Creating Beautiful Abstract Art, Quickly and Easily With Watercolor & More! | Jules Tillman | Skillshare

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Creating Beautiful Abstract Art, Quickly and Easily With Watercolor & More!

teacher avatar Jules Tillman, artist | business coach | infp

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.

      Let's Create Beautiful Abstract Art with Watercolor and More!


    • 2.

      Tools & Supplies Needed


    • 3.

      Let's Paint Some Beautiful Abstract Paintings


    • 4.

      More Techniques With Watercolor & India Inks


    • 5.

      Bonus Techniques for Added Layers and Depth


    • 6.

      Class Wrap-up


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About This Class

Hello artists and creatives! In this class you will learn how to create beautiful abstract paintings using a variety of mediums, including watercolor and India inks.

It's an easy, fast way to make abstract art for your home! 

We will use the different mediums, and see how they interact with each other using a variety of techniques. This part is so fun and kind of feels like an artsy science experiment!

We will ultimately use all of this knowledge to create a gorgeous piece of abstract art using my own meditative method, where we let our inner muse direct much of the artwork for us. 

I've even added a bonus video, for those of you who want to take your project to the next level with added layers! 

By the end of this class you will feel confident in creating small abstract paintings for your home, as gifts, or even to sell! 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jules Tillman

artist | business coach | infp


I'm an artist (or, as I like to say, a "creative explorer"), and affiliate marketing coach & blogger. I help other bloggers and creatives monetize their online businesses with affiliate marketing, And I've been doing business online for 10+ years. I started Thriving Affiliates out of a passion for helping bloggers make money in an honest and ethical way with thier blogs. I actually own/ed two other sites where I made 50-100% of my income from affiliate marketing before starting Thriving Affiliates. 


I help creative entrepreneurs like you build the lives, and the businesses, they really want. I'm a business coach, and I loooove social media (I'm looking at you, Pinterest and Instagram!) I love teaching, and I love the creative onlin... See full profile

