Modern Watercolor Techniques: Explore Skills to Create On-Trend Paintings | Cat Coquillette | Skillshare

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Modern Watercolor Techniques: Explore Skills to Create On-Trend Paintings

teacher avatar Cat Coquillette, Artist + Entrepreneur + Educator

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.

      Art Supplies


    • 3.

      Sketching the Motif


    • 4.

      Color Palettes


    • 5.

      Brush Control


    • 6.



    • 7.

      Blending Colors on Paper


    • 8.

      Making Watercolor Blooms


    • 9.

      Paper Wet VS Dry


    • 10.

      Ombré Gradient Washes


    • 11.

      Fixing Mistakes


    • 12.

      Adding Details


    • 13.

      Metallic Accents


    • 14.

      Final Tips


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About This Class

Explore your creativity and expand your painting skills with these step-by-step watercolor techniques! We’ll be focusing on modern techniques that you can’t achieve with any other medium – this is part of what makes watercolors so special.

My watercolor paintings have been sold throughout the world on over 1,00,000 products and counting. My painting style is modern and on-trend, which is a big part of why my work sells so well.

I distill complicated motifs into simple shapes with a whimsical touch and plenty of intricate whitespace line-work. I blend a few non-traditional techniques within the watercolor medium for a unique and contemporary aesthetic.

Today, I’m going to teach you my process in an easy to follow, step-by-step guide. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced artist looking to expand your painting techniques, this class covers it all.

You'll Learn:

  • Art supplies I recommend, including paint brands, paper, and brush types
  • Tips for sketching out the perfect composition
  • Mixing vibrant color palettes
  • Brush control techniques so you can create the perfect stroke
  • Painting with whitespace in mind Blending hues together on paper
  • Creating beautiful watercolor blooms and ombré gradient washes
  • Fixing mistakes as you paint, like splattered paint or wayward brushstrokes
  • Adding in tiny details to your painting

As a special treat, I’m including a *bonus video* at the end of this class that shows you how to weave gold textures into your final watercolor paintings with Photoshop. This is a little trick I use to create modern accents within my paintings, whether it’s a little touch of copper tone or rose-gold.

When you enroll in my class, I’ll even give you a free 6-pack of JPEGs that contain a range of metallic tones for you to work with.

Don’t forget to follow me on Skillshare. Click the “follow” button and you’ll be the first to know as soon as I launch a new course or have a big announcement to share with my students.

Class Resources:

Additional Resources:


Want even more watercolors? Check out my Botanical Watercolors class!


Ready for the next step? Learn how to scan in your watercolor painting so you can edit it digitally and sell it as art prints online!

Meet Your Teacher

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Cat Coquillette

Artist + Entrepreneur + Educator

Top Teacher

Hello there! I'm Cat Coquillette.

I'm a location-independent artist, entrepreneur, and educator. I run my entire creative brand, CatCoq, from around the world. My "office" changes daily, usually a coffee shop, co-working space, or airport terminal somewhere in the world. 

My brand aspires to not only provide an exhilarating aesthetic rooted in an appreciation for culture, travel and the outdoors, but through education, I inspire my students to channel their natural curiosity and reach their full potential.

