Loosening Up! Perfectly Imperfect Watercolor | Terry Runyan | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Loosening Up! Perfectly Imperfect Watercolor

teacher avatar Terry Runyan, Visual Artist & Creative Encourager

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

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.

      About Creativity & the Project


    • 3.



    • 4.

      Let's Paint Flowers


    • 5.

      Other Additions


    • 6.

      Fun with Cats


    • 7.

      Bonus Cat & Flowers Pluse Cat on Head!


    • 8.

      Final Thoughts


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Welcome to this fun and lighthearted approach to watercolor!  This class is for anyone, from beginners to more advanced painters, who want to loosen up and play more with watercolor painting.  We begin with supplies and move our way through several painting practices from flowers to cats but staying open to whatever creativity shows up in the moment!

Although the project invites you to play with flowers and possibly cats, the main point of this class is to jump in and follow the flow of paint and inspiration while staying open to the unexpected.  Anything goes as we play and loosen up with our creativity.

A prompts list is available to help kick start some ideas beyond flowers and cats and can be found to the right as a downloadable PDF.

The supplies with links can also be found as a downloadable PDF.

If you are interested in working along with other artists, consider joining the Daily Creating Group on Facebook.  This is an easy going group that supports and encourages each other as we create daily or as often as possible. (No rules here!). You can find the group here:


If you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to reach out in the Discussion section.  I’m here to help in whatever way possible as you explore watercolor creating with ease and joy!

Remember, this is a class all about loosening up and having fun.  It is about seeing the perfection in imperfection and flowing with inspiration in the moment.  Leave your expectation at the door and open to what is yet unknown, the mystery of creativity!

Music used in order of videos:

1 Kick_the_Can The Mini Vandals, 2 Bongo_Madness-Quincas Moreira, 3 Mr_Sunny_Face Wayne Jones, 4 Tango_de_la_Noche-Wayne Jones, 5 Merengue_de_Limon Quincas Moreira

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Terry Runyan

Visual Artist & Creative Encourager



Hi!  I'm Terry Runyan Visual Artist and Creative Encourager.  I love creating and exploring how the creative process unfolds.  I see creativity as a means to connect, communicate and share with others! 

In my classes I go into depth with what I teach with watercolor, drawing, cute characters, story telling in art, mixed media, collage, Procreate and all things related to creativity. 

I love encouraging people to explore there creativity for the joy of it!  Plus there is often the extra benefit of having art to share!  I hope you join me!




