Creating Depth Through Color Value + Contrast: Paint A Watercolor Succulent | Aima Kessy | Skillshare

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Creating Depth Through Color Value + Contrast: Paint A Watercolor Succulent

teacher avatar Aima Kessy, Top Teacher | Dainty Rebel

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.



    • 2.

      Class Materials


    • 3.

      Using Reference + Transferring Drawing


    • 4.

      Value + Colors


    • 5.

      Watercolor Techniques


    • 6.

      First Wash


    • 7.

      Second Wash


    • 8.

      More Color Deepening + Adding Details


    • 9.

      Class Project


    • 10.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

In this class, you will learn how to create more depth and dimension in your paintings through understanding how color values work and the layering process in watercolors. Join me as I paint a watercolour succulent and demonstrate how I combine and apply the techniques that can help bring your paintings to life!

What you can expect from this class:

  • Understanding color value and how to apply it in our paintings
  • Learn how to use reference
  • Explore and learn how to combine the wet-on-wet and wet-on-dry techniques
  • Understanding the layering process in watercolours
  • Succulent painting demonstration—break down of process
  • Painting inspiration!

At the end of the class, you will be more confident in executing certain techniques and understanding how you can create more depth and dimension in your paintings.

Have fun learning and happy painting!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Aima Kessy

Top Teacher | Dainty Rebel

Top Teacher

Hi, I’m Aima!
I am a watercolour artist and creative educator based in Brisbane, Australia.
I have a background in Animation and Early Childhood Education, and currently teach art classes on Skillshare as a Top Teacher.

I am inspired by nature, books, animals and have an avid interest in health and wellness.
My favourite things to paint are uplifting quotes and succulents from my garden. Both these subjects centre around my journey of self-discovery, healing and personal growth over the years.

As someone who has struggled with mental health, I promote self care and compassion, and reconnecting with oneself through art and creative self-expression.

