Begin Creative Watercoloring OUTSIDE | Ron Mulvey✏️ | Skillshare

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Begin Creative Watercoloring OUTSIDE

teacher avatar Ron Mulvey✏️, Artist / Art Teacher

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Intro Begin Creative Watercoloring Outdoors


    • 2.

      Begin Creative Watercoloring Materials


    • 3.

      Flower Drawing Warmups


    • 4.

      How To Start Sketching


    • 5.

      Watercoloring Your Sketch


    • 6.

      Fine Tuning Your Sketch


    • 7.

      The Wild Lupin Quest


    • 8.

      Drawing In The English Garden


    • 9.

      Laying Down Color Notes


    • 10.

      Polishing Up Your Watercolor


    • 11.

      Painting With Opaque White Watercolor


    • 12.

      Preview For Next Class


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About This Class

Watch as I teach you how to gather inspiration and information outside with a simple and direct 'sketching method' that I have used for over 30 years as a professional artist.  This simple technique used by professional watercolor artists will bring depth, expression, and nuance to your watercolor paintings.

No experience needed and no student ever left behind! 

As a professional landscape artist, I've painted thousands of watercolor paintings and studied hundreds of books from the old classical masters and those who have shaped our Modern Times.

In my studio and in the field, I'll show you how to capture those things you love to draw and paint. We will finish up with a few color notes and details that will give you a  finished work of art that you will be proud of.

Watch as I teach you the simple outdoor watercoloring  techniques step-by-step. These are the techniques used by professional artists. 

By the end of this course, you'll be able to: 

  • Create bold and expressive watercolors with a simple mastery of the Watercoloring Outside Style
  • Learn the secrets to getting depth and expression into your outdoor watercolor paintings.
  • Relax and learn—you'll never be left behind and no experience is required to master this wonderfully simple outdoor technique. 

This course focuses on Painting Flowers Outside. The skills and techniques you will learn can be applied to any subject matter outdoors or indoors. You will begin to master the greatest creative skill that an artist can develop; the ability to see and respond to what you are experiencing.

The Flower Doodle was presented at the end of our last class Begin Creative Flower Watercoloring and I will be showing you how I develop it with Opaque White Watercolor paint in the studio.

We will cover some drawing skills and painting techniques that will really help your Watercoloring practice.

There are 3 Demos in this class that you can learn from and a few Warm Up exercises that will demonstrate the skills needed for you to participate in this class. Feel free to look around and explore which section you would like to start with.

Ron will provide you with some expert advice on 'gathering yourself creatively' so you can expect a very successful outcome from this  Outdoor and Indoor course.

Learn how to avoid the common pitfalls of Watercolors.

YOU CAN DO THIS! There are no mistakes in art!

Here are our 3 Outdoor Demos that will guide you step by step into the great outdoors and then back to the studio for 'polish' time.

Join the Adventure!

You will love the 4 in 1 below. 

See You In Class, Ron


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Ron Mulvey✏️

Artist / Art Teacher


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

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

What Do I Like Teaching?