My favorite supplies:  https://www.terryrunyan.com/pages/resources

Daily Cre... See full profile

Level: All Levels

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Terry Runyan here, visual artist and creative encourager. Welcome to Loosening Up! Perfectly Imperfect Watercolor. In this class, I'm going to be sharing with you all my tips and tricks with watercolor, as well as my philosophy on watercolor and art in general. I come from a background of being extremely tight with my art. I'm going to show you something I did in college here. That old lady was all done in watercolor with a little bit of gouache brought in for her bail on her head. It was very tight. It took me forever. As a person who wanted to do illustration for a living, I knew that something was going to have to give as far as the amount of time I was putting in on one piece. As I went along with my career, which I've been in for now 40-ish years, I learned a lot about watercolor and I learned a lot about how to let go of all the need to be tight and perfect with my paintings. That's what I hope to share with you here. This class is perfect for those of you who want to loosen up your watercolor. I'll also be bringing in some India ink and perhaps some watercolor pencils to add. Also I might be using a little bit of white pen or gouache to add some details. So all of this is perfectly imperfect. I'm not a purist when it comes to watercolor, but not being a purist is part of that perfectly imperfect way of creating. We'll be working on a couple of different projects in this class. One will be, of course, painting cats and loosening up there. The other one will be a little bit about flowers, because I'm working on a bunch of flowers lately and I thought that would be fun to share, for those of you who may not like cats, which is crazy. Speaking of cats, Tucker may join me during this process, we'll see and he doesn't always cooperate. But sometimes he shows up and helps me with my paintings. Cat hair. That's a little bit about this class. I'm so glad you're here. Let's jump in. 2. About Creativity & the Project: The project for this class is going to be basically anything you want to do. I'm going to be demonstrating painting cats because I love cats. But I'm also going to be demonstrating painting flowers. But feel free to paint whatever you want. The important thing here is to loosen up with your watercolor, to get in there and just have fun, to splash around. Whatever you decide to paint, you could do a cat or some flowers, or you could choose to do whatever it is that's inspiring you. I always encourage people to go with what they're inspired to do rather than what someone is directing them to do. You have free reign as far as your subject matter, I will include a list of possible idea starters for you in the About section. So look there for those. Also, it's always great to have some research going on. I love to look through Pinterest to get inspired for what I'm going to do. I never copy things as I see them. I look at a lot of different things and then I pay attention to the feeling of inspiration or that I could do this feeling. Then I start in. If I don't start in at that moment, and I keep researching most all the time, that'll move right on through and the inspiration will not be present anymore. It doesn't mean creativity is gone because creativity, basically who you are is a constant. It is not something that comes and goes. As a matter of fact, there's no such thing as creative block. That's a great thing to know. It gives you a lot of freedom. It helps me to realize that I have creativity available to me whenever I go to my paper. The project, you are going to be painting some watercolor pieces here and throwing in whatever you want. Once again, this is not a purest watercolor class. It's a class where we're here to have fun. We're here to loosen up. We're to splash some paint around. Just know that if you want to bring some other kinds of materials into your painting, that is perfect. It's what I usually do with my watercolors. It oftentimes helps with the sense of play in the process of creating. Also, if you're a purist with watercolor, this project will work for you too. You can accomplish almost everything I'm going to do here with watercolor. You can use white gouache for the highlights, eye whites, and that sort of thing. Gouache is also a watercolor, but an opaque watercolor. It isn't transparent like all the other watercolors I'll be using during this class. Remember to keep your project fun and light. You never know what's going to come when you're not tied down to a particular drawing. Although drawings can help in the process of creating your watercolor. The main point in this class is to see what comes, see with a mystery offers, and to go with the flow basically. In the next section, I'm going to talk about the supplies I use. Let's move on to that. 3. Supplies: Supplies; I guess I'll start with watercolors since that's what we're going to be using. I have a fairly simple palette. I don't like to get too complicated with my palettes because you really can mix almost any color with this palette I'm going to share with you. You can also find all my supplies that I'm talking about here in the About section on a list with links. I hope that's helpful to you. Paints; I'm going to start with the reds. I love using scarlet lake. Scarlet lake is a warm red and I'm going to paint a little bit of scarlet lake here so you can see what it looks like. I'm just going to put a little here on my actual paper because this is just for showing you what the different colors look like. Make sure to put the tops back on your paints so they don't dry out. These are tubed paints. You can also get them in dry paints. Here's a set of dry watercolor paints. I never pretty much ever use these. Now if I was traveling, I might use these. But I will link to them in the About section along with all the tube paints. I'll talk a little bit more about brushes after we go through this process of showing you these colors. I'm going to wet my brush and just grab a little of that paint. There's full concentration of that red, it's an awesome color. I'm going to water it down a bit and show you the nice pink that it makes. That's scarlet lake, and here we have alizarin crimson, which is a cool red. Alizarin crimson is extremely transparent, a little bit more transparent than the scarlet lake, and water down. It's a cooler color of red. Next I'm going to move into the yellows. My favorite yellow to use is this new gamboge. These are all Winsor & Newton watercolor paints. It looks really dark when you put it out of the tube, but when you mix it with water, it starts to show exactly what it is. It's a very warm yellow. Water down. There's little gamboge in Winsor & Newton. A cool yellow I use is lemon yellow. This is a good one to mix with blue if you want to make greens that are brighter. You can see it's a lot cooler color than this. This has more red in it, this is just a cooler green or yellow. This particular color is a little more opaque, so when you paint it over other things, here's a little test page; there's a little more opaqueness to this particular watercolor than there is to some of the others. Here I'm going to water it down and spread it out, very light. An addition to the palette that isn't required is this lovely green and is called green gold. This is not essential to your primary palate but I really like this color, so I'm going to go ahead and show you. It's a very yellow green. Let's spread that out a little bit. Awesome color, I love it. Now getting into the blues, this