Granulating Your Watercolors | Fallon Mento Pappas | Skillshare

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Granulating Your Watercolors

teacher avatar Fallon Mento Pappas, Watercolorist

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.



    • 3.

      Distilled Water?


    • 4.

      Will It Granulate


    • 5.

      The Grid Method


    • 6.

      Project Sky


    • 7.

      Project Ocean


    • 8.

      Project Snow


    • 9.

      Project Forest


    • 10.

      Project Rock


    • 11.



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About This Class

In this class, students will learn how to create interesting textures by granulating watercolor paint. I will cover supplies and which colors granulate the best.

This class requires minimal experience. I will demonstrate how to easily paint scenery with granulated texture providing tips along the way. For your class project, share a painting using one of the given examples or one of your own inspirations!

More practice? Check out Galaxy Drinks Illustrations with Watercolor & Mixed Media by Weronika Salach.

Class updated May 18, 2020. Added lesson "Distilled Water?" and attached file "Granulating Your Watercolors Reference 051820."

Meet Your Teacher

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Fallon Mento Pappas



Hello, my name is Fallon and I have been creating Art for about 20 years along with a BS in Biology and Art. I started with pen and ink illustrations, then dived into graphite, colored pencil, watercolor and finally, wood burning. I love learning new mediums but will always have a soft spot for watercolor. Always challenging you, it fulfills my need to discover why something behaves the way it does. 