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

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

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1. Intro Begin Creative Watercoloring Outdoors: Hi, I'm Ron Mulvey and welcome to the class, creative watercoloring outside. Watercoloring is very, very simple. We take water, we take color, some paper, get inspired, and learn the techniques of getting the paint onto the paper. We will be going on three different little sketching trips, and I'm going to show you the techniques that I learned and how you can apply them in your studio even if you don't go outside, follow me and see where I get my inspiration from. As with every class that we do, we say it's a beginner class. You wouldn't be in this class if you were an advanced. What I mean by that is your desire to paint and be creative is not something that everybody has. A lot of people don't really want to be creative, they want to watch other people's creativity. Starting is always beginning and beginning is always reaches an end, and we start over again and the cycle continues. The more times we begin things and do them, the greater our skill in doing them. Then we are going to be going on the loop inquest. We're also going to be visiting an English Country Garden and taking our material home, discovering what we've learned, bringing it up to a level that we can admire and feel confident that we're going in the right direction with our new found watercoloring skills, and you can get good a stroke. Nature is the great inspiration we all need to get in front of somethings and paint it. Thanks for joining the class. Let's get started. 2. Begin Creative Watercoloring Materials : Just getting outside inspires you. You get a visual memory, you'll be able to see things, bring them home with you, and then put them into your picture at your own leisure. Over here is pagers tape, which has a low tack, meaning that the acidity is very low. It won't affect your paper and it comes off easily. Do not use masking tape or scotch tape. They're highly acidic. This is the Winsor & Newton cake watercolors. They are so portable. One thing you'll find though, is they do get all mocked up. What I do, is I wash them off and there of course they're all wet. Then I put a paper towel for a moment or two over them, and then just take them off like that. At the end of the day, if you want to wash them up, that's the best way to do it. What I do is I will take some tube paint and squeeze it in like this. Over a couple of days, it will harden. It's not quite the same as the cake watercolors because they're formulated to moisten quickly. But if you've got a couple of minutes before you start, give it little spray with some water like this and let them sit for a moment before we start using them. Getting outside, sitting in front of something, sketching it, painting it, taking notes and coming home and adding things to it is my method. It's worked for me for over 30 years as a professional artist and teacher. Today we're heading outside. 3. Flower Drawing Warmups: Then the other side. You start to develop ideas about how to get the leaf pattern. That's one of my favorites. I'll do the upside down for you. I think I can do the upside down, let me try it. I started there, here we go, there, stop. Other way. The lines are always going to the inside otherwise you'll get confused. Inside, out, inside, out, inside. A lot of lilies, out, inside, out, inside, without lifting the pen. Then the flower, usually a compound flower meeting lots of little flowers coming up. You can put a pineapple here, if you want. There we go. Little table. I'm not quite sure the pineapple patterns probably a zigzag. There we go. Put things all over it. There we have a little pineapple. First of all, we start with a middle section here. But if we just start here, we won't get it even, why don't we start with just a little circle? I hope you got it. I'm going to draw it a little darker, and I'm going to simplify the structure of the pansy. There's the circle, and then, we're going to get even two sections here, and not quite here, but just a little bit over because it's probably underneath this one. We come up with four sections. That's where you get to the little veins or the grumpy face. See, I've got some information here with the grumpy face. I could put the grumpy face in or I could take this little section where it's yellow and purple. Let's add the next part. The next part is going to be three sections. We're going to have a fairly large one under here. I could even mark it like one, that's going to be the bottom part, it's going to start here. I can use these little lines like this if you feel like you need to. The problem with these little lines is they don't have any character. Whereas if you pull it from, say here, and you actually pull the line and get some good strong lines, you see the difference. Now, let's say you didn't like that line. Another great secret. Don't erase it, leave it, and put in the right line, then take your eraser. Hope it's clean, that's a little dirty. That's okay. I have to rub a little harder. I'll work on that later. Watch that your erasers are good quality. There we go. Now I can add two on the top. The two on the top, I'll put another little mark here. I could do this if you're used to that sort of line, some people will draw. Its like a heart. They'll use little lines like this, we call them searching lines. There are great illustrators who do it. Then you can go over your searching line with a strong line. Something that has character, either way will work. Now we have one more behind. Pansies here, one, two, three. Lots of different shapes for pansies. If you look at the photograph from different angles, they look different. Let's try another one. A little smaller one. I'm going to make the grumpy face. There's the two little eyes and there's the little grumpy little face. On this one, we're going to draw these two right here. There's three. We're going to draw one here, then I'm going to come up with two here. All pansies have different shapes. I'm going to put in two behind like that. I think this one looks a little more like a pansy than this one. I might want to just bring that in. Studying your flower will definitely give you what you're looking for. Put a bite in this one. Start developing if you're illustrating. This little pansy got bit. It was all upset. He runs home telling his mom that bugs are biting him. But mom explains "It's okay, it's okay. That's what bugs do." Here's another one. I'm going to stylize this one. It's a little different. It might not even end up a pansy. But notice that I'm going to point this, creating my own little flower now because it's pencil, I can change this and of course I will find a better eraser than the first one I had. A gum eraser's are great. I might even erase that. I like that flower right there, then I could add another one here. Now I've invented my own little flower. There are no mistakes in art, but we do take different directions. Here's a better eraser. Notice that the pencil lines come right off and we don't even see where they were. This will clean it up pretty good. If you watch your pencils these days depending on where they're made and where are the erasers are made, I try to stick with the stapler eraser or the pink pearl, they're much better. Sometimes you'll see something at a dollar store that's cheap, but they don't work. There's a good erasing. Rather than using my fingers, I can pick up the paper and knock it off. Then clean my studio every couple days or just sweep it over there. Now I've got two nice little flowers. Let's take another look at one more. Let me think of the inside of the petunia. There's where the bees go down inside, then up here is where the flower comes up. If this is the center point, I'm getting a little technical here, but that's okay. Can you see the construction of the flower? I'm just going to go around this darker so you can see it. What I did is I made it two ellipses. This is the ellipse over top and the flower is going to come up. Like that. That's the structure of the flower. Now, if I go over it and I add some little wavy lines here like this, it's just one way for you to draw the petunia, so it looks like it's three-dimensional. There's the top. Now these center lines are coming down to the bottom here. They're really coming up like this, and then they're starting about here. They're