is cerulean blue; goes more towards the green or cool colors. Very transparent. It also, you'll see as I'm painting with it, has granular next to it. Go ahead and spread it out here. My all-time favorite blue is French ultramarine, which is a middle to warmer blue beautiful ultramarine. I'm going to go ahead and throw in my Payne's gray here. Payne's gray is what I like to use most of the time for my black. It's just a very dark gray-blue black. It's much richer than black. I also occasionally use black wash because I just want to solid black without any blue in it. Here's the Payne's gray when you water it down, really pretty. I wanted to share a few other extra colors with you that are earth tones and also a couple that are not as easy to get when you're mixing. I'm going to show those to you now. The first one is yellow ocher. I love the yellow ocher, you could actually make it with the colors I've already shared. All these earth tones can be made with the colors I've shared. But this is just a little bit easier when you first start now to have at least a couple of colors that you don't have to mix yourself. I do highly recommend that you do mix colors and learn to mix colors. It's a very good practice to just know how colors are going to work together. There's yellow ocher and burnt umber, brown color, and raw umber, which is more of a cooler brown color tending toward yellow. The burnt umber tends towards a red color and the raw umber tends towards a yellow color. Yellow ocher is a little more orangey. Those are just some earth colors that are fun to mix into your paint or use as they are. Last two are on the green side terre verte. Terre verte is a very clean, blue-green, very transparent, another color you could mix. Finally, one that I can't seem to mix very well, but it's probably possible is cobalt [inaudible]. Now I want to say something about cobalt colors. Cobalts are toxic, so you want to keep them out of reach of children or your animals. No drinking water with cats or dogs when you're using cobalt colors. The same is true for cadmiums. Cadmiums and cobalts are toxic. There are alternatives, there are cadmium hue colors that I try to buy instead of the pure cadmium colors, those are not toxic. I don't know for sure if there's a cobalt alternative. I have a little extra room here, so I'm going to share one more color and it's rose matter. Some of these colors I just don't use very much, but I thought I'd give them a mention. This is a little different than alizarin crimson, but it's in the same family. It's a little cooler than this alizarin crimson. If you want a cooler pink tone, this is a good one. That's it for the watercolor colors. I'm going to go ahead and move on to the brushes now. Once again, I'm pretty simple with my brushes. I'm going to share a few brushes that I don't use very much which are good for some people. But I always pretty much always use round brushes. These are my rounds. I use a large size round for covering a lot of territory if I'm doing a background wash or something like that. This is a partial sable unfortunately and synthetic brush made by Winsor & Newton. I will link to this plus a pure synthetic alternative in my About section. Also, I like this mimic Kolinsky round size 12 brush. These mimic brushes come to a great point to get detailed plus a whole lot of paint like sable, but they're not stable, they are all synthetic. This is the final one is the mimic which 80 percent of the time I use this one, maybe 70 percent. Also worth a mention is flat brushes. These are a couple of size flats that I use very infrequently, but they're good for making patterns, more square type shapes. You can also hold them at an angle and use them in this direction, which gives you a line. These are a couple of the flats that I have. There's also a couple other brushes that a lot of watercolor artists use. I never use them but I'm going to mention them to you. There this angled brush. I'm not remembering what it's called right now, but I will add that into the About section. This fine liner brush, these are crazy thin. If you're doing a lot of line work, this is great. There you have it, my recommendations on brushes. Now, let's move on to the palette. Of course, if you're using dry paints, they come with a palette. The top becomes the palette, so yeah, you can see it. I recommend trying to find something with a white surface because that helps with mixing colors. It's hard to know what your color is if you're working on a different color palette because colors really are affected by what's around them. What I use primarily always is this big old fat palette here, and I will link to this in the supplies. Anyway, you can see how messy I keep this. I do have extra colors here I haven't shared with you. There's a purple here that I never use. I don't know what some of these are, they've been sitting on my palette forever without being used. As you can see I keep it really messy, which is good, particularly for what we're about in this class. What else? Water containers. I have these old well used water containers, but you can use anything for water containers. I do recommend that you have two, one will work in a pinch. Two is good because you can use one to get the primary amount of watercolor out of the brush, and the second one you can use for adding two watercolors. It'll be cleaner anyway than the first one you're using to really clean out your brushes with. Some other miscellaneous supplies you might want to have on hand; I enjoy using watercolor pencils in my work. I don't use them conventionally, but I do enjoy bringing them in for cheeks and details and stuff. They are great to use though on wet-on-wet. I love how smooth and soaky they get. I'll be demonstrating some of that in this class. For white, there's a couple of choices here. One is to use designer gouache. This is Winsor & Newton designer gouache. It's an opaque watercolor. The other one is Posca white acrylic paint marker. These are awesome for creating eyeballs on cats and such and you can also use them for details and making patterns and things on a darker watercolor. Those are the two whites that I recommend. I use a Staedtler fine line black pen. The reason I like these is because they're waterproof, so you can work back into your watercolor without having to worry about it running. Lastly, I like to use India ink with my watercolor because it's so unpredictable particularly if you add it into wet watercolor. But I also like it just because it's so black. It does need to dry thoroughly or it will run into your watercolor if you add more water. India ink, you can use almost anything. My current thing I'm using is Speedball super black. I also use a crow quill pen which I'll put here with these supplies. This is not anything that special. I will link to where I get these nibs in the supplies list. I can't really even tell you what size they are, they're just nibs. I'm not a big specialist when it comes to the nibs on pens because we're not trying to be tight here or perfect. You could use pretty much anything. You could even dip a stick into pen ink and draw into your art so keep that in mind. Also, just a side note, you can load watercolor into these pens and use these pens at linework with watercolor. I will demonstrate a little of that as well. Another thing that's great to have with watercolor is a spray bottle. I use this to wet my watercolors in the palette prior to using them. It helps to get things moving before you start painting. Also, it can be used to wet the paper and also spray into something you're doing to make crazy effects. You can use all