CatCoq artwork and designs are licensed worldwide in stores including Urban Outfitters, Target, Barnes & Noble, Modcloth, Nordstrom, Bed Bath & Beyond, among many others. ... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Intro: Hey everyone, My name is Cat Coquillette and I'm back for my fourth Skillshare class. I'm the founder of CatCoq, an illustration and design brand. The backbone of my brand has always been watercolor paintings. It's my favorite medium and I've been honing my painting skills throughout my career. I license my artwork to brands like Urban Outfitters, ModCloth, Society6, and about 50 other companies. They turn my watercolor paintings into art prints for your home, as well as on products like phone cases, tote bags, apparel, curtains, rugs, leggings, beddings, tapestries, you name it. My watercolor paintings had been sold throughout the world on over 100,000 products and counting which means that one of my illustrations can be replicated thousands of times on a huge variety of products. My painting style is modern and on trend, which is a big part of why my work sells so well. I distill complicated motifs into simple shapes with a whimsical touch and plenty of intricate white space line work. I also blend a few non traditional techniques within the watercolor medium for a unique and contemporary aesthetic. Today, I'm going to teach you my process and an easy to follow step-by-step guide, whether you're a beginner or an advanced artist looking to expand your painting techniques this class covers at all. I'll begin by laying out the supplies I use, including paint brands, brush sizes, and paper types. Then we'll dive right in starting from sketching the motif to laying down our first brushstroke of paint on paper. I'll cover color balance and how we mix together the perfect two for my painting, as well as brush control techniques so you can create the perfect stroke from the tiniest details to large swaths of sky. I'll also show you how I paint with white space in mind, which is one of the keys to achieving a modern look and feel to watercolor. I'll explain how I fix mistakes as I'm painting, so you don't need to stress about splattered paint or wayward brush strokes. We'll dive right into some of the really cool and unique aspects of the medium, like creating beautiful paint rooms and Ombre gradient washers. These are the techniques you can't achieve with any other medium, and they're part of what makes watercolor so special to work with. As a special treat, I'm including a bonus video at the end of this class that shows you how to lead gold textures and your final watercolor paintings with Photoshop. This is a little trick I use to create modern accents within my paintings, whether it's a little touch of copper or Rose gold. When you enroll in my class, I'll even give you a variety of JPEGS that contain a range of metallic tones for you to work with. All right, ladies and gentlemen, we are covering a lot today, but I'll be breaking everything up into short videos so it's easy to follow along and digest. You can pause at any moment to take notes or skip ahead if you're eager to move on to the next section. If you have any questions, you can post them in the discussion thread down below. I read and respond everything you guys post. Don't forget to follow me on Skillshare by clicking the Follow button up top. This means that you'll be the first to know when I post giveaways for a free year of Skillshare, or I launch a new class, or just have some cool announcements to share with my students. You can also follow me on Instagram, @catcoq to see the latest works in progress. Ready to pick up techniques to create beautiful and modern watercolor paintings? Hit "Enroll" and let's get started. 2. Art Supplies: Let's go over the materials and supplies you'll need as you watercolor. So, we'll start with the staple paint. I use the Winsor Newton brand, the pigments are a little bit more vibrant and intense with these, and the pilots are quite a bit larger. So, this is what the inside looks like, it is a complete mess. But I've had this one for about two years now, so this is what happens. As you can see, you have the pan area where you have the individual pans, and then the pallets as well. So, because I paint predominantly with green, I reserve a lot of my pallet base for green paints, and then everything else just fits down here. So, when I paint, I use a combination of pans which are these, along with tubes. So, I'll show you what my tubes are. Keep them in my little urban outfitters pouch. I'm not as loyal to one brand with tubes, I can't just pick and choose when I go to the supply store, so I have a lot of tubes that are just some generic Thai version that I buy here in Thailand. The pigments are rich enough, so it doesn't really matter. You're going to get richer pigments with tubes than you do with panels, but I've also splurged a little bit and bought some Winsor Newton tubes. The ones I splurged on are the primary colors, so red, yellow and then there's a blue somewhere in here. Oh, I splurged on turquoise one time. Surprise, I should use this more often. Yeah. So, what I do is usually do a combination of pens and tubes. So, I'll squeeze a little tube area onto my pallet, and then mix it with some of the water colors in here, so that it's just a nice combination and I can get the pigment that I'm exactly looking for. So, let's move onto brushes. I have a lot of brushes. Similar to watercolor, I'm not necessarily loyal to just one brand, but I do look for certain characteristics when I get brushes. I want one really big fat brush. I don't even use this for a painting, I use it for removing the eraser marks from my paper so that my hands don't touch the page, so that I don't get the oils and dirt from my fingers onto the page. I also want to have one flat brush, I use this pretty often for washes which will get into a little bit later. Then the rest are just a variety of sizes, some really fine detail brushes. What I look for is something with a really sharp tip so that I can get great detail, and then a broad range of sizes. There is a difference between watercolor brushes and acrylic oil brushes. Acrylic and oil are usually stiffer and they don't hold as much water, whereas watercolor brushes are really soft and they hold a ton of water within the bristles. So, that's the main thing to look for, and as far as brands go, I don't have a ton of brand loyalty. If you do want to pick one brand, I use a lot of Renaissance, these brushes are really inexpensive and I go through them like crazy. So, especially my detail brushes, if I'm painting once a day, I'll usually throw this brush away at the end of the week because it gets so frayed. Okay. Next up, some random materials that you will find yourself using all the time, tissue and Q-tips. Simply, I just use these for removing mistakes, I'll get into this a little bit later. They're cheap, they're easy to find and always have them on hand while you're painting. Another pretty simple one is a hard lead pencil and a rubber eraser. Keep in mind what the designation is, this is 3H. So, I wouldn't sketch with any B pencils, the lead is just too dark on the page, and then any rubber eraser should work as long as it doesn't smear the graphite. Okay, two more, is masking tape. This is important if you're going to be doing a wash that covers the entire page. You don't want that page to start to buckle, so masking tape is great to tape down the borders of that page. Plus when you remove the tape, it will have a nice sharp clean edge. So, along the same lines, a ruler, it's at least 14 inches long because that's the standard paper length. I use a ruler for the same reason as the tape. I make a nice border with it, so I know I'm not going to over paint that border. Here's a basic one, Paper. I'm using Canson right now, but that's just because that's the only one I can find in Thailand. For the most part, I use Strathmore paper, and the reason for that is because it's acid free, which is really important because it means that the page starts to turn yellow as the years progress. So, acid free cold pressed paper, preferably Strathmore, or whatever is on sale at the art supply store. Last but not least, super exciting, a water container. I've been using this one for two weeks, so it's really disgusting at the bottom, but it's also in Thai. It's just what I get my water delivered in because I can't drink the tap water here. It's important to have a big water container, and the reason for that is you want to have as much water as possible so that as you're painting, the water still stays fairly clear. By having a larger container, you just minimize the amount of times you have to get up go pour the water out and get new water. So, I'm lazy and I don't like to get up that often, so a giant water container is for me. Okay. That is the supply list we'll be using for today. Again, you really don't need to be loyal to just one brand of paints. I splurge here and there when I feel like it on tubes, and these things last forever. So, you really don't need that much with the tubes. So, if you want to make a splurge here or there, that's cool, and if not, just buy whatever you feel comfortable purchasing because the most important thing is what you do on the paper, not the paint you're using itself. 