going like that, like that, like that, but they're folding this way in the front. For making it three-dimensional, it's going to be a little different. There's our little pistils. Now if I take my eraser, I'm going to get a fairly decent looking petunia. That would be pretty hard to draw. Just show you a little shading so we see what we're doing here. It would be a little more difficult to draw if I just tried to copy it. I I tried to understand it a bit. Then here, of course, is the darkest area, right inside here. Then fans out from there. There you can see. That's what I did on this picture. But I didn't go through it like this. I just drew it as I saw it. Now I'm trying to figure out, "Okay, how can I draw this petunia without all that mathematics?" Well, probably just think of a wiggly shape like this. Then a center point coming up like that, then the little cone underneath. I can see I might add a little bit there. Now I'm getting whimsical. Now I'm inventing my own little flower. I like that. Remember, you can always get rid of the lines you don't want if you draw it in pencil first. I wonder if I could get a little character out of this. It's going to be fun. We're going to be discovering as we look at our flowers today, we'll pick a few and we'll discuss them and use our little exercises to draw them. 4. How To Start Sketching: [MUSIC] Dividing a paper into four. You can get some quick little drawings of things. We've got grass and we have some little white flowers. No, we have little apple blossoms on the ground. There's a shaded in part, there's a lit part, the sun is coming from here. I could even make a little note like that. The grass behind it is going to be a little darker. I'm using my China marker, which is a waxy pen, and there's more. I could make these all pink on the ground. I think I remember Van Gogh doing a little drawing like this. Behind the grass, is on an angle these small pictures of great, there's a rock. You've got a nice little Motif going. I could draw in a few little flowers here, maybe little dandelions. Now my rocks. I start with one rock and then another rock, and then like that,. Rocks definitely have a pattern. This is called the dry stone rock wall. None of the rocks are really on top of each other. They're all in space so that they go over each other. Some are big, and there's some plants growing out. Other plants growing out of the rocks. We'll bring the rocks right across the picture. They unify the picture. The rocks give the picture, a floor and more grass.[MUSIC] But here in this, let's put some shadows in there, some with a dark spots. Notice I started making them all fit together there, but I can now add a pattern of shadows, dark areas. That makes the rock even look more solid with dark spot around this dandelion. I've gathered a quick little idea just in a few moments. There's our little pansy. Let me out of here. Where would you go? Pansies have, I can see a little face like a little grumpy. Then we have the petal. Think of having fun. Think of two eyes. Looks like a little Chihuahua. Then the other two come down here and they formed a bit of one, two, three, four like a four leaf clover. Sometimes you get a face on them depending on the species or the variety, I should say. Then it comes up with three; one here, one here, and then this one, a little different shape here. You end up with four against three, and then there's two more behind, so five petals. These are the leaves. These comes down, little down here, more little. That's yellow. There's basically three, I can see. There's one comes up here, one. Then there's one in front here. So there's two main ones here and they come together like that. That's where you have your little dots on the eye. Then there's two here. That's a basic pansy. Then there's a few behind, but be careful for the ones behind, they might not be that artistic. I want to keep four here and just pull those stem coming down here. Like that. They almost look like little people. Now I'll do one on the side. On the side, it's really easier actually, because all you have do is put the petals in and then put in that little thing where the bud sits and then the stem. Then maybe a little leaf up here. I belief it's over here. I got to remember where it's yellow. These are yellow pansies there. Put some dirt on the ground and maybe a few little lines in there. I like that one that's turned out pretty good. There is a perfect example of a radiating petals part. Petals are coming out from the middle part. There's the little basket, that little basket down there for the buds come out. Let's do a little quick drawing of that. Now I'm going to put one that's beside it. But again I'll put a little place where the bud you'll start and sits and then the stem. I can see there's little alternating petals coming off, not petals, leaves coming off here. That's the forum. Now here we go. This one will go straight up like this and they come down. Then another one straight up, down. Now they start to fan out because we are drawing it at a different angle. But we're still going to be using the same principle. Difference being we're going to fill in the ones behind now. Now this is probably better with a pencil, but this is getting a little dull. But I still get the same great idea of what it looks like. Color a shade there. That's a lot, that's the same flower, but not looking down but looking at it. I think I will open it up a little more and add one more there. There we go. But remember, I'm just going to be taking these home and working on them. Let's do one in the bud forum, I see it. There's our little receptacle and there's the sepal. There's always a sepal, that covers the bud. Well at night. Here we have all of those. They're all closed up in here. Would be a little yellow there. But this would be more of a green yellow. There we go. Then it comes down like this. Here I have not really made a picture. I've just taken some interesting facts. I like the lattice work behind it though. I will pull that. I'm going to pull that in. There's a lattice behind them. Maybe I'll just add something here anyways. Okay, so the lattice works a good idea. It makes a good background for a little picture and the shadows are all over the place. I might run in a few shadows here too, just gathering facts. The more facts that you can gather, the better. I going to put this whole area and shadow right here. China markers are great. They work like a pencil, but they also work like a crayon so you can get a lot of work done and they can go quite dark, see. Here we go. There are shadow waves. Lilac, as some people say. This is just beginning to come out. You see the little flower. This is the bud. It's a compound. It's got all kinds of little buds all over the place waiting to open and it looks like it's a four, yes. It's a little four leaved. It's a conical shape. The whole shape is like a cone. Then there's a leaf there, a leaf there, a leaf there. Always, always good to get something outside even if it's difficult. Because if you have a couple of photographs, if you get inside, you can start to feel, okay, one with obvious central. I'll make it light too and there's my little lilac. I could add a few. Looks like they're opened up, see. Remember, there was how many? Was it three or four? Think there was four. There's a shape. I can feel it growing out. Okay, let's put a little color on these.