kinds of things to get textures and paintings, one of them is salt. I don't ever use salt in my paintings but it makes a really interesting effect if you want to play with it. One last thing, paper. A really affordable watercolor paper, it's 140 pounds, it's a cold pressed, is Canson watercolor paper. I love using this when I'm loosening up. It's a great paper, isn't the most high-quality paper in the world, but it's suitable for what we're doing here. I also use it for finished pieces. I will link to that in the supplies. Another couple of papers I like to use are the fluid watercolor papers. I love these because they are glued on two sides which really helps the painting not to buckle as much. It will buckle a little, but it will flatten out as it dries. There's two of these, one is their regular I think it's slightly less expensive, eight by eight pads. They come in different sizes as well. I like working in eight by eight for my artwork. The other one is this 100 percent cotton paper. Both of these papers are acid free. I do believe this one is a little bit higher quality because it's 100 percent cotton, so it will cost a little bit more. I will link to all this stuff, of course, in the supplies list. I do think I'm done now, and we'll move onto the next section which is starting to paint. 4. Let's Paint Flowers: We're ready to start painting here. I just remembered one more thing that you might want to have on hand. Oh, my goodness, I have a cat meowing. Come here, Tucker. Someone's come to visit. The only way to quiet him down is to pick him up. Are you feeling neglected? He just wants to watercolor with me, but I have too much stuff up here on my desk to shoot this video. So he'll have to watercolor with me another time. Cat air. Let's get started on this watercoloring. I want to tell you is that usually when I'm starting to paint or thinking about painting, I have all kinds of stuff come up to try to stop me. It culminates into a sense of avoidance that somehow I don't want to paint or there's this resistance of some sort. This is like clockwork that shows up for me. I've had a billion years here of experience with creating and it still shows up. The lucky thing is, the awesome thing is that I realized that I don't have to pay attention to that feeling or the thoughts that come up that stop me. I can keep creating and go into my creativity no matter what the resistance is in the moment. I have that happening now, a great example. I don't know what I'm going to paint here, but I'm going to start in and see what happens. My goal here is to share this process of loosening up, and it could end up being a mess, and that's perfectly imperfect. I have one other thing I want you to know about that I have as a supply, and that's just this extra pieces of paper. I like to use these for checking my colors. Also, I'll clean some of the pain out with these papers. You can get some pretty fun textures and stuff with these, that you can cut up later for your art. I have that over here next to my palette. I've already done this set of watercolor flowers. I'm going to paint him again and then I'll come back in with another layer of watercolor. I'm using my number 12 brush first. Remember, we're doing loose here. You want to make sure you fill up the brush with a lot of filler and a lot of water. You don't want to be stingy with your paint on your brush, your paint and water. That will give you a different effect altogether, which is a dry brush effect, which can be fun to use as well. But for this demonstration, we're going to be using a lot of paint and water in our brush. That's what I'm doing here, and I'm not trying to make things a particular shape. I'm just blobbing it and around. There's a lot of water here in this yellow and I like having that. I'm going to add a stem now into the wet.. We're doing wet on wet here. I'm going to use the Payne's gray, which makes beautiful contrast. The place where the Payne's gray and the yellow come together, will make a nice green. With this number 12 brush, you can get a very fine line to start a leaf shape and then press down, coming up and then attaching it to your stem. Very simple. Very convenient to have is a dried out brush that you've dried out in paper towels and then splay it out, and this becomes a little vacuum for paint. You can dip it back in when the paint is very wet or just let your paint puddle, whatever way it turns out. Either way it works. I'm going to rinse it out, come into this yellow a little bit, and grab some of that color. The other thing you can do is drop a little extra color into this flower while it's still wet. Get a little bit more warmth into it. Try some blue. You can see that's a very thick brush, but you can get some thin thins with this brush. You don't have to have a hairline brush. These round brushes are super versatile. I'm just changing my angle back and forth to get these different shapes. I'm not really worrying about it. I'm just going for it here and seeing what shows up. This is the joy of staying loose, not planning ahead, of just seeing what happens. There are no mistakes here, it's all good. While the paint is wet, I'm going to come back in with some stems. This again is Payne's gray. Get some of the cat hair out of it. This wet on wet is wonderful because not only does it keep us loose, it gives a lot of happy accidents. You can also do leaves in two strokes, three or four strokes. The thing about loose watercolor or staying loose, the less strokes makes it pretty fun. If you can do it in one stroke, that's fantastic. But because the idea here is to loosen up, if you use one stroke or use 20 strokes, it's okay. The point is just to keep the paint flowing, keep it alive, and let go of those crazy thoughts that come up that say you're making a mess because they really don't know what they're talking about. Even if you are making a mess, it's okay. That's part of the process and part of what keeps it fun. I'm going to continue with my flowers here. Try some red tulips. Switch it over to number 10 brush. This time I'm going to come in with the green stem. It's a gold green mixed with the Payne's gray. The main thing I'm doing here is just paying attention to this process. I'm seeing this point here. I'm spreading the brush by giving pressure. I'm just pulling the end with the end of the brush. You could practice this if you want or you could just go for it and see how it turns out. Now, if your shape turns out weird, say you get a brushstroke like that, this is also beautiful. Lots of paint, lots of water in your brush. You can see what's happening over here. I'm just leaving it alone and it's creating a cool texture. Same is true with these blue flowers. I don't know what any of these flowers are called except for the tulip. I'm going to come in with a flat brush now to see what that does. It's really cool to use a flat brush for patterns and stuff because you get a really crisp edge. You can also use it on its side to get some variation in shape. Of course, the stem laying the brush on its side. Because I have so much paint, I'm not getting as thin of a line as I might. See, with less paint, you can get a thinner line. I love that dry brush right there. See, that's just a happy accident. Dry brush, wonderful for texture. That would make some good kitty fur. Got to get more watercolor in this brush because I just like the way it looks and the puddly effect of a lot of water and paint in my brush. That extra supply I want to add in is this hairdryer, which comes in really handy to speed the process along. I'm going to pick up some of this paint over here on this edge