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1. Let's Create Beautiful Abstract Art with Watercolor and More!: Hello artists and creatives. In this class, you will learn how to create beautiful abstract art using a variety of mediums, including watercolor and India inks. I've been trained in many different art forms, including illustration, printmaking and fine art, but one of my favorite things to make our mixed media abstract paintings. So in this class we will explore some different mediums and how they interact with each other using a variety of techniques. This'll part is really meant to be super fun, and it kind of feels like an artsy science experiment. We will work together to create a unique abstract artwork using a general idea or even a sketch, or using my own meditative method where we let our interviews and the paint direct much of the work for us. I've even added a bonus video for those of you who want to take your project to the next level with added layers. By the end of the class, you'll feel confident in creating small abstract paintings for your home as gifts or even a cell. And when you're all done, I hope you'll share your art for the class project. Oh, by the way, if we haven't met yet. Hi, I'm jewels. Jill Stillman, an artist and creative entrepreneur living in Portland, Oregon. My art can be found on Jewell, stillman dot com and etc. Among some other places. I also run the unlimited creative dot com and hello, I'm handmade dot com. So let's get started, click and roll now so we can start creating beautiful abstract art quickly and easily today . 2. Tools & Supplies Needed: So first I have to say, Yea, I'm so glad you enrolled in this class, Okay? So very quickly. I just want to go over the tools and supplies you'll need to create this beautiful abstract art. So here's what you'll need some watercolor paper. Um, I encourage you to use some lower costs watercolor paper in the beginning, just until you do it. A few practice paintings. I also use smaller watercolor paper, even when it is the higher quality. Just to keep the cost down, we'll need some watercolor paints. It doesn't matter if they're pan pains to paints liquid pains to some water color paint and then some India ink. Everyone knows India incomes in black, but it also comes in a wide variety of other colors. Doesn't really matter what colors that you use just a song as their colors that you like. And then, of course, we need some paintbrushes. And, of course, you'll need a cup of clean water or two. I usually used Teoh. Um, I also just reuse old jelly jars and or spice stars, whatever kind of have on hand. I don't buy like a plastic tub from the art supply store because that's just a waste of money. And resource is. And who doesn't have some old jelly jars laying around and then, of course, in paper towels or blotting paper? I really want you to play with this and have some fun. So if you do have some of these other optional supplies on hand, like metallic paints or alcohol inks, acrylic paints or even spray, paint these air fun things to mix in with your watercolor in India inks, and they can make some really amazing results. All right, let's get to it. 3. Let's Paint Some Beautiful Abstract Paintings: Okay, so we're going to get started. So as you can see here, I have a couple of jars of water, one for clean brushes, one for dirty brushes. Some I put down a paper towel because I just That's how he blocked my my brushes. I've got my brushes. I've got some pan watercolor. I've got some liquid watercolors. I've got some India thinks of different colors and metallic inks. A swell. I like to start on a small piece of paper like this watercolor paper just because it's easier to experiment and have fun and not worried about ruining this giant piece of watercolor paper, which is typically pretty expensive. I also put some Kraft paper down underneath because sometimes the ink or the watercolor the water will roll off the the watercolor paper itself, and I don't want to ruin my surface. So today I'm going to be using what I consider my sort of signature colors or my current favorite colors, because I could never stick with a favorite color for too long. I just love them all so much so I'm going to be using white in here, Inc. This is a pink India ink well, it's indie ink, watercolor paint, and I think even a little bit of acrylic paint. I haven't been able to find the perfect pink for me on the store shelf, so I make it myself. So that's white, pink and black and the ink and then some iridescent calligraphy ink. So I generally decide to start with a very sort of big idea or plan. Nothing really permanent because of the way that this works anyway. It sometimes will not come out how you expect it, but that's part of the fun, too, anyway. But I do use a wet on wet technique, and I decide, am I going to have it just be, ah, small area on the page? You can't see anything yet. It's just what it's just water, or am I going to paint it all over this time? I'm going to paint all over, so I'm going to just get it wet. I'm leaving some dry spaces because I feel like that adds areas of interest. You'll see that later on, so you don't want to just dunk the whole thing in water, but you wanna scribble Cem paint around the page for the paper all right and that all the magic will begin. I actually don't even use a brush. Usually when I work this way, I just use the dropper and I'll drop different spots of color onto the page. And then I got my brush and play with it a little bit. See this one dropped in a dry spot. I can't even see where the the white spots are in the dry spots are, but just kind of move it around till I find something that I, Felix is starting to look pleasing. And I take it right to the edge down here again. This should just kind of feel like play. Now I'm going to add some black. Now that what goes far so you only need to add a little bit and you could just drop it in with a brush is Well, I just try to skip that step. Sometimes I'm actually gonna add a little more water in the middle here, bring that out when you see how it's sort of coming towards my brush and I like to mix them . But I do also like to keep some places like I won't touch that because it looks so cool the way it's just going into the pink somewhere over here. I think I needed a little more water on my change over all. But again, this is all part of the experiment or experimental side of this. I guess you could say What do you see that? Let's do it. I just really creeps in. I'm going to add back some white into the painting. I feel like it's getting just a little bit busy, but that's OK. I mean, sometimes more. I definitely leave more minimal. But sometimes having a lot of paint on the canvas or the paper can be really beautiful, too, and you can see I'm pulling. I'm pushing the white into the black and I'm pulling the black into the white and the same with the pink in the black and the pink and white. You don't want to just plop colors on the paper. You really want to move them around, see how they interact together and then finally and would add a little more water over here . And then I'm going. Teoh had some of that goal. I use all different kinds of paints and inks as you can see, I have some more White Windsor and Newton Inc. Um, I sometimes play with alcohol inks. I'll also use just regular acrylic paint. It's really kind of what you have on hand and what you what you like to use. I definitely do like liquid watercolors. They're really pretty. But the pan watercolors are fine, too. Okay, Someone at this gold into that. What spot that I put over there should gonna move it around with my brush a little bit. The pink is kind of muting that gold. That's not really making me happy, but again, it's part of the experiment, and it might dry a little bit more. Uh, great. But I'm gonna drop some over here, also play without a little bit. Just so it's a more bold. Okay, you can see the paint, like moving around your painting right now. That's fine. Don't move it. Let it do its thing. It really it will help create these really pretty like rivers and valleys of color and movement on your on your page. So I see a couple of things that are kind of bothering me, someone to fix them or attempt to fix them. Add the black your is is just trying a little bit too light. I wanted to be a little more solid. So when I just drop in a little more black India ink there, you can see again that's starting to push this pink paint over and down just fine. It's gonna be really pretty. I think in the end, also gonna pull some of this school back into the painting or here, put it back, push it into that white. As you can tell, it kind of let the paint tell me what it