I teach watercolour classes with the aim of helping others underst... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: Hi guys, my is Aima Kessy and I am a watercolor artist. Welcome to my second Skillshare class. In the last class, we focused on learning some basic watercolor techniques, and applying those to simple cacti forms. In this class, we will be taking it up a notch where we learn how to create more objects in our paintings, to the use of color values and contrast, essentially bringing our paintings to life. I chose a succulent for this class, to demonstrate how I combine and apply these techniques to build us layers of colors. I love their beautiful form, and I think they're a great subject as they're simple yet challenging enough for us, to practice the skills that will certainly improve on your watercolors. As we explore the layering process in watercolors, you'll become more confident in your own painting process, by knowing what techniques to use and when to apply them. I believe there's no one way to create art. Some techniques and approaches may work better for some and less so for others. But in combining the things that do work for you, you will extend on your own creative process, to create something that feels more you. Hopefully, by exploring these processes together, you may gain some insights that can help you in your own painting process and creative journey. 2. Class Materials: Before we get started, we're going to need some materials. First off, some water color paper. I will be using my Fabriano Artistico Cold Pressed paper in 300 gsm weight. For the basic techniques demonstration, I will be using the Canson Heritage Cold Pressed paper also in 300 GSM. This paper is slightly cheaper than the Fabriano block, but still pretty good, so I like to use it more for practice washes and lightweight painting. We will also be needing some watercolor paint. I will be using my Winsor & Newton tube watercolors, which I've squeezed into this aluminum travel palette. If you've joined me in the last class, you'll know that I like to squeeze my pigments at the top part of the sloping well. This means I get a more watery mix of pigment at the bottom of the well where the water collects and I can just grab straight from the pigment with my damp brush if I wanted a more concentrated mix. For this class, I'll be using this porcelain tray for mixing my colors. It's actually a serving platter which I found at a kitchenware store. I love mixing watercolors on porcelain because they tend not to beat on the surface, and they look just as vibrant as they would on paper. Also, this one fits nicely on my table, so that's a bonus. I usually have little bowls or plates lying around in case I need the extra mixing space, but for this class we won't be mixing too many colors, so use whatever you're comfortable using. Next we'll also need some brushes. I'll be using some round brushes in a size five, three, two and zero. As long as you have a good medium-sized brush and a small brush for details, you're good to go. These are just some of the brushes I've been enjoying using a lot. Just as you know, the Raphael brushes here are a little bigger than the average size so the size five here is equivalent to a size six of other lengths of brushes. These are optional but I also use a flat brush as my mixing brush just because it's a lot firmer than my round brushes, I can grab a lot more pigment with it and not worry about being too rough with the brush. I sometimes use this chisel brush to soften edges and retrieve highlights. I'll also show you how I fix a small painting mistake with it later in class. We'll also need some water. I usually have two mixing jars, one for cool colors and one for warm colors. This is to avoid muddy dark water when complimentary colors mix. Other materials you'll need is a HB pencil, an eraser, and some paper towel, or tissues. These two items are optional, but I like to use a cotton rag sometimes to dab my brush on and use a squeeze bottle to activate and dilute pigment. You can just use paper towel as well instead of a cotton rag. Last of all, if you're going to trace your succulent drawing using the reference image or line drawing I've provided, then you will need a tracing paper, a clip just to keep the paper for moving when tracing, or you can also just use some good old masking tape. Lastly, a sharpie pen. Remember, you don't have to have the exact brands I'm using. Just as long as you're using good-quality supplies, then you're good to go. 3. Using Reference + Transferring Drawing: For this class I'll be using a photo reference of a succulent I have in my garden. I've provided this reference image and in line drawing of the succulent in the "your project" section of the class. You can follow along and paint with me to my demonstration, but I do encourage you to also try and take some of your own photos for reference, if you have some succulents around the house. Why use reference? Firstly, it helps us understand our subject better, especially when we're working on something that we're not familiar with. It gives us information about the characteristics of a subject, such as details, textures, colors, lines and so on. It's also helpful in the study of anatomy and poses. Especially for cases where realistic accuracy is needed, then a reference might not only be handy but essential. I think that as we get more familiar with our subjects and build upon that knowledge through observation and practice, we're essentially developing our mental visual library and muscle memory. We'll be able to better recall or draw upon a collection of raw data to help us in our drawings and creative process. Also reference photos can be handy for times when our subjects are not readily available to us. How can we use reference? The first method is to gather elements from several different sources, and then combining those things to create something new and more of your own. It does take a lot of skill and