of this flower. I pulled this out of the paper pad to have it loose here. Sometimes what I do with this is I'll bend it back and stuff to get that warp out. When you're using the other paper that's bound on two sides, the actual paper will flatten out as it dries. I'm going to go back to this first painting I did that I forgot to turn on my camera for and add an extra layer on top. This would be wet on dry now, because this is perfectly dry and I'm going to add wet on top. This is also got a little warp, so I'm going to bend it back, get it a little flatter. I've got some Payne's gray here, very dark, and I'm going to come in with some details. Still staying loose with this line work. As you can see, I'm still working really wet here. These are a little drier, these little details here. Working with a simple color palette where I'm not using a lot of different colors really makes it easier to not spend a lot of time thinking about that piece. Although it's fun to mix colors, and if you want to do that as part of your practice, I'd highly recommend it. But in the process of painting though, if we take that decision-making out of the process and we just work with some basic colors, that makes it go a little more smoothly for those of us who are beginners. Whatever we can do to smooth the process out, the better. Couple of different ways to do leaves is to add the one side back in to give it that line delineation. You can also do an actual line in the middle, and if you want to get more detailed, throw a few of these in. By the way, another tip, if it feels like it's getting too dark, you can come back in with a clean tissue and dirt it slightly. That still gives it a bit of a texture, but it doesn't make it as pronounced. I might have picked up a little too much there, so I'm going to come back in. This gives it the leaf feel without being too tight. Adding another layer of wet paint onto dry, gives it a little more dimension. It's not necessary. A lot of my paintings are just one layer. Sometimes I'll throw in details, particularly on animals, like fur and stuff. Let's go ahead and move on to the next section. 5. Other Additions: Before we move on to painting some cats, I'm going to do a few more things with these watercolor flowers, but I'm also going to paint some blobs so that I can show you what I do with adding extra types of supplies, some watercolor pencils and such into this. I've got these flowers here, and I'm going to add a little bit of colored pencil into it. I really enjoy using watercolor pencil to create textures, but also to work wet on wet. I'm going to give you a little demo of the wet on wet here. I started messing around with watercolor onto wet paper here. I'm going to do a little more demo here to show you. I'm going to start with a new piece of paper. I'm just going to add some water, and of course I dipped into the water that was used for cleaning brushes to [inaudible] the clean water, but this way you can see where the water is. I'm going to use a black Prismacolored pencil. This is the way they work normally. Colored pencils, if you bear down a lot, you can get some fairly dark darts but there's always that paper texture going on. I'm going to run this pencil line into the wet and see what happens. It is just amazing how that color just comes through and you get a little bit of splaying with it, but I like that mess. Anyway, this is really silky when you use watercolor pencils on wet paper, and you try another color now, here's some red. There's the normal colored pencil, and then you go into this and its just so much smoother. Some of the pencils are not as reactive as others. This is not as reactive as the black, let me try another one. Let me try some blue here. see the blue is really nice. You come in into the dry paper and you get this effect. I just love that you get a completely different color field than you do here. Again, you can come into this water color and spread it around, if that's how you want to use it. I don't use it very often this way, but it is a possibility. It works really well for this type of watercolor where we're loosening up. That inspired me. Now I'm going to create a flower shape with this pencil. Clean my brush out, and see what happens when I display this out. Add another little stem. That's crazy, but fun. That could be somebody's hair. This is highly recommend if you decide you want to go with the pencils to do some wet on wet techniques and try one more color here. How about some purple? Add a little bit more water on there, and so we went from this to this. Also keep in mind, you can use your water and dip your pencil and get it wet, and then use it that way, and you will get more pigment coming out of the pencil when it's wet. There's that way of playing with it as well. Here's a red, that one doesn't work as well. See, I'm playing here and finding out what these do. Let's try a blue, spreads pretty well. I still prefer the wet on wet. That happens when you have the water on the paper and you come back in. That's a little demo of the watercolor pencils, which I also did not mention in the supplies list, so I will link to those there as well. I'm going to use some India ink now with my watercolor and show you how fun that can be. I'm going to start with some red in here, just to give it some variation, and now I'm going to take my India ink. You can also use watercolor, like I said in this, but first I'm going to use the India ink and come into this drawing, this painting. Some really cool things can happen here. When the India ink hits the water color, the way it spreads is really cool. Now with India ink, you can do this variation in line as well. Depending on your paper, you can get more and less spread. I don't know what's going to happen when I'm doing this. It's just such a guessing game and I love the spontaneity of this. That's an India ink demonstration. I'm going to load up my dip pen, my nib with watercolor and show you how that works. First I'm going to get my brush loaded with paint. Got the blue here. I'm going to use that. I'm going to put the paint into the nib. You have to keep loading your brush to do this. We can use watercolor and a pen, just like we use India ink. It's a little more work because you have to keep reloading with your watercolor from your brush. I'm going to take that and spread it and get some really nice effects. Since this is still wet, this India ink, I can come in and blur it out with some water. Craziness happens. We can use it as some lighter, making a mess here and having a good time. I do just love spreading the India ink. Here's the mess, and we've just practiced and had fun. It doesn't matter, we're just learning, we're just loosening up. That's what I want you to try. Just try a sheet where you're playing with watercolors, you're playing with watercolor pencils. How do inks blend in? I'm going to come back into this painting now with a second coat of wet on dry. But first, I'm going to take a minute and go get some new water. I'm going to switch over my waters here. Make the one that's still a little dirty. The cleaning water and the other one will stay the adding to paint water. Back to this. This is a little bit warped, so I'm going to do this to get it back in shape. You have to be careful when you're bending so you don't put creases in it by just warping it back. We've got this smart painting, and I'm going to come back in with another layer. I'm using my extra piece of paper to test the color. Let's pick up a little of that blue. It feels a little intense. Going to dab that back in. Give this piece a little more depth by adding just