that because it just gets messy. Sometimes a glue can slip over to your artwork, or you can ruin your artwork by adding too much water and it just becomes a bit of a mess. Instead what I do is, I take the tape off and then I cut out these edges where the brown tape is overlapping. Or I just leave it as it is. Then I use that inside a frame and if I'm going to frame my artwork, I recommend that you don't actually try removing this, just leave it as it is. Just except the fact that you're going to to this border. It's all good because you've got plenty of space to work with, especially on a sheet that's 12 by 9 size like this one. Another thing to mention now is that, the brown tape that we use, this gold tape that we have over here. It's vital that you do not get any water droplets on this. Now if you can see, hey, if you noticed while I was stretching the paper, while I was using the tape and applying the water I accidentally got couple of drops here and then I can show you this as a demonstration. This pretty much ruins the tape because what happens is that water sips through and it starts activating the glue. Then you get these add bubbles left where the glue is being removed from because of the water, it doesn't completely remove it. It just moves it around. Then what happens is when you use the tape again and those areas have got no glue on it. It pretty much ruins the actual stretching of your paper. You going to start getting gaps in the tape. The tape is going to start coming apart. It's very important that the tape, once you've cut it, put the roll away in a dry place and if you've got like a seal bag, or just a handy bag that you can put the tape in just to store, I would absolutely go ahead and do that. Never have your tape next to you like I did when I was demonstrating this. Make sure that you have a good, safe dry place for your tape after you've cut it, so you have no chance of getting any water or spillage onto it. That's about it for the stretching of your watercolor paper, this is now ready to paint on and it won't blow off or bubble up. There still is a percentage, a chance that you may get some type of bubbling up or warping up of your paper. That is if there is a slight little air gap that was left initially, when you placed your watercolor paper down. It will massively improve your experience and it will make a huge difference compared to a sheet of the same watercolor paper that has not been stretched. You'll be able to see this when we go through some of the techniques that we demonstrate in the next lessons in the classes. I will just wait and I'll show you that when I'm using this sheets and I'll compare it like by like with the same sheets. I'll do similar techniques, so you can see what the difference this makes. It's absolutely not necessary for you to stretch every single sheets of watercolor paper off for you to practice during the techniques in this class on stretched watercolor paper. It's just an option for you to try out. It'd be nice if you could just try this out and see how it is, just to give you a complete picture of watercolor paper and the overall rounded experience of using watercolors and watercolor supplies. That's it for watercolor stretching now. Let's move on to some more of the smaller items that will really help assist you in this watercolor journey. Let's move on to that next. 15. Other Supplies: Welcome back. Let's now run through some additional materials and items that will really assist you and enhance your experience with watercolors. Let's go through these one by one. The first item is two empty jars. Now, for these two empty jars, we need to just fill them up with water. This is going to basically be the lifeline of your watercolor because as we seen before, watercolor requires water to be activated, and it's always a good idea to have two jars. One of the jars, fill it up with normal clean water and do the same with the second jar and keep the first jar as a jar to mix your dirty brushes. When you're adding color onto your watercolor paper, and then you want to switch to another color, before switching, wash the brush in that first jar and then rinse it in the second jar to have a clean brush so that when you can enter into your second color in your color palette, the brush will have no contamination of the previous color. This will result in beautiful, fresh, clean lines of color. So two jars, jar number 1 and jar number 2 filled up with water, mixing jar, cleaning jar. Second item that we will need is a mixing pallet. So just a normal painting mixing palette. I have quite a few of these, as you can see on the screen. Now, these are great for mixing colors. You do sometimes get mixing wells with your paint sets, but to be totally honest with you, you will use them a lot less than what you use with pallets, especially in this class. Later on in the class, we're going to look at how to mix colors and create colors from just basic primary colors, and having these mixing palettes absolutely brilliant. You don't have to have the same one that I've got here, these are just cheap ones that you can get from the pound store. This is probably one or two of the only items that I'm going to suggest buying from the pound store. Get yourself a couple of mixing pallets like so, or if you can't get or find these, then just use a normal clean plate and keep that plate for just mixing your watercolors. The next item is tape. You've already seen gummed tape where we used this to stretch our watercolor paper, only use gummed tape for that purpose of stretching watercolor paper. Don't use it generally just to tape down your normal watercolor paper, your dry watercolor paper, because it just going to become really messy. Again, because it doesn't come off once it's completely sealed, so just use this one for stretching your watercolor paper. The next two are masking tapes, and you've got two different variations. I'll go through the simple one that you can get from pretty much all stores. This is just the bog standard masking tape. Now, remember with masking tape, make sure you don't buy anything from the pound line or from a store where they're just selling low quality masking tape because the glue that they used underneath sometimes isn't always spread out properly, and it's not always going to the edge. What will happen is, when you're pulling back your masking tape after you've done your painting, it can tear or the water can seep through quite a lot and it will just make a whole mess. I've got a list of the ones that I recommend on the resource sheet, so do check them out. You can get them in different widths. I tend to use this wide one quite often. You can get thinner ones. So width of about this one here. This one in the middle that I've got, this is actually called a frog tape. So this is just another variation of masking tape. This is what the painters use on the walls when they paint in walls. You can use this type of tape as well. It will do the job. It's just going to be a little bit more expensive than the standard masking tape. That's pretty much it for the tapes, really nice and simple, checkout the resource sheet where I go through some of my recommended ones, and now let's move on to the next item. The next item or items are a spray bottle. Just an empty spray bottle, which we also used in the stretching lesson. Just get yourself maybe a couple of these empty water bottles. You can get these from the pound store. This again, this is an item that I would recommend, just get it from the pound store. You don't need to spend too much money on this. Something that can spray nice bits of water on your watercolor paper or on your board. It works really great also for wetting your watercolors themselves. Instead of having to dip your brush into water and then on to your paint, it's a good idea to just set the water colors open, get them moist with a nice spray of water. This comes very much in handy. I'd probably get yourself a couple of these if you can. Again, I'll have links too in the description where you can get these from, but generally can get these for most pound stores or bargain stores. On the right here, I've got some empty containers. Now, these containers are great because they are airtight, and these come in quite handy when you're using tubes. If you do decide to go to the watercolor tubes option, then I would probably recommend getting yourself a couple of these. Again, these you can usually get from the pound stores. I'll see if I can find any available online and leave the links in the resource sheet. I actually got all these in a set. I had a couple of bottles, and I had a couple of these little airtight plastic containers. The reason I say keep this for your paints are that you can make up the solution like I've got here, and so your solution doesn't go to waste and that will keep for quite a long time. You can see over here, all I've done here is I'll show you up in this closer to the camera. I've got some orange paint here. You can see it's dripping all over my table but I'm just showing you right there, that it's orange sprayed with water, and that will keep and it won't be a waste. Again, this is my professional color. I highly recommend that you get some of these if you're going to use watercolors from tubes and that will minimize your wastage. The next item we need is a tissue box. I would highly recommend that you get yourself maybe a tissue box that you just keep your watercolors or just a roll of tissue paper. They're going to be what you use more than anything in watercolor. Again, highly recommend them, any type of tissue will work. You don't want type of tissues that fall apart. Maybe a mid to decent brand of tissue. So just basically clean up all the water mess and the water colors that you have with spillages like I have them here from the table. But just generally to clean your fingers as well so that you don't get water going all over your watercolor artwork. Get yourself some tissues, and maybe even a sponge. Just a standard sponge that you keep just for your watercolor, just to clean up the mess because watercolors can be quite messy, you can get spillages everywhere, and if you have access to some water baby wipes just like I do because I've got little kids in the house, then these work even better. You've got a white full of moisture. It's just great to have at hand, clean your hands, and you can even have these for your brushes to lay your brushes on once you've used them because they shouldn't have any scents in them. They should be the ones that are just basically just water inside a wipe. So again, tissues, some water wipes, baby wipes, and maybe a sponge and I think you're good to go. 16. Highlighting Tools: Okay. The next item that I would recommend is some masking fluid. I've got some liquid masking fluid here. All you need to do with this one is open it up, dip your brushings away and just use it to mask out areas on your watercolor paper that you don't want water color to touch. It dries off and you can peel it away and it leave beautiful white highlights, the color of the paper, which is quite difficult to achieve, especially if you're trying to paint around them or you're creating some details. Great little products to have. However, do not use your expensive brushes or any of your watercolor brushes to apply this. Ideally, you want to have a brush that's a cheap brush that you're not going to use. Because when you do dip this in, it will completely clog up that brush so you have to wipe it away completely and immediately. That can be quite tricky. An alternative to using this masking fluid with a brush is to have a masking fluid pen like this. This one that I've got here is a 2.0 millimeter one. It's a fine tip. You can get these in a couple of options. Again, I'm going to have the links to all these materials in the resource sheet for you to have a look at, and this is a colored fluid, so you just basically do a pump action on this just like a pump action marker and it will apply that masking fluid and you can just design this out. The huge advantage of this is you don't need a secondary tool to apply it. The tool in itself is a pen and applicator, and it works great. You can achieve some beautiful results with it. I will say, however, that with this one, it can be a bit difficult to remove once it completely dried. You've got to be careful when the masking fluid dries. Even the case with this one is that you don't scratch it off too hard, otherwise you're going to damage your paper and you could scratch off the paints that's on the sides of the masking fluid. Do bear that in mind. Again, I wouldn't say this is a absolutely necessary item to have for beginners in watercolors, but it's a nice item to have a bit of fun with, just to experiment with, and overall to see what results you can achieve. Another important item that I feel that you absolutely need to try out in watercolors is to create white highlights. Now, with watercolors, we're going to move on to the characteristics of watercolors in more detail in the upcoming lessons. However, one of the main characteristics are that watercolors are a transparent medium. They can be medium opaque, but they will dry transparent, and what that means is that you can see through anything that is underneath. Now if you want to produce a really white bright highlight, it's very difficult to do with watercolors on its own. You've got to use the kind of whiteness of the paper with masking fluid or you've got to paint around the area that you want to highlight. So the solution, so that is having a applicator of an opaque white material. So over here, I've got four options. Let's go through the one on the right first. So this one is the standard Gelly Roll pen. Great option. What you can do with this is literally just draw in the highlights over your watercolors once they dry. Now this particular pen here, it's opaque. However, I would say it's semi-opaque, so it's not the most opaque white that you can get. So you're going to get more of a matte white finish with this one. So moving on to the next one, which is much more opaque and brighter than this first option, and that is the paint marker pens. Now, these are absolutely brilliant. I use these all the time on my watercolor artwork, and I highly recommend them. They come in different nib sizes, so I would probably recommend going for the finest nib that you can get. But again, I'll have all the links in the resource sheet, so the various sizes that you can buy these in. These are an absolute treat. They are the push pen paint markers, you just got to push them in. They have a roller system in them that releases the paint. It's effectively just white paint that they have. They dry out brilliantly and you can even go over them with watercolor again. So these pain pen markers are an absolute must for highlights. So that was a second option. Third option is using designers' gouache. Now gouache is basically an opaque version of watercolor. As I said before, watercolors dry transparent or semi-transparent. Gouache is the in-between between acrylic paints and water colors. So you can get great levels of opaque gouaches of paint with it, you can dilute it down and make it a bit more transparent. But overall, it's opaque and it works great. Gouache in itself is a complete different medium, and I'll probably do a class on this maybe at some point in the future. But just having a tube of the white, white gouache, the designers' gouache, is vital, I feel to add some speckles of highlights or some special effect and you can just apply this as you would apply any paint. So just squeeze it out of the tube. Use a normal brush to just add in or draw in or paint in your highlights. Absolutely brilliant thing for highlights. So I'd highly recommend using gouache. The final option that I've got here for highlights is white ink. Yep, you heard me right. We've got white ink here. I like using white ink if I got real fine details to produce in highlights, it comes in a nice little bottle like this, and it just works like liquid paint. So again, it's ink but it's white ink. I'll show you here on the screen. They are bubbly there. I just pop that bubble, and that's basically all it is. Great items to just add in those beautiful opaque white highlights, and you can use this with any brush. You can just clean the brush as you would normally do or you can even use it with a dip pen. So if you've got a dip pen at hand or if you use nibs and dip pens, then these work great as well. I wouldn't go out and buy a dip pen just to test this ink out, but if you have one of these dip pens, they work great. You can get some really, really nice thin lines, beautiful details with some dip pens and some white ink. But again, if you don't have a dip pen, don't go out and buy one just for this watercolor class, stick to the brushes that you have. The watercolor brushes will work fine with this ink. Just make sure that you wash them out, and that's pretty much it for the highlights. You've got four nice little options. I wouldn't say go for all of them, maybe just go for the paint markers over here. So out of the four, if I could recommend one, I would probably recommend these because they're the quickest thing that you can use to apply. I would recommend it more than the Gelly Roll pen because you get more of a brighter, more opaque highlights, whereas with the Gelly Roll pen, you get more of a matte finish. So I would generally recommend these if you just want to try out one, but if you want to try all four just to see what they're like, then absolutely by no means you do have to stick to just one, go ahead and get all four, but it's not necessary. So that's it for the highlights. 