[MUSIC] 5. Watercoloring Your Sketch: There's always one thing in a sketch, you want to remember. With this one, it was that these little white paddles on the ground see these squirrel hair, it's synthetic squirrel hair, it's not a real squirrel hair. But look at they just really, really hold a lot of water. You'll notice I'm going over the whole little sketch with water, but I'm leaving the little white specks untouched with water, and then I'm going to give the entire picture a light brown wash like this. Because the shadow, the tree had sun on it. Remember we said that. Let's go a little greener for the grass, so I'll add a little more yellow to the grass, but I'm not going to touch the little white areas. Those were little blossoms falling from the apple tree. The Blossoms fall, and the fruit starts growing. More yellow for where the grass is going to be, and you'll notice how the yellow's bleeding up here and that's quite okay. But I just want to make sure that white spots are not touched. Then I'll take a little, you'll take a little bit of the viridian here. While that's sort of sitting in, I'm going to green up, look at that green, isn't that a great green? Around the pansies. Because what was it that made the pansies stick out? Yellow. There are a few, that's pansy, that's the stem, these are the leaves. I can put a few bits of green here and there. There we go. Up here, definitely green, green, green, and on this one, gray green. Maybe a little warmer, little bit of red in it. So notice not touching the flowers. Just coming up to them, and I'm thinking those flowers were not, I can't remember what those colors were. Well, it does it matter, I can make up my own color and putting the green grass in here. The white is not being touched. This is all with a synthetic squirrel hair holds a great amount of water, great for water coloring, but it's floppy, so you have to keep it up out in the air. Let's go in the background here with a warm colored. Now this is where we bring in the cone-shaped see, I go right over these. There we go. There's the cone-shape, and I'm going to go with red down here. Cadmium red with a little green. That's for the dirt, the soil. Don't call it dirt, it's soil. Maybe a little more. Now we go for the pansies still drawing. So I think I'll take a little bit of that red and mix it with green to get a brown, come down on the side of the tree here. Now I need a gray, best way to make grays, take a little bit of the ultramarine and add it to the other two colors, and you will get some gray. So there's some gray going into the rocks, even the brown coming out is okay. There we go. Clean that off. I'm going to go now to my little synthetic brush because I want to get, I take some full strength Alizarin crimson and just top it into there with a little touch of the ultramarine. I can get that beautiful crimson, violet that you get in lilacs. Let's go a little darker green. Good way to dark and green and cool it, even cooler than it is, this had some ultramarine too. I want to make these a little darker. Actually. Yeah, this will be the shade that's a little too dark. What do we do? Well, the papers wet, so you can draw your brush off and just lift it off. It looks great. I think what they need is there, it's more of a couple drops in here too, it's more of a warm green than a cool green. But I want this to stand out, so you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to put the, it looks good and warm there though. I think what I'll do, is I'll take some of the yellow which is getting a little dirty, and I'm going to, oh no, no, you know, if I add red there I'll wreck the color scheme, I like it like that. I'll take this and put it down here. That much much better and a little bit on here. Yes. Get excited now, put a bit in the ground here. But I do want to add one of those shadow on the tree because it was quite dark. These dark areas in here. Great way to paint just little pictures. Where are the shadows here? If you try to copy shadows exactly, it will drive you crazy, it's a lot of work. I just estimate what the shadows look like, and I use the shadows to make the flowers stand out. Those synthetic brushes working fine. Well, I've got green and orange. I think I'm going to get a little bit more yellow now. There we go, clean it up a little bit here. Much better. Bright yellow pansies. What goes good with yellow? You know what? I'm going to put a little spot of oranges, and little pansies. I think you can make up any color for a flower, as long as it's nice and clean. Then a dark green, and if I want a really dark green, a lot of pinch of red to the green, and then I'll get a darker green for the shadow area. Well, yeah, these guys, I like that. They sort of pointing into the daisies, okay, I think I can leave that now, and well, one more little thing, I'm going to add a dark purple, I'll put little dots in here. For the birds, they weren't flowered yet. I'm liking this it turned out nicely. Okay, let's turn it off and get back to the studio. 6. Fine Tuning Your Sketch: Let's take a look at some of the sketches, I've brought them home, and see what we do with a sketch after we've gathered the information. Now, here is one of the sketches that we did in the film. I have an atomizer here. I'm just going to put a little bit on this one. Spray it down a bit, and this one. All this does is creates a little bit of dampness on the surface. That way I don't have to use very much water when I paint it. Now I'm going to take a very fine brush, this is a number 8 Robert Simons, and I'm going to show you how to bring a little dark and light into the picture. We're going to darken part of this so that this shows up more. All I have to do is take a small amount of water up here, little bit of the blue and as the paper is getting a little damp, I'll remember that, if I lift the paper up a little bit, like this, the water will run downhill and very gently just come down like that. Then take a little more water, tap it on my rag and I'm just darkening a few areas to go from dark to light and then fan it out. That, effectively, will bring this closer to us by putting dark here that'll make that appear closer. Now that blue is pretty good but I'm going to try the combination of two blues. This one is a more of a thalo blue and this is an ultramarine, so there's quite a difference, you can see, in the blues. Now because this is wet, I will just drop in this blue and it's only going to go where the paper is wet, so if you tilt the paper, slightly, it will run over to here. Now I could use some full strength. Over here is darker, so you have one blue and then a little different blue, and then the less water and darker blue, and because this is wet, I can drop it in and then just see what happens. Watercolor always does some magic if you just let it happen. We're going to leave that for a moment. I think I might come over here. This leaf will show up better. Notice how I'm just putting my finger down here and resting my weight and just tipping the brush so the tip of the brush comes up to the place I want. There's a little bit of white here, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to let that stay like that and then I'll take another brush, another fine brush, this is Zim Finder, it's a number 4, and leave this brush alone. Just take some water on this brush and get it wet, then tilt the paper, I like this tape here, if you leave the tape on you can just lift it up, put the water here and then bring it over to the other side, leave that little white spot there. I don't know. I can always get rid of the white spot. There we go. Now that leaf is standing out more. I think I would like to do it behind also, so I'll go back to my other brush, tilting the paper, slightly, this time I think I'll really outline it so it shows up. Now it's dark there. What I'm going to do is I'm going to just take a little water on this brush but I'm not going to get rid of the paint in it. It's quite wet now. There we go. That'll make that follow through here and get right down into this light area with a little more water, and there we go. Fan it out, let it just move down and over. Now, I can see, now, there's a nice sweep here, and so what I'm going to do is just sweep over with the blue. A little darker. The paint will only go where the paper is wet. I'm getting, a motion in here. I like that motion sweeping like that. I think a little more up here. Because the paper is wet, now, it's responding very well. Pretty dark here and then it gets light too quickly, so I'm going to just drop it in. There. I'm getting nice motion. The last thing I'm going to do, for now, see I can just keep working on these, maybe only have a few minutes after work, and I don't have too much time. I'm going to take some of the cadmium yellow medium. It's quite dark and just drop it into some of the wet areas. Don't be afraid if it sits on top a bit, it will disperse. You could spatter it too. Just creates a little interest. Now that little white spot, see that, makes another leaf up there. A little bit of work creates a big change. Here's my other little sketch here. Predominantly warm. I'm going to take my big squirrel hair brush. The squirrel hair brushes look very puffy but when they're wet they thin out and form a really nice tip. But all I'm going to do here is take a little bit of the blue and I want to set off the tree, so I'm going to be adding more shadows on the wall here and on the grass. Notice how the blue over the green creates a green