wants to dio what it wants to be when it grows up , just getting when it dries. See, I really like this little area here, but I don't like this one here. Someone try toe, try to fix that Olympic. I want water that actually I just a little bit pink ring because it is funny how if you put , say the peak down first and have the black on top of it, we've done that. Now I put the black down first, and I'm putting the pink on top of it. And those to, even though they're the same exact paints the order that you put them in will affect the final outcome of the final look of what each one will dio. Hello? It more Who's here? Like how help you can see this, But like even though it looks pretty solid pink the there's a black outline like that. Bring some of this being over here. Touch more right there and you're gonna touch away here. Okay, so for now, I'm going to let this one dry, and I will come back later and show it to you. Also scan it and upload it to the class projects page. And I'm going to do one more painting with some lighter colors because I am going to show you how we can also add a little bit of extra depth and dimension to your abstract paintings with some pens and maybe some Gosh and somewhere any ink. I can't wait to see your paintings. I'll see you in the next video 4. More Techniques With Watercolor & India Inks: Okay, Well, you might notice that there's a little bit of green on my on my craft paper and a little tent to my water. That is because I started another painting and I just said, This is really ugly and I decided to stop recording and start again. But that is actually one of the advantages of painting small like this and just experimenting. This paper is not expensive. It's not that big of a deal. If I quote unquote mess it up, I've even used some of these messed up paintings as the base for a continuation. I can either paint over it or draw over it, or even, just like throw it in my art journal and, you know, right, a quote over it or something like that. You can always use them in different end inventive ways. I'll actually show you the one that I didn't like very much. It's this. It's still drying, but I just wasn't just looked a little too muddy, and I just didn't really like it. So I'm actually gonna go back to my signature colors because that's what I like to use. But this time I'm really used them or delicately. I guess you could say I am again going Teoh Just put water all over the paper, get it nice. And what? Because I really do love the wet on wet technique. It's my favorite, and I think that it helps really create dramatic results in a short amount of time. This time I'm gonna get really, really wet, and it's gonna buckle up a little bit. So I like to just do like a crisscross of water on the back so that it helps it lay a little bit flatter. It's not perfect. And, you know, you could take your paper down to prevent buckling, and that is a really good idea. It's just that this paper is so small, I'm like, Why bother? It would be, you know, so much of my canvas would be covered that it just wouldn't make sense for me. Okay, so this time I am going to start with the Black India ink. I'm gonna put a nice big splotch of it. Look at that in the middle to that A little bit. A little bit more. Look at that grow. Oh, my gosh, I'm already so excited. Even if I left it like this. I think this is way better than my last painting already. So I'm happy. Look at that. All the marks that that are happening there. I just love it when I drop this pink over here. There's not really a lot of drama going on, and it's working its way down there, which is lovely. Something like that. My brush again and just kind of moving around a little bit. Ocean Poll. Especially over here. Like I said, where it's a little less dramatic. We got a create some drama of our own. Isn't there a state that has that shape? But anyway, looking at that, I think I may have talked about this before, but I like this is also organic and flowy. To have such a straight line like that really makes me crazy, which is funny, because I see the straight line over here and it doesn't bother me as much, but I'm going to get rid of this one just going to kind of do something like that and maybe even push and pull there, and I want to have a big dollop of gold in the middle well that into their two into the pink. Now it's moving where it wants to go back a little too much for me. So I think what I'm gonna dio little trick that I use sometimes is all Grab another Pete brush just ever so slightly under there. So it doesn't just roll right off from the paper. A little more gold Teoh I was really hoping it would be more of a circle. We're gonna work on that. And I think I may have told you this also already who had, like, these shapes that these air making I'm gonna leave that alone for just a minute. In fact, I'm gonna add some over here. But anyway, I think that, uh, think I told you guys that sometimes I even use spray paint for the metallics. It's pretty fun. That looks a little money to me right there. And adding white honestly might make it muddy or anyway, but I'm gonna try it. So I am curious to see how that will dry. It might be a little thick right there, but it's all an experiment. So we had a little more black over here just because I can tell already that it's gonna dry , somewhat light her than I wanted Teoh. Because we're gonna be adding layers on top of this. And we need the colors to be pretty solid in order to create the contrast that we're gonna be going for. I'm gonna have a little more white up here to see what happens. It's gonna kind of pour it on and then remove that since little flatter again. Okay. Oh, some of this way over here, just like this. Spread the colors around the page. In fact, it really I'm digging this. The White Strip that's coming through someone, a pool, a few more. We'll see how it dries. Oh, and you see how the black went into the white over there? I really like that. And I wanted Teoh look like I just plopped paint on a surface. So I really want toe pull the colors around the paper so that it's balanced creates a more balanced and beautiful. Hopefully, in the end painting, that's I like the pink up here. I mean, I just a little bit more of the bottom down here again to kind of balance it out. The star of the show is really the black and gold. But do you like the Pincus? Well, obviously. All right. I think we're gonna let that one dry and see how it turns out and maybe add some layers to it in the next video. I'll see you there. 5. Bonus Techniques for Added Layers and Depth: I want to share some bonus techniques with you, and you certainly don't have to use these ideas. But if you want to add extra layers of death, dimension and overall creativity to your abstract paintings, I encourage you to try these out. So it turned out that the painting that I made in the last video was that really a good candidate for this technique. So I thought I'd share some of the other paintings that have done with it. As you can see on this abstract watercolor painting, I've added some circles and triangles. I simply used a black micron pen and a white gel pen. I started doing this in the beginning of 2015. If I remember correctly, and for me they started to feel like tiny maps of unknown places. As you can see, I used different shapes and rhythms. I also use different colors like gold pens and white paint pens, so I encourage you to give this technique a try yourself. Try different shapes and colors, depending on what you have on hand. Just make sure that your watercolor painting is completely dry before adding these extra layers. Oh, and here's a bonus bonus for you. Another technique I've used is stamping thick acrylic paint over a more subtle watercolor background, like in this example, I used around sponge brush or pounce er for this one. And even though the water color was dry, the moisture from the acrylic paint did pick up some of the blue. So if you look really closely, you'll see that there is some blue and some of the white dots. But I love it. I love the added texture that this technique provides. It literally there is like a relief to the painting itself. 6. Class Wrap-up: So that's it. You did it. You should be proud of yourself for learning something new and creative. I do hope that you like to this class. And if you did, please give it a thumbs up. And maybe even a quick review. I sure would appreciate it. Oh, and I would love to see her class projects. Simply upload a photo of your painting or paintings so we can all see what each other has created. And if you share your work on instagram, please use the hashtag creating beautifully Second. Like it there too. Thanks again. You're awesome.