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1. Introduction: I love the luminosity and depth, unique toe watercolor. The transparency allows for unpredictable textures as the pigment is brushed over the paper . In this class, granulated your watercolors, students will learn how to create interesting textures by granulated watercolor paint. I will cover supplies and which colors granulated best. This class requires minimal experience. Follow along as I demonstrate how to easily paint scenery with granulated texture. For your class project, share painting using one of the given examples or one of your own inspirations. 2. Materials: theme In this class, we will use Windsor and Newton granulated, medium or distilled water. I will cover the difference in granulated intensity. An eye dropper, which can be substituted for anything that is able to deposit liquids, watercolor paint, watercolor paper, cold pressed or rough. Watercolor paper is preferred political brushes and water source. 3. Distilled Water?: does distilled water make a difference? My recommendation to use distilled water is because not all water is created equal, since we want to create a very specific effect. Having everyone used to still water if they do not want to or cannot buy a granulated medium increases uniform results on levels of feel for this particular technique. At the very least, I suggest using distilled water to experiment with this technique. Then use your preferred water source once you're comfortable. If you're unsure if your top water is high in mineral deposits, an easy way to tell is to let a drop dry on a dark sharpest. If there is residue than your water is hard. Another way to tell is by having your water tested or checking your water systems. Consumer confidence reports, if available through the e p A. If you use ground water from a well, for example, you're more than likely to have higher levels of minerals in your water. Some water color pigments react to mineral deposits and tap water differently, so if we use tap water in the exercises, we may get different results from each other, or there may be granule ation using a paint that shouldn't granule eight and the long term , especially views, pans. Hard water will contaminate your paints and create a granule ation effect when you don't want it. I have sourced well water that has been tested and was noted by the testing company to have the highest mineral deposits they've ever seen in the history of servicing that particular area. I'm going to do a drop test with distilled water and tap water so you could see the difference of when they dry. And if there's any rest you left. If you would like to read more about the topic, I linked to several sources in the attached class material. 4. Will It Granulate: what color paint consists of pigment and binder. The binder suspends the pigment, allowing it to here to the paper. Granule ation occurs when the pigment separates from the binder. This occurs best when using sedimentary colors, because the pigments air heavy and well, sometimes separate even in plain water. You will also see the effect and permanent pigments. The degree of permanence can be found on your paint rating. Double a extremely permanent A permanent be moderately durable no rating. Test your paints with granulated, medium or distilled water on paper to determine which are your grand leading colors. To test what your paper with the medium, Apply a little paint to the wet area, allowing the pigment to separate in the suspension. I welcome you to share the results in the project section. 5. The Grid Method: Theo grid method is used to reproduce or enlarge reference image, although more time consuming compared to using transfer paper or a light box. This is a low tech option you could do anywhere. You start by drawing a grid on your reference image and a great of equal ratio on your drawing surface for this class watercolor paper, then sketching the corresponding square to be successful, the ratio was 1 to 1, meaning your reference picture is five inches by seven inches than your drawing surfaces, five inches by seven inches. If you're enlarging your reference image, double the space between lines, measuring up your drawing surface to 10 inches by 14 inches and so on. You will need a ruler, a sharp pencil. I prefer to H or harder on eraser print of your reference and for this project watercolor paper. Start by drawing the grid onto the reference picture. Measure outlines one inches apart, horizontally and vertically. To create the first grid, - you'll need to make reference names for the squares. Pick a side and letter or number in ascending order. This will make it easier to keep track of which square your matching to your paper now moving to your watercolor paper. Redo the steps to mark the second grid If you are enlarging. This is where you increase the distance between lines, keeping the 1 to 1 ratio. If not lightly draw the lines one inch apart. If you press too hard, you risk burning the pencil graphite into the paper, making it impossible to erase. - You reflects your observation skills and deciding how much information is important to draw. Match the square on your paper to the score on your reference picture and draw the subject as it appears. - Now it's time to clean up the grid lines carefully go in and a race without disturbing the drawing. Refrain from scrubbing the paper. You risk changing the texture of the paper, which will be highlighted when you move onto the painting stage. - I hope this was helpful if you've never heard of the grid method, since drawing basics isn't the focus of this class. I thought this would be an easy introduction if you have very minimal experience. Sketching are referenced the grid method for the snow forest and rock samples 6. Project Sky: I'm using water to Prewett the areas. I want this first layer of cerulean blue to go. As