3. Sketching the Motif: Sketching out what I'm actually going to paint is the first step I take when I'm water coloring. Believe it or not, there are a ton of techniques I employ in the sketching phase alone before even pick up my paint brush. This video will cover all of them so you'll have a solid foundation to build your artwork upon. The supplies you'll need here are a hard lead pencil, eraser of your choice, scrap paper or sketchbook, ruler, large, clean paintbrush, and a sheet of watercolor paper. Let's get started. I specified a hard lead pencil in my supplies and there's a reason for that. Hard lead is exactly what it sounds like. You've got to push in harder into the paper to make a solid impression. So right now I'm using a 3H pencil, I hope you can see the write-up here. When I draw with normal pressure, it looks like this, so it's pretty light and you can barely see it. If I'm pushing in much harder to the page, you can see it getting a lot darker. But when it comes to erasing, the lighter touch goes away pretty easily, but the harder pressure, it's more difficult to erase and it really gets into the paper. Most pencil manufacturers use the HB scale. The letter H indicates a hard pencil like this one, B designates the blackness of the pencil's mark, which is a softer lead. It's inevitable that pencil marks will show through with watercolor, but I like to minimize this as much as possible. By using a hard lead pencil and sketching incredibly softly, the graphite will leave a barely there impression on the paper. This is enough to guide me as I paint, but it's light enough that it won't be very noticeable in the final product. Once your paint is dry, you can erase errant pencil marks, but you won't be able to erase pencil marks that are underneath the layer of paint. Before I get started, I like to start out by sketching rough compositions on a scrap piece of paper. This will give me an idea of what compositions work well for my motif. They're going to be really rough. There's my paper, this would be a vertical orientation. For this piece of artwork, I'm going to be painting a fox. There's my fox in the middle, there's his ears, stick legs, tail. Like I said, incredibly rough. This is just giving me an idea of composition. Maybe there's going to be leaves coming out, those aren't stick lines. Something with a lot of dense foliage maybe could be really interesting. I want to see what that looks like as a horizontal composition, so maybe there's the fox, their their ears, tail. Overall, I'm leaning more towards doing a vertical orientation, so I'm going to try another one. Maybe the fox is a little bit bigger and the leaves get smaller. I don't like the balance in this as much, I'm leaning more towards something like this where the fox is smaller in the paper. Let's try another one where the fox is in the middle, but maybe he's sleeping. There's his tail wrapped around them, there's the leaves. There's something nice about this, the standing versus sleeping. Let's try another one, and for this one, let's have the fox be in maybe a sitting position. I think I'm liking this one more than the standing. What I want to do is try one more, really try and nail that composition. So I want the fox to be about this size, there's his tail, the feet. Cool. This is the composition that I'm most interested in painting, so my next step is going to be refining the fox itself. The reason I'm doing all of this on sketch paper is because when I get to my final watercolor paper, I want to really minimize the amount of drawing that I'm doing on that paper to keep it cleaner. Really just emphasize the paint when I get on the paper, but I can do as much sketching as I want on this paper. I've never drawn a fox before, so I want to practice that a little bit more on my scrap paper before I move to the final drawing paper. I'm just going to do some sketches. Again, this is so that I can get my bearings before I move on to the final watercolor paper because when I draw on that, I want it to be pretty much perfect. So Just playing around with what the box could look like, that's good. He's looking a little catish, so maybe he's looking the other way. Maybe his body is turns and we still get that nice tail. I think I like it a little bit more with this head turns, but I'm going to try one more. Maybe it's tail is coming across his body like this. I think this is going to be the winner. I like the way that it feels really compact, which is going to be nice, especially when you have all the leaves coming outwards. I'm really liking the tilt of his head looking off to the right, his tail sweeping across his body. I know it's still pretty rough, but it's going to be a good enough point for me to move forward to the final watercolor paper. So let's get that out and that'll be the next step. The first thing I'm going to start with is the border. I like to have a border on all of my paintings, it just keeps things nice and tidy and lets me know the boundaries of where I can paint and I won't accidentally paint any edges. Lightly trace it in, perfect. Now I also want to know where the exact center of my painting is going to be. Again, because this is going to be the area where the artwork actually lives, I'm going to draw really light. So you can barely see that, but it's an F as a guide when I'm actually painting. So the last diagonal. This diagonal will also assist me when I'm drawing those leaves that are radiating outwards. Cool. Now I know my exact center is right here and I can base my fox illustration off of that. Now it's the tricky parts. It's time to draw the fox, but not overdo the drawing that I'm doing on my actual paper. So first what I'm going to do is rough in the size that I want the fox to be. Knowing that this is the center of my painting, just going to lightly draw an oval. The shape of the fox is more like a teardrop, and I want to get the head right as well. His body shifts like this, his head is looking up that way, he's got his ears and the tail. The dome of this head is like this, maybe a snout comes out and his body twists as his head turns. Maybe his body comes down like this. Cool. Before I go any further, I want to erase the lines that are no longer necessary. Again, it might be difficult to see because I've drawn them in so lightly, but the lines that aren't absolutely necessary like that initial circle I drew are going to be removed now. I like to use an oversize paintbrush to remove the pencil or the eraser marks from the paper. I could use my hands, but then I can get the oils from my hands on the page or any dirt that's on my fingers, and I like to keep that paper as absolutely clean as possible. It's probably hard to make out this fox because I'm drawing it so lightly, but that's also the point of this. I know that inevitably some pencil marks are going to be left here when I start painting, so I just want to minimize what those look like. What I'm going do is finish sketching out the details of this fox, and after that, we'll be ready to go with the next step. Now I'm drawing in the leaves that I had in my original composition sketch, they don't have to be perfect and I'm not drawing every single leaf. I'm just getting a rough idea of what I want the branches to look like. I'll be drawing the stems and then the final leaf from each stem. Keep in mind that everything you're drawing in pencil, the majority of it is going to be erased later. I'm drawing this as light as humanly possible. Cool. Now that I have most of the space filled in with the lines, the next step I'm going to do is erase those leftover diagonal marks that helps me find the center of the page. They also helped guide me when I drew my leaves making sure that they are radiating out in a way that felt symmetrical with the paper. Again, using my excavation tool brush to remove those errant pencil marks. Cool. Now I have a really roughed in sketch that's super light, bringing it closer so you can see. The next step of what I'm going to do seems really counter-intuitive, but I'm going to erase everything. Again, really light. I can't stress this enough. You want to have those pencil marks showing as little as possible. So using my big fat eraser, I'm going to really lightly go over everything I drew in before so that you can barely see it with the naked eye. I don't want to erase it completely because I still need these guides for when I'm painting, I just don't want them to be that evident. Same with the branches. Cool. I just erased all the hard work I've done. Just kidding, you can still see it. So once this is all finished, we're ready for the fun part, which is actually painting. 4. Color Palettes: Right, now we are onto the choosing colors section. I like to keep most of my paintings within a relatively simple color palette. However, within the one or two dominant colors, I use I'll pack in a huge variation of pigment. So, if my dominant color is green, I'll still use about ten different shades of green within that same palette. Let's take a look at my watercolor pans and see the color palettes I use most frequently. This is my Winsor Newton set. It's two years old, so it's pretty messy. This is the way I like to keep it. Obviously, the colors I use most often are over here, green. I'll be sticking with the same theme today, and it will be the same for this painting of the fox. It'll probably be about 75 percent green, with the other 25 percent being the orange of the Fox right over here. So, beforeI start painting on paper, I'm going to prep my palettes. This basically means adding water to the pans and mixing around some palettes that I like to use. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it's my starting base. So, here's my water over here. I keep it pretty large, and that way the water doesn't discolor very easily. So, I'm just going to get a nice big chunk of water in my brush and start filling it in on the green pallets over here. In addition to the green, I'm also going to be filling in some of the yellow pans as well because I like to mix yellow in the green and a tiny bit of blue. So, this is a pretty simple step. All I'm really doing is wetting the pans and getting them ready for me to mix with the paint. These are my pans and these are my palettes over here. Even within each segment, you have really different shades of green. So, over here, I have a lot of yellow and chartreuse coming through. Here is more of the blue, and over here is mint, over to Periwinkle. A big mix of things. So, I mentioned earlier in my supplies video that I like to mix pans with tubes, so I'm going to do that as well. Most of them I just picked up here in Thailand, but I have a few good ones and Newtons ones as well, like this guy over here, but it's red so I won't use that right now. This is what it was. This is the Cotman series yellow. Squeeze a little bit over there in my lime area, and I'm also going to have some of this kind of like dirty yellow limey color. Okay. So, I'll just mix this in a little bit and get it ready to put on paper. Okay. And the other pallet I want to prep is the orange for the Fox, and I'm going to do that over here in this area. I'll be using a lot of brown for the fox which is over here. I'm also going to get these pans really wet. So, basically what we're getting is this side it's more red. The middle is orangey and then the far right. I want to be a little bit more brown. These don't have to be perfect. It just kind of gives me a sense of that while I'm actually painting, I can dip in different areas of the palette to get the color I'm looking for. Okay, a quick note on black. I don't like to use the black paint pan over here. It's dull and uninteresting and stays really flat and neutral. Instead, I like to mix two complimentary colors together to achieve black. So, for me, that's usually this red and the green together by mixing complimentary colors to make black. The resulting color is deeper and richer. So, when you make your own black, use, instead of relying on paint can blacks, you can infinitely vary the color temperature and create these really luminous deep colors. Plus, you can adjust the tone to skew warm or cool which brings more life and depth into your painting. Basically, what I'm going to do is get my brush really full of green pigments added over here to my black pan, add some more water, and then do the exact same thing with the red. And by mixing these together right now, it's skewing really cool because a lot of that green is showing through. Just add more red and you can skew it the other way. So, I keep this palette section for black paint only. You don't have to mix red and green together. You could do the same thing with orange and blue, or yellow and purple. It just depends on the tone that you're trying to achieve. Okay, so once everything is prepped and ready to go, I've got both my palettes over here that I'll be predominantly using. It's time for the actual fun part which is painting. All right, let's get started. 5. Brush Control: Okay. So now that I have my watercolor palettes organized and ready to go, I'm going to start and get the paint actually on the paper. This is the big step. So, let's start by talking about brush control. I'm going to use a few different brushes for this, but I usually like to start with a medium size brush to fill in the larger areas. I'll switch things up to the detail brush later when it comes to the edges. I don't use masking fluid, so all of the delicate white space is dependent on careful brush strokes and a really tiny brush. I'll work in small areas at a time. So there's a time clock to working with watercolor, you want to finalize the base pigment before the water begins to dry. So, I'll just go ahead and get started and show you what I mean. So, what I've been doing is using my larger brush over here to fill in the stem area, and then my smaller detail brush to get the leaves especially since the tips of the leaves are coming to such fine points. So, as I'm working, I'm just kind of being mindful about the orientation of my brush on the paper. If I tilt my brush, it fills in a little bit thicker, whereas if I'm working with just the fine tip, we get a much finer line. So, I'll just continue to use the brush carefully, fill in these areas while burying my green pigment as I go. There's a bit of a timestamp on this, because as the paint dries, we're losing opportunities to mix these colors together. So, I'm not rushing, but I'm working as quickly as I can while it's still wet in these certain areas. So, I'll be using my lighter brush right now to fill in the more detail aspects of these leaves, especially since I want them to come to a finer point, making sure to vary the different types of palettes I'm using, so I'll get a little bit more of the yellow over here instead of just the pure kelly green. Another nice thing with watercolor is, those pigments will all blend together. So, even though I'm pulling more of the yellow from this palette, it will mix with the green of the stem pretty well. So, going back to that timestamp on watercolor, the stem is still wet, which means the leaves I draw out from it will blend in with the stem, but if it dries, it won't have that the same effect. So, I want to work while that stem is still wet. I can pull pigment out from the stem when I draw the leaf, and then add additional pigment to the leaf that I'm painting. I'm holding the brush at a pretty loose angle. I don't want to press in too hard because then I'll lose control over what I'm painting, but if I hold the brush loose and paint in very gently, I'll have a little bit more control over what's going on the paper. Now what I'm doing is, pulling in some of the more saturated pans, and just lightly dropping them in the areas that are still a little bit wet. This just adds more variation and makes the color a little bit more interesting as it begins to dry. I'll show you some more techniques that you can do with really great brush control. So right now, I'm really saturating my brush full of water, it's almost dripping right down, and I'm going to fill it pretty heavily with this pigment and then show you on paper. So, even though this brush itself is pretty fat, I can still get a fine line by drying very delicately. Let's get rid of the excess water. The lightness to the thickness of this line is dependent on the pressure that I'm putting down on the paper. So, I'll show you again. I'll do a little bit of a different color to mix things up. So, I'm going to start with very light pressure and then increase it as I go. So, again, let's get that paint off light to heavy, and then maybe back to light. So, you can get all of these effects simply by the pressure you're putting down on the paper with the brush stroke. Another cool effect is the initial brush stroke is usually the most pure in water color. So, I'll hold this up to the camera so you can see what I mean. You have that really nice variation between dark and light, and you also see the texture of the brush and the paper coming through, which makes it a lot more interesting in my opinion. If you want to fill your brush mostly with water and with a little bit of pigment, you can also do some cool effects by filling in the color later. So, right now I have a little bit of pigment on my brush but it's mostly water. So I'm going to draw on a line, which you can barely see, but then fill the pigment in on top of it. So, this area is blue and then I'll go to yellow on the far end. So, because the paper is still wet in the areas where the brush hit, I can still blend those colors together really, really softly. This is one of the nice things with watercolor is, you get some unexpected surprises as the paint dries. I'll do another one, but this time I'll fill it in more with the wash. So, again, I just drew the brush stroke, you can't see because it's just the water, but then watch what happens when I fill it in with pigment. You can get some really interesting textural effects this way. All right, let's head back to our painting. 6. Whitespace: The primary stylistic touch, all of my watercolor paintings are known for, is my use of white space. I like to break down complicated motifs into simple flat paintings. Having thin lines of paper show through between sections of the illustration is more than just an aesthetic. In practical purposes, this keeps the wet paint from bleeding into other sections. I've had a lot of people ask me how to specifically achieve this look, so I'll break it down for you guys. Some artists like to use masking fluid, which can be an awesome tool for getting perfect sections of white space, and it's a pretty cool tool to preserve white areas that would be too tiny or complex to paint around. Masking fluid is basically latex and water, so you paint it onto your paper to keep the water colored pigment from penetrating down into that paper in certain areas. The way I achieve areas of delicate white space is by using a very fine detail brush and painting carefully. As I mentioned in my brush control video, I begin filling in areas with a medium sized brush and then I use a detail brush on the edges. So, for this example, I've drawn in some very basic shapes and I can kill two birds with one stone here. As I mentioned earlier, I don't like having pencil marks visible underneath the paint, so I'll use these pencil marks as my white space areas. Since no paint is going on top of them, I'll be able to erase them later once the paper is dry. Here's my technique. There's not a whole lot to it besides very careful brush strokes. So again, I'm going to start with a larger brush, and then move down to my tinier detail brush. Okay. Now that the paint is nice and dry, it's really simple. All you do is you get your nice eraser out and go for it, and there you have your beautiful white space eyeball. I'll pull it up closer so you can see. All right. Let's move on to the next video. 