practice, but it's certainly one of the better and more effective ways of using reference especially in the practice of developing our own style. Other methods in using reference is tracing and copying. Now these two words alone can cause quite a debate in the art community. But personally I think it's more of how we approach these methods that will help or hinder us in our practice. That's where being reflective of our learning process and practicing deliberately forms a crucial part of improving our skills. I've recently started to trace out the form of flowers and plants for the sole purpose of practicing certain watercolor techniques and color studies, which is what we will also be doing in this class. Well, I'm not too focus on the drawing side of things, I'm still carefully observing the form of the subject as I trace. I use either my own photos or free stock images online for these practices. It's more of the intentional learning, you're getting out of the method and as long as you're not violating any copyright laws. Where can we find references? The best is to use live references or take your own photos. When using images online, try to use images that are under the Creative Commons License, but also take note on the terms of use for each image under this license. Free stock images are also a good place to find reference, and perhaps images in the public domain. Remember, if you intend to sell your work or use it for commercial purposes, then you need to be aware of the copyrights. Purchase the appropriate licenses or obtain consent and permission where needed. This includes non-commercial works that are used for practice purposes. Okay. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's get started on our succulent drawing. The focus of this practice is in learning how to apply the watercolor techniques to create the depth and form of our subject. Hence why I will be tracing out the basic shape of the succulent. I will start by using tracing paper to trace over my reference photo using a HB pencil. I'm tracing from the middle part of the succulent just so I can observe how the leaves are overlapping each other. Now I'm going to go ahead and add some extra leaves in. Once I'm happy with the drawing, I outline it with a sharpie pen so that it will be more visible behind a thick watercolor paper. Since I don't have a light box, I simply take the line drawing and watercolor paper up to a window and start tracing the outline lightly with my pencil. 4. Value + Colors: What is a value? Value describes the different shades of gray between black and white, and it's expressed in a gray scale such as this one. In colors theory, value refers to the lightness or darkness of a color. Since watercolor is a transparent medium, we usually lighten the value of a color by diluting it with more water instead of adding white. Why is value important? First of all, it helps us define form and create spatial illusion. Since light and dark are on the opposite ends of each other, they create contrast which helps to visually separate objects and create the illusion of space in a painting. If your values are too close to each other, then there is less contrast and can result in a less than impactful composition. The gradual change in value on the other hand, also suggests mass and contour of an object's surface. In this example, the gradation of blue values suggest the curve of the shape and indicates that it has mass. This is due to the way light is hitting the object. Now, there are a few elements to light and shadows, and it can be quite a technical subject, which I won't get into here. But essentially, the combination of light and shadows is what creates that range of values, which then creates the illusion of form. Just like the ranges of value within a color, we can use color value in our painting to convey the light source and how it is illuminating our subject. Now that we know more about values, we will be prepping our colors and creating a color value chart that will help us in our painting. For the succulent I will be painting today, I have chosen to use these colors; aqua green, quinacridone violet, terahertz, quinacridone red and Payne's gray. Feel free to play around with different colors. We'll start switching the values for aqua green. We're going to start with the darkest color, so I'll be grabbing lots of pigment on my brush with less water. I slowly create a puddle of the pigment, which I will gradually add more water to as I lighten the color. If I feel I added too much water, I simply add more pigment and vice versa. If I have too much moisture on my brush, I just dab it a little on my cotton rag or a paper towel. You can create as many levels of value as you wish, as long as you have a nice range of dark to medium and medium to light values. I'm going to label the pigment names just for future reference. I'm going to continue creating the rest of the value charts. I decided to swatch some powerline green along with the Payne's gray just to see how they would fit into my color scheme. Then I played around it mixing my two main colors just to see what other use I can get from them. Now I'm going to create some darker tones of the aqua green by mixing it with its complementary color, red. I play around with adding more red or aqua green to the mix. I noticed that the shade with more aqua green created a similar hue to the Payne's gray, so I will use it for the darker parts of the leaves. I will use Payne's gray when I need a more thicker concentration of the color, especially when using a smaller brush. That's it for our value chart. We can then use this as a guide to ensure we have a good range of values by placing its side-by-side with our painting. Now remember, we don't have to paint every level of value to show a seamless transition of light to dark. You can break it down to three to four levels to represent a light, medium, and dark range that can certainly give a good amount of contrast for visual depths. Creating a color value chart would also be a good practice in helping you to better gauge your water to color ratio when painting. You can certainly play around with this more, so have fun experimenting your colors. 