you can see, the paint will only spread where there is water, allowing me to save white space for the clouds. For this project, we want to use the wet on wet technique to achieve soft transitions in the sky. It's important the surface is wet as we introduce color, so spritz or use a clean brush to re wet throughout as needed, because water car always dries lighter than it appears when wet. I'm making sure as I traveled down the paper, the color is less diluted to pop through the next layer. When we get there, I'm using a dropper to add granule ation medium to the areas with more pigment. As I covered earlier in the class, you will see more granule ation when the paint is thicker. I'm not messing with the medium too much. Once it's on the paper, I'm going to give the medium all the time. It needs to separate the paint pigment from the binder. If you try to rush the drying process with a blow dryer, you will have either no separation or barely noticeable granule ation. After making my first pass, I touch up and add more shrilly in blue to the areas I feel are not strong enough. If you're falling along and are satisfied, we'll move on to the adding contrast. Using Payne's gray, I'm starting at the bottom, where it is the darkest working wet on wet, creating soft waves of color. I'm dabbing diluted Payne's gray, then adding thicker paint to shape the stormy clouds. You can see some of the previous layers trillion blue peeking through, creating an under glow. I want this area to granule ate some using my dropper to add the granule ation medium. I'm gently using my brush to guide the medium to spread to the surrounding area. If you're using cold pressed or rough watercolor paper, you should already see some pigments settling into the teeth of the paper. Repeating the process. I am adding concentrated Payne's gray to the wet surface to shape the clouds. As you may have noticed, I am loosely following the reference picture provided I would love to see your interpretation. Please remember to share your journey in the project section and reverse to the first layer I'm moving upwards with lighter Payne's gray. My intention is to drive your eye and a vertical direction as it explores the painting. I'm continuing to use my dropper toe. Add granule ation medium in areas that would benefit from the effect. After using my dropper to add more granule ation medium, I use my brush to lead the already present paint to create shadows in the middle of the peace. There are no mistakes here that you can't fix if you added more pigment than you would have liked. While it's wet, you can use a dry brush or paper towel to pull it back. If you're feeling adventurous, you can and droplets or Dabbagh clean wet brush to a moist area to give the appearance of light shining through the clouds. Remember to re wet the area you're working in if it's starting to dry to continue using the wet on wet technique, I'm loosely brushing a dark section at the top, working down to meet the formation in the middle. If you want crisp edges, paint on a dried surface too soft and a hard edge run a clean, wet brush along just touching to force the pigments to move to the less saturated area. If already dried, you'll need to make a few passes as long as the color did not stain the paper. At this point, I wanted a little more pop, so I started dabbing this really in blue in the areas that are still wet to keep things interesting. If there's any areas you want to touch up, now is the time to do it while you're paint is still wet. If you wanted to add more white clouds, you can take a stiff brush and gently massage the what area and using a paper towel, lift the paint. Alternatively, you can use the white wash or acrylic paint for any clouds. Also lately scraping exact OBL Ito. A dry area takes the paint away. All right, this finishes up the Sky Project. Please remember to share your paintings to demonstrate your understanding of how paint granulated 7. Project Ocean: the workspace is divided into thirds sky, ocean and sand. First, I'm prepping the top third section by wedding it with clean water. I want to work wet on wet, tackling the pink and yellow under glow so their ages fade softly. It might be hard to tell, but I am working at an angle so I could see this sheen from the water. I'm painting along the border for the area, meeting this guy to have a hard edge. If you're following along, you can add variety by spritzing or wedding the middle section, allowing the pink from the sunrise to reflect off the ocean. I noticed the sheen is dolling, meaning it is drying faster than I am working. I carefully add just enough water to bring the shine back. I pull the pink and yellow into the wet area, creating a soft Hayes, referring back to the provided ocean photo. We could see yellow peeking through the clouds on the right. It's up to you if you want to add yellow or deviate because we're working wet on wet. The yellow pigment blends with the pink, slightly, creating orange. The sunrise needs to dry before I can add clouds because I'm not interested in granulated this layer. I use a blow dryer to speed things along with minimal water. I'm dry brushing Payne's gray for the top. Most clouds TG vantage of the cold pressed paper texture. I want a softer look as I moved down to the horizon line. At this point, my brush has a little bit more water, so these clouds appear softer. Payne's gray does not separate easily in plain water, so I'm not worried about accidentally causing granule ation. I continue this process on the right side by staying within the top third section. You can really make this area are owned by loosely brushing. The clouds in the areas on painting on at the top are dry, so breaks in the cloud or created naturally with zero bus. I want the horizon line to be darkest part of the sky as the rising sun breaks through. Since this area is still wet for me, I run my brush