7. Blending Colors on Paper: I do a lot of color mixing on my palette. I also like to blend on the paper itself for an unexpected effect. I don't overdo the mixing because I like to keep my brush strokes to a minimum. Instead, I'll drop little bits of pigment into the wet areas and watch them bloom out with the existing pigment. I'll show you an example of that. Because the foxes pose, go to a really dark, brownish, almost black at the bottom, what I'm going to do is pull some blue from my palette, which is the complementary color of this brownish, and dab some blue areas right at the tip of these feet. When that blue merges with the brown a little bit more, it will complement each other and go to a more desaturated tone. Now this center part of the fox, his belly, I want that to be a much lighter shade. What I'm going to do is get a lot of water on my brush and barely any pigments, and then just start filling it in. What I'm doing is pretty much just painting water on the page. What I'll do once I have a nice base coat of that is dip in a little bit of pigment on my brush, get more water, and then start filling it in. You can see that as the pigment touches the water areas, it'll start to bloom outward. It feels like a much lighter area on the paper. You don't really paint white with watercolor. The white you use comes through on the paper that's behind, so you've got to do this really carefully. We'll bring some more pigment in the bottom of his nose. The trick here is to use lots of water and a very small amount of pigments. Make it a little bit darker down at the bottom where the shadow might be, cool. I'm going to add a little bit more water to these areas to help blend that paint in with the water. Awesome. You have a little bit of a tone there, but it's not too overpowering, and it's mostly light. His ears are going to be a really dark area. What I'll do is I'll mix some orange with blue to paint the tips of his ears. Maybe a little bit more blue on that brush just to make it a little bit more interesting with the color. I'm liking the results of that. I think the inside of his ears should be that same really light tone as his belly. Again, with mostly water on my brush, I'm going to paint in where his ears are. It's mostly water with a little bit of tone. Then I'll add a touch of reddish-brown and just let that naturally creep up through the water. Perfect. As you can see here, he's a reddish brown fox, but there are so many more colors and tonalities in there as well. Some of the blue blends more easily into the brownish-red like on his leg but in some areas, I'm letting it show through as a true blue, like on his ears and a little bit here on his neck. You can get a lot of different tonalities as well. From really dark areas like the bottom of his part to really light areas like on his belly, it really comes down to how much water you're using versus how much pigments. The last thing I'm going to paint for the fox on the first base layer is the tail. I'll start with the tip of his tail, which will be a much lighter area. Because the tail is a larger area compared to the little bits in the fox, I'll be using my larger brush. Got lots of water on it. I'm going to start by just painting water onto my page. No pigment in there whatsoever because the tip of his tail is going to be really light. You can barely see what I'm doing because there's no pigment in the water. Cool. Now what I'm going to do is switch to my detail brush, add a little bit of pigment to it and draw at the edges that I wasn't able to get with my wider brush. Again, that water is still really wet and you can see how when I touch my brush onto the paper where the water exist, that pigment really just explodes outwards. I'm on the final little area. Cool. Now what I'm going to do is add a touch of blue into my brush. Then in these areas down at the edges of the triangle, I'm going to fill it in with that blue just to make it a little bit more interesting. You can see some cool things happening with the watercolor here. As that pigment interacts with the brown, it desaturates a little bit because of the complimentary colors and then you also see that pigment blooming up and outwards. At the tip of his tail, I'm going to add a little bit of red. Awesome. One thing I'm going to need to match here is to make sure that the whiteness of his tail is matching the whiteness of the inside of his ear and of his chest, that way it feels a little bit more harmonious. I'll refine this line a little bit. Much of this is just using a fine brush and painting very carefully. The last thing I'm going to do is fill in that big swoosh of his tail, so I'll go back to using my larger brush. Because the rest of his tail is a much larger area, this is going to be a good opportunity for me to do this in one or two brushstrokes. I'm going to load my brush with pigments and a lot of water because it's a big space. What I'm going to try and do here is just use a few strokes to get the majority of his tail and then use my detail brush on the edges. Ready, set, go. I definitely want more pigment, that's not enough. Definitely some interesting things happening here with the texture. Let's do that again on the edge. Perfect. Now I'm using my detail brush to get the edges right. I'm going to go really carefully up into those corners and then pull that pigment back down with my brush. Some little mistakes are happening. It's actually nice. Here, when I was doing my larger brush, it bled into what was already going on up here at the tail. I like that look, it's more interesting. I like seen that blue bloom down into the rest of the tail. I try not to do too many of those, but enough to make it look like the happy little accidents. I'm going to add more blue into my brush and then pull that color down. Some cool things are happening down here as this bluish red is blending in with the lighter areas. Now again, just being really careful to preserve that white space. Pulling the pigment down and then connecting it with the tip of his tail. Now I'm going to add a little bit more blue into my brush and put that blue at the base of his tail so it feels more like it's in the shadow. It's a good opportunity for that. I'm going to add a lot more water into this area over here. It's interesting when you add more water to see how it interacts with the paint that's already on the page. I'll drop in another part. I also want to smooth out the shape right right so it feels a little bit more harmonious. I can do that because the paint is still wet. Now just to have a little bit more fun, I'm going to pull in a little bit of yellow areas for my palette. Here, I've got it right here. I'll dip my brush in a little bit of that yellow, mix it with some of that water, and then in these areas where the paint is still really wet, I'm going to dab a few yellow dots. You can see these yellow areas blooming outward into the wet part of his tail. They'll start to dry in interesting shapes as well. Now, just for fun, I'll show you some some methods I use for color blending. I'm also going to use the orange and then paint a really nice line. Say I what the tip of that line to have a little bit more yellow in it, all I have to do is dot that in, maybe pull it down to make it look a little bit more smooth. That pigment is really blending in with the other colors around it. There's no concrete rules here, you can just have fun with it. I'll add a little bit of blue to the tip and then watch as that blue begins to meet the yellow, interesting things are happening. I like this really lighter area with the yellow, I'm not going to mess with that, I'll leave it be. Then I'm going to add some blue to the very tip. Cool. That pigment is literally traveling along the paper and along that line that I painted with the brush, and it starts to vein out and make really interesting designs and patterns. This is the cool thing about watercolor, you can't really do this with a lot of other mediums. For oil and acrylic, what you put on a page is what you get, but with watercolor, there's a lot of fun surprises that happen. What about a little bit of purple? Then I want some blue mixed in there as well. Again, you don't have to do all the mixing on your palette, you can do it on the paper as well. Here, I'm dropping in some blue areas and watching how that melds together with the purple. Let's do one more with, I'll do a pinkish-red and maybe add a little bit of orange to the bottom. Cool. That paint just travels up. That's pretty interesting. If I want to hook these two together, we'll see what happens. There's more water in this purple area, so it's going to travel downwards and mix with the pinkish-red. If you do this with two complementary colors together, so I'm going to do orange and blue, here's my reddish-orange, and then I'll do a blue area over here, watch what happens when you blend them. You'll start to get a desaturated center but both edges will remain at their true color. I hope you enjoyed some of my favorite tips to blending colors together on paper. You get some great results when you work directly on a dry paper instead of the palette. 