5. Watercolor Techniques: In this lesson, I will be going through the watercolor techniques that we will be using throughout the class, which are wet on wet and wet on dry. Understanding these basics will not only help you in creating your very own watercolors succulent, but you can most certainly apply them to your other paintings as well. Water color as the name suggests, uses water for the pigments to flow through and create all magic on paper. It certainly has a mind of its own, and that's the beauty of it. Understanding and mastering the basic techniques can help you work together with the medium to create certain effects and help you better express your creativity. Let's start with wet on wet. When working wet on wet, we first apply a wash of water to the paper before we add in our pigments. This is great for when you want smooth bleeds of color, soft diffuse edges, and when you want the pigments to make seamlessly on your paper, through out my painting demonstration. I will drop in my second color while the wash is still wet and blended a little with the tip of my brush. Just like what I'm doing here. Now I'm going to blend three colors on this petal here. While the wash is still wet I will charge in with more pigment on my brush to increase the color on the lower part of the petal. Here, I'm going to paint over the dried layer of paint to build the color of the petal around the sides. Again, I've wet the entire shape with water before dropping in my pigments. Notice how the pigment flows through the moisture and create nice soft edges. Depending on how the paper is drying, sometimes you might need to feather out the edges to help the pigment blend a little more. Now we're going to do some lifting to reveal the highlights on our pedal. I repeat the same process of color blending through wet on wet. But this time I will leave some people wide in the areas where the highlights will sit. Then I clean and damp my brush on my cotton rag before going in and lifting up more pigment in the highlight area. Since my brushes less moisture than the wash, it acts as a [inaudible] up the paint. Since I've lifted paint onto my brush, I need to clean and dab it out again before lifting more pigment. As I'm lifting, I'm essentially sculpting the shape of the highlight and softening the edges around it as I sweep my brush through. Depending on how damp your washes and how much pigment is on the wash. You might have to lift a couple of times. Now that this petal is dry, we're going to deepen the colors and create a more gradual range of values. I re-wet the glaze as I did before and drop the colors in where I wanted. Then I edit darker shade of color here while the washes still damp so that the colors will blend softly with the rest of the wash. Now let's add a bit of texture to this pedal. I wet the area of the shape and let it settle a bit into the paper before dropping in little spots of pigment with the tip of my brush. Note that there is more pigment and less moisture in my brush and the wash is not as wet. Otherwise, the pigment will just dispersed into the moisture. The colors on this pedal have started to settle, but there's still moisture on the paper. It is at this stage where we can create interesting textures. I have a slightly damp or brush and I'm using the tip to damp in some moisture that pushes the pigment out to create tiny water blooms. I repeat this several times until I get a multiple defect on my petal. Let's go back and build the colors on this pedal. I'm going to work on this corner, so I only wet an area larger than where I want the paint to floor. I feather the edges out nicely before working on another part of the petal and working separately because I want to be able to have more control over the washes and the gap between the two colors allows me to do so. Now I'm wetting the entire side of this pedal and dropping the pigment in the same area as I did in the first wash. I continue lifting and softening out the edges until the pigment has settled a bit more. Let's move on to some wet on dry. Working wet and dry is when we apply paint straight onto paper or an already dried layer of paint. Glazing is a technique executed to overlaying colors wet and dry in layers. We can achieve a few results through this technique. The first is building up color layer by layer to gradually bring up the form of our subject. This layer has now dried. I'm going to use the same strength of color and overlay another wash without adding more pigment, the layer itself is building up the colors. Now I'm starting to get separation in color values. I'll let that dry before applying another layer. Glazing can also bring down the intensity of a wash by overlaying it with its complementary color. Here I'm applying some green to this red square and desaturating the color a little. You can also change the hue of the wash completely by glazing it with another color, for example, two primary colors to get a nice glaze of secondary color. Working wet and dry also gives us more control over our brushstrokes, especially when creating details or when we need to paint clean hard edges. Now, we can either leave an edge hard, or soft it out quickly with a clean, damp brush, just like what I'm doing here. Another technique on wet and dry it to create textures or deepen the color over an area is [inaudible] brushing. I won't be using this in my demonstration, but it's a fun technique to play around with, and you can certainly apply it to your succulent painting if you so choose. First, I clean and dab most of the moisture out of my brush and then flatten it to get the bristles splayed out in tiny sections. I then grab some pigment and test it out on a scrap piece of paper before sweeping it gently across the area I want to darken or add texture too. Repeat this a few times until you're happy with it. But let the paint settle a little in-between a few strokes. We're going to finish up our cube with the last two layers to give it more dimension before we wrap up this lesson. 