17. Fine-Liners: Okay, and now we're going to look at probably the most important item or tool for sketching, specifically sketching in watercolors and doing watercolors pen and ink, and that is fine liners. Now, the number 1 key aspect of fine liners or any type of pen that you're going to use with watercolor is that the ink it must be waterproof. If it's not, waterproof, then after you've done your inking, when you apply the water color, it will smudge everything and it will be a horrible mess, so I've got to warn you when you do get your ink pens, if you haven't already got them, make sure they are watercolor proof. Now I'll show you here these are three of the brands that I use on a regular basis, all three are waterproof I'll just bring one of these up to the camera here. With this one, I'll show you here. Now if you can see that on the camera, where it says micro pigments ink for waterproof and fade proof fine liners. There it is, that's the important part, waterproof. When you draw with these or sketch with these, you can complete your sketch, go as dark as you like, add as much ink as you like, and then go over it with watercolor, then it works fine. They won't smudge out, it won't dissolve away or smudge away. These work, great. These are basically the pens that I use. Again, I'm going to have a list of all of these in the description in the resource sheet. It's an absolutely vital item, vital tool, for you to use in watercolor sketching. Finally, just a couple more items that will just help you on the way, I've just got a standard pencil here. Pencils work great to do on the sketch. Then you can go over them with watercolor. I wouldn't use anything that's more than a 2B pencil. I'd stick to maybe a 2B or a HB pencil, they work fine. You won't really get the granulation of the actual graphite interfering with the watercolor you shouldn't do anyway, but I use this brand style or I've been using these for years and these work fine. Just make sure that you test out your pencil beforehand, so just maybe do a bit of a scribble on some paper, then add your watercolor to it to make sure that the graphite doesn't melt away or mixing with the watercolor, but generally it shouldn't. So HB pencil will work fine. A ruler, just to draw out the edges of your masking tape guide. If you're going to use masking tape or if you going to stretch your paper, always good idea to have a ruler, so just at hand. Finally some scissors, just to cut your tape or your masking tape, instead of having to tear it away. Sometimes when you tear your masking tape, you end up tearing too much of it off and it just becomes a waste. This are just some general items that will help you along the way? That's about it for all the items. Let's now do a complete summary of materials, lists, and items that are essential for this class and they are nice to have. Let's move on to that one next. 18. Supplies Checklist: Okay, welcome back. Let's just go through a quick supplies checklist, after going through all the individual supplies that we just went through. It's nice to just have a summary, so that you can focus on what you may or may not need. I've divided this table into two, where we have basic essential supplies, and then supplies that will give you a better experience. I would recommend going for the basic essential, and if you really want to get a better overall experience, then maybe adding a couple of items from the better experience columns. Starting off with the paints; for watercolor paints, as we said before, graduate paints will work best especially if you're a complete beginner. I would recommend going for a graduate paint pan set just like the one that I got, and maybe 6-12 colors would be ideal. The more colors you have, the better it will be, but even if you have six of the basic primary colors, that will also do. For a better experience, maybe get yourself three of the primary colors in graduate paint tubes. That will give you an additional option when it comes to color mixing and doing the column mixing parts of this class. Secondly, let's look at the brushes. I would recommend that you get yourself a basic round synthetic brush, a size eight or a size 10. That is all you need to complete this class and really start your journey in watercolor. But additionally, for a better experience, maybe getting another round synthetic brush in a small size, maybe a size one or a size 2, just to do finer details. We will be doing a few finer details to see how the smallest size brushes can really help in adding those final touches to your illustrations. Secondly, another brush, the flat synthetic brush that we used earlier on in the lessons. I would recommend going for a size 1 inch like the one that I had. Maybe going for a flat brush and a round brush, or having an option of having a couple of round brushes and a flat brush, that would work great. Alternatively, you can also get the big mop brush, the Quill brush that we went through, but that's entirely up to you. Out of the two, I would probably go for the flat synthetic. Number 3, let's now look at the paper. For the paper, as I said, 300 gsm watercolor paper is what you should be going for, nothing less in weight or thickness. For your basic requirement for the class, I would say, get yourself maybe a watercolor block or a pad that is paper-based, such as the one that I was using, the [inaudible] or any other brand that is 300 gsm. For a better experience and an all-round experience, you could maybe get yourself another 300 gsm, 100 percent cotton watercolor paper, like the one that I did with the arches. Now, you can get all the 100 percent cotton watercolor papers as well. If you want to get them, absolutely go for them, but it's not a necessary item that you need for this class. Moving on to the fourth item, fine-liners. As we said, waterproof fine-liners would be great for this class, because we're going to be doing sketching and then doing watercolor. I would say at least have one waterproof fine-liner with a tip size of about 0.3 or 0.5, which is the middle ground. Or alternatively, get yourself a full set of waterproof fine-liners with various nib sizes, chiseled tips, and more thicker nibs, and that will give you more of an option when it comes to actually illustrating. But again, it's not necessary, you can get through this class with just having one fine-liner. Moving on to the fifth item, and that is your highlighting tools. I would say as a minimum, I would get a paint marker with a thin nib. This will work ideally when it comes to adding beautiful opaque highlights, or alternatively, use masking fluid. Again, I wouldn't say masking fluid is an absolute must for this class because it isn't. You can also maybe get the Gelly Roller pen if you want matte marks rather than full highlights that are bright and opaque. Get yourself a Gelly Roller and a paint marker with thin nibs, and I think that will give you some great options. If you really want, get yourself some masking fluid. But just remember, you need an old brush if you're going to use your masking fluid. Don't be using your new brush or your old watercolor brushes, stick to an old brush that you not going to need. Moving onto some other items now. For the mixing palettes, I would say, you absolutely need a mixing palette, unless you've got a great sets of palettes that are built into your paint pan sets. But even if you have a couple of wells in your paint pan set for mixing, I would still recommend get yourself at least one mixing palettes. The reason for that is, so that you really have options and you don't run out of space. Additionally, if you could maybe get yourself a couple two or three mixing palettes from the pound shop, that will really make your experience a lot better. Because you won't have to continually keep washing them out and cleaning them to keep your colors nice and crisp. Another item is tapes, I would say, you absolutely need to use tapes with watercolor. Get yourself one masking tape, it can be any thickness, a thin one or a wide one. Just make sure it's a good quality one. Just check it out in the resource sheet, the ones that I recommend. Additionally, if you want to stretch your watercolor paper and give that a go, get some experience in stretching watercolor paper, then you would need one gummed tape roll and a flat board as well. Again, not necessary, but it's just good as an experience if that's what you want to do. Some final items, some general basic items. One or two spray bottles, which I would say is absolutely necessary to have a good experience, and to save time having to keep using your brush to add water. Two empty jars, absolutely, for your clean water and your dirty water, a pencil, ruler, scissors, and a box of tissues. That's all you need for this class. Stick to the basic essentials or add in a couple more items to give you a better all-round experience. This table will be provided in the resource sheets, so do check it out. Again, I'm going to have links to every single item that I've gone through in this class where you can have a look at review, and then decide whether you want to get it or not. Now, let's move on to the main parts of the class. Let's get on with the exciting stuff. 19. Watercolour Characteristics: Okay, welcome back. Let's starts off the class now with some information on the characteristics of watercolors. Now, we're going to go through these characteristics fairly quickly, and then we're going to demonstrate some exercises that you can do to start off and get warmed-up in this beautiful watercolor journey that you're about to start. The first characteristic of watercolors, we can say, is transparency and opacity. Now, watercolors, by nature, they dry out after they've been wet, and they either dry out to a transparent color or a opaque color. Now, depending on the brand of watercolor that you use, this can be categorized by different keys or wordings, or codes. Generally speaking, they dry out to be transparent or opaque, or they can be made semi-transparent or semi-opaque. Now, this will make a difference, especially at this early stage, because you'll be able to identify which one of the colors that you have in your set are transparent, which are opaque or which are semi-transparent or semi-opaque. This will make much more sense when we come to do the exercises. So that's the first characteristic of watercolors. Generally speaking, the thinner the layer of paint that you paint, that layer will be more transparent than the thicker layer of paint that you paint. Again, that will make more sense when we come to doing the actual painting and the exercises. Let's move on to the second characteristic. The second characteristic is permanence and also lightfastness. Now, these can be interrelated; you can get confused with these terms. In general, at this beginner's level, you don't really need to be concerned too much about permanency and lightfastness. I'm just going to basically, quickly run through what they mean, just to give you an idea when you come across these terms. Permanence or permanency is basically the resistance to change when exposed to light and atmosphere. What we're talking about here is, once your watercolor has dried out. Once you've dried out your watercolor and it's complete and finished, if you put it up in a frame, your artwork, and leave it over time, the resistance to the atmosphere or the exposure to light will make a change to that color over time. This is again coded, depending on the manufacturer with different grades and levels, but to be honest with you, at this level you really don't need to worry too much about it because you're just getting used to the medium. So permanency is the resistance to change when your watercolors are exposed to light and the atmosphere. Secondly, the lightfastness. Now, if you watched my other classes that I've done on Skillshare, you would have probably heard me repeat talking about lightfastness, and colored pencils and markers, and all sorts of materials. Lightfastness is basically the pigment's ability to withstand fading over time when exposed to light, and that's all it is. So in other words, whether your color will fade over time. Now, this has its own rating system depending on each brand and each material. Again, you don't need to worry too much about this at this stage, but if you do want to know more about this, then the great thing to do is, when you buy your watercolor set, whichever brand you're buying from, go onto their website and have a look at the lightfast ratings and codes for the colors that you've got, and they'll be able to explain and expand on the information that I've given you. That's about it for the second characteristic. Now, let's talk about the third characteristic. This is an amazing characteristic of watercolors, and this is granulating and staining. Now, granulating is basically the pigments inside your watercolor making a slight texture once they've completely dried. The actual pigments themselves, they scatter across the page, and they look absolutely beautiful, especially if that's the type of look that you're after. Now, not all watercolors have the granulating pigment effect on them. This usually happens more in the professional-grade watercolors, rather than the graduate-grades. But however, you do get some graduate-grade watercolors granulating, and a lot of artists use this granulation effect to their advantage to create beautiful textures. Secondly, staining. Now, the staining properties of watercolor basically mean, that color's ability to be lifted off your piece of paper without leaving a mark. Staining basically means, are you able to remove that color completely from your piece of watercolor paper once you've applied it? Sometimes you may accidentally drop a couple of drops of paints on your piece of paper, and you might think, oh God I need to quickly move this. How do I move it? That depends on the color that you're actually using. If it's a staining color, it won't lift completely out, you'll have some residue of that color leftover. If it's not a staining color, then you can easily lift it out with a damp cloth or a sponge. Now again, this will make a lot more sense when we come to testing the colors that we have. That's pretty much it for the characteristics of watercolors at this stage. The three characteristics, to quickly run through them again, it was transparency and the opacity. Number two, we looked at permanence and lightfastness, which isn't as important at this stage as the others. Finally, we looked at the granulating pigment effect and the staining ability of the color, and that's about it, there's nothing else involved. What we're going to do now is, we're going to look at the colors that we've got in our set. So if you've already got a set of watercolors that you've had previously, you can apply this exercise to them, and if you haven't, if you've just bought a brand new pack of watercolors, then let's make a start on this exercise. 