loaded with gray along the border, the concentrated color is pulled upward to the less concentrated area. I'm helping the process by leading the pigment with a wet brush. I'm touching the clouds up with the littlest really in blue and softening edges as I work. This stage is more tweaking until you're satisfied with the results. Since the pigment only spread to adjacent wet areas, you can experiment by putting your painting surface on an angle. If you want layered clouds with no granule ation, you can use a blow dry at this point, then redo the last couple steps for me, the pace that I'm working at the first dry brush layer of clouds looks farther away than this last layer. I'm dabbing blue and letting the pigment spread and settle. If you like to watch paint dry, let me know in the comments, and I'll add close ups in my next video in this series, moving on to the middle section. Now I begin by painting a healthy amount of Payne's gray along the horizon line to smooth and straight in, the Adweek created painting the sky. The reference photo doesn't have it, but I want exaggerated water breaks, so we're going to use dry brushing to create the effect. As we move horizontally going in loose, I quickly brush laying down my first layer. If this isn't your style and you want a calmer ocean repeat steps we performed for the sky by working wet on wet As I work, you could see him pulling some of the heavy pigment along the border down to visually create a softer, juxtaposed look to my rough waters. I'm being mindful of the bottom border because I want to save white space for the crashing waves. I'm so continuing with dry brushing but will not fill the space completely in Something is missing So I'm dropping granule ation medium on the areas that haven't tried yet. You can instantly see the pigment moves to lower concentrated areas. Although it looks like tie dye right now, it'll even out as the medium dries. If you went heavier with a color, you'll see more granule ation occurring than in my example. I'm gonna let this layer sit for a little giving the pigments time to settle this next layer on the ocean. I'm starting at the top border, darkening the edge Since watercolor dries lighter than it appears. One wet I like contrast. If you don't, you can skip this step. I went ahead loosely dragging the color from the border down to where I want the waves to be crashing, touching up with thicker paint when it dries, so it won't be as bold. Now, time to make some waves. I apply thicker Payne's gray along the bottom to define the shadows from the crashing water and highlight edges for greater dynamics in the ocean. Finally, we were at the bottom third section the sand. I really wanted this section of showcase the granule ation. So I'm using a color I know separates easily with the medium burnt umber if you don't have birth number but you tested your colors as suggested in the willet granulated session. You something similar or not? This is your painting. You decide. I'm feeling this base in and you could see the sheen I mentioned in the beginning of this walk through. I'm continuing to be mindful of the waves crashing along the border. Since the space is still wet, I go in with granule ation media, spreading it to where I want coverage. Using the brush may interrupt the granule ation process if it does add a little bit more medium. As I fussed with the sand, I wanted to take the time to thank you for joining me today, Please share your pieces and the project section. If you have any questions about the steps shown here, please don't hesitate to leave a comment. I wanted to define the water's edge by going in with thicker burnt number to represent the wet sand. From here. It's just a lot of playing building the layer up, adding granule ation, medium along the way, you may have noticed. I do not have buckling in my paper as I love this bottom section with liquid. I am using a watercolor and wet medium block of paper. The edges are sealed together, forcing the paper to keep shape. I can skip the stretching, taping and stapling part of keeping my paper down. 8. Project Snow: watch the grid method video found within this class for step by step instructions on how to use a grid to sketch your reference as shown in this time lapse clip in this video, I'm going to show you my process to paint the snow escaped sample picture. I am using granule ation to add texture to the Middle Rock. Now that the sketch is finished, I'm going to move top to bottom to create the effect of trees in the fog. I spritz water in the desired area. A scoop What diluted pigment I can with my palette knife running its edge vertically. To represent trees, the pigment spreads to the dots of water, giving the fog illusion. If you decide to try this step, start with light Payne's gray or similar. Once dry, you slightly more concentrated paint to represent the trees closer to the foreground. I made two layers with a gray, finishing up the background with 1/3 layer of palette. Knife created trees using a mixture of Payne's gray and raw number thing. - As a final step, I use the make sure to highlight the trees I wanted to keep when I was sketching, using the grid method. - I am going in soft with the raw number and Payne's gray mixture to color the background rocks . I like minimal palettes, so I am also using the Paynes Grey for shadows. I'm not too worried about details with this initial watercolor wash, I'm laying foundation and can always finish things up by adding details of the last step. 9. Project Forest: wait. Watch Grid Method video found within this class for step by step instructions on how to use a grid to sketch her reference as shown in this time collapse clip. In this video, I'm gonna show you my process to paint the forced sample picture amusing granule ation to represent the greenery thing. As I'm sketching, I'm deciding what is valuable information for me to