6. First Wash: Before we get started on the first wash, I'm just going to look back at my reference and see if there's anything I want to add or alter. Looking closely at the image, there are fine little hairs around each leaf, that gives it that white border. I've decided to add those extra lines to the leaves, but we'll paint it as a clean edge instead of fine hairs. I draw lightly with my HB pencil and draw just a few lines as a guide to remind me how I intend to paint it later. Next, I'm just going to reactivate my pigments and grab a fresh mix of aqua green. We're going to start with the first leaf. Just like in the previous lesson, I'm going to mostly be working wet-on-wet, so I'll start by wetting the entire leaf with water. I make sure to cover the entire area and get right up to the edge of the shape. Once I've painted over the entire shape, I check my water glaze and make sure I have an even sheen of water. I dry my brush on a paper towels so that it is damp enough to mop up any puddles of water or excess moisture that I can see on the paper. Looking at the reference photo, I keep in mind where it can see light hitting the leaf. I drop in my pigment just short of the edge and let it bleed through the moisture on its own. I continue dropping and sweeping in color where I wanted to go and leave some of that paper white for the highlight. Now add the second color and do the same thing. Then I use a clean damp brush and gently feather the pigment out with the tip of my brush just to help it blend a little. I clean my brush again and damp it dry before lifting up some of that pigment. I try to sculpt the shape of the highlight that I can see in the reference photo, keep in mind, you might have to lift a couple of times. I clean my brush and damp it on the cotton rag every time I go back and lift. Since there isn't too much pigment on this wash, I can sometimes get away with just stubbing out the excess moisture and going back to lift one more time without cleaning my brush. What I want to be careful of is that, I'm not brushing back pigment that I've just lifted. While the washer still dump, I'm going to use the tip of my clean damp brush to tidy up the edges of the shape. I'm essentially just pulling the pigment that's already on the paper to the edge of the shape and making sure that those edges are neat and tidy. As the wash starts to settle I notice some of the pigments start to creep into the highlight, so I lift it out a few more times. Sometimes you just need to keep an eye, especially when they're still quite a bit of moisture on the paper. Onto the next leaf. I'll be repeating the same process I did with the first leaf, keeping in mind parts of the leaf that I want to leave lighter. Sometimes it helps to tilt your paper at an angle to check if you have an even sheen of water. After rubbing some pigment on my brush, I sometimes damp gently on a paper towel to get rid of any excess moisture before dropping it into my water glaze. I usually do this when I feel that the water glaze is quite wet, and I don't want to be adding more moisture, especially since my pigment is already quite diluted. I'm softening out this edge here where I'm leaving a bit of that highlight using a clean damp brush. Then I'll clean my brush again and start lifting more of that pigment. I decided to add a bit of a highlight to the left side of the leaf, so I'm just going to lift them out. I notice a bit of a hard edge forming as I'm lifting, because the top part of the paper has started to dry a bit. I try and feather the pigment gently with the tip of my brush. I decided to add a little bit of pigment with a slightly damp brush. Be careful when doing this stuff, because if the washers dry too much, then adding an amount of moisture might create a bloom and displace the pigments on our wash. Unless you're trying to create some texture, it's sometimes best to leave the wash to completely dry before trying to fix it. Otherwise, we could end up with a bigger mess. I'm going to continue painting the rest of the leaves by repeating the wet-on-wet and lifting process. I often refer back to the reference as I'm painting to help me with details like lighting and form. As I reassess it, I decided I'm going to paint the rest of the leaves. I'll continue painting the middle leaves as such, and for the outermost leaves, I want the colors to get gradually lighter towards the base. As far the center part of the succulent and for the smaller leaves, or we using a mix of terahertz and aqua green, it will appear to have a gradual change in color from the center outwards. I'm dropping the pigment in and leaving a bit of a gap between the edges. While the paper is still damp, I will go in with the clean damp brush to soften it and pull it out towards the edge of the shape. I do this sometimes for the sides of the leaves to give me a very slight highlight suggestive of a curve in the form. Here I'm softening the edges and pulling the pigment out with my clean damp brush. I decided to create a more distinct highlight by lifting up more pigment. We'll continue painting the rest of the leaves as planned. Before lifting out in smaller areas like this one, a pool, enroll the brush into a point while I'm damping off the excess moisture. I'm starting to work on the outer leaves now. I've wet the entire shape here. Now I'm going to use a clean damp brush, which I've flattened out a little and push the pigment upwards because I want the base of the leaf to be lighter. I'm turning the paper around to get into a comfortable angles so that I can do more lifting upwards. I'm going to paint the rest of the outer leaves the same way, except here, I'm dropping the pigment short of the base and then