Simple Watercolor Techniques: Illustrate and Paint a Lively Sea Turtle | Gülnur | Skillshare

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Simple Watercolor Techniques: Illustrate and Paint a Lively Sea Turtle

teacher avatar Gülnur, Watercolorist & Naturelover

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Welcome to the Class!


    • 2.

      Class project


    • 3.



    • 4.



    • 5.

      Practice with watercolors


    • 6.

      Painting the head


    • 7.

      Painting the skin


    • 8.

      Painting the legs


    • 9.

      Painting the shell


    • 10.

      Final details


    • 11.

      Thank you!


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About This Class

Hi there! My name is Gülnur, I am a self-taught watercolor artist. 

By the end of this class you will have illustrated and painted your very own sea turtle in watercolor!

These cute animals are so easy and fun to paint. I hope you join and paint along with me in this class. Feel free to use any medium or animal of your choice!

This class is for you if..

  • You want to discover the easy ways of tracing your reference picture,
  • You want to learn how to start and simplify complex animals,
  • You are curious about how to paint this sea turtle :),
  • You want to know how to use salt to create textures.

Here are some helpful links:

Loyalty-free images for the reference

If you are a beginner to watercolors please check out these helpful classes on skillshare:

You can also find me on Instagram: @gulnur.arts

* The reference that I used in this class is from Wexor Tmg at Unsplash.

* The background music I used in this class is Twinkle Twinkle by David Mumford is licensed under a Attribution License.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image


Watercolorist & Naturelover


Hello! I am Gulnur, a self-taught artist, dreamer, nature lover, cloud gazer, and a tea addict.

I use watercolors as a therapy to relax and escape from daily stressful occasions.

I would like to share my art journey with you and what I learned in this process. I hope you join me!
Follow me to get notifications from future lessons and surprises!

If you have a question, do not hesitate to ask me!

send me a hi and "bee" my friend :F

The review from Anna Sokolova about the sea turtle class:

"Wonderful class full of helpful tips and of course SOO inspiring turtles and the sea. After watching it I could imagine myself walking near the shore right away. Gulnur explains everything in a very clear and thoughtful way... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Welcome to the Class!: Hi, my name is enough. I remain small town in Turkey. I met with water colors one year ago, but since my childhood, I was always inspired by the nature around and I had a wish to mirror this beauty my paintings. I will select a grown-up close to the scene, and it is one of my favorite things in the whole world. This is why I want to share with you a CN or painting. This class is suitable for beginners. However, if you just started to use watercolors, you may want to check out the links and I've provided for you, this sea turtle may look a little bit complicated, but don't get overwhelmed by it. It is easier than it looks, especially when you know where to start. I will share my sketch and a process or the need to do follow me along with it. So grab your pain embrasure. Join me right away. Let's get started. 2. Class project: Well, hello again. It is so nice to see you. Welcome to my first skill share class. Our class project is painting a sea turtle or in any movie wants with the medium of your choice. By the end of this class, you will have painted your very own sea turtle in watercolors. You will find the reference picture and the sketch of this turtle in the resources section. After finishing this class, please upload your artwork into the project gallery for us to see. I cannot wait to see what you create. See you in the next lesson. 3. Materials: Hi. In this lesson, we will be covering the materials needed. I will start with showing the colors I will be using in this class. Here's the raw sienna. You can use yellow ocher as well. When it is not essential, I use the lightest part on the top of the shell, lamp black for the eye. You may use like fan instead of this sepia, but not so necessary to have it. Say you review for the shadows under the turtle. But any blue color can be used. I will be using this palette to put my colors. Will be mostly using these watercolor pens of burnt sienna and burnt umber for the most of the parts of the shell and the skin. For mixing the colors, I use ceramic plates as my palettes. You should also have two cups of water. One for one reason, the other is for cleaning the brush. I use cutting fabrics instead of tissue papers. It's absorbs the water where Val, as you can see, this one has been used for so long. It's not even white anymore. Here are the different brushes that I use in my work. Don't worry, you will only need one or two to complete this class. I use this one for the details like the eye. This one is from the region number 4, works well for a rating. You will need one small brush for the details and one medium round brush for the whole piece. If you work in large areas like vague grounds, it is best to use enlarge morgue brush, like this one. Instead of using white gouache, you can use this posca pens for the sparkling die or fixing little mistakes. Can also use a fine black pen for the eye. If you want to be more precise. Just be sure that is waterproof. Tree H pencil from her bio Castile for light sketching to be mechanical pencil. And I use for tracing a graphite stick for blocking the back of the paper while tracing it. But you can easily do it with pencil as well and eraser to erase glorified marks later. I like to use this soft kneaded erasers on watercolor paper because it is more gentle and doesn't damage the paper. I use salt for creating texture on the shell. You can also use a hard bristle brush or toothbrush for the texture making and spattering effects. And spray water bottle to keep my palette wet. I will use Canson XL watercolor paper. It is 300 GSM, but you can use a paper around 200 GSM since we will not be using much water. For tracing the animal, it is easy to use this transparent papers. But I will be showing how to trace and transfer it with a normal of his papers. Let me show you some examples how I use the salt and the whitewash to make texture on animals. We know that the whales have a very unique scheme. And I tried to imitate that look. So that's all. I shake the camera with my assignments. If you're ready, meet me in the next lesson. 4. Tracing: Welcome to the class. In this lesson, I will be showing you how I trace my image. Sorry for the light. I just wanted to make the room a little bit darker. So the screen of the laptop would work as a lightbox so you can see through the paper. So I will trace it. The third zone, as you can see, it's so easy to see it. And then I'm going to transfer into another paper, which I will show you how I do that too. And basically I actually using this graph phi stitch just to cover it easily. You can just use pencil you have here. I will just cover the back of the sketch. After you cover it nicely. Can just get your watercolor paper or any paper you want to transfer it and put it behind just like a copy paper and start to trace it. Whether you trace it, It's going to be transferred onto the back favors. See, I just draw a line and it is on the back. And it's not so easy to see for you right now. But it's better to make it faiths with the easy to erase it later. So let's move on to the next lesson. 5. Practice with watercolors: Hi, let me show you some simple watercolor techniques that I will be using in this class. The techniques that I will be showing wet on wet, wet on dry, dry, wet and dry on dry. It is exactly how it sounds. And apply water on paper to create a red surface and then load my brush with paint. Now I apply the colors on the paper. As you're cleansing the color spread so fast and it's not so easy to control it. But if you're going to make some papers, some colors, like, let's say it's going to be yellow and red. It will make it smoother transition this way because the paper is going to be writes still to allow the colors to mix. Just be careful when you went to papers, there should be no pools or puddles. Just as soon of watered enough to spread the paint. Wet-on-dry technique. It's applying wet paint on a dry surface. It allows you more control over the pains. But unfortunately, it dries faster. Also, dry on dry however, you need to dry your brush and take the paints on a dry brush. If it's going to help, you can dry your brush on a toggle or tissue papers. And when you apply on dry paper, it will create a rough texture. This can be used to imitate some animals here, or shell or anything you can imagine, like sea sparkles or stone surface. Trial next is using a considerably dry brush over a wet surface. This way, no, re-attach with the Payne's. It will not going to spread so fast and it's going to be more intense than using a brush. I use this technique mostly to create spots or intensity. It's really depends on what you're looking for actually is techniques are so useful and so simple. To achieve. All you need to do a little bit practice. The only technique that I won't be using in this class is dry on dry. But you may use it if you like. Now I'm going to serve you some practice before starting this class. It here I like burnt sienna and raw sienna just to create a transition. Whereas start is already dried and I'm too late to apply salt over that place. And the right is exactly how I once it, but I put it too much salt. So I'm going to show you what I would avoid. If the paper is already dry, the salt is not going to create a texture at all. But if it is too much salt, it's also going to create too much texture. So you can know a little bit practice to see what you would like to issue. It's all about what you want. Here. I'm using a damp brush to drop some water over the reds, Payne's. So it's crates blooms. This blooms can be used instead of salt. It would create a similar effect. I will share a scanned version of this page as well. You can find it in the resources section. I hope this practice was useful for you. See you in the next lesson. 