8. Making Watercolor Blooms: Watercolor blooms are one of my favorite effects of working with the watercolor medium. In this quick video, I'm going to show you some examples of what dried watercolor blooms look like, as well as how I create them. So, fun fact, most traditional watercolor artists will go out of their way to avoid watercolor blooms, but since this class is about modern watercolor techniques, we're going to embrace them. You can create intentional watercolor blooms by pooling loads of water and pigment together like this. So, in this area, this big purple circle, what I'm going to do is just dip in lots of water, and you can see how it begins to pool outwards. We want to create more of that. So, let's drip more water in. Cool, maybe a little bit more. Now, I want to add a little bit of blue to this as well, and just adding more water. So, you can see the blooming effect starting to happen over here on these edges and it will just become even more apparent as it begins to dry. The water in these pools is pushing this pigment outwards towards the edges where it'll start drying in these really irregular shapes with a very defined outline. So you're starting to see a little bit of that here and it's just going to become even more apparent as it dries. You typically watercolor bloom in areas with really loose abstract backgrounds, but I especially like to use this effect in tight and controlled areas. The two ingredients you need to create a really beautiful watercolor bloom are lots of water and lots of pigment. As that water begins to dry, it pushes the pigment to the outer edges and that's what creates the bloom. So the watercolor bloom effect is starting to happen here following this line. It kind of creates this crinkled effect. It's really interesting. You'll also see it a little bit more right over here and then as these really saturated areas on the edges begin to dry as well, the bloom effect will occur there as well. So, let's see what happens as this begins to dry. All right. Now that the paint is mostly dry, you can see the final effects of what color blooming really looks like. It's really evident on the edges where the water was settling right before it dried and it kind of has this crinkly crisp effect as the paint dries in that shape. I added additional pigments in this blue turquoise area so you can see what it looks like where the green paint kind of hits and then the blue. There's a little bit of overlap, but those natural boundaries are kind of cool as well. All right. Let's move onto the next video. 9. Paper Wet VS Dry: Whether you decide to paint on wet or dry paper will have a massive difference in appearance. Let me show you what I mean. I'm going to load my brush up with water and pigment and lay a stroke down on dry paper. You can see the stroke is incredibly contained with crisp edges. Here's what it looks like if I lay the same amount of paint and pigment down on a wet section of paper. Watch how the paint blooms outwards, creating these soft edges that blend naturally into the paper. Wet on dry will give you more control, whereas wet on wet will produce unexpected effects. You can also combine the two methods in the same painting. For example, the vast majority of my watercolor artwork incorporates the wet-on-dry technique, but I paint wet on wet and select areas within my painting. This is how I get effects like the softer belly and leg on this raccoon and the smooth body of this little bird. I painted the body of the bird in water first and then I dabbed pigment into the pooled areas of water. Detailed areas like the eyes and beak are painted wet on dry. You can paint with either technique depending on the look you're going for. For example, I want the leaves to be sharp and defined, so I'm painting wet on dry paper for this look. If I tried to do the same thing on damp paper, the leaves would blur outwards and the edges would soften against the paper. That's not the aesthetic I want for this particular section of the painting, so I'm going to stick with wet-on-dry. Let's take a look at some instances where wet on wet looks great. The first thing that comes to mind is backgrounds. If you want a soft background like this, where the pigments blends together and sink softly into the paper, you'll want to go with a wet-on-wet approach. Let's start by penciling out the areas we want to block out. I'm going to draw a simple diamond in the center, which will leave blank for now. I want to fill out the rest of the paper with a soft bluish-purple background. The first step is to tape down the paper. You can start just with a roll of masking tape, this is not $23, it's 23 Thai Baht, so ignore that, that's less than $1. Get your tape out. The reason I do this is because when we soak the majority of the paper in water, it will start to distort and bend, which means the paint won't dry flat. Once all four edges are taped down, it's time to get to work. I'm choosing a fairly fat brush that holds a lot of water and I'm going to lightly brush it over the entire area where I want to paint it background. Once this is done, it's time for the fun parts. I'm going to fill my brush with pigment and begin blotting and dabbing it on the wet paper. You can create different textures depending on your technique here. Brushstrokes will be smoother and more saturated and dabbed areas will be more spotty. This is also a great opportunity to incorporate some watercolor blooms too. All you need to do is load up a ton of water on your brush and deposit it in certain areas of your paper. Here's what the background looks like once it's dry, this is the wet on wet effect. Now I went to fill in the facets of the diamond so that they are defined with perfectly sharp edges. This is where wet on dry will come into play. Check out the difference in how the paint interacts with the paper when I'm painting on dry versus wet paper, it's basically like night and day. Now that you've got a good sense of the differences between wet on wet and wet on dry, you can choose which method you'd like to use for your next painting. Again, it all depends on the look that you're going for. If you want to perfectly crisp edges that are easy to control, opt for dry paper. If you want something looser and more unexpected, paint on wet. Let's move on to some more techniques. 10. Ombré Gradient Washes: Washes are an integral part of painting with watercolor. They produce effects that, quite frankly, you really can't achieve with any other medium. Watercolor washes are incredibly simple to master and they look stunning when done correctly. A watercolor wash is created with a layer of heavily diluted pigment on paper, so it has a semi transparent effect. You can use watercolor washes as backgrounds for your composition or in smaller areas like in stripes or filling in a motif. I've even used ombre gradient washes in wedding invites both as background textures and in tiny details to highlight text. There are a ton of different methods to creating washes like wet-on-dry paper, wet-on-wet paper, flat washes, gradient washes, texture washes, et cetera. But today, I'm going to focus on my favorite kind, an Ombre gradient wash. Depending on what I'm going for, I vary between gradient washes on wet paper and dry paper. Wet paper creates an overall effect that is softer, more fluid, and the pigments blend together in a gorgeous and unexpected way. When you create a wash on dry paper, you will have more control over the outcome. I'm going to create an ombre wash both ways, wet and dry paper. I'm going to draw some squares on my page to practice on. I'll keep one wet and one dry so we can see how they look side by side. The next step is to brush your wet wash practice square with a thin layer of water so the entire surface of the square is damp. You want to make sure that the water coats the area evenly. No pool of water in any of the corners or else this will affect the gradient. Next, I'm going to get my paint ready. It's a good idea to get all of your pigment ready before you start painting on the page. You're always racing the clock with watercolor, so as soon as your first brush stroke hits the page, the paint is already beginning to settle into the paper and dry. This matters more for larger wash areas, like if you're covering the whole page. If you got your paint mixed and ready to go from the start, you'll have a better chance of getting all the pigment to blend seamlessly on the paper. I usually use a medium sized brush to mix the pigment on my palettes, but I'm going to switch over to a large wide brush for creating the ombre gradient wash. My goal is to create the gradient in as few brush strokes as possible, which means I'm maximizing the gorgeous effects of fresh brush strokes on paper. Now, it's time for the fun parts. I'm going to load my brush with pigment and draw it along the paper. For my wet wash, I'm only going to draw one brush stroke on the wet square. I'll let the water pull the pigment downwards to the rest of the paper. It's a good idea to work at a slight angle if you're doing a lot of these, but for now my paper is flat. You can see the interesting textures already beginning to bloom downward as the paper pulls the pigments. The result is an ombre gradient from high pigment to transparent. Because we're working on wet paper, the exact degree of the gradient is unexpected and it depends on how much water you have on the page. Next up, let's do a high pigment to transparent gradient on dry paper. I'm going to start with a more saturated edge and then reload my brush with more water and less pigment for each additional stroke downwards. This will create the transparent gradients. Basically, after every stroke, I'm dipping my brush in water to remove some of the pigment each time. Remember, I want to do this in as few brush strokes as possible. It's important that my brush stay wet because the key here is to have each brush stroke blend seamlessly with the one prior. That way, we create a seamless and consistent ombre effect. All right, let's try this with a few other colors as well. When you're doing large areas of gradients like this, it's a good idea to tape down your paper first. This prevents the paper from buckling when it has a lot of water laying down on the page. One of my favorite parts about this is, once the paint is dry, you can peel that tape back and it creates a really nice crisp border on your page. As you can see with gradients like this, you can play around with it and there are pretty much endless options for what you do with this. Just play around, have fun and find a style that works best for you. 11. Fixing Mistakes: It's inevitable that you're going to have some slip ups as you work. Watercolor has a rep for being infamously unforgiving, but there are some tricks to fixing mistakes as soon as they happen. The best way you can fix mistakes in watercolor is to address them immediately while