that you wouldn't get if you just mixed blue and yellow. Why am I doing these little things to my picture? I'm applying principles to my painting. The principle of dark and light, shadow and light. Little things done make a great change in the picture. Just some little things not big things. Adding a little color, adding a little change in the warmth of a color, like, we'll make this cooler at the back with some blue. Maybe we'll put a little blue underneath the apple blossoms. There we go, and we just leave that now. See, what a difference. Just that little bit there. This one, here, is a little dull, so what I'm going to do here is clean off my squirrel hair brush, I'm going to give it another spray. This one is probably dry. Those ones are fine. Get a little more yellow, just a drop, of the cadmium yellow, there we go. Now lifting the paper up a little, I'm going to go across the paper very gently with the squirrel hair. That's the beauty of the squirrel hair brushes. It's not going to disturb the paint underneath. Cadmium is very thick. I won't use that till the end, but I will take a little bit of the crimson. This tape is great because you can actually mix your color on there, and then I'm going to drop in little crimson there, and a little crimson here. Remember it's all wet, so you would be careful to stay away from the flowers. I'm dropping the crimson into the shadows. It was all about shadows that day. Drop a little bit in there. Remember water color is dry. Dark are lighter not darker. That's drying off. Now I dry my brush off and I take some of that vibrant blue with a drop of water, not too much water, because there's lots of water in the paper. See how the pure colors are picking up the excitement in the picture? It's not so gray anymore, so don't be afraid of, your pick colors that are all gray, let them dry, and then use this method. Wet the paper with a spritzer and start dropping pure colors into your picture. This is a little thicker here and we'll still go near the bottom, that's the dark area. This is nice and warm here. I'm not going to touch that. I think I'll come in here. Let's say I didn't want it to go on this little flower, here, I'll touch it with a paper towel. See how that's picking it up and even take a little bit off here. See. I will just come near it with the blue, let that dry. Take smaller brush, take a little more of the cadmium yellow, put it right in. Almost full strength with very little water, just tapping the top of that this warm yellow. I'd like to also put a little bit in in here. Maybe you drop it in there. Now I can start to put a little bit into the flower. Not much, just a little. I think I'll be going with an orange for the flower. I'll take a little bit of cadmium red. There's my cadmium, not much water because the paper is already wet. Remember we're looking for an orange flower. Now that yellow was already there, but he didn't had yellow up here. The cadmium red is a bit of an orange red anyways, so notice I'm leaving a little bit of white here and there. Just a bit. Where's that gone, there it is, drop a little bit in here. This could be more in the bud form so we'll add a little yellow on it. While that yellow with the cadmium yellow and cadmium red do make a very strong color, but this is the same flower but it's not opened up. Clean my brush, repeat the procedure. Yellow down near the bottom, clean off the brush. Pitch the cadmium red just a drop because the papers wet. The colors can be put on fully saturated and they will blend in, that red I really like that red. I'm going to add a little more just around here. Flowers tend to go very pure and strong and then pastel out near the ends. Little more around here. I'm going to now take a little bit of the sap green, it's called least that's what it says on the cake. Sap green is nice, it's a good green. It's a very pale and a lot of flowers use this green. Don't be afraid to use different greens. Now here I'll lift, see I'm lifting my brush. Lift. You're always lift off the paint. The pansies, I must have drawn about 10 or 15 pansies. These were my first ones. I did discover a few tricks with the pansies that I didn't know in the beginning. I'm going to take some cadmium and I'm going to show you a little. Remember I sprayed this, you see, so it's just perfectly wet. I'm going to be bringing in the strong cadmium on one side and I'm going to bring in some of the strong blue on the top side. The idea is to silhouette the pansies. If it gets out of hand, just tap it with your cloth, will leave those blend together. Notice I'm not being fancy, I am isolating the pansies. I'm using two colors and I'm doing broad washes, just flat washes. I'm not trying to make them fancy, just going right across with my brush. See that? Right across. Take a little more here. What happens is you start at one end with quite a bit of paint see and by the time you get to the other end, of course, there's less paint and it ends up looking lighter. My pansies are really starting to stand out here. In an effect you do get a bit of a graded wash, meaning dark to light. But I'm leaving a few white spots and I'm covering some other spots. Now you see the blue over the orange makes the soil looks like it's in shade. Put a little light coming this way, I like it. This is not dark enough here so here's where I'm going to take my first gray and it's burnt umber. But watch I'm going to add this darker color and tap it in so that the soil and the background fit in together. There we go. A pure red there and I'm using the umber and the ultramarine to create the soil color. Hey, my pansies are starting to show up. Now what's happening here is I've got to get something really dark here. I'll take some of this blue and some of the crimson, full strength. There's one up there. You can see that dark section. Now I'm really going dark in here because I want that area to be darker. There we go. We're seeing we're going from dark here. We're getting the right darks in the right place, just creating an overall pattern. Dark here a little dark there, clean off the brush. I think what I'll do lastly is take a little bit of the cad yellow light and some of them brilliant blue, make it very strong blue, green to put in here. Pick up those pansies, pick them up with some strong greens. Now, I'm not worrying if it looks like a leaf or not. This was my quick little sketch. If I want realism, I'll get a photograph, take my time drawing it, and create a realistic painting. Good red highlight can save the day. See that little red highlight there with one little color note, which will be this beautiful cadmium and it'll be just near the middle. There we go and on the edges here. We go back over here. I'm going to add my very strong blue to the underside of this. There we go. It gives it a little more pure color there. Perfect. See what this is like. Just playing with your colors. That's more of an orange. We'll add a little bit of the crimson on top. There we go. There's the light, very light, a little bit. There we go. Lilacs can be a pink, it can be a blue. They can all depend on the soil there. Let's make the magic moment now watch what happens. We're going to take off the tape. I think you're going to see a big difference here when we take this tape off. You're going to see the picture emerge. They're four great little pictures. Normally I'd wait till this bone dry but I want to move on to our other work. But I also wanted to show you never judge your work until it's in it's very presentable stage. The presentable stage here is when all the tape is off. But be careful here, I don't rip my picture. There we go. I always pulling the tape away from the picture. See, make sure you support the picture with your finger. This one is going to be tricky because it's up the middle so, pull it away, don't pull it straight up. You'll rip the paper and you can frame this with all four in one frame as it'll look wonderful. Run with me. Let's go get them and paint them. 7. The Wild Lupin Quest: There they are, the wild Lupines of Passmore. I've been hunting for them for years. Finally, I've discovered them. Come on with me, let's go get them and paint them. come on, there they are. Swaying in the breeze, different colors of pink, orange pink, violet, contrasted by a few yellow flowers here and they're, scattered among them over blue skies. Deep blue green mountains. The wild Lupines of Passmore. Let's paint them. The main thing is to get