feathering it downwards using the tip of my clean damp brush. You can work either way to create the same results. I'm going to continue painting the rest of the outer leaves. I noticed that I painted the violet a little outside the edge. I tried to fixing it by mapping out the area would a tissue and reading back the pigment. This still didn't work too well, however, after feathering the edges and lifting up the highlighted part of the leaf, I decided to leave it before now and come back to it later. Now we're going to work on the tiny leaves in the center part of the succulent. I'm using my extra short Rafael round brush and size 2 for this area. I paint the leaves while I'm drawing in terahertz. For this leaf, I'm going to leave a white border on the sides. I will paint my water glaze accordingly. I'll be doing the same for the rest of the leaves, keeping in mind parts of where I want to keep a white border. I'm blending some aqua green here with the terahertz. I'm using just a wash of aqua green for the slightly bigger leaves. I'm softening out edges here and blending in a little bit of terahertz to the top part of the leaf, that's it. Once everything is dry, we'll be ready for the second layer. 7. Second Wash: Now that we've got our base wash, we're ready to start adding our second layer of color. Always make sure everything is completely dry before adding another layer of color. This is so we don't disturb or dislodge the pigment that have yet to settle on the paper. Now, looking back at our color value chart, our second layer should be somewhere in the mid-range of values. We don't have to paint every level of value but having a light, medium and dark range will certainly give us a good amount of contrast for a visual depth. We'll also start using some of these shades. I'm creating a fresh mix of that darker shade of aqua green by mixing it with some red which is its complementary color. All right, let's start with the first leaf. This time when I apply my water glaze, I leave a bit of a gap on the sides because I want to paint in some hard edges and create a bit of a border around the leaf. Just like what we did with the smaller leaves in the center. Just like in the first wash, I'm leaving a bit of that paper white to retain the lighter part of the leaf. Then with a clean, damp brush, I start to do some lifting. I have a bit more pigment in my brush this time. I used a tip of my brush to carefully go around the edges of the lower part of the leaf. I drop in my second color while the wash is still wet. While the layer is still wet, I use my clean damp brush to gently feather out the edges and help the pigments blend a little. I'm using gentle pulling and sweeping motions with the tip of my brush. Then I sculpt in the highlights to lifting and soften the edge on the right side of the leaf. I quickly tidy up an edge I missed out while the paper is still damp. Again, I've applied a wash of water to where I want the pigment to flow. I'm dabbing out some moisture and grabbing a bit more pigment on my brush. Then I drop it in where I want it. You'll notice I'm able to paint a hard edge closer to the tip of the leaf because this part of the paper is dry. I've wet the area just below where I want the hard edge so that the rest of the pigment will still blend smoothly. I'm using a slightly more concentrated mix of aqua green and adding it in while the paper is still wet. I'll continue lifting and feathering out edges as I go. I'm essentially painting and lifting as I did on the first layer, except with a bit more pigment and a few mid tone details. I decide to add a bit more violet here while the paper is still damp. All right, I'm going to continue painting the next few leaves in the same wet on wet process of color blending, deepening and lifting. I'll also soften and tidy the edges as I go. Remember, I'm also combining wet and dry when I paint a clean, hard edge and pull the pigment towards the glaze of water I would apply beforehand. This layer was coming along just fine until a part of the wash was starting to dry. And as I was applying a more darker pigment, I was starting to get hard edges on the top middle part. I tried to feather this out with a damp brush but there was still quite a bit of moisture in the brush. So it was instead creating a water bloom and pushing out the pigment. I tried dropping in a bit of color and feathering it out slightly before I stop to make it any worse. We'll let it dry for now and save it in the next layer. I decided to just focus on the aqua green part of the leaf here. I'll deepen the violet hue in the next layer. The layer is still damp here and I'm sweeping a light line of aqua green with my damp brush. Then I quickly grab a more concentrated mix of the green and create another line detail over the leaf. Because the layer is at a nice level of dampness and I'm coming in with more pigment and less water in my brush, I get this nice diffused line that's not spreading too much. All right, I'm going to repeat the same process for the rest of the leaves. We're going to start defining the dark areas of the center now. We'll start by using a slightly water down mix of the shadow color. I accidentally painted over this tiny leaf here. So I waited for the layer to dry before using my slightly damped chisel brush to retrieve the corner of the shape. I scrubbed the area gently and then dab it off with a tissue, repeating this a few times until the pigment is removed. Now I'm going to continue painting the rest of the leaves. I start by applying a mid tone layer of aqua green before dropping in more pigment to increase the color value. I start adding more pigmented mix of terra vertically to the center leaves and blending in some aqua green. I also paint another layer of terra vertically straight onto paper for the tiny leaves in the center, keeping in mind to leave a bit of highlighted edges. 