the paint is still wet. Okay, there are a few different tools here that I use for fixing mistakes. The first one, is pretty simple it's just a piece of tissue, paper towels or a little bit better, because they're more rigid whereas toilet paper breaks apart really easily. So, if you have paper towels that's the best one if not tissues fine. Another method I use is usually keeps on clean Q-tips on hand just in case. This is good if the mistake you're fixing is really teeny, I'll show you that in a little bit. Last but not least, I also have a clean brush with pretty hard bristles. So, let's go ahead and get started and I'll show you what I mean. So, say I'm painting, I'll make a leaf like I was doing with the Fox earlier too. So, say I'm painting I make a leaf, but when I'm adding more water. So, say it drips oh crap, what do you do? Freak-out? No. You can first, since that's a larger area I'm going to use my tissue. Folded up, the trick is doing this while it's still wet, we have times that a lot of ink. All i'm going to do is just dab on top and pull it straight up and that's removed most of it. There's a little bit of pigment still there, so I'm going to dip my Q-tip in a little bit of clean water and just gently rub it out. Cool, it's pretty much gone you see a little bit of it there but it's not too bad. I'll go ahead and dab up this extra splotch as well. They waited a little bit longer, so you can see how that's darker on the page. See if my Q-tip dipped in water will remove a little bit more of that. Yep. Coo. One thing to note here, is before you go ahead and finish that line again, you want to wait for this area to dry completely. If I paint on top of that right now the edges will bleed outwards, because that's a wet on wet painting. So, I'll do another one. Switch the color up a little bit. So, say that's a really beautiful abstract blue marks and I've sneered on my page, because it's a bigger smear, I'm simply using the tissue, dabbing it straight up really easy to do. Again, tissues will just pick up that wet paint the sooner you get it on the paper the better. So, as you're painting I like to keep a roll of tissues next to my paper to have ready just in case. Another thing to note here, make sure the water you're using is really clear and really clean, otherwise when you dip the tissue in water it's going to get the pigment of that water on your paper. So, the things again, clean water and then some different tools for dabbing up that extra paints. I'll show how to remove that with a brush. Say it's a much finer area. I drop my brushes all the time, I should have dropped it on the paper to illustrate this, but that's alright. Okay, say it's a finer area, oh crap, I'm going to use the clean side of the Q-tip to remove most of this water. It just sucks right up into that Q-tip it's really awesome. Now, I'm going to use my clean dry brush to get the rest, so you can literally just brush out the mistake area, I'm just using my hand, but you should probably dab that on paper. You can just pick that pigment right up with your brush. You can do this in areas where it's really fine and you don't have a lot of wiggle room. Cool. You can use a similar technique if you like to remove dried paint from paper. But, it's a lot harder to do. It's way easier if you can get the mistakes removed when the paint is still wet. Unless it's easy to fix, I don't really stress too much about fixing mistakes as I watercolor because they can fix them pretty easily in Photoshop once the painting is scanned in. My original paintings aren't precious to me, because they rarely see the light of day. But, this artwork will be replicated hundreds or thousands of times on Art-prints and products like phone cases, toe bags, throw pillows, apparel, you name it. If you'd like to learn more about fixing mistakes in Photoshop or editing your artwork in general. I encourage you guys to check out my previous Skillshare class. It's called From Paper To Screen, Digitally Editing Your Artwork in Photoshop. One of my video lessons, specifically covers how I remove mistakes in my paintings like smeared paint, unfortunate ink droplets, pencil marks and more. The class is for Photoshop beginners, so you don't have to be an expert to understand the contents and here's a direct link. 12. Adding Details: Remember how we paint from light to dark one layer at a time. Well, once the paint is completely dry on one layer, I sometimes like to add in a few select embellishments and details on a second layer. I keep this to a minimum because I still like my paintings to feel modern and fresh, but I'll add a few little details to this fox. First things first, I want to make sure that my second layer is darker than my first layer, so it's got to be darker than this red right here, which won't be that hard to meet. I think what I want to do is since there's some blue showing through this fox, I want to have my black palette with a touch of blue to it. I like simplicity in my paintings, so I usually keep the details to a bare minimum. This helps my artwork feel more modern and refined. Let's get going. Oh, and one thing to note, I'm using one of my finest detail brushes here. It's this guy right here. It doesn't hold a lot of water, but that's okay because it's such a fine brush, I don't expect it to. I'm going to add that texture to his coat. Again, with another layer of reddish-brown we used earlier. I need a little bit more water and I'm going to keep it to a minimum. But I think I'm just going to add a few little dots to his coats. Perfect. You add a little bit more up here to this top. If you want it to soak in a little bit more and feel more natural, just add more water to your brush. Perfect. There are the details for my final fox painting. When I was a kid, I wasn't in Boy Scouts because I'm a girl, so I did Indian Princesses instead. There is Kansas in the early '90s, and my Indian princess name was sleeping fox, so here you have it. There is my sleeping fox. Here are a few more examples of adding details in really subtle ways in some some my final watercolor paintings. 13. Metallic Accents: As part of the bonus for enrolling in this class, I'm providing eight high res metallic texture files so you can add metallic accents into your final watercolor paintings in Photoshop. I'm also going to show you exactly how to do that so no one gets lost along the way. First things first, you can download the files by clicking on the Your Project tab beneath this video. Once you're there, you'll see a section on the right titled Attached File. You'll find all the metallic textures right there. You can create some really cool digital effects with metallic texture on watercolor paintings. I love this mix of mediums and really enjoy playing with the possibilities. Sometimes I go full on metallic texture which you'll also be able to do, but for this bonus video, I want to show you something a little more intricate. The metallics are I'm providing are four colors, gold, rose gold, copper and silver. I'm also giving you two options for each one, foil texture and flat sheen. I incorporate both into my work depending on what I think looks best for a particular illustration. All right, let's get right into it in Photoshop. If you don't have Photoshop, no problem. You can sign up for a free trial online in just a few minutes. I'm including the free trial link in the about section just beneath this video. Cool. Let's get started. I'm going to use my Owl watercolor as an example and will be adding in some gold foil accents. Essentially I'll be replacing some of the watercolor feathers with the gold texture so my illustration will go from this to this. I want the touch of metallic to be very minimal and with intent. So, I'm only replacing a few feathers with the metallic texture. All right, let's get started. So, I'm going to start by opening up my watercolor painting. So, this is just a flattened JPEG. It's the owls painted on paper. The primary tool I'll be using here is my Lasso Tool which is over here on the left, and in particular, I'm using my Polygonal Lasso Tool, so you can also press L to achieve that also. So first things first, I'm going to select the feathers out of this top owl that I want to turn gold. So, I'll press Z which is the same thing as zoom and draw a box around the owl. So, I'm going to press L to gives me my Lasso and all I have to do is draw round the feathers that I want to be turned into gold texture. The first one selected. Now, I want to do this one right here, I'm going to press Z to zoom in, press L to get my lasso back, and this is an important step. Press Shift and hold it down so you see that little plus sign appearing next to your Lasso Tool. This is without shift, this is with shift. Then when you make your first click, your previous selection stays selected. Okay got my second selection, I'm going to zoom out. I also want to get this further right here. So, I'm going to press L, hold down Shift before my first click, and simply click and drag. Last but not least, I want to have this feather be the last gold feather for this top owl. So, hold down Shift and draw around it. Now, I'm going to zoom out and then make a copy of that layer. So, we're doing command J to make a copy, and then if I hide this background layer, you can see the fore feather's. So, I want to get my gold texture. So here it is. All have to do is click it and drag it right into my file. Press Enter to place it. Cool. So, I'm going to hide that real quick and I'll zoom into my feathers and what I want to do now is remove the white paper background behind each feather. To do that, I'm going to use my Magic Wand Tool which is up here. You can also press W to get Magic Wand. Tolerance of about 30 is great to work with here, and then I want to make sure that Contiguous is turned off. That means whatever color I'm selecting, it