a few highlights. Also, while you're drawing flowers, you can make some various types of flowers to mix in. The more variety, the better. Having variety is really fun to do, but also know that you can keep it extremely simple. Watercolor can be done as just a mood or a feeling, just blending colors together. That's a wonderful way to keep things nice and loose. Since we're loosening up here, I just like to keep in mind that I'm paying attention and being in the moment with each brush stroke. Sometimes those brushstrokes are really fast and sometimes they're slow. But I'm not trying to make it any particular way. The thing about loosening up is you're allowing the brush to lead you in a direction. As it goes, you follow along and it's a an exercise in mindfulness. But we also have these inner critics come up while we're working that want to tighten up and really make it look like something. We can just let those voices go by. There's no need to engage with them and try to change them or make them go away. They will just float away, just like they came in. There's no need to fuss over them. I'm going to call this done for now and start working on some critters, specifically cats in the next video. 6. Fun with Cats: It's time to loosen up with cats and know that you can substitute cats for dogs, birds. Maybe I'll put some birds in here too because that would be fun and they're easy to do really loose. I'm going to create some cats. I'm going to bring in a few extra supplies here, the whites, either the posca white or I might bring in some gauge, just to show you what that does. The gauge is not quite as opaque as the posca white, but it is something you can move around. It also has a flat finish, whereas the posca tends to be a little bit more acrylicy key it can resist paint. Different strokes for different folks. Either one is fun to use. Let's get going on the kitties. I already have a cat painting here, but I'm going to go ahead and paint some more to show you how I got to here. Just going to use my smaller number 10 brush for this. This is the Creative Mark Mimik brush. With cats, like a lot of different animals, you can really just paint a blob and add some ears. These Mimik brushes come to a really nice fine point. You don't have to have a bunch of brushes to get the single amount of paint on here, you've got a blob shape plus you get some fine line shapes. I'm just adding their blob for the body, this is not going to be exactly like the painting I just did, but it'll be similar. I didn't have any reference when I was doing the last painting. I just started painting cats and filled it in as I went. This will be its own deal, its own experiment and loose watercolor painting. We got that cat done. Mixing it up with how these cats are sitting. Keep that brush loaded up. Sometimes I start with the end of the cat's tail and sometimes I start with a cat's tail attaches to the cat. This time I'm starting with the ears and adding the blob on there, a little blob body. I really love how watercolor gets this granular effect. The less you mess with the watercolor while it's drying, the more you'll get that. Not all cats are thin, so I'm going to add some variety here with a wider body. I'm not going to come in and add anything as far as the legs and stuff go until after this dries. I'm just using the colors I had on because these work just fine. A cat can be green. I like to put long tails on my cats most of the time. I really recommend if you want to get the look I get, that you don't work back in too much with your watercolor catch, you put it down, you leave it and let it dry. You can come in with more details after. But to keep it spontaneous, we don't want to keep noodling around. That's a whole different look and that can work too. If you're having fun with it, go for it. If you want a little cleaner, look where the watercolor just dries as a big puddle. That's what I enjoy doing. It's a loose looking technique. That's the way I handle it. I get a lot of expression in a cat by just making it wiggly. There's an almost no distinction between where the tail starts and where the body starts and that's fun. I like that. I didn't plan it. That's part of the loose watercolor technique. I also, once again, like the way this paint separates out and creates its own pattern. If you work back in you'll lose this, the way this paint is falling out like that and sort of like the paint is coagulating into little pockets of color. I don't have the technical terms for anything when it comes to watercolor or anything I do. I'm sure there's all these perfect words for this. The pigment settling out like that, puddling and all that stuff, but you're going to get the spontaneous words made up in the moment with me, so back to this painting. That time I started from the cat body and it came out. Blob, ears, more blobbing. I'm creating a pattern where I'm fitting the pet cats together. I keep going back to my palette and I keep a lot of paint in there to keep it puddly. Puddly is good for me. These cats I create like this make a really cool pattern. I like to use them as patterns. Just cool they fit everything together like a jigsaw puzzle. Plus it makes the painting tell you what the next move is rather than having a drawing set out to begin with. I'm following the cues from the painting itself and working like that keeps it really loose and spontaneous and flowy. I'm going to add some birds now, which I like to do quite frequently. They are a really good thing to add to balance out the space. Also sometimes I add mice or plants to balance it out. Now balancing it out is not necessary, it's just what I enjoy doing. Follow your inner guidance on that. Where the painting is taking you and don't worry so much about what it should look like. We're letting go of the outcome here and just playing. I didn't know I was going to be going in this direction with these cats. They're just happening. The more you paint, the more this will happen for you too, where you don't have to think so much about the actual shape of things. If you haven't done a lot of cats before or you're drawing dogs or hedgehogs or whatever it is, you really don't know what they look like, you can always have some research up on Pinterest or something like that to give you an idea of how they look and that will keep you from getting too bogged down in trying to draw it just right. Plus remember with loose watercolor, it's all about happy accidents. As you practice more, it's happy accidents mixed with the knowledge of what's going to happen a little bit, but I don't really think about a lot of that when I'm painting, I just let it happen. As you paint, the more and more you paint, the less and less you worry about the outcome, the more that these happy accidents seem to show up or you start to be able to recognize them. Even when they look pretty bad at first, they end up pulling together at the end. I'm going to get back to this cat painting. Like cats, birds are just a blob with a line coming off them from the tail, as far as how I create birds. Blob, tail. Blob and tail. Let's switch colors now. It's bluebirds. I've got these to the point where I'm going to stop for now and let it dry. Since I already have this other cat painting done, I'm going to use that to finish this up. I'm going to bend this back again because it's a little bit warped. Being careful not to crease it, I'm just bending it gently. I'm going to come in with the white posca pen now for the eyes and maybe some details, I'm not sure. I'm going to use this, and then I'll come in with some black and some more watercolor for our second layer. When