paint between the tree trunks and the rocks in the creek bed. I'm working in stages. First, I'm painting the tree trunks using a light mix of raw number and jadeite Genuine. I'm using this initial wash to mark their locations. I'll define them after the next layer of greenery. I'm starting top to bottom to fill in the greenery for the bright green. Shown I mixed cadmium yellow and jadeite genuine. You can already see pigment settling in the texture of the rough watercolor paper. I spritzed water to help the pigment separate, since jadeite genuine granulated very easily. I'm brushing loosely for soft modeling ingredient as I moved down, dabbling a bit more concentrated late green mixture for interesting variation. Jade, I genuine is gorgeous on its own. I applied it unmixed while the bottom of the lake green section is still damp, I want the color to bleed upward as I add granule ation medium even though it granulated easily. I want big clumps of the pigment to settle and create contrast in the greenery. I rocked the paper to stimulate the pigment separating from the binder. I'm finishing up this layer by softening the top edge to fade nicely into the light green section and bring it home by adding jadeite genuine to the top of the paper. With the pigment granulated, there's excess liquid on my paper. I'm going in with a paper towel to gently pull it up. I'm flushing out the greenery with concentrated jadeite, genuine expressing water to increase the flow and granulated. I'm flushing out the bright green and the same way with a mix of jade I genuine and cadmium yellow spritzing water to increase flow and granule eight. Using the same combination, I'm creating continuity by using the mix over the dark greenery blow. Then I alternated with the pure jadeite genuine. It's time to find their trunks with the mix of raw amber and jade. I genuine. I'm using a light hand just to suggest so that the previous layer shows through to simulate shadows. I like the tone of the raw number and JD Genuine, so I'm going to use it for the boulder in the middle, just a little Payne's gray for shadows. I'm still using the raw number and data genuine mix, this time to flush out the rocks along the riverbed. There's green reflected on the rocks. I'm using the wet on wet technique to blend the dabs of jadeite, genuine switching between mixes of the raw number and JD genuine. I begin to lay an initial wash. I'm adding a cadmium yellow in jadeite. Genuine mixed highlight the rocks, then raw amber and jade, a genuine for the shadows to create contrast, I am going in heavy with Payne's gray to fill in the darkest tones. I'll also use it to suggest water flow and a little I'm gonna add raw number to create variation for the water. The raw umber makes great shadows and the rocks as well as the trees. I'm using us bunch to mark the areas I'm going to granulated heavy with jadeite, genuine for more granule ation, increased concentration when applying the paint. Shake the painting surface to stimulate the separation of pigment from binder thing. Thank you for joining me on this journey. I would love to see your interpretation in the project section. I encourage you to leave feedback on what you found helpful, so I could be sure to include it in the future. 10. Project Rock: watch the grid method video found within this class for step by step instructions on how to use a grid to sketch your reference A shown in this time lapse clip. In this video, I'm going to show you my process to paint the rock sample picture. I'm using granule ation to represent the ready texture of the rocks I begin with lunar Earth. It will cover most of my painting surface and will be the color all granulated to create texture. A grainy relates well with water as you can already see pigment settling in the rough paper surface. However, I want as much granule ation as possible, so use a dropper to add granule ation. Medium. With this starting wash on painting in sections matching the diagonal shape of my source, I don't want even coverage, some using wanted paper towel for modeling thing. Once the initial coverage is down, it's time to go through with concentrated lunar Earth and flush out the more pigmented areas. The thicker paint creates better granule ation as I add granule ation medium. I do have to keep in mind. There's heavier concentration where the vertical rocks but lighter brush strokes for the rocks of the bottom, laying horizontally. I'm going through with a mix of Payne's gray and lunar Earth for the next total value of shadows. I'm still painting loosely because I'm confident everything will tie together after the last layer of detail. Before I finished things off with a passive final details. I want to flesh out this shrubbery with jadeite genuine. I'm spritzing water for feathering, then dabbing more jadeite for interesting formations. I'm making a last pass of the next total values, using different combinations of Payne's gray and lunar Earth and some places, I'm taking advantage and working wet on wet, essentially sketching over what I drew. Using the grid method, any vegetation I come across, I'm highlighting with a mix of jadeite, genuine and Payne's gray. Once I'm satisfied, I move on to using cerulean blue to fill in the sky. I'm dropping water for soft green elation. This is the last sample covering how to gradually and use it to your advantage. Thank you for joining me. I would love to see your interpretation in the project section. I encourage you to leave feedback on what you found helpful so that I can be sure to include it in future videos. 11. Closing: thank you for watching. Grainy leading your watercolors. I hope I helped you have a better understanding of why granule ation occurs and how you can take advantage. I want to hear about your experience in the project section. Follow my skill share page for notification when my next water classes available.