20. Colour Swatch: So in front of me here I've got a nice layouts off some of the basic things that we're going to need for this exercise, and we're going to basically do a water color swatch initially of all our colors. Let's get on with this. Over here on the right-hand side, I've got my two jars with water in it. Remember from the previous lesson, we've got one for mix cleaning your brush and one for clean water. I've got my standard round brush, this is my number eight size brush. So whichever brush you are using, the round brush that you've got gets hold of that. Next to that I've got my ink marker, my waterproof ink, and we're going to be doing our outlining with this. Then I've got my ruler and pencil which we can do our rough out or sketch of our palette. Then finally the most important, I've got my sets of watercolors. Now, these are my graduate sets of watercolors. You can see I've been using them. I've replaced some of the actual wells with some new colors. But whatever colors you have, this is why I want you to do your swatch with. You might not have the same colors that I have, these are the basic set that you get in the Winsor and Newton graduate travel kit. So if you have got this, you should have similar colors like I have. I've replaced the whites that they usually give with an indigo color because I personally don't really use whites. White can be used to make colors a little bit more matte or to slightly lighten the value or the hue of the color. I don't personally use that much, but if you have white that's absolutely fine, just use the white for your color swatch. So get your watercolors to one side, and what I want you to do now is, I want you to get your paper. Now, I'm going to be using my Bockingford block purely because it's just so much easier to do exercises like this on. If you've not got a block and you've just got sheets of paper, then that's fine. If you want to tape your paper down onto your table, go ahead and do that absolutely no problem at all. If you've got a block then again, you've got the advantage of not having to tape anything down. I would not use expensive paper for this exercise. So I'm not going to use my Arches paper purely because this is a exercise to just get warmed open. You may make a couple of mistakes while you're doing it, you might have to do it again. So I don't want you to waste your really expensive paper. You can do this on your standard watercolor paper. Let's make a start on this. On my sheets of Bockingford, a watercolor paper in my block. What I'm going to do is I'm going to mimic this shape that I have of my palette. I've got 12 colors here in two rows. So all I'm going to do is I'm just going to draw this out to approximately not full width of the actual paper itself. I'm holding my Bockingford sheet in portrait mode, so I'm holding it the long way off. You can do this this way but It will be a lot better if you could do it long way off. I'll just do a quick zoom back so you can see. You can see I'm holding the sheets in a portrait position rather than having it landscape. The reason for that is that we can do the additional exercises side by side when we move on to them. Get your paper in a position which you're comfortable with, portrait position. Get yourself a ruler and add in the numbers of wells and colors that you have onto your sheets and draw them in as boxes. You can do this, measure itself and have it exact, or you can just roughly sketch it in, it doesn't really make a difference as long as they're roughly about the same size. So that's what I'm going to do right now. I've got six going across and then two going down. I'm going to use my ruler where I've got six inches across, so just going to mark a little dot where the six is, a little dot where the zero is, and draw myself a little line. So that will be the length of the actual colors themselves. There's my line and all I'm going to do is drop this down a little bit and at each inch measurement, I'm just going to do a little dot. What that will do is nicely divide up my line into six equal parts. It'll make the job a lot easier for me. We've got 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 12 wells, and what we're going to basically do is color each of these wells accordingly with the same colors that we have in our color palette. Before we do that, what I want you to do is; I just want you to measure approximately one centimeter coming down from the top over here. So just one centimeter there, one centimeter mark there, one centimeter mark over here. Draw yourself another line to join them up. What that will do is, that will be a little box where you can actually label your paint color. That will be super handy when it comes to using your paints. Doing exactly the same over here. On the second line, just doing a one centimeter dot there, another one centimeter dot there, and let's do a joining on this so join this across. That's about six, so we've got a nice little template that's mimicking our color swatch on the top. All we need to do now is basically use our fine liner with a waterproof ink to go over this, so that with nice and permanent and we can see it and it's really bold so that we don't lose it when the coloring gets in. All I'm going to do is go over this with my pen. Now I've got my nice outline drawing of my little grid that represents my color swatch. Before we actually go in and start coloring this in, let's label each one of these colors. So now you'll have the color code and the color name on each of these individual wells. What I did was I replaced a couple of them. If you've already got these in and they've been wedged in, a good thing to do is just use a blunt knife to just wedge them out, clean the edges, and just have a look at what the color names are. It's a good idea to do this before you start the class so that you know which color you're referring to and which color you're using in the exercises. All I'm going to do now is I'm just going to label what these colors are. On the left, going from the top left, I've got lemon yellow, I've got cadmium yellow, I've got cadmium red hue, I've got alizarin crimson, ultra marine, sailor blue, viridian, sap green, yellow ocher, burnt sienna, burnt umber, and I've got indigo. All I'm going to do is I'm just going to write those names in these top areas here to reference them as labels. We've got our labels done, we don't need our fine liner anymore so we can put back to the side. What we need now is our water jars. We've got our two water jars, and we need our brush. Again I'm just using my standard round brush, this is my size ten standard synthetic brush. Just use whichever brush that you have for this exercise it does not really make much of a difference. But you want something that will color up these little square rectangles that we have. Let's grab ourselves some tissue because we need to make sure that we have a clean brush. So just get a tissue and put your tissue on the side over here. What this will do is we can just use this to dry off our brush. We also need our wetting tool, which we've got is our spray bottle. As we mentioned in the earlier lessons, that spray bottle is absolutely brilliant to wet our tray colors. What I'll do now is, I'll just quickly wet this tray of colors, I'll bring it closer to the camera. All we want is a light spray going across each color to just get them activated so that we don't have to dig into the color. Just one or two light sprays. Just let it settle down for maybe ten seconds before you start going in, and we're ready to go. 21. Applying Colour: All I'm going to do is, I'm just going to rest it there, so you can see what I'm doing. Then, get your brush. I'm going to use this as my main water jar to mix out the color. This is going to be the color mixing, the dirty water jar, and this one's going to be the clean water jar. So dirty water and clean water. Let's just wet our brush, get rid of some of the excess on the edge of the glass. What I'll do is, I'll just slightly shift my sheet here, so you can see what I'm doing exactly with the brushes. I'm just getting rid of some of the excess of that water there. What we can do is, we can start off by going into the lemon yellow here and just lightly dab your brush in. What I'll do is, I'll show you this on this initial one. All I'm doing is, I'm lightly dabbing in my brush, and you can see the paint, that pigment, that color, is attaching to that brush so easily. I'm not going in really hard, I'm just lightly giving that a slight stroke on the sides. Because we already made it wet with the spray, you can see how easily that color comes onto your brush. I'll just put that back. All I'm going to do now is, rest my hand on the page, and I'm just going to basically color this box in from top left to top right. Now, what I want you to do is, I want you to leave a slight gap where the edge of those lines are. I don't want you to color all the way to the end. The reason for that is, because watercolors, water-based obviously, the natural property of water is that it blends into where else there is water, basically. So what'll happen is, if we keep painting all the way to the edge, when the water touches one edge, that color will bleed into the other, so avoid doing that. Make sure you leave a nice little gap at the end. We're not doing perfect coloring here. All we're doing is, swatching out our color, so that we know what it looks like, and that way we have a great reference point. There you go. I've just added that color, really nice, nice little layer of color, going as far close to the line as I can without touching it, and that one is done. Once you've laid that color down, all you do is, get your brush. This is what we call a dirty brush, so get you dirty brush and put it into that dirty water jar and give it a good rinse. You can see the color changing, and get rid of that excess and your brush should have no elements of color on it. Then what we do is, we put it into our clean water, give it a nice rinse, and that will get rid of any particles of color from that first swatch. As before, just give it a little dab on the edge of the jar. Go into your colors again, and now we're moving on to the cadmium yellow. Now again, you can see my well is pretty much used up in this. All I'm doing is, twisting the brush so that it touches the sides of the well. You can see that the paint's coming on really nicely. Again, that's a huge advantage of watercolor. It's so easy to activate and so easy to apply. I mean, we've not even gone through any of the different techniques of applying watercolor yet. All we're doing is, we're just dabbing our brush into the paint and we're just literally, just making these little swatches of color. That's all we're doing for this first, very simple warming up exercise, and you can see how nice and vibrant that color is. I mean, this isn't even artist-grade color, so if the standard graduate-grade colors are so nice and vibrant, then imagine how good the artist-grade ones are going to be like. Again, all I'm doing is just drawing out a rectangle within that rectangle without touching those black lines that we did, just to ensure that there's a nice gap and that the watercolor doesn't bleed into the other watercolor, and that's about it. If you find that your watercolor is running out, you're running out of watercolor and it's drying up on your brush and you've not got enough to color your square or your rectangle, then all you do is, just go into your dirty color water, get rid and do the same process again. Just add in a little bit more water, take a little bit more out of there, go straight onto your color swatch. What we're going to do now is, I'm going to do the same. I'm going to repeat that exact same process, going across all of these. Okay, welcome back. Now you can see, I've got all my lovely colors filled in in my little mini color swatch here with the labels on top. Wait for this to dry once you've completed this. Then, once it's done, you've got a brilliant little reference card for you to keep. If you want to cut it out, you can cut it out, or maybe do another one that's a little bit smaller that can actually fit into your actual water color palette, like I've done over here. I've done another swatch over here which is dried out now. I did this so that it can nice and easily just fit in, into my watercolor palette. It's always handy to have this in your little tray there when you're using your watercolors. So you can see here, I'll bring it closer to the screen, you've always have a nice reference point of what these colors are going to look like once they've been dried out. That's another important thing. The colors that you see on the actual wells or in the tubes, they're never going to be the exact colors that you see once they've been dried out. So it's always a great idea to produce a color swatch, a nice clean color swatch of color on just some watercolor paper. Have it labeled up somewhere, so that you can have it for a reference, and that will work great, just as a initial exercise into the world of watercolors. Now, you can see that because I've left a gap in-between, the colors haven't bled over to each other. Now, if you notice over here, you can see the color collecting up on one side. I'll just show you down here. I'll just move this a little bit higher, get a zoom in on this. You can see with these colors, the colors are actually going from one side to the other. The reason for that is, is because I'm using my Bockingford watercolor paper and it's warping slightly because of the liquid that's on it, and that's what you tend to get if you don't stretch your paper. If you remember in the earlier lesson, in the water color paper stretching lesson, what we did was, we stretched our paper. Now, if I had done this on a stretched piece of paper, then I would not get this warping at all. I may get just maybe one percent of it warping depending on how well I stretched it, but that's the advantage of stretching your paper. But for this exercise of these color swatches, I don't recommend you to stretch your paper. It's a long-winded method, and for what we're trying to produce, it's actually worthwhile having these little pools of water because once they dry out, you can actually see the variances of the color. So you can see on my little mini card over here, you can see the pools basically pooled up on this side because the paper was basically bending like this. That gives you a nice little resource to see how dark and how light the colors can become. I mean, you can do a more detailed color swatch if you like, where you can create more lighter shades of these colors and more dark shades. But at this level, all I want you to do is, just get used to using your round brush and just using your color palettes, just to get an idea and a bit of a practice before we start doing the more detailed things. It's just nice to get warmed-up by doing a color swatch exercise. That's it for the color swatch exercise and the characteristics of watercolors, for now. What we're going to do is, we're going to move on and look at these colors in a bit more detail and compare them to see which colors are more transparent, which are less, and then we'll be able to move on to the next exercise. 