I'm using this posca pen, I come on to some dark paper and try it out and make sure it's working properly. You've got to shake them. I'll show you on here, sometimes you need to pump them and sometimes it'll blob out. But before you start using it on your painting, you want to make sure you've got a nice line without a lot of blobbing. Time for the trustee glasses. We call these my surprised eyes. I'll leave a couple without the eyes because I'm going to make them closed. I'm going to come in with my black staedtler pen. The beaks, the legs, and the birds. Just basically do a line for the beak and two lines for their legs, very simple. Go ahead and do all the birds first. You can do this with India ink as well, or any black pen. I like this because I can work back in with water fairly immediately and not mash the black into the paint. Starting in on some cat details. What makes a cat a cat? Some whiskers and fingernails. Once that white dries you can come back on the iris. I just like to mix up the expressions on my cats, keep them interesting. If you overdo your pupil like that, you can come back in with some white and fix it. I'm going to show you another trick right now where I'm going to pick up some paint with a wet clean brush and a tissue. Let's do that now. I've got this wet brush and I'm going to come in and make a little shape for the muzzle on this cat. Then I go back in and dab it out where the wet is, and it makes a little white spot. Do that again over here, one more. I usually do this for really dark characters so that you can see their nose and mouth. I think that's good. Back with my black pen. Always good to turn your paper if needed. While I'm here, I'm going to go ahead and do these other cats that are that direction. When I'm shooting videos, I usually don't turn the paper and I got to move my arm in weird directions to try to get the things the way I want it. There's no need to do that, you can just turn your paper. Right side up again. Fingernails. Again, I come in with some watercolor and add some details, that we can get some more legs on here and add some more toenails for these kitties. Whatever else details come up, I'll go along. I'm going to use watercolors for these legs, you can also use the black pen for these darker cats. I'm watering the paint down a little bit now to add some fur details to the cats. Oops, so I just stuck my hand in there, I'm going to come back later and fix that. Or not, maybe I'll just leave it. Basically, just blobbing it on here for the markings. This one I didn't like, so I'm going to pick it up. You can see when I picked it up, I got that same mark and I'm going to play with that. I wet some spots and pick it up to get part of the markings on this kitty. More stripes, some wider stripes, I'm using the brush at a little bit of an angle. It's really easy when you're working like this to run your hand through the paint. Try to stick my finger onto one of the dried characters and use that to hold my hand up while I'm painting. I added some paint back in there to darken that. Here's where I stick my hand in it before and I like the texture that ended up there. I just stick my hand in here too and it's okay. I'm going to leave it. Add a few more details here. Come back in with the white pen. I'm going to put a little color pencil in here now. I've got a pink watercolor pencil called rose for the color, and again this is Prismacolor. I'm going to come in to add the cheeks now. This works really well on dark colors too. Whereas if I did the cheeks with actual watercolor, you wouldn't see it on this darker cat. Whoops, that was still wet. I'll leave it for now. It doesn't really show up on this bird, so I'm going to come in with a darker color. This is rose rouge carmin. I don't think that will show up on there, no. Rouge [inaudible] some French word. As you're doing this, you can start to see places where you might have missed using your black for the details. I also like to come in with the watercolor pencils to do little spots on the ears for the inside of the ears. You don't have to do this, you could just leave the ears the way they are. Just adds a little extra detail. I think for sake of time, I'm going to use this black pen to do the wings on the birds. You could also come in and do these with watercolor, which works nicely. If you know my birds, I often put a little thing on top just because I think it's cute. Makes them look a little bit like exotic birds. Often times for the finishing touch on my animals, I'll do a drop shadow, it just grounds everybody. I'm going to go ahead and do that now. I just use a very light Payne's gray to do this. Again, I don't fret over it, I just paint them in and let it go. Sometimes it makes a mess, but that's okay because we're doing loose watercolor here and we're not being concerned about the outcome. Let's give that a go. I've got my water down Payne's gray, its got some other colors in it unintentionally, but that's okay. This is a little dark still. I'll really water it down just enough so it shows, and I'm going to go ahead and turn this to the side. I need to come back in and finish those cheeks there on that one. I'm just running a line underneath the actual cat. Very simple drop shadows. If it overlaps the cat, it's okay, and if you get this color pulled out with the water, that's okay too. I do believe that's everybody drop shadowed. Add a few too underneath the cat's tails. Not completely successful, but I'm okay with it. You can see it just sort of grounds the animals like they're sitting on a surface rather than floating. You'd probably want to not do the drop shadow if you're going to do a repeat pattern with these. You can do it, but the repeat pattern looks really clean if it doesn't have a drop shadow, that way if you want to toss the pattern around, you don't have a drop shadow making it look like it should go in one direction. Just a thought on that. This is not a pattern design class, but in case you're interested in that sort of thing, I thought I just mention that. This kitty over here needs some nails. Is there anybody else that needs nails? Yes. I'm going to give it a quick dry and then see if it needs anything else. I'm just going to throw in a little bit here, not too much. I've got a few spots that I would like to mess with. Totally unnecessary, but I'm going to do it anyway to show you it can be done. Right here I had some pickup on that paint that I want to fill in. I've got some similar color and I'm just going to come in and dab that in there. Here I dab some watercolor from my finger, so there's always that going on. I'm also going to pick up some of these things I'm messing with here. Depending on your paper, this one doesn't pick up as well as some others. The fluid watercolor paper picks up a little bit better when you go back in. This is a good thing and a bad thing, because it's a good thing if you want to pick up something that was a mark, it's a bad thing if you want to work back into the painting and it starts picking up the paint that's already there. Things to keep in mind. You don't need to do this. We're not trying to make a perfect watercolor painting here. This is all about playing and having fun and loosening up. Our imperfections are perfect. I love seeing the artist's hand in artwork. I love seeing where they made marks and where things might have gone iffy and then they came back. All of these things are important just to have fun with. Remember that when you're creating and there is no need to clean up your artwork like I've been doing just now, you can leave it with all the marks and mishaps. That's part of the fun of it too. Done with the kitties, let's move on to the next section. 