ideas outside and bring them home. Let's do a quick sketch. Item number 1, a little Coleman stool, foldable and light. Some water, some brushes, something to draw with, a towel or a rag, some French watercolor paper, and your portable little cake pan, Winsor and Newton watercolor paints. First the drawing, ow the main star is the Lupine so I'm going to put a little foreground in, few little spots for yellow flowers. We want to keep the lupines down below the middle. Put a few little marks in here, then there's a bush here. The winner is the lupines, there's a tree there, keeping this simple. Some farther away trees,2-3. One, two, three different distances apart. There's a mountain here. We got some clouds moving in over the bushes, some other trees, and then we're going to bring in those mountains back here. Put a faraway tree in. Going for my darker stack now. And last but not least, a little hint of sunshine on the way, a little bit of blue on the sky. Finish up with the grass with a flat wash. We have a few white marks for may be daisies. Now the paper is wet, put a shadow in over this part. Looks like the sun is in front of the lupines hair. Darker spot here. Grass is pretty vibrant out here. And watch your greens, you don't want your greens to get too green. So a little bit of red here and there, shadows helps. And there we go. Texture, with the end of the brush. Last thing I'm doing is adding in a few poignant darks. It's good to slow down at the end of your picture and put a few details in that you see. I'm using a little bit of burnt sienna and fellow. Little dark spots under the heads of the flowers here. Little dark notes, will, pick up your picture. See the squirrel hair brush to kind of fine tip to it. Mountains all one color, so I think I will darken up a little bit of this side. Coming in here. A little more mood. Call this candy green. It's fellow green plus cadmium white. There are thousands of greens out here, lots of different greens. And it's about four o'clock in the afternoon. That's when we get these beautiful colors. Thanks for coming and joining me on this wild looping quest. 8. Drawing In The English Garden: I like to travel lightly on the field. You can hear the water rushing behind me. This is a number 12. It's a synthetic silver squirrel hair brush. They really hold water and they're great for mopping. We really didn't get some good strokes with them. My good old Robert Simon's number eight, so a 12 and eight. A little kit here gives you a tiny little sable bling brush, which is great for details, and I've got a Sharpie. I may use that or I may use a pencil. Okay, so very simply, water, brushes, pen, little bunch of paints and some arches, 140 pound cold pressed watercolor paper, and we should be ready to go. Here's the scene that we're going to be doing. Here we are up a little closer. I have a picture that I'll be showing you as I draw it in hand. I will be flashing that picture in front of you, and let's see what we can do with this. I start with very general shapes if I'm drawing it. Couple of angle lines, I'd like to break the bottom. It's like a little pansy or something there, and a rounded bottom. There's my basic shape. Couple of little triangle leaves thrown in, and these little round shapes are just going to be some of the colors and the Ivies growing everywhere. I don't want to get too carried away. I just want to carry away some colors. There's my little design there. Are those gorgeous purple flowers. I think I'll bring a few down here just to sweep them down a bit. Couple lines in here. There's some shine on this ceramic, and there's a stairway, and there's an old mat. I think I'll leave the old mat, and there's a window here. We have some little spots of Yellow. See how I just through those little stems in and these are on an angle, and on aside they look like that and because we've done a little flowers study, we know that all the flowers have something here that holds the bug, they've got to have something coming out to here some leaves, and on these ones, they have to have the little antennas. We have little primroses, let's just put a few little circles in here for primroses. Dots for soil, and what else? We've got some dots on the cement. Maybe we add another little rug on the cement there. A little welcome mat side of a step there. Let's shade that in a bit make it little darker, and the door comes here straight down. There's little Ivy growing up the door. Frame, very English. Rest of the door is over here. Little bit of perspective going down here and maybe up a little bit here, a little window in there, and then just keeping my door square. I'm not trying to do anything fancy and the door handle is on the other side, so we don't need to put that in. There's a vertical up here. A couple little side things in there. Okay and the cements coming by here. There's some grass, let's throw a few dandy lines in here. Here's the pathway going down here. Grass growing in here in the cement. It's having a lovely time just throwing in. It's here now, this little perspective here. This one's here, it's going across there. Next one's a little more angled, and the last one is over here, so everything's moving to a point, say my thumb and my lines are coming from my thumb if I want prospective. See so by the time I get here, it's actually like that and grass, and I can fill this up with another brush. There's more window, but you know what, I'm going to let it fade out. Turn my paper on the side here and make sure my lines are fairly straight. Okay, that would be a quick little drawing out here without colors, but let's put some colors. 9. Laying Down Color Notes: It's just take some water on my big brush, wet this. See how much I get off it. I've got a little bit and I'm just going to throw that right into my flowers like that and then I will clean my brush a little bit. Probably throw a little bit of that onto the pavement. Wherever it might be brown or orange, I put a little bit of this violet in. Also, before we do anything, I'm going to take some of this violet, clean my brush, always clean your brush, between colors. Now I can make up a very serviceable violet. Now let's look at the shadow that was on the house. You can see it in the picture. I'm going to come across here, watch my shadows here they go. Shadows follow the objects that they run across. There we go. I'm just putting a few shadows in, pulling it right over my door. I see the edges a little hard here, so I soften it and I'm going to put little shadow in there. Just with that violet, the violet tells me there's a shadow. I don't have to be too smart with this, just putting some shadows, crossing the picture. If they hit the house, they go up. Soften that edge. I think they're right in here. There we go. Side of this, side of this, there. Perfect. That's my shadows. Now I'm going to take my very strong, you'll see it called lemon yellow or cadmium yellow, there's all kinds of names for yellows. Pick the yellow that you feel comes closest to the flower that you're looking at. If it's a bright yellow, this would work for most flowers, although some flowers are orange-yellow, they've little orange in them. As I'm looking at my flowers, I notice that they do have a little orange, so I'll put my yellow here, a generous amount. Remember these cake colors take a few moments to soften. Then I clean my brush. Then I take a little of the cadmium red and now I look at my yellow flowers and I go, that's a little bit too orange. Now there was a little bit of orange on my brush, I've got it into my yellow here but that's the perfect color these little yellow spots here. The centers of these somewhere in the shadow I see, there's a one right up there. There's some little yellow flowers in between here, dandelions here and grass. That's going to be green, see how I'm speeding up now. The grass is eventually going to be green, the ground is going to be orange. The pot is going to be a very warm brown. Notice how the yellow over the violet turns into a very pleasant gray. Well, I'm looking at that mat, I'm going to make the mat warm. Eventually the mat is going to be like hemp or jute. Look at this here. This is sunshine in there. It's fun painting upside down does make you think a little different. There's a bush over here and I can't forget many little green foliage all over the place. It's ivy actually, so I can put in all the yellow there. There we go. Look in the side here, a little yellow