22. Transparency: Welcome back. We have now waited for our colors to dry in our color swatch and they've dried out really nicely, as you can see over here. Perfectly dry, there's no moisture on them at all. That's again, another important point. Ensure that you color is completely dry before you put anything on top of them so that they don't smudge out. You can see, we've created our color swatch for our colors that we have in our palette. Again, you may have some different colors than I do depending on your brand. Or if you've got the same one like me, you're most probably going to have white here instead of indigo. But just do exactly what I've done here, for this first exercise, it's a great way for a reference point for you to have for your colors. Now what we're going to do next is we're going to do something similar, but we're going to test out the transparency and the opacity levels of each one of our colors. This will aim to be another guide for you, another reference point for you to see how transparent or opaque your colors are, so that when you decide on the color choices that you make in your upcoming actual class projects or any of the projects that you do, then you have that experience at hand before hand. What I want you to do is I want you to basically copy out this exact little grid that we did and do the same thing. Just label the paint code names or just the color names on the top and leave a similar distance in between each of them, I've already done this, so I'm going to shift my sheet above There we go. All I've done is I've just imitated what I had on the sheet above and that's why one of the reasons I said have your page in portrait mode so you can have these side-by-side. I'll just do a quick, let's all zoom back. You can see I've got the top area where I've got the first normal color swatch and over here now what we've got is our table where we've repeated our design. All we're going to do here now is we're going to have an additional step before we start actually putting the colors down. We're going to create a little bit of undertone on the sketch lines with a bit of cross hatching. What I want you to do is I want you to get you fineliners out. Now, I've got a couple of different brands of fineliners as I mentioned in the previous lessons. The main pens I use are these two that I've got here. This brand that I have got on the right-hand side, the Pigma Micron pens, these in my experience work brilliantly. Another thing to consider when you're working with fineliners is the drying time of the fineliner. Now both of these have got waterproof ink in them, as we mentioned before, both their drying times can vary. It depends from brands to brand, how quickly the ink dries from the moment you finish doing your sketch and that is vital when you're doing watercolor sketching. The moment you start doing your sketch and you finish, don't immediately start using watercolor. This is going to make more sense when we do this exercise. Always leave it for at least a minute or even longer if you can to make sure that the ink is completely dried. As I said, the Micron pens dry a lot more quicker than these pens, the Staedtler pens, these take a bit longer to dry. However, they are both waterproof, they will both work. I use other brands as well, but these are my main brands that I use for watercolor. What I'm going to do is I'm going to use my Micron pens for this exercise, and if you haven't got Micron pens, if you got another brand, go ahead and use it, just make sure that you've given it enough time to dry out before you start applying the watercolor. Now if you don't have a set of pens with different nip sizes, then not to worry, just use whichever pen you have. Just again, ensure that it has waterproof ink in it. What I'm going to do is, I'm going to use this nice thick graphic 1 pen and I'll just move the others to the side. What I'll basically want you to do is in each one of these boxes, I want you to create a little cross hatch, and this will serve as an under sketch. Just roughly, just draw out some straight or squiggly lines. It makes no difference, you don't have to be accurate with this. All I want you to do is basically fill this little box or rectangle in with some straight lines going on top. Then, what I want you to do is roughly about halfway point, I want you to make lines that are going across this way. Leave a similar distance in between each line. It doesn't matter if it goes up and down, the points of this really is to see how much texture we can put in this little box. Then what we're going to do is we're going to add our watercolor on top of this. Just like I've done here, a line is going down vertically, then from halfway point line is going down horizontally. I want you to repeat this pattern in every single one of these boxes like I'm going to do now. Now, I've filled in each one of these rectangles with the same pattern with lines going from top to bottom and then crossing across with a bit of cross hatching from the bottom half of each. Just give that ago, it doesn't have to be accurate, just try staying within each box and that's absolutely fine. Now we've got our lines, a bit of texture that we can use to test out our colors on. Now before we start looking at the colors themselves, what I want you to do is just give this a couple of minutes, maybe a minute or two for it to completely dry out. To test out to see whether it's dry, just give it a little smudge with your finger after about 30 seconds. But while we wait for this to dry, what we can do is get our palette ready. 23. Thin Solution: What I'm going to use is my standard palette here. Your palette might be a little bit different from mine. It makes no difference as long as you've got a couple of wells in it, a couple of sections in it for you to start doing your color mixing and watercolor. Now again, what we're going to do is, as we mentioned in the previous lesson, the transparency of watercolors is dependent on the actual characteristics of that particular color pigment, and one other determiner for this transparency is that the thinner your paint is, so in other words, the more water you have on your watercolor mixture, the more transparent it will be when it dries. So the thinner the layer of watercolor, the more transparent it's going to be, and then the opposite, the thicker the layer of water color with more pigment in it, the more opaque it will be. That's just a general rule of thumb. That doesn't mean that that's going to be exact for every single watercolor. It's just a general rule of thumb where you can refer back to when you're doing this exercise. What I want you to do is, I want you to get your brush, your standard round brush that we used in the previous video in the lesson, and I want you to start looking at your colors and spraying your colors again, with a bit of water. So give them a nice spray, and this time what I want you to do is, I want you to spray them a little bit more. So like if you remember, on the previous one we only gave a couple of sprays, this time what I want you to do is, give it the double amount of spray. So maybe give it about 3-4 sprays instead of just two, and do that for each color. Try not going too close to the color or it will splash back, so just from a bit of a distance like this. You can see, I'm holding it up here just so that spray touches the watercolor pan and it starts creating a bit of a watercolor solution on each pan. That's about enough, and if you can see on the camera, you've got that really nice bits of watercolor all ready, ready for us to use. Now, we're not going to go in as thick as we did with the first swatch. That was just a pure color swatch, we didn't watery it down much. So with this one, what we're going to do is, we can have a look at our ink. You can see here, you can see I'm moving my finger across, it's not smudging. That means it's completely dry. This is now ready to add our watercolor on to. So what I want you to do is with your first color, just get your watercolor brush and dab it into your actual jar like we did before. Give it a good mix, get some water onto that brush, and I don't want you to remove the excess on the edge like we did before. Instead, I want you to just dab that water into one of your wells, add a little bit more water, maybe three or four times. I mean, you could even just end up using your spray for this. So if you've got your empty water spray, from a distance, give it a couple of sprays and then you've got a little bit of water in that well already. Just make sure that your wells are clean. You can see I've got a little bit of a fluff in there, just make sure you get all that fluff out, just get rid of it on a tissue, and that's good to go. What I want you to do now is, is go into your first color, and mine is the lemon yellow. I want you to twist your bush into it, but not too much, just give it one little twist and then take it off. You see, you've got a nice bit of pigment on there, then I want you to enter that into the water. You can see that we now have a solution, a water color solution, and it's quite watery, and that's what we want. So we want this type of ratio, we want maybe four or five sprays from your spray bottle and then just a little dab of paint going in, and then just give it a little swirl with your brush. Then just like that, what we are going to do is move your paint to the side. I got to zoom in back on the camera here, we're just going to lightly now load up that brush, so just get the water to go towards one end of your palate, put your brush in, and just give it a little twist up and down on both sides. Now, your watercolor brush is fully loaded, and all I want you to do is, as you did before, I just want you to apply that water color on them lines that we've just drawn inside the box. Remember, to keep a little bit of a gap on the edge from one color to the other so that they don't bleed into each other, and that's all I want you to do. Now, you can see while I'm layering this on, I'm just applying it. We've not actually done any dry layering yet, I'm just applying this right now. As you can see, all I'm doing is I'm just applying that water color nice and thin. It's just a thin layer of watercolor on there. You can see right through the lines and the lines are showing very nice. So this color itself is already looking quite transparent, but you're going to know the exact level of transparency once it completely dries. That's all I want you to do. That little bit of solution, just keep that to the side, we can use that again. Clean your brush, so give your brush a nice clean in the dirty water jar. Now, I want you to do exactly the same and load up more water from your clean water jar and start adding dabs of water into the next well that you have. So there's my next well, I'm just going to add a couple of dabs and then I'm just going to go to my spray, and maybe do about four sprays in there,1, 2, 3, and 4. That's about enough. You just want a bit of a solution so you can see it moving around and then you've got yourself a nice bit of solution, Four four or five sprays of water, that'll do the trick. Then what we can do is, we can actually go in and move on to our next color. Just like that, let's all dab into the water solution that's inside the well, bring it over here, and you can see it's dispersing and mixing in with that water to create that nice watercolor solution. It's like an ink, isn't it? As we did before, swivel your brush around it, get as much of that watercolor solution onto the brush so your brush is fully loaded and nice and even. Now remember, we're using a synthetic brush here, so the take-up of water is not going to be as much as a sable brush. If I were to use my sable brush, then I wouldn't have to go in quite a lot to soak all that watercolor up. It would just be a couple of swivels and the sable brush would get loaded very quickly. However, because this is beginner's class, I'm just going to stick to the synthetic brushes for these exercises and we may demonstrate some of the sable brushes on the later lesson. Now, what we've done is we've covered up all the little crosshatching boxes with our colors. You can see that because we've gone in really thin, this is a very thin layer of color, you can still see a lot of the crosshatching lines underneath, even though the paint is wet, this is most likely how the colors are going to turn out when they are dry. You can see on some of them, not too sure whether you can see on the camera yet or not, I'll see if we can get a bit more of a zoom in, you can see like over here, we've got this yellow ocher, it's not as clean and clear cut transparent as the sap green. You've got a little bit of like a thicker color pigment covering up those lines. You can see speckles of them. So that's indicating that this color is a semi-opaque color. As I mentioned, we've gone in very, very thin. Once these colors dry out, and I'm going to quickly dry them out with a hair dryer, you'll be able to see the true effect, where we can see them a bit closer up to the camera. So let's just quickly dry this one out. 24. Opacity Levels: Now, our colors are completely dry, so we can observe these a little bit more. Not too sure if you can see this on the camera, but we've got a couple of colors here that have gone over the lines, they've dried out over the lines. You've got the yellow ocher, speckles of it are going over the line, so it's semi-opaque, a little bit as Sap green as well, it has gone a little bit over the lines, the burnt sienna again. We've also got the ultramarine. But generally speaking, you can still see the lines very crystal clear. Most of these colors, if not all of them, are very transparent. Now, the opacity levels are always going to be written per color on the color code. The opaque colors from this Winsor and Newton set, according to the codes and the code names that they have on the actual leaflets themselves, the opaque ones are the burnt umber, the indigo, and the yellow ocher. These are