8. More Color Deepening + Adding Details: We're going to continue increasing the color values on parts of the leaves and adding in the shadows. Let's start darkening up the shadows within the leaves in the center. The pigment is thick, but has enough moisture for it to flow around smoothly. I paint the shadow in wet on dry for this leaf and then soften the edges with a clean damp brush. As some of the pigment pulls into the damp area, I try to fade it out and soften any hard edges. Then I add more pigment and increase the shape. Here, I'm dampening the area a little before applying the shadow so I get slightly diffused edges. I don't want it to be runny, so there's more pigment and less water in my brush. I initially wanted to only work on the top part of the leaf, so I only wet half the shape. But I decided to also darken the shadow area that I can see on the leaf in my reference photo. I'm using a more pigmented mix of the shadow color here. I'm working on darkening the violet separately on some leaves because I don't really need it to blend on the same layer with the other colors at this stage, if I do, then I will wet the entire leaf and work on it as a whole. Otherwise, I'll work on the areas separately to get a bit of that nice glazing effect where the different layers of color overlap. This top part of the leaf that I darkened earlier is now dry, so I'm going to apply another glaze of water to the entire shape. This is because I'm going to apply some color close to the violet area, and I want soft diffuse edges for where the colors meet. This is that leaf that needed a bit of fixing. I'll start by adding a medium wash of the shadow color into my water glaze, leaving a small area where I can see the under-wash shine through. Then I quickly add a more darker pigment to the base area and tease it out into the leaf. I clean and damp my brush and use gentle strokes to help blend the pigment with the rest of the colors while it is still damp. I think it looks a lot better now. I'm going to keep darkening parts of the leaves and adding in more shadows. I'm increasing the midterms here and working wet on wet to get that soft bleed of color. I wet the area where I want the color to soften out and then start increasing and painting in the shadows, creating a nice gradual transition of dark to light. I start adding another layer of color to deepen the shadows. Now I'm adding some shadow outlines just to show a bit of separation between the leaves. I dampen the area slightly before I paint in a fine line and soften out the edges where I need to. I think I overdid this part a little, but that's okay. If you're not quite sure about which parts to darken, this is where your reference can come in handy. All right. I think I'm happy with how this succulent is looking, so I'm going to stop here. But I'll show you an alternative of how I glaze the outer leaves to bring down the level of intensity a little. I've wet the bottom part of the leaf here using a light wash of the shadow color, I paint the top part of the leaf and leave a little border around the sides. Then I pull the pigment into the wet glaze so that the edges blend out softly. Feel free to experiment with different elements and to combine information from several references to add to your own artistic touch. 9. Class Project: For your class project, you can choose to use the reference image that I've provided in the Class Resource section or you can choose to paint your own succulent based on your own reference images. Now, it's entirely up to you if you want to trace out the shape or if you want to draw with free hand, if you're looking to practice in your drawing skills as well. Now, you don't have to paint a completed succulent painting before you upload your project. You can start by creating a practice sheet of the techniques we learned earlier and maybe practice on your value scales as well. Think of your project as a gradual steady progression. Share your progress in the Project section, and you can keep adding to it as you build yourself up to the final painting. Remember, you can create it in any style you want and you don't always have to use all the techniques in one painting. Play around with different colors and values or paint different species of succulents. Whatever you choose to do, remember that this is a learning process. Experiment and have fun discovering what works and what doesn't. 10. Final Thoughts: Thank you so much for joining me in this class. I hope that you are able to find something useful that you can incorporate into your own practice. If you have any questions at all about the techniques, materials, or if you have any suggestions about future classes, please feel free to drop me a line in the class discussion below, or come say hi to me on Instagram at my handle at daintyrebel. Also don't forget to upload your class projects and if you want to share your work on Instagram, please feel free to use the hashtag right here. Don't forget to check out your classmates works as well. I know the layering process does take a bit of time and it can be quite frustrating sometimes, especially when we get to that point in our paintings where it feels like it's not looking like anything at all. Or you feel like you don't know what you're doing at all. Trust me, I've been there many times. In those moments, allow yourself to take a break or breaks. Go for a walk, have a cup of tea, pet your dog or [inaudible] and then come back to your painting with fresh minds. It's easy to get caught up in all the technicalities of creating art and it most certainly is important to understand and master the basics. But I will say this again. There's not one way to create art. A long time ago, we started by using just our hands to paint before we even use tools like sticks. Before someone even had the brilliant idea of touching hairs to the ends of their states. Just what I want to say, is explorer, experiment, play and find what works best for you and most importantly, don't forget to have fun. Thank you again, I hope to see you guys next time. Bye.