little bit on the cement. Perfect. The doorway I'm leaving white for now. Just take a look at that see what comes next. I'm going to downsize my brush a bit. Brushes are always a little hard when you start because they put some starch in them. Soft it up. I'm going to take the very strong, it's an alizarin type of paint here. Could be a different one, but it's definitely a crimson paint and I'm going for dark, so I need to get a little bit more than I normally would, so I keep rubbing on it. Notice I've only used three colors. I haven't even used any of the browns. We could use those and that would make it easy but I want to keep the colors clean and pure. There I've added the ultramarine and that's made it quite dark. Just take a little bit more over there. Because I've used red and I've used the ultramarine, I'll add a bit of yellow to it, which will bring the browns out. See, it's getting browner now. Then I look up at my pot and I know, that's needs a little more red and actually I'm going to put some of the cadmium red in. I look in my pot, whoa, that is it right to a tin. Remember potters use pigments, so they probably used a little cadmium when they made this pot. That's going to be my bright part of my pot and over here, this is going to darken it. It's still little purple, so I'm going to add a little more red to it and a little more of this. Now you see this is darker than this one so all I need is two values, I put those over here and use them when I need them. I'm starting with the darker value and here we go but that's okay. It's all by comparison so there, put a little bit there, a little bit there, I see the door is actually more here. Now there's my pot part, I don't want to tilt it too much. I hope you can see that. Just drop it in. There's the shadows up there, pop it in there. Then just come over the bottom of it to soften the edge. There I have left a little white spot showing. You know what? I'm going to throw a little bit of that into the window area too. Just a little here, there, a few here. What I'm doing here is just softening a few edges and adding a few little dark spots. With watercolors, you want to gradually add your darks. You don't want to be going really dark too soon. There's those pavement edges. See that and the water is running down here, but I want to keep it here so you can see. There's little bit dirt down in here, I think and down in here is dirt. Put some warm dirt in here. Actually dirt's not the right word, gardeners call it soil. Soil is a better one. There's my path, a little texture to it and let's collect the dirts here. Perfect, nicely done. Stage 2, we're going to do one more thing. Then I think I've got enough information with my photograph that I can finish what I'm doing at home with my colors at home in the studio. I might add a few of these little green spots. Yes, that's working out great, just taking a little of the yellow and a little bit of the ultramarine and I'm adding in some dark greens and white greens here now. I still haven't quite got the color for the flowers but I can go a little closer here and probably can match it up when I get home. I do like to start a watercolor outside and sometimes take it in and finish it. There lots of grass here, so just scribbling in little making little knots. Yeah, this was the grass. So over these little grass in here, still painting upside down, there. Let's take a look at that. Observe things and then do your best to represent them. 10. Polishing Up Your Watercolor: Let's say that I wanted to make that show up more. These are little tricks that you learn in the studio. There we go, put my gradient tape on it, and I'll just give a little rub here for a second, and lift off a bit of the page. You can see the page going down there on that side, that's called lifting, and it'll make the pot and a little shinier, if that's what you want. There we go and that's what it looks like when I take the tape off. Now I have a very heavy sharpie, I might use that for a few lines up here, that I want to get very strong on the sides of the windows maybe. So inking your picture after you have drawn it, will give you some strong accent lines we call. Now here's a little secret to doing shadows. Wherever the shadow is, it's dark so the siding would show up more in a shadow area than it would in the sunlight. You can learn that simply by observing, wherever you drawing. Over here, I added a little bit more length to the porch, you see, and I might even just add a little more shape to the little daffodil that was there. So I can take my time and go over inking, doing things to this picture, not necessarily water coloring yet, but bringing back some of the shapes and forms before I put some more paint on it. So I've extended the porch a bit, and I'm adding with this sharpies, this is a studio sharpie with a little softer nib than the sharpie but, what's nice about is, it's great for adding some dark areas. So if you need some dark areas quickly and then we can wash some green over. You can see that the actual instrument is working and I'm getting really excited. I've got these big guys here. Wow, if that's working, then I can put a few of these and I know there's an old expression. I love being in the forest, and I love the trees in a forest but I don't love it so much that I want to paint every leaf. So getting a really good quality marker, and you can see you can flip this, you can get a different term, stroke with it, you can flip it this way and that way and you can get a lot of good mileage out of a good sharpie. I mean a colored sharpie or one of these calligraphy type pen, and we're just filling in areas, that instead of good for grass, you see, little pound stroke for grass. Looking good, I'm just taking some cadmium yellow medium and putting in some strong light colors. Wherever I see some white paper on popping in, some strong light colors. Where I see some shadows, I putting in a little bit of alizarin crimson with some blue green so that I can get some darks showing. Dark and light, dark and light little spatter, not too much, just a bit on the cement. Gives little texture, tells you it's not something other than what it is. This blue, and I'm going to be putting a little bit on the shadows here. Notice how developed the shadows, they looked like leaf patterns on the wall and across the rug down here. So the shadow follows the shape of what you are painting. Put some dark greens in here, up in the window and just for a little fun, I'm going to take my smaller brush and popping some strong cadmiums down in some little white areas in here. Could be a flowering, I think she had a flowering bush. Not quite sure what bush it was. That's okay, just popping a little bit red. Bring up your colors, once you've got the picture established, don't be afraid to throw in colors all over the place. Little spots of colors brighten up the day. Perhaps the pot can be a little rhetoric. Doesn't have to be the same color as what we saw. So putting in a little bit of pop and then a little bit of red here could have been a clay pot. Wetting it, adding a little of red, have a little fun, and a little bit of burnt sienna, which is darker, burnt sienna. You know what, I'm going to go right over that and make this the dark part. Now it's starting to look, that's great though, like that now, I like it. A little bit of burnt sienna down here. Burnt sienna is really a red, it looks like brown but the mat, would have been burnt sienna. So take a little bit of burnt sienna for the mat and that'll pick up the pot a little bit. Just in the areas that's the shadow area, we are going to leave that. See, it's a very interesting way to do, it is just look around and see what you can do to pick up the picture. Brighten it up, I'm leaving the white there. There, very good for now, might just leave that for a while. 