the three out of the ones that we've got here that are more opaque and the rest seem to be transparent. However, sometimes when you're using the colors, it also depends on the materials that you're using, how the transparency and opacity actually comes out. Usually the color choice in the brands when they have the color numbers like they have over here, they usually have a key key the side and they say which one is opaque, which one is transparent. That is just a rough guide. It usually isn't exact all the time because the way they test these colors out, they test them in optimum atmosphere and standards and environments. Whereas depending on the humidity of your room, or the paper quality, or just generally the type of water, how heavy the water is, how hard or soft of water is, these factors will all play a difference in how the characteristics of the watercolors actually come out and how the watercolors perform. But generally speaking, again, these are graduate grade watercolors. When it comes to the professional grade, the characteristics are quite more different. Some of the opaque colors are very opaque, and the transparent ones are very transparent. But just as an overall, this is just a nice exercise to do for you to get a bit of an idea before you start going in and start creating sketches. You can identify which colors are very transparent and which ones are maybe semi-transparent or semi-opaque. Let's just get a zoom back on this. I've just changed the orientation of the page to landscape so that it will fit the screen and you can see both side-by-side. You can see there's quite a difference in the swatch compared to the thin paint that we put on this cross hatching chart that we've just created over here. The same colors, they appear quite different, when you just do a light, thin, more water based film of color over a little sketch of cross hatching. Whereas if you just use the colors as they are from the pans themselves directly without using too much water, you get some really nice bold colors, very opaque looking, both similarly, they're transparent when you thin them down. These will also be transparent even if you use a thicker paint, but generally the ones that are more opaque or semi-opaque, they will cover up more of what's underneath. That was just an introductory two-part exercise where you could just get more familiar with the colors that you have in your palate. Hopefully, that would have given you a bit of an idea and got your nice and warmed up for the next lessons. Let's now move on to the main part of the techniques next. 25. Watercolour Techniques: Welcome back. Now we're going to do one of the main techniques in watercolor. We're going to cover this in different stages, so let's start off with this first exercise. The best way to learn is by doing exercises and practicing. The first technique that we're going to be looking at is called the wet-on-wet technique. There's nothing complicated about this. It's pretty much exactly as it sounds: wet on wet. It's referring to wet watercolor solution on top of another wet watercolor solution or any solution. Let's demonstrate this. What I want you to do is I want you to draw six circles on your watercolor page. Now I've just done this roughly. I've just used my kind of FrogTape to give me a bit of a guide, and I'm just gone in and drawn six circles. That's roughly the same distance apart in one row and then again in another row. I've just done this in pencil. No need to use your ink for this. Once you've got this done, then the next step is to get your water jars ready with clean water. Just in case you were using it before, make sure you clean them out because it's very important that you use clean water to keep your colors clean. Have them set up on your side and have your watercolor bottle set up on the side. If you have it, get your standard round colored brush, make sure that it's clean as well, and get your paints ready. Before we do anything, what we want to do is we want to make sure we give our paints a little spray, so just damp on them a bit, and get into the habit of doing this before you do each exercise or before you do anything in watercolor. Give them a nice, little spray, just a couple of spray. You don't need to go too overboard, maybe two or three sprays in each pan. What we can do now is just let that rest for now on the side, and what I'm going to do is I'm going to zoom in onto this top right-hand circle to demonstrate one exercise that we can demonstrate with the wet-on-wet technique. I've got to zoom in on my top right-hand circle. What I want you to do is get your round brush and give it a good soak in your clean water jar. Just give it a little squiggle in there, get it nice and wet. What we're going to do is we're going to use our brush to basically just go into this circle and just add in a layer of plain water. This is going to make more sense as we come to do this technique. Again, the wet-on-wet technique is just applying wet color to a wet surface or to another wet color. That's why we're actually wetting this circle so that we have this wet surface that we can apply wet paint onto. This is a great technique to use. It's used by many artists. You don't have to just use one technique in watercolor when you get on to doing watercolor paintings in creating your beautiful illustrations, you can do a mixture of techniques and that's what you'll find you end up doing depending on the subject that you're actually painting. What I'm doing here is lightly just adding water to get that circle moist. Don't worry about making it go all the way to the edge, just be as neat as you can. If you go over the edge of the circle, don't worry too much about it. If you do end up spilling loads of water everywhere, just get yourself a bit of tissue and just clean off the edges to make sure that there's not too much water going around that circle line because it's really important to keep everything nice and compact for this actual technique. Now I'm doing this in circles because I think it's a nice way to illustrate this and to get a bit of brush control with your brush at this beginner's stage. Now you can see I've got a nice, little layer of water around here. What I want you to do now is grab hold of your colors and I want you to select a nice medium, middle value color. So maybe from one of the earth tones. I've got this nice burnt sienna color here and just tap your brush with that color. Make sure your brush is being wet thoroughly before you do this and that your paints are wet. Tap a bit of color, and then just drop that color into the middle in little dabs. You can see what's happening; that color is actually dispersing outwards where that water is. This is the wet-on-wet technique. Now, in addition to this, you may find that your water has quickly dried up before you actually added that color. Not to worry, all you need to do is get your little spray bottle and just do a light, little spray in the middle. What that'll do is add a nice pool of water that you can carry on adding your paint here. I can see about quite a lot of paint on that brush there. So all I'm doing is I'm just lightly dabbing it in the middle and you can see it's slowly spreading out, it's branching out into wherever the water is. That's one of the huge characteristics of watercolors; they're going to move wherever water is. That's just a property of water in itself, water goes into water, and you can see it creates these beautiful branching effects which you can use in abstract art, you can use it in illustrated art, you can use it in really fine art, beautiful, diagrammatic art. You can use it in any type of art really, but it depends on what type of effect you want. I absolutely love using these effects when I'm doing a small or little illustrations that I want to create a bit of a texture in. That's what happens. This is effectively adding and creating a texture. You can see I'm moving my brush in different directions just to make sure I get more of that color on. The spread of color will depend on your wetness of the water, how damp the actual paper is, if the water dries up and the color is not going to spread. What you'll find with this is that if you've wet your paper correctly and you've kept the water within the lines of the circle, that paint won't go outside the corners or the border of that circle; it will only go where the wet is. Again, my water is slightly drying up now from the side because I actually got the lights on, so it's going to dry a lot quicker than yours well. But I can see here got a little pool of water here on the left-hand side, and I'm just dabbing my paint into it. You can see I've not added anymore paint to my brush. I'm using that same amount that I picked up initially, and it's covering up the huge mass of space inside the circle. You can see it creates that beautiful, beautiful pattern effect. Now, if you don't want a pattern effect and you just want it to have a smooth color, there's another technique that we're going to go through that's actually part of the wet-on-wet technique, and that's pretty much the pulling technique where we pulled the color water droplets down. Well, we're going to come on to that after we've covered most of these wet-on-wet techniques. If you just have a look here, what I want you to do is lightly keep dabbing that paint onto the areas where you've got no paint and no color to just complete this little circle, and it looks really nice. You've got that intense bits in the middle and it's all spreading out. I'm doing this on my Bockingford paper, so it's not being stretched. What's happening is it's actually raising up a little bit and that's fine. That can actually help this exercise and get that watercolor spreading out. If your watercolor paper is completely flat, then what will happen is it won't spread as much. So sometimes it's a good idea to maybe have it at an angle that will help move that watercolor along. But again, we're going to touch upon that in a lot more detail in the coming-up lessons. All I want you to do is I just want you to enjoy this little exercise. You can see that beautiful color. This one's a burnt sienna. It's just dispersing into that circle. Wherever you have these little pools of water, just keep dabbing into them and get them as close to the edge as you can. You don't need to be super neat. This is just an illustration exercise and that way you'll get that lovely, beautiful, soft, clean finish of color within your circle. Now you can see my color is like gone out from the side there. Not to worry. Quick little tip is just use your dry finger and push it back in. You can see I've pushed that back in. What I'm going to do is go on top of it like that. As long as your watercolor is wet, you can maneuver it around on your sheets of paper and it can work wonders. Now you'd notice that when I push that back in, it didn't leave a mark where that initial color was and that's because this particular color doesn't stain. So It doesn't have a staining characteristic. If you can remember what we went through the three characteristics before in the earlier lesson, the third characteristic was the staining ability of the color. So this is not a staining color. Whereas if this was a staining color and I had moved it in from the left there, it would have left a patch of color there and I wouldn't have been happy about that. That's why it's important to know which colors are staining and which colors are not. I'm going to leave that as it is and I'm going to let it dry, and what we can do is we can move on to the next one. 26. Wet on Wet: What we're going to do is on the second circle, the middle circle in our row, we're going to add in that water again with our brush just like we did on the first one. On this one, the difference, what we're going to do is we're going to add two colors to see how that wet on wet technique can really create a beautiful pattern and design of color. Again, all I'm doing here is I'm just wetting my little circle over here. I'm not too bothered about not going towards the edges. I'm just trying to keep it within that circle line. Just try your best to keep it within that circle line. It may take you a couple of attempts to get this right, first time, so not to worry if you think, " Oh no, I've made a right mess in this, don't worry at all, this is how you learn. Again, I've got a aspect of water going on there, clean my brush, go in back into my palate. Now, for this exercise, what I'm going to say is go for a lighter color. Let's go for this yellow, yeah, this is like a medium yellow color. If you've got the same colors as I have, then absolutely follow with the same colors. If you haven't, choose a color that's similar in your palate. I've just got this yellow, and again, all I'm going to do is just add it in. You can see that's dispersing quite rapidly, and that's because we've got more water on it. The colors can spread differently depending on the category of color or the amount of pigment that's inside the color. Those characteristics depend on the actual brand or the specific pigment, whether the pigment's natural or whether it's a synthetic organic pigment. Now, you'll only be able to tell that once you've actually used the color, but it's not something that you need to worry too much about, of how quickly a particular course spreads. I wouldn't worry too much about that. All I'm doing now is, again, just dabbing a little bit more paint in there just to give a bit more saturation in this nice little expanse of color. It looks beautiful, doesn't it? It looks like, it's like this, it's flowering into this beautiful pattern. Again, you don't have to keep dabbing. What I'm doing here is I'm just using the brush to maneuver that color, and just help it along the way so that it can quickly move to the edge. Again, I have gotten overhead lights, which is really drying up my water pretty fast, so I've got to move pretty quickly here. But for yourself, if you're just working in normal conditions in your room or in your office, anywhere in normal conditions without an overhead light, then yours will have a lot more maneuverability and flexibility in it. There we go, I'm happy with that. Let's just make these corners a little bit neat. Now, we've got to work fairly quickly because if the water dries out, if our solution dries out, then we're not going to really get much of a spread of color for this exercise. I'm just going to clean my brush in the dirty water. Make sure you clean it thoroughly, and make sure there's no pigment left on that brush. Go into your clean water, clean it out, and you should have no actual pigment going into your clean water jar, that's an indication that you brush isn't clean. There's another tip, make sure you clean it thoroughly. Loading my brush again with water, and now I'm going to go in with another color, so we use a light yellow, so it was a midtone yellow. Let's go in with a blue. I'm going to go in with this stain of blue. Now, I'm just going to dab this slightly, not too much. I've just got a little bit of color there, and all I want you to do is add that color in the middle, and let's see what happens. Look at that, so you can see how beautiful that is, it's added to that yellow mixture, and what we're getting is we're getting a slight hint of green there. What's happening is the colors are mixing, it's that wet on wet technique. This is a great way to actually produce different shades and different hues of color without having to