will select throughout the entire canvas. It doesn't matter if those two colors are touching or not. So, I'll just click on the white which has selected the paper on everything. I'm also going to click on the backgrounds to make sure that is selected as well. Now, I want to inverse the selections, so select Inverse, and now only the actual feather is selected. Now, I want to expand it, select, Modify, Expand by 3 pixels and feather it. Just so it has a more seamless blend. So Select, Modify, Feather just buy one, cool. So, now I can hide this layer. You can see the selection is still in place. Turn on my gold texture layer and then make a mask. Cool. Now, I can turn back on my background layer and you can see the gold foil feathers coming through. Here it is without the mask and with the mask. Pretty nifty. I'm going to show you one more technique for doing the same thing we just did. It'll have the same overall effect but we'll just go about doing it in a different way. So, the first thing to do is to make a copy of your background layer. You can simply click it and drag it down here which makes a copy. You could also do command J which makes a copy of that layer. Really rough, I'm just going to remove the paper texture background. So, press W for your Magic Wand or you can select it over here. Select the background again tolerance of 30, make sure Contiguous is turned off and I'm going to do command X which removes it. You could also do Edit, cut. It's removed, you can't tell this layer is turned on, but there you see the background is gone. You lose some stuff in here, but that doesn't matter for now because all we want is to get those outlines behind each feather completely in. So, I'm going to go to my Effects and do a Color Overlay. Any color it doesn't matter. Blue is fine and then I'm going to make another layer. You can click that down here, select both my layers, I hold down Shift to get both and then command E which blends them together as one layer. Now, here is the fun parts. Again, this is just the way to not have to Lasso around everything. You can use your Magic Wand again, except this time you want to turn Contiguous on and you can just go through and select this area of blue. Because you turned Contiguous on, it's only selecting the blue that's touching another piece of blue. So, it's getting this one but not all the others. So, I want that feather, this feather, let's get this one, this one, maybe one of the tail feathers as well. So, I'll zoom out. I'll cut it out real quick so command X you can see look there they are. They've gone back. So, now all I'm going to do is the exact same thing before, Select, Modify, Expand by three pixels. Select, Modify, Feather by one. You can hide that layer right now I don't need it. Now, with my mask selected, make sure you clicked on your mask not the gold, your mask needs to be selected for this. I'm going to use my Brush Tool, so you press B. You can also get brush over here. Make sure the opacity is at 100 percent and make sure my color is white. If it's some other color, just press D and that will go to your default colors. All you do, is you click and drag your brush around and it will fill in that area. So, command D will deselect the selection. You can turn your background back on and see what it looks like. Cool. So, if you're going to be making a lot of little gold selections, that process will actually go a little bit faster but it only works if areas aren't touching. So, as you can see when I selected this feather, it was touching this one, but if I wanted to get rid of it, I'd be really simple. All I need to do is click on my mask, press B again, shrink down my brush size, be a little bigger and then make my color black. What the mask does it just covers up the gold. So, that area is all still there. You can click and paint it back in. So, I'm just going through and I want that one feather selected but not the other one. You can just paint it right back in there it's really simple. I'll do the same for this. You can use the brackets as a key command to make your brush size smaller and larger. Cool. So, now I'm going to do the exact same thing for my bird down here. So, turn off my golds, turn on my blue, press W for Magic Wand, make sure Contiguous is turned on and I'll just select a few feathers. So, let's get this one, this one. Again, as I'm making each selection, I'm holding down the Shift key to make sure that more than one stays selected at a time. So now I can turn off that layer. I don't need any more, turn back on my gold layer, select the mask. Press B to get my brush. It's really tiny right now, so I'm going to go up and make it a little bigger. Opacity is at 100. Remember, I want the white to be facing forward so I can just press D which goes to by default palette. Now all I have to do is paint in. Now, I can deselect, so command D will deselect. You can also up at the top just click Select, Deselect either way. Delete that middle layer, I don't need it anymore. Then when I zoom out, you can see what it looks like with a touch of gold. Now, one cool thing about using a layer mask is you have a lot of flexibility. Right now, it's linked. So, when I move it, the whole thing moves like this but command Z just undo's whatever you just did. But if I click that link and break it and turn it off, now whenever I move the layer underneath, the mask will stay in place but whatever the mask is covering can move around. The reason this is so cool is you can put another metallic back there so you can choose your favorite. So, I'm going to do the copper flat tone. Just click it drag it in, press Enter to place it and just make this easier, I'm going to select both layers. So, pull down my Shift, click both and then command G to group them together. Press down the karats to open the group and I'm going to click my layer mask and put it over the entire group. Now, I can see what a lot of different textures look like. Anything I placed in this group will be under that mask. So, here's the copper flat tone that looks pretty cool. You can turn it on and off by clicking on the eyeball to see what the different layers look like. Cool, so it's a pretty simple technique. There's a few different ways to make your selection to get those certain feathers. Just use whichever technique works best depending on your painting. Like to learn more tips like this, I cover a ton of material in one of my previous Skillshare courses called From Paper to Screen Digitally Editing Your Artwork in Photoshop. I cover the full gamut from scanning your artwork to make sure it's at a really high resolution to cleaning it up in Photoshop like the moving pencil marks as well as color exploration where you can turn and save these owls into a big variety of other color palettes really easily with Photoshop. I'll show you how I create patterns, resize for various template dimensions if you upload your work to print on demand websites like Society6. If you're looking for something to do next, I highly recommend that course. It covers all of the tips that I know in Photoshop for watercolor painting. All right, cool. Now, let's head on to my final tips. 14. Final Tips: Welcome to my final tips. I'm glad you made it this far and I promise it will be worth it. Here are my top five bonus tips for today. One, use a hair dryer. I didn't cover this today because I don't currently own one, but if you're waiting for your paints to dry before you adding a second layer of details, it's really easy to just blow the hair dryer and it will speed things up tenfold. Just be careful not to hold it too close, or else it will move the paint around on your page. Two, consider a limited palette, especially if you're just starting out. By minimizing your pigment options, you'll simplify the process and develop a better understanding of color theory and how the pigments mix together. Plus limited palettes always have a way of feeling a little bit more refined and intentional. Three, don't forget, lights, mid-tones, dark. With watercolor, if you're painting in multiple layers, you'll always start by painting the lightest elements first and then go darker from there. You can always paint darker on light things, but because it's a transparent medium, you can't paint light watercolor on top of dark watercolor. Four, piggybacking off my previous tip. If you want to work around for the light on dark issue, invest in a tube of white acrylic paint or white paint marker. This is how you add white details to your finished watercolor painting. Just make sure your paint is a 100 percent dry, otherwise it will get muddy. This is a great tool if you're doing a galaxy painting or you just want to add some little details like pollen in the air or a shiny green colored [inaudible] eyeball. Five, last but definitely not least, explore. Today, I taught you the watercolor techniques that worked best for me, but there are so many things you can do with watercolor. If you play around and have fun with the medium, you'll find out what works best for you and you can establish your own unique art style. Remember, please click the follow button up top so you can follow me on Skillshare. This means that you'll get a notification as soon as I launch my next class or having an important announcements like Skillshare premium giveaway, new freebies like color palettes and brushes, or I'm highlighting the artwork that you upload to the project gallery like I frequently do on my Instagram page. Thank you so much for enrolling in my class today. I hope you learned a lot and are inspired to get painting. Feel free to comment below in a class discussion if you have any comments or questions about what I covered. You can follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @catcoq. Also, don't forget to follow me on Skillshare by clicking the follow button. See you guys next time.