7. Bonus Cat & Flowers Pluse Cat on Head!: Well, that was a long video about creating cats. In this section, I'm going to give you a little bonus of bringing cats and flowers together. Although I'm not working live, I'm going to be speaking over these videos as I'm showing them here and giving you some information about them as I go. Let's start right in. Okay, to start off with here, I'm using some of that beautiful scarlet lake, coming in with some of that yellow new gamboge, and some ultramarine. Also, I'm throwing in some Alizarin crimson for some pink. I knew I was going to add a cat to this, so I started adding some mixture of mostly Paynes gray to add the cat in the background and you can see everything's really wet, so it's bleeding into each other, which is fantastic and slightly scary, but I just kept going here. I was playing with the flowers, coming back in, working the cat a little bit more to blend in the colors that were bleeding. I then came in and started adding some extra layers into the flowers as well as leaves. This is very sped up, as you can tell, the total time of the painting took me probably, I don't know, an hour, 45 minutes, something like that and this video is obviously much shorter than that. I just kept going with adding additional blobs of paint, different colors. I was being mindful to add light colors so that I wasn't adding colors that were opposite end of the color wheel. I also bent the paper there, so I could get the warp out of it. I continue adding colors, making the centers of flowers, stems. Then I started working on the cat some more and what I did to get the whites of the eyes for this is, I came in with some water with a paintbrush and then dabbed out the color like I showed you in the previous video. After that, I came in with some gouache. This is the first time I've actually used gouache in this class. It really made for a white, white without having a lot of paint bleed up from underneath with the watercolor. That's why I picked up as much paint as possible first. I then came in with the gouache in the white as well as mixed with color and brought some more details to the flowers. Then I added some parts and pieces to the leaves and colored pencil cheeks. I really wanted to keep this true mixed media and I brought in some more colored pencils, details on the flowers, switching from blue to red and you can see it just becomes a crazy floral bouquet. Few more details. All this time the eyeballs are drying for the cat, which is the gouache again, the opaque watercolor. I'm coming back in now with some blue watercolor, and then I mix the blue with the gouache to come back in and make it a little more opaque. Turning to the side, I'm giving the cat a little bit of eyeliners, a nose, a little mouth, and of course the whiskers. I came back in with the same color for a few more details on the cat, gave it the ears, and gave it the pupils. Back into the flowers some more and, of course, always sign your work. A little highlight on the eyes, some more detail on the flowers. The last thing I wanted to do was to bring in some detail to show off that nose and mouth, so I decided to add a little muzzle on this kitty with a color pencil. All done. On this one, I was fortunate enough to have Tucker helping me while I did my cat on head. I start off with just blobbing this orange paint around. Add my little blob head cat there. I like to move quick with these. I get a little bit tight around the face shape and then I just go crazy with the hair being careful with the shape of the face. I'm bringing in my India ink now while that paint is still wet. This is what I love so much. It just does such cool stuff unplanned by me and very crazy. I had to shoo Tucker away unfortunately because things were really wet and he was starting to be a little bit cat-like. Playing with the eyes now. I made a lot of faces in my life. I usually start by putting the eyeballs on and then the nose and mouth inside. Then on this one I put the pupil on first. Then I went back in and started adding the details to the cat. After the ink dried, I brought in the iris color on the portrait. It was a little too dark, so I lightened it up with a tissue. Then I worked the India ink pattern into the shirt. I'm using varying pressures with my ink pen here to try to get some line variation since this is working on dry paper. The lighter touch, just like a paintbrush, the thinner the lines. Back to the kitty face now that the watercolor is dried and bringing in more watercolor. This watercolor is being painted on top of a semi damp ink. I then added a few more details on the kitty and some cheeks. Lobbying off the excess color. This is not a perfect science, but it sure is fun. Of course, signature. I went in to fix this a little bit and added a highlight in the eye with some gouache. There you have it. I hope you enjoyed those. Let's move on to our final section. 8. Final Thoughts: I've been playing with these paintings now for maybe an hour or two and I've got quite a few over here. Just imagine what you can do if you play a little bit every day and let go of those inner critic voices, just let him pass by. Don't let it stop you from creating because your creativity is with you all the time. Creativity is always happening. We don't have to be distracted by those thoughts that pass by. They really don't have anything true to say to you. Also, I want to mention that oftentimes while I'm painting a piece of artwork, I have a "hate-it" phase that I go through where I just think it's not going correctly, but I recognize it for what it is and I keep going anyway. Just remember that as well. You may also have those phases during your artwork and I recommend you just keep going. You could also walk away and come back, either way, is perfect. I hope you guys are working on your projects. I'd love to see what you're creating. I think that there's going to be so much variety because we're not trying to make our stuff look like somebody else. While you're painting these things, or whatever it is you decide to paint, remember that part of the joy of this, beyond just having fun and loosening up. Is that your natural voice, your aesthetic, your personality starts to come out. The less we try to make it happen a certain way. Look at this like a practice in seeing whatever happens and not as something that has to be a finished product. What you'll find out as you go along, that your perfectly imperfect paintings are great the way they are. As a matter of fact, they're perfect. You may also find that this perfectly imperfect painting is your style and becomes something that really is perfect for you and what you want to do. We don't have to have a tight style. We can have a looser style, a more splashy style, a more intuitive and spontaneous style, and all of it is good. I hope you've enjoyed this class. I really appreciate everyone being here. Please, share your projects. I'd love to see them and I'm sure other class members would love to see them as well. If you'd like to have a support group while you're creating. I have a daily creating group on Facebook that you're welcome to join. You can find the link to that in the about section. In addition, I have other classes here on Skillshare I'd like you to check out. One is Discovering your Art Style. There's also a class on bringing storytelling into your art. There's a procreate class if you're a digital artist and there's also a class on mixed media collage. With that said, I look forward to seeing everybody's work and happy creating.