premix them. This way, you get a nice random effect, a random color, so especially if you're working in abstract, or if you want to create a nice visual effect, this can be a great way to actually produce that effect, and that randomness can work really well.. Look how beautiful that is. Can you see how it's spreading out, and when you use colors to produce a third color. If you use primary colors to produce a secondary color, that's how you get the best out of these particular wet on wet technique effect. You can see all I'm doing is I'm just dabbing this on. I don't want it to completely mix, I want to have those packets of yellow in there, so I'm going to leave it as it is. Try this one out, have a bit of fun with it. Then you try out with different colors, once you've completed this exercise sheet, then try out some other color variations, it's just so you get used to the idea that you don't have to just paint straight from the actual palette onto your paper. You can create wonderful textures, beautiful patterns with watercolor and use it at its advantage. While this one dries, let's move on to our third circle, so I've got my third circle here. For this one, what we're going to do is we're going to do exactly the same, so make sure that your brush is nice and clean. I'm just going to clean my brush, so let's go in and add in that water layer really quickly. I'm working quite fast here now, so I don't want my water to dry because it's vital that we keep it wet for it to be wet on wet. That way we'll be able to get that maximum spread of color and create those wonderful patterns, there we go, let's just leave it at that. Now, for our base color, let's add in another light color. Let's maybe start off with a lemon yellow. This is a more lighter shade of yellow. I'm going to load up my brush with fairly well with this one. Let's just drop that in. There we go, dropping that in. You can see it's spreading, dab it around. Not to worry if you've got gaps of whites in there. I don't really want it to completely disperse and color the entire circle. For this exercise, let's create something funky. I'm going to clean my brush now in my dirty water. Clean it out thoroughly, make sure there's no pigment left on their otherwise we won't get very nice results. Then go in with your clean water, mix it in, get it loaded up nicely. Now, what we can do is have some fun. With our yellow, let's maybe add in a nice bit of red, so just dab a little bit of red onto your paint like so. Let's start dropping this in. Now, if you drop this in, in the white areas, you'll have a bit more variation, as you can see. I'm just going to drop it into the white areas, wherever there's whites areas. Don't worry if you don't have any white areas, if your yellow has completely covered up the entire circle. Not to worry, just drop it out randomly and space it out. You can see that creates a beautiful effect. What I'm going to do now is clean my brush, we use the read, so again, into the dirty water and then back into the clean water. Now, let's pick a third color. With a third color, how about we go for maybe a brown? Or actually, what we can do is let's just go for a nice green. If we go for this green here, we've got that viridian, really nice sharp electric green, go dab it into that. Now, let's add this on in the gaps and see what happens. You look at that, that's gorgeous there, isn't it? Just look at the way it disperses. It looks like a cell from a biology textbook. There you go, you've got that beautiful bit of color. Now, you can practice this on the other circles that we've drawn. That's why I've initiated this with six circles, and that way, you've got a bit more space to practice with it. Now, you can see it creates that beautiful flowering cauliflower effect. That's what sometimes they refer it to. It's like this cauliflower effect, it disperses out and flowers out into each other. You can create some absolutely beautiful patterns. 27. Variations: Now, we've got three nice little circles with some interesting patterns. Firstly, we just did water with a flat color going onto a dispersing using the wet on wet technique to just fill up that space. Secondly, we used a color and then another color on top to create a nice blend of color to create something nice and funky. Finally, we created this little mesh of colors that creates this lovely, natural looking, weird looking pattern. But this is really to illustrate that watercolors don't just have to be used like a coloring pencil where you just going in and just coloring things in with flat colors, you can experiment creating some beautiful variations and that way you'll get more familiar with your materials and your new medium of watercolors and that will really, really kickstart your lovely journey into watercolors. What I want you to do now is once you've completed these three, just do exactly the same on the circles that you've got at the bottom or vary it up a little bit, change it around, maybe do four colors, maybe just start off with some color and then go in with a little bit more water. That's what I'm going to do. I'm just going to go in and I'm just going to create some different variations. Then at the end, we'll have a look and see what we get. Okay, so now I've created three more different designs, all I've done is on this first one, I just added blue in half and then added some more red and orange on top, just to let the colors blend in. On the second one I added the green first. Then just with the dots way, the dot patterns just added in a little bit of fallow blue around the edges and you can see it's bled over, created an nice little pattern on the inside. Then finally on this one, I went in with the crimson red and ensured that I painted around within the circle really nice and tight. Then I use my spray bottle to just spray in a couple of dabs of water just to create a bit more fluidity, added a bit more red to it and then I added some ultramarine blue just to get that grayish, purplish shade. You can see it create some pretty nice textures. They effectively look like little marbles, beautiful marbles. There we go. We've got six nice little circles all painted in with different textures and different colors. I want you to really give this a go and enjoy this exercise experiment. Do maybe a couple of shades, maybe two shades with six different circles. Try out different shapes if you really want to. I mean, you can also have a circle in here if you can fit in a small circle in these little gaps, really fill that sheet up with shapes and get your color inside. Try this wet on wet technique, add one color, start off with water, or even start off with color, add in a second, third, and maybe even a fourth and you could create some beautiful results. That's the first exercise for the wet on wet technique. Let's now look at how we can apply this technique in an illustration. Let's move on to that, next. 28. Mini Sketch Wet on Wet: Welcome back. We did our lovely six little colorful circles using the wet on wet method by varying some colors, just adding a single color, adding multiple colors, and creating a beautiful pattern and design. What we're going to do now is we're going to use these techniques that we did to actually apply them in a small mini sketch, mini illustration so that you can see it in practice and see how it works so it can get you prepared for your class projects. Let's move on to that one. What I've basically done is I've just drawn four rectangles on my page, and that's what I want you to do. In these four rectangles, I've pretty much designed a simple sketch with simple shapes, as you can see. I've just repeated this in all four just roughly, not doing anything difficult here. If you just pause the video and have a look at this design when it's close up to the screen. Just copy it out on your sheet in the rectangles that you draw, and then we're ready to go. Here's my sketch. I did this in pencil in one of the rectangles, and I've just repeated it in all four. It's basically just a curly line going from left to right, and then doing a nice semicircle. I just did that with my duct tape that I've go here, FrogTape. Just used it as a guide. Then I just did this small little house silhouette with a little cut-out window in the middle. Simple shapes, that's all we're going to do to illustrate this technique. Once you've got this done, just do it in pencil, no need for any ink at this stage. Then, what we're going to do is we're going to wet our brush and then start with this wet on wet technique. Now, the reason I've done four of these exactly the same is so that you can practice this technique and produce different colors and variations so that you don't have to worry about the type of sketch that you're doing. Firstly, what I'm going to do is I'm going to wet this foreground just like we did in the wet on wet technique. All I'm going to do is apply my wet water. Well, water is always wet, isn't? I'm going to apply the water to this little area here. Everything beneath this curve line down here, we're just going to give it a nice layer of clean water. Just ensure that your brush is absolutely clean and rinsed out and that you've emptied out your jars and put in freshwater. We're just going in just like that. Try your best to keep it within the lines. Another good way to ensure that you've got it within the borders of the rectangle is if you tape up that rectangle. But I wouldn't worry too much about that. You don't really need to do that. You can actually do this just like I am. Again, I'm using my Bockingford block, I don't have to tape it on the edges. If you're just doing this on a sheet of watercolor paper, then absolutely tape it on all four corners so that stays in place. You can see now I've just added a beautiful layer of water. Now, what we're going to do is we're going to go in and actually spray our paints like we've been doing all the way now. Mine are fairly damp already because I was just doing a bit of painting before. Just give it a little spray, get it nice, and wet, and moist. Wet your brush again, and now what I want you to do is pick up a green color. Let's use this sap green. I just want you to dab your brush into it like we did before in the previous exercises. Dab your brush into that little solution that's collecting in that little well and you've got a nice bit of paint on your brush. Put the colors to side side. What I want you to do from this side, I want you to just start dabbing in that color. Now, you can see that color is dispersing, spreading out really nice. Keep going until you've got a nice bit of coverage in this area and stop approximately halfway through where you've got this little house. I've tried placing this house pretty much in the center of the rectangle. It doesn't matter if yours isn't in the center, just get the color halfway across the rectangle. Like you can see here, I'm just adding that color in. Now, what I'm doing is I'm spreading it out. I'm just spreading that color with my brush using the wet on wet technique, and because everything is nice and moist, the color can move really easily. Sometimes it helps just changing the angle of your hand just to get the brush tip in a more favorable position for yourself. I prefer to keep the brush tip away from me when I'm painting. That way I can easily guide it across any borderlines or any guidelines that I'm doing, just like this here. For me, I like to have more control when I'm doing these brushstrokes, but sometimes people are really good at keeping a steady hand. But even if you have a shaky hand like me, it makes no difference. You can still do watercolors. Like that. I've got a nice bit of green there. What I want you to do now is rinse out your brush, get it nice and clean. Make sure there's no pigment on there at all. Now, go back into your clean water. Make sure you've got your two jars: one for dirty, one for clean like we've been doing. Make sure it's nice and moist, the brush. Now, I want you to go into your second color. Now, the color I'm going to suggest is the ultramarine blue. Get a good dab of ultramarine blue. If you haven't got ultramarine blue and you just pick a blue that's similar, like a mid-tone blue. But if you have a set, you do tend to get ultramarine blue. It's quite a common color to have. Now, you can see I'm just adding this on and the paint isn't spreading as quickly as the green, and that's because the water underneath has dried out. Again, that's due to the light that I've got. Again, all I'm going to do, I'm just going to keep dabbing this onto it to cover as much of the white as I can underneath that curvy line. We're effectively just doing the foreground. We're just painting in that foreground. I'm going to give my brush a little clean, and then go into the clean water and just add in some water droplets there. You can see now that's going to help it along its way. Don't worry about the edge for now, I'm using quite a big brush. It's the same brush that I've been using up to now, my size 10. Don't worry about it if you can't get it all the way to the edge and it's too watery like it is to me right now. We're going to fix that just after we complete this. Now, what I'm doing is, with that brush, I'm just going in over the green. Now, just slightly going in over the green, dabbing it across. What we're effectively doing is we're creating this gradient. Now, we're going to come to actually how to create a gradient wash in the next coming lessons. But just generally, as a flat wet on wet technique, this is a great way just to blend in two colors. Now, you can see I'm just slowly blending it in, going back into the blue. The ultramarine blue is really nice and solid. Again, I'm just picking up a little bit more from there. If you got a little spilly down here, just push it away with your finger. No problem at all. Just keep going in and melt them colors together. You can see it's creating that gorgeous blend of colors. They're just melting into each other. That's about enough for that. What I'm going to do now is, again, give my brush a nice clean. I'm just going to put my brush to the side. Now, what I'm going to do is I'm going to use a smaller brush. Now, this brush came with my set. This is just a travel brush which is really good because it's really thin, it's really small, fine tip on this one. I'll show you how I open this up. You can see that really nice fine tip. It's a synthetic brush. What we're going to do is we're just going to go in, and we're just going to pull this edge, this pool of water to make sure that we have a nice finish. You can see what I'm doing there. I'm just pushing that water out all the way to the edge of my line, and because it's quite a lot of solution there, I can maneuver it around however I like with a smaller brush. 