11. Painting With Opaque White Watercolor: Lesson on brushes. Now you can always tell a brush simply by how it shapes. Now you'll see that the belly of the brush is fat here but the tip is fine. I never use this brush for anything but watercolors. The squirrel hair brush, big belly. This is just an inexpensive regular brush, maybe $10, $8. What I'm going to do, is I'm going to do some strokes with the brushes. First, the inexpensive brush and I'll just take a little bit of the green. What I'm going to do is there's no tip on it, see. I'm using just card stock paper. I hold my brush with my baby finger here and I push the brush down and I let the brush come up. Now you notice at the end it didn't make a very fine tip. So I'll use a little more paint, to see if I can get a better tip ending. So there it is. Push it down and then let it take off like an airplane. Not too bad. It's working. If I put these all here and go this way and then change and go the other way but just by tipping it and pushing it, I can get some fairly good floral shapes. Of course, I can go the other side but my hand will be in the way. What this brush does, doesn't give a very consistent color. Remember, we're using card stock. I'm going to take the big squirrel hair brush now. I'm going to load it just by twirling it with my finger and my thumb. Just twirling it, tapping it, so that is not dripping. Let's see what this does. So nice tip. The belly flattens out and then tips out pretty well, not too bad. So if you can afford an $85, Galinsky Sable brush, these synthetic silver squirrel hair, there is not any animal product in it, it's a synthetic, they really hold water. You can get a good stroke if you're doing like tropical plants or you can get a nice fine stroke like that too. See how the hand is moving and the brush is held and then the brush is lowered. You can get some nice fine strokes either direction. Last but not least, let's try the $45 Kulczynski sable. I've loaded my brush and I've rubbed the brush, so it doesn't drip. I'm going to move this out of the way, so we can see what we can do here. Very good tip, see the tip. Very fine. Now, you judge for yourself which distributed the paint the best. Same artist, different brush, same skill, different brush, same paint, different brush. Hands down this little 35 or $40 brush, which I gone on sale for $29, I've had this for several years. I only use it for watercolors. Let me tell you, it really does do a superior job. Let's try another one. Let's get a piece of paper and let's do a length test. Let's see how long I can do this. I'm going to go thin, to wide. Thin, press down, spring up. See how the brush springs, press down, spring up, press down, spring up. You could do this for a little bit of time each day, getting to know your instrument, your brush. Now, where it's skinny, I'm going to go wide. So push-down, spring up, push down, spring up, push down, spring up, push down, spring up, push down, spring up. There's my sable brush. Now we'll go back to the squirrel hair. There's nothing wrong with the squirrel hair brush. I just don't think it distributes the paint as well but maybe that was me. I'm going to go skinny to wide, skinny, wide, skinny, wide. Here we go. Skinny, wide. You see that blob it just left? Watch. See it's leaving a blob. Now, that didn't happen on the first one here, it did happen on the second one. But I like that blob. Now our inexpensive, maybe $6 brush. Wide, up, wide. You know what, not bad. But probably it doesn't hold as much paint. Here's my flower doodle. You can see as a watercolor, you can only go so far in intensity of colors. The most intense being here, the cadmium yellow medium and then a little cadmium red, cadmium yellow medium and then light head over to alizarin crimson. What I want to show you is how to take some guash. Guash is simply body paint for watercolors. You can get titanium white and you can get zinc white. The zinc white covers very well. It's the widest. It will cover everything, go over everything. But also what it does, is it intensifies colors. I'm going to take a small brush and you do get some titanium or Chinese white when you buy these cape pan. So what I'll do is, I'll just take a small amount of the titanium white, put it here. It'll come out like this. That's the medium in it. So your first squeeze usually has a little bit of that on top, so you might want to wipe that and try another one. It's still a little bit like that, it doesn't hurt it. It's basically just the glue. So eventually it'll come out really white and there's what it looks like. Now if I take a little bit of this, now, listen very carefully. Just because they're thicker paints, doesn't mean you don't add water. You must add water to guash paints or another word for them is opaque watercolors. Then I'm going to take a little bit of the cadmium red, which is a very intense red. Now, this is watercolor. It's not opaque watercolors. You can take a little bit of watercolors and add a little opaque watercolors to it. You will be able to use your watercolors a little thicker than usual. So let me show you what this color can do. I'm just going to select one of the little flowers and I'm going to just dot it in. Then I'm going to let it fan out with little dots, so that I'm combining the transparent watercolor with the opaque watercolors. Now, what if I want the color to be more intense? You can purchase some reds with the opaque watercolors or you can just draw your brush a little bit. Take a little bit of the pure watercolor. You'll see without the white, how much stronger it is but I still have a little bit of water on it and let me just take a little section here near the front of this and put in some very strong cadmium red around the center. You'll notice that that's a very strong red. I'll put a little bit on the tip of one of these flowers. See if I can find some white. Here some white. Now you see how strong that color is, it's thick. It's getting dry, add a little water. Look how much paint this little brush holds. I put it on thickly, then I just keep adding more water. So balancing transparent and thick paint is one of the very magical tricks of water coloring. You can start with very thick paint and then thin it, each time dipping in and each time you will get a perfect gradation of color. Notice how that cadmium red looks very, very fine indeed when it's watered down. Still, this brush is still loaded with paint. Now because it's wet, I can go back and add another drop of the cadmium to get the strongest red right there. Then combining two reds, another secret, this is the alizarin crimson. Alizarin crimson does not like to be used thickly. You can get away with it, the cadmiums but alizarin keep it thin but dropping it in to the red will give you an even stronger red. There we go. Let's take a little bit of the alizarin, a drop and let's add it over here to the cadmium. Let's pop it off over here, see if we can get it a deep crimson going in here. Notice how the opaque water color added to the transparent watercolor allows you to cover over dark sections, which is impossible just with transparent watercolors. Hope you've learned a little trick with opaque watercolors. Remember, you just need one tube and use the transparent watercolors judiciously, very little and you'll have some fun. Last little trick with opaque watercolors is take it thickly, at the brush, add the smallest drop of water. Never use at full strength. Always add a little bit of water for flow. Watch me put a little accent on this. You see the white accent. So if you're inclined to really do your flowers up to the max, it yourself, some little ones or zeros, this is a number three brush. You can get a double zero brush is so fine. Add some details to your pictures. You can intensify the reds. You see every time that you do something to picture, it brings it up a level. Now my job, am not doing very much, I mean, look at the size of this brush. It's just tiny but look what that little bit of color did to it. Now if you made the whole flower the same color, it wouldn't have the variation of colors and hues and warms and cools that makes a flower interesting. 12. Preview For Next Class: I'm really looking forward to our next class. It's all about trees. Get your watercolors, and your pencils, and pens, get outside and look for some trees in your neighborhood. Take some notes. Look around at the trees, and meet me in the studio. I'm going to show you all the tricks I've learned about drawing trees and making them look real, giving them character, and having fun with them too. As you can see, I've drawn a lot of trees in the last 30 years. I even live right next to a forest. But you might live in the city, and that's great. There's lots of trees and vegetation in the city also. If you love trees, you're going to love this class. Thanks for joining me in all of these videos, and a warm welcome to all our new students and our returning students. I hope to see you in the studio and you'll see me in the forest where we'll be gathering information for our new video.