6. Painting the head: Hello there, I am so happy, decided to join me. You can see that I transfer my scheduled watercolor papers. Now, I will erase my excessive graphite marks before applying anything. Let's start with the I. I always start with the eye. Since it is the most important. And stressing inner parts of the animal. Are you sip you for the eye colors. If you don't have it, you can always use black instead. But I recommend using at least pure black, maybe a dark mix brown or even indigo. This weight will look more lively and not so do leave a white circle in the area to indicate the lights. Don't worry if you couldn't, you can always fix it later. And I will get to that in the final details. This beautiful creature has a special shape and hoods. If you check the reference image, you'll notice supports on the hood of the eye. And I'm trying to imitate what I see around me. I, I used burnt sienna. I brushed the edges to prevent hard edges. This way it will look more nature later. I put some burnt umber to give a little bit more contrast. I wet the area that I see spots and touching with burnt umber to make spots. It blends a little on wet paper and it won't look harsh this way. I came back with more burnt sienna to darken the food, paying the part of the skin over his nose. I use wet on wet to make a softer look. Keep continue imitating the pattern you observe one him. I don't try to make it exactly the same thing I see in the nature. It would be too overwhelming or stressing her way. Instead of that, try to mirror what it makes you feel light. Mistake in the loss of whitespace on the top, but no need to worry about it. I can always fix this later. Now, in the picture, you can see above his mouth lines, the color gradually fades. So I want to catch that detail. I think it looks awesome when you imitate color shifts in the nature. You see that the lighter area on top of his head requires lighter colleagues. So I used wetter weights and make a soft transition. Lighter on top and darker on down. And where the light doesn't touch on his head. The part that photographer faces, I mean, is darker and look more like burnt umber than sienna. So I use it burned somewhere to create the patterns there. I make them outlined with sepia and burnt umber mix. I get some cereal in blue on my brush for painting the shadows under his chin. The blue you see on the pictures. It's actually caused by the reflection of the ocean. I suggest you to try using a non staining color like sodium blue so you can easily lift off the excessive arias you see I use on the middle and it has gradually fading towards up. Now I will continue with the skin. Meet me in the next lesson. 7. Painting the skin: Let's continue with his skin. I paint wrinkles like lines on his neck and Lake. I first wetted area to make your bag from blends because it is pretty dark over there. And I don't want white paper to show through while I make pattern normally. A light wash would be enough, let it absorb it, a ladle before making lines for wrinkles there again. Meanwhile, let's wet the abdomen area and put some sodium blue where you see the shadows on their belly and near shell. Then I use burnt sienna and burnt umber to imitate the sports that I see on his optimum. Just play with this mix and go with the flow. There is no wrong way to make this. Every wetted area over the front leg and start to touch lightly with burnt sienna making marks. Now it is safe to make some lines there. Don't overdo it though. Four or five lines would be enough. I see some light spots under his mouth as well apply, only able to remix of burnt sienna. And that is all for now. See you in the next lesson. 8. Painting the legs: Hi, Welcome back. I will start with the front black. I wet it the upper portion before, so please more than I anticipated. But I can fix it if I don't like it later. I'm basically painting shapes with burnt sienna by using wet-on-dry metals. It requires a bit. Patients here, he is rather long front leg needs some details enough to imitate his skin pattern. After you get the hang of it, you will make it faster. Don't worry. Again, don't try to do it. Exact number of shapes you see. Go with the flow. Just imagine of feeling NRAO V-type pattern. Try to make these shapes larger on the edges of his skin and smaller on the middle. Just like on the original image. When I start to do the upper part where it joins the body, I make the pattern smaller. This area we don't want it to draw attention to is the place where his legs curves to make the ceramic action. I hope I could explain it. We're now I'm just fixing the edges for a more solid lobe. The back of his other front leg, we see some parts of the pattern but more faded. So I went to edges and start to work on what I see, making the edges harder but softer towards to white parts, like it is gradually fading. I use psyllium blue to apply lines for the texture I see on his backside of front leg. It should be in light blue to look more natural. Otherwise, eat food truck too much attention. You don't need to draw everything. Just show that it is not flat surface and it is continuation of the pattern. Because I use a non-sustaining colors. I can always come back and lift off some excess with them. Push. Now to indicate the edges and faded color, it puts some watery burnt sienna and lifting off anything that is too strong. I will move on to the back leg. Now, as you can see in the original image, it is auto-focus. So I wet the area for software Luke and using burnt sienna to making paternity zygote. I'm mixing the edges that looks Roth and I'm darkening the color towards to under his shell. Meet me in the next lesson. 9. Painting the shell: I will start with applying water on the papers. I will work on each section that you see like an island on his shell. I will work one-by-one slowly after wetting, be sure there's no puddles, pools of water, but a nice sheen. As you can see in the original image, top of the shell is more yellowish and the light is very strong. I use raw sienna to imitate this color. You can use any yellow wish you, you have a mix this color with burnt sienna on papers. I apply it to the edges and leaving white gaps between each island sectional his shell. After finishing each islands, I apply salt over it to create a nice texture I see in the image. Be careful with the dose. It may look too harsh if you draw too much, but it is all about how you want it. I continue making same steps for all the top. Just repeating this process. Try to blend burnt sienna and rough sea and on paper to create a nice transition. As if life too dark, Don't forget to look at your reference image as you paint. It will help you to decide where to put your colors. I repeat this process for each section and that's all. Now. Okay. Okay. Now when it is come to lower parts, I used a raw sienna on the lower edge of the shell. This way, it will look more realistic. Okay, hello. And we'll see you in the next lesson. 10. Final details: Here a close look of the final painting I did. You can see that texture that cows by sold. And the transition between colors. I'm happy with how it looks so far, but I want to show you how you can keep editing this piece furniture. I will use a black fine liner pen and a white posca pen to fix my little mistakes. You may also use white or, or Japan. For the same purpose. I feel that I would like pen. Then I use the white pencil to imitate the light in the RA to make it more lively. I continue to fix my mistakes. For example, where I left no whitespaces between sections and patterns. You don't need to do this at all. If you're happy with how it looks, I can go on and it seemed like forever. Sometimes I need to stop our near dominates here. Here the finished watercolor sea turtle painting. I hope you enjoyed painting, came as I did. Let's meet in the next video. 11. Thank you!: You made it. Congratulations. We covered everything from how to trace the sea turtle to paint in step-by-step. I hope you enjoyed your time with me painting this secured sea turtle. Please leave a review for disclose. Your opinion is important for me and I will put the suggestions. Would you prefer the fringe subject or longer videos, perhaps, anything that you would want me to improve. Please let me know. Don't pay state to ask me any questions. Follow me if you would like to get notified from lessons and surprises, please share your art form because I'm sorry. See what you have created. If you would like to share it in social media, please do tag me on the post so I can celebrate it with you. Must. But monkeys, I want to remind you that the inspiration is all around you. You just need to open your art to it is that you next time.