29. Paper Angle: That's the advantage of having a couple of brush sizes, which is why I always recommend get yourself a big-sized brush, big to medium, and then get yourself a small-sized brush as well to do these finer details and to do more finesse in your watercolor movements because it's a lot easier to get these done with a smaller tip, a smaller brush. If it helps, just turn your page around. I quite often like to turn my page. I turn my actual block just to help the angle of my hand. So if that helps you, absolutely go for it. Now, if you've taped your paper down onto your table, then it's not going to be very easy for you to turn your table, which is why I always suggest taping your paper to a thin board, or even just a chopping board and if you're just using single sheets. That way, you'll easily be able to swivel your paper around. Again, that's another tip. Move your paper around to suit your angle to best help you with your brush movements. Just like that, I'm slowly doing this really nice and gently. Again, what I'm going to do is I'm going to turn this a little. I'm going to literally turn this the other way around. What that will do is that will help me see the edge of the line. So I can see the edge of the line, and all I'm doing is I'm just going to bring my brush across like that and it makes the job so much easier. Now again, you don't need to worry too much about having everything perfectly lined up like I'm doing here. I'm just doing this for demonstration to show you as many tips as I can in this beginner's course because that's what it really is about; just learning the tips and tricks so that you don't fall into traps or end up wasting your watercolor paper because you've made a mistake. Always a good idea to have a go and just find out what works best for you. Just like that, I've just dragged the water across and that's created a gorgeous gradient. Let's turn this back around. Beautiful. Let's have a look at this. Let's just finish this off from the top. You can see now the color in the middle, it's that mix between the ultramarine blue and the sap green, so we've got a gorgeous, nice little blend going on there. Now, if you want to encourage that to blend even more, a great thing to do is just give your brush a clean. Make sure you do this with a clean brush, and we're using a small tip here. Again, just go in with a little bit of water and just keep adding those dabs of water. What that'll do is that'll blend out these harsh edges that you get where you get one color going into another. It'll give you a more of a softer look. Now, if you want to look that's a bit more grainy, a bit more gritty, then leave it as that. We're going to do that in another example where you can create a bit of texture. But for now, what I want is I just want this to be a medium-snoozed gradient just so that you can see how easy it is to move this around. Now, you'll notice that the water has pulled up into this bottom right-hand corner. The reason for that is, as I mentioned previously as well, the paper is buckling upwards, so it's slightly warping upwards because of the water content that we've got on. The more water you put on, the more your paper is going to buckle, and that's just given. So the only way to avoid or to completely minimize that is by stretching your paper. But I'd rather you not waste too much time stretching your paper or worrying about stretching your paper at this stage, maybe leave the stretching paper for your class project or maybe towards the end of the class and just practice. That way, you'll be able to get an experience of how to maneuver the pools of water that you get from the natural buckling of the paper. Now, I'm using the block like I said before, but even with a block, you're going to get pooling. You could minimize the warping by actually sealing the gap that's in the buck. If you remember when we went through the different surfaces, there's a little gap, that you have to slide your ruler through or slide a flat knife through to just open up. If you seal that gap, that will minimize the warping even more because there'll be no air underneath it for the paper to move, but you're still going to get warping. I'm happy with that. I think that looks pretty nice. What we need to do now is be a little bit patient and wait for this to dry, because if we go straight in and start coloring in the next element, we're going to have to leave a gap between this edge where the watercolor ends and the edge where we start. Now, you can't leave a gap; it'll leave a nice little white line, effectively like a brake line, but there's always a chance that your hand might move and you might end up hitting into the watercolor, and then that's going to bleed through and you're not going to be happy. What we're going to do now is we're just going to let this dry, and if you have a hair dryer at hand, which I do. A light encouragement in drying; make sure you don't put your hair dryer on too fast, especially if you've got a lot of water on, like I have, because what's going to happen is it's just going to splash that water all over the place and you're going to be a little bit annoyed about that, because I know I would, so just keep your hair dryer really far back and give this a dry. That's what I'm going to do next. 30. Using a Hair Dryer: Another thing to remember is that if you're using a hair dryer, you can actually maneuver the water if you'd be really careful. So you can see what I'm doing is I'm placing my hair dryer around about this angle. If I just move slightly back on the camera, you can see I've got my hair dryer here and all I'm doing is I'm just holding it at this angle because I've got the pool of water here, just very gently from a distance. If you allow the hair dryer to hit the water from this angle, you'll see the water move up. That again will create a much nicer blend and it'll help the drying time, so try that out if you can. If not, not to worry about say, let's just carry on. You can see now with the hair dryer, I've just given it some heat and and hair from this angle and you can see it's dragged that water all the way to one side. Now what you can also do is if you have your paper on a board or like I have on a actual block, then you can actually grab hold of your paper. I'll just zoom back on that. You can say what I can do is I can lift this up and then just slightly angle it so that the water carries on flowing. You can see the water flowing from here, it's moving that way. I'm just encouraging that water to go forward. That's another technique where you can use it to drip and feed within another color to create some interesting effects, and you can see now I'm just dragging it upwards now. What that does is it creates a beautiful pattern. You can see that water, it's just like it's trickling across, looks really nice. If you end up doing this and you don't like the results that you get, you can easily fix this. What to do with something like this is if we could just zoom back in, you can see, you might have like I've got down here, I've got this little area down here and I might want that dark part to be at the border. Just get yourself a wet brush, wet your brush with clean water, and just start moving it around. It's just so easily maneuverable that you can literally have a nice bit of fun just playing around with the colors and the water to create something really interesting. You're never going to get the same patterns when you do this again. That's what gives this medium its unique characteristic where you just don't know, especially if you're doing wet on wet techniques, you can't really predict exactly how the watercolor is going to behave or where it's going to end up. It all depends on your environment and on the surface and just generally how random it can be. Like you see over here, what I'm doing is I'm just dragging those little pockets of water upwards, and that can create a nice texture for this little foreground that I'm getting. What I'm going to do is I'm going to speckle this within that area. Again, great advantage of using the wet on wet technique. Try this out, try doing what I'm doing here. You're not going to get the same results as me because it depends how much watercolor you put down or how much pigment you have in your watercolor, or how much water you have, and it also depends on the surface. Like I said, I'm just maneuvering this around because I really like this texture and I think it will work great, so carry on doing this and allow your watercolor to dry. If you don't want to use a hairdryer, just leave it for maybe an hour or two until you start working on the next stage. I'm just going to carry on moving this around until I'm happy with it and that will also encourage the drying time. I'm happy with that. What I'm going to do is I'm going to carry on with the hair dryer and just use the hair dryer in a flat position until this is completely dry. Now you can see I ended up getting a bit distracted and I ended up blowing too much air on this and it went spilling out in this corner. But what I did was to quickly recover. I just got myself a little bit of tissue and I just wiped it towards the actual watercolor, so you can see it's left a little bit of a stain because it's a slightly staining color, but that's not a problem. If you do run into that problem when you're drying, then you can easily fix it by just reacting quickly and then just going in and then just doing some touch-up work. Again, just going in like this and we're going to carry on. But this time I'm going to concentrate. Welcome back. Now, our nice little gradients color on the foreground has been dry. As long as it's dry to the touch, we're ready to move to the next part. 31. Subtle Textures: For the next part, what we're going to do is we're going to just do this little circle area over here. You can do the background if you want this bigger area. But I'm going to go for the circle purely because it just makes it easier for me when I'm doing this illustration. Again, we're just going to go in with our clean water, go straight in and this time what I'm going to do is I'm going to keep my water away from the house and just keep it within the circle part of the drawing. So you can see there, starting in my water trying not to go over the little house so wet. But even if you do accidentally go over the little house so wet, not to worry. It's not the end of the world. Because we've done four little drawings of these, you've got plenty of drawings to practice on, even if you do mess up a little bit on the first attempt. But you do have to get used to working on this wet on wet method. Basically it's really getting used to and getting that practice in. Because sometimes you might not really know what to do if you've made an error like I did when the watercolors stretched it out with a hair dryer, but no reason to panic. Don't worry about it, just carry on until you get better and that's what will happen. You'll just keep getting better the more you practice. So I've got a nice layer of water in there. Get your colors, and let's have a look at what we've got. Let's go for maybe a red. If we just pull out a little bit of red, I am using my Alizarin crimson. Just dab it again with your brush and drop it straight into that circle area for that beautiful wet on wet explosion. Beautiful stuff going down and it just looks so nice [inaudible]. It's just such a relaxing medium to use. I know it can get frustrating when you're trying to achieve something and you can't achieve it. But instead of worrying about making something perfect, especially in this beginner stage, just enjoy the medium, enjoy this expressive color you're doing. There really is no pressure at all. Take your time with these exercises there's no rush. Go back to the exercises again, there's plenty more exercises. [inaudible] plenty more techniques that we're going to go through. So just enjoy this process and learn while you're working. Just like that, I've covered that. I'm liking that. What I'm going to do is I'm going to clean my brush. Just into the dirty water jar back into the clean, and let's get in a secondary color. I'm going to get this lemon yellow. Brush in a bit with yellow. If you don't have lemon yellow, just choose the lightest yellow that you have and start dropping it in. I'm going to drop it in at the base of this circle so that we get a bit of a blend going in from yellow to red, and they will mix in to a nice, orangey color. So just like that, all I'm doing is just adding in them dots. You can see it's creating a gorgeous blend. Look at how beautiful that looks. So just leave it like that. No need to mix it in with your brush, just dab it in. Let that color disperse into wherever it wants. Just around the house a little bit more, around the edges. Let's keep that part red. Now I'm just going to clean my brush, and I'm going to go back to my small brush, give my small brush a nice rinse in the clean water, and let's soften and neaten up these edges. I'm going to tilt my page to the side and just like I did with the foreground, I'm going to go in and start neatening this up, bringing it across to the edge and then from here, coming in like this. This is one of the things that I love about having a small brush like this. Again, this brush is free, it came with the set, so this is one other reason I always recommend getting this set that I've got. Because you literally got a complete set of colors, great choice of colors, and you've got yourself a pretty decent brush that you can use to fine details and to just neaten things up. So just like that, I'm just going over the areas where I can see these white spots just dabbing without adding any more paints, we're just using what we have already on the paper. Just like that, we're going to carry on and finish this one off. Take your time, don't rush because the thing with watercolor is, you've got to be quite patient, just don't rush. Because if you rush, you rush and make a mistake, and you won't be happy. Just finishing this off cleaning these gaps over here very lightly, just using the paint that's on the edges on the corners in that vicinity, finishing them little dots, and then let's just go around the silhouette to make it nice and clean. Nice and clean silhouette, clean, crisp lines and we're pretty much done. Just a little bit more on tap. Take a look, turn it around, beautiful. right now what we can do is we can start adding in a little bit more color. Just with my small brush, I'm going to go back in to the crimson red and just adapt a little bit of red on to the top areas to increase the saturation and increase that vibrancy of the color with a little bit more red. Again, clean your brush and dab a bit more paint on that tiny brush, and then just go in where we have a little bit more pale color and just to make this a bit more vibrant, a bit more saturated and interesting. You can see it's creating a lovely texture by just adding these dots into the wet areas. The areas that actually dried already, that's where you don't get much dispersion. That's another thing you can use to your advantage. When the paint is semi dry or just about to dry up, it's always a good idea if you want to get some nice medium shop designs and patterns in. Just start dropping in your paint at that point. You can see here, I've got a bit of dry area so underneath it's not as wet, so if I just drop in these dots, you'll be able to see the dots a bit more. That's a great way to add texture to your actual artwork where you don't have the water completely melting into another parts of the paint. Just like that, we're just going in, and I think that's about it. Let's just spread this area here. Just do the best you can with what you've got. If you don't have these colors again, just use yellow and a red from your palette that you have. But you can create some beautiful colors. You've got this lovely orangey red circle, absolutely gorgeous. It's that time again, we're going to have to dry this out. But before we dry this out, we can add in another element, and we can actually go in and paint this little windows. That's what I'm going to do, I'm going to use my lemon yellow straight from the actual pallete and my brush is 100 percent clean, you can see it's getting contaminated. Just make sure you clean your brush thoroughly, go back into clean water and then start adding. There you go, we've got pure yellow there on the tip of that brush and just go in. I'm just going to paint this pure yellow. I'm not going to bother with any gradation on this one because I'm just going to keep this as a yellow window, and that's it. Just like that, a nice thick layer of paint in the middle, just to add some variants, and we're done. Again, all I'm going to do is I'm going to dry this with the hair dryer, and I'll see you once that's done. 32. Flat Colour: Now, all I'm going to do now is I'm just going to use some of the phthalo blue solutions. I've just added a little bit of water to some phthalo blue and I'm just going to go straight into the background and create a nice flat layer. Let's do that now. Now, all I've done is added a flat layer of phthalo blue just directly to the paper. We didn't have pre-wet the paper. All I'm going to do now is I'm just going to clean my brush. Make sure my brush is nice and clean. Let's creates a nice dark texture for the background. This phthalo blue, I'm going to add just a little bit of crimson red and just dub it in the top corners, like so. You can see that's dispersing into a really nice dark purplish color. I'm just going to do that on this side here so that we have a little bit of variations. You can see the paint is nice and wet. What we did here was we added the color as it was, just a color solution with another color solution on top. Again, keeping it wet on wet instead of having to go in with water. What this does is it creates a lot more variance. It creates texture. It can even create a damp at dry brush look. But generally speaking, the reason I've done this is so that you have just another thing to actually work on so that you have another technique to look at and see how you can create beautiful patterns using the wet on wet technique. Just like that, all I'm doing is I'm just adding on that crimson. Maybe we add on a little bit more. We'll just clean up brush, go into the crimson again, dub it in, and let's make this nice and vibrant. I'm going to tilt my page. I'm just going to bring this in a little bit from that corner. Go in with that crimson to create a beautiful blend of color. You can see we've got this nice reddish-purplish color on the right-hand side of our mini illustration, our mini sketch. Then we've got a nice intense blue on the left. Just have a play around with this. I mean, you don't have to use the same colors that I'm using. Go ahead and use whichever colors you like and just use this method of either wetting the paper and then going in with color, or going in with color straight away by creating a color solution like we did with the phthalo blue and then adding dots of color to create a nice blend variation of color, or just do both, like I have over here. It's always a good idea to keep your small brush at hand. Then what you can do is you can go in and you need to knock the edges, like I'm doing here. Just go in, need to knock them edges, no need to add anymore color. What we're doing is dragging it to the edge so we have a nice clean finish and it looks quite nice. Again, it would be that you'd have none of these bubbly effects if you were working on stretched paper. But sometimes, these bubbly effects that you have, this warping of the paper, that can work to your advantage, especially if you're trying to create some texture and some random variances. It can look rather nice. Let's just carry on doing this. All I'm going to do is, with my small brush, I'm just going to go in, clean that brush out and add a bit more of the phthalo blue. We got the phthalo blue here, just add a bit more of it directly onto this so that we have a nice little pattern. Some of these dots melting away in the background making it look quite funky and nice. Let's carry on with that. If you find that you've have an area where you want to make it darker, just go in and add a bit more of the pure pigment from your palette, that will cover it up and make it look a lot more saturated. But I'm happy with how this is looking right now. Again, this is just a demonstration. We're not doing a complete sketch. All I'm going to do now is I'm just going to wait until this dries, and just get the hairdryer out, give it a good drying over, and then we'll just fill this little housing in the middle, or you can leave it as it is. It's entirely up to you. I'll see you after that. Now, our painting is completely dry. What I'm going to do is I'm going to leave this little silhouette. I'm just going to leave it white. At the end, what we'll do is we'll use our fineliner to go in and just finish and touch this up with some details. But what I want you to do is have a go at this, like I have use. Maybe it's different colors that I've done or just follow the color scheme that I've done here. 33. Experiment with Colours: Just go ahead and vary your color, have a play around with the texture, with the wet-on-wet technique, add color first or add water first, mix and match it, and let's see what you get because this is a great exercise to get used to the wet-on-wet technique. That's why I'm going to do now. I'm going to quickly go through all three of these color them in, so you can have a look at the end once it's completely dry, how these turn out to be. Let's do that now. Now, I've completed all my four little mini sketches, and you can see I've done quite a lot of different variations on all four of them just to give you an idea of what can be achieved, try this out. For example, over here on the top left, I used very vibrant colors, nice contrasting vibrant colors, blending some phthalo greens and some phthalo blue and then going in with yellow ocher and orange, and then just a flat yellow ocher for this little circle. Try this color variation out, try a few other color variations out. Then on this area here in this bottom left-hand side used some nice earth tones and nice bits of brown and yellow ocher with a bit of green. This worked really, really nice as well. You can see it actually went in over the circle and the background at the same time. As the colors were dispersing, it just maneuvered in and out of it to create a beautiful marbling look. Then on the right-hand side, a bit of an explosive color scheme going here. We've got very vibrant lemon yellow going in with a bit of ultramarine. Again, with this one, I mixed both of the main with the circle and the background at the same time, and I maneuvered it while the painting was going from wet to dry. Again, it creates a nice little variation. Try this out, try a couple of different color options that you have from your palettes and it'll give you a nice experience in wet-on-wet techniques. All I'm going to do now is I'm just going to use my fineliner and I'm going to outline the shapes just to finish off the illustrations. You don't have to do this in yours, if you want to leave them as they are, but sometimes, it's nice and neat to nook them rough edges with a nice fine line, so I'm going to do that now and I'll see you once that's done. I've just finished off with some nice little clean lines for my illustrations just to outline them, so that they look a little bit nicer and neater. You don't have to do this. But if you do decide to do this, make sure that your paint is completely dry, otherwise, you're going to have an absolute mess. That's it for the wet-on-wet technique illustrations. Now, let's move on to the next technique. 34. Wet on Dry: Welcome back. Let's look at the second main watercolor technique. We're going to be looking at the wet on dry technique. Now, previously, we did the wet on wet technique. This is pretty much the same. The only difference is we're going to be using wet paint on a dry surface. For this one, I'm going to demonstrate this using my stretched piece of paper, the one that I stretched in the previous lesson, so I'll just show you here nicely sealed with the gum tape, and it's ready to start using. Let's just get a zoom back on here to fit the screen. Now, if you don't have any stretched paper or you haven't stretched your paper, not to worry, just watch this class, stretch your paper, and then come into the class and practice this exercise. Or if you don't want to stretch your paper, that's fine, just use whichever watercolor paper you have. Tape it down on all four sides with some masking tape or with some insulation table, whichever tape you have at hand, and you can follow this class step-by-step. Firstly, I'm going to be using a different brush now. Let's use this flat one-inch brush. If you have this brush, then use this brush for this exercise. If you haven't, just stick to the standard round brush that you've been using up to now. What we're going to do here is, first of all, we're going to create some watercolor solutions. With the wet on dry technique, you're basically using a pre-made solution or a direct solution and just laying it onto the paper, onto the surface, the dry surface immediately. Now, we've actually already done this in the first lessons where we created our color swatch if you remember. We went straight from the damp paint onto the paper, and this is basically just an extension of that original technique. Let's start off with creating our watercolor solutions. Now for the solutions, I'm going to get my palette. I'll just put my palette here, just make sure it's nice and dry from the bottom. We don't want any paint going on the paper, so we'll just place the palette here and then we're going to get our good old water bottle. This is vital for this method that we're going to be looking at. I mean, you don't have to have a water bottle for this you can use something else to actually add your water in, but it just really initiates the solution really quickly. I'm going to use this as my first one. With my water bottle, I'm just going to spray in one full spray. Got one full spray of water, just some speckles of water there. In the second one, I'm going to do about 3-4 sprays of water, maybe five, depending on how much spray comes out. You can see, we have a difference now. We've got a nice pool of water here and we've just got some speckles, and this is what's going to make all the difference. Let's just put that to the side here, and let's go straight into our watercolor palette. With our small brush, all I want you to do is before you actually use a small brush, just go in and wet your palette like we've been doing with the spray just to get them colors going. What I want you to basically do is get some red, so the darkest red that you've got, mine is a crimson. Just go straight into it. You can see, it's quite thick. If your is thick like this, that's fine. If it's watery that's still fine. Just go in, take a nice decent bit of paint, and then I want you to go into your palette and where we sprayed the small amounts of water, just drop that paint in that. You can see we've got a nice thick consistent water solution with a nice bit of saturated paint. Now again, all I want you to do is basically go in into your palette, take out a little bit more and just add it to that solution. We're just dropping it in to create ourself a nice wash of color. Just like that, go in, giving it a nice mix and that's ready. We're going to do the same with the second one here. We're just going to take in the same amount of that red color and just drop it straight into that, and you'll find that over here we've got much more of a fluid watery solution compared to this first one, and that's what we want. We just want a watery solution here and we want a more saturated solution there. Just again, maybe another dab, and that's looking good. Put the palette to the side and move your little brush. We don't need this brush anymore for now. Just clean it off in your dirty water jar and put it to one side. Now, what I want you to do is I want you to get your brush that you're going to use. If you're going to use your one-inch brush, grab hold of your one inch brush and dip it into some clean water. That's what I'm going to do here. I'll just quickly show you. Dip it in, get a nice dip, twist it around, so that's it's completely drenched in that water. That's what we want. We want it to be nice and watery. Then just like that, what we want to do is place it into this first solution where we have the saturated red, and get that water solution into those brush bristles. All I'm doing is just pressing down on one end, lifting up, pressing down on the other end, and just twisting that solution around, and picking up as much as this brush will take. Now, if this was a sable brush, we would have pretty much soaked up all that solution in one go, because sable brushes have a much higher take-up of water compared to synthetic. But again, I don't expect you to have a sable brush for this beginner's class, and I'm not going to be using any of my sable brushes. I might use them towards the end when I do my full project in the class project, but for now let us stick to synthetic. That's a nice bit of color on that brush as you can see, so it's well and truly wet with color. What I want you to do now is I just want you to, on the top right-hand corner, just press down and then lightly drag that color across. Take it as far as it'll go, and it'll only go as far as the brush will allow to release that water. As you can see, I'm getting a couple of speckles there. That's absolutely fine. Now what I want you to do is give that keep that a rinse. Give that a rinse, get this completely cleaned out. All that pigment needs to come off so that we can use our second color. That's done. Move that to the side, go into the clean water, give it a nice rinse, our brush is nice and clean. We can just put that to one side now. What we're going to do is we're going to do exactly the same that we did with the red with our second color. Now we've not used that watery solution, yeah, and there's a reason for that. What I've done is I've decided to do these two solutions because we're going to use this in the second part. Still keep this solutions as they are. Don't take them out or dry them up. What we're going to do is, I'll just place this down here with our water. We're going to be the same, one spray in this one, one. Then two sprays in that one, 2-4, so three, four. Just get a nice bit of solution there. Maybe one more in here and we just want that variant, so maybe 4-6 sprays in this one and maybe 1-2 in that one. What we're going to do is we're going to go in with our small brush again, and we're going to choose our second color. Now for the second color, I'm going to say go for a blue. I'm going to be using ultramarine blue. If you haven't got this color, just use any blue that you have and just dab in, just like we did with red, and start adding it into that little compartment. Now we need to get this nice and saturated to pick as much color as you can with your brush. Don't do it with your big brush because what happens with that is it just spatters all over the place and I don't want you to get frustrated with having to clean your colors. Again, that's about enough. It gives us a decent solution to pick up with our flat brush. Now, again, we're going to go in directly into that and go into the watery solution. Maybe two or three little dibs of this ultramarine blue. You can see we've got two different types of solution and that's watery one