The Ten Principles of Painting In Daily Sketchbook Lessons | Amarilys Henderson | Skillshare

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The Ten Principles of Painting In Daily Sketchbook Lessons

teacher avatar Amarilys Henderson, Watercolor Illustrator, Design Thinker

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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.

      The Ten Elements of Painting


    • 2.



    • 3.

      About Color


    • 4.

      Practicing Color


    • 5.

      About Value


    • 6.

      Practicing Value


    • 7.

      About Line


    • 8.

      Practicing Line


    • 9.

      About Shape


    • 10.

      Practicing Shape


    • 11.

      About Space


    • 12.

      Practicing Space


    • 13.

      About Texture


    • 14.

      Practicing Texture


    • 15.

      About Scale


    • 16.

      Practicing Scale


    • 17.

      About Direction


    • 18.

      Practicing Direction


    • 19.

      About Time


    • 20.

      Practicing Time


    • 21.

      About Composition


    • 22.

      Practicing Composition


    • 23.

      Bonus: More Learning!


    • 24.

      Quick Recap


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About This Class

Want to be a good artist? Learn the Ten Elements of Painting in this engaging class! Simply put: we need to know these, and we'll learn by exercising them. This class teaches each principle as a quick overview, showing you how these elements are prevalent in famous paintings. We will then turn to our sketchbooks and take out our watercolor paints to put them into practice.

You'll create a collection of painted sketchbook pages that can be compiled into a finished work of art! You may choose to pace yourself through this class one principle at a time for lessons and exercises that take 10-30 minutes a day. The segments are family-friendly and allow for lots of learning and leeway to interpret each element of painting in your own style.

You will need:

  • A sketchbook (Recommend: watercolor sketchbook with 80-330 lb paper)
  • Watercolor paints or watered-down acrylic paints or gouache
  • A pencil for sketching and notes
  • Brushes: small round (Recommend: also a square/flat brush)

Note: You will watch the pieces we create come together digitally using Photoshop. This is shown to teach composition-in-action. If you'd like to learn how to scan and clean your sketchbook artwork, see this video.

Meet Your Teacher

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Amarilys Henderson

Watercolor Illustrator, Design Thinker

Top Teacher

Hello! I'm Amarilys. I process on paper and I problem-solve with keystrokes.

As a commercial illustrator, I've had the pleasure of bringing the dynamic vibrance of colorful watercolor strokes to everyday products. My work is licensed for greeting and Christmas cards, art prints, drawing books, and home decor items. My design background influences much of my recent work, revolving around typography and florals.

While my professional work in illustration is driven by trend, my personal work springs from my faith. Follow along on Instagram


Learn a variety of fun and on-trend techniques to improve your work!

See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. The Ten Elements of Painting: These are basics that everybody needs to know. Hey, I'm Amarilys Henderson, I'm a watercolor illustrator. I get to paint for a living, and I also paint my feelings and the things I have to do, and for fun, and my faith, and everything that you can think of. Pretty much just putting it on a sheet of paper. As I do that, I am implementing these principles that you might not even realize you use constantly, or that you see in the great works of art. I want to guide you through the 10 principles of painting. You're going to be finished with 10 sketchbook pages for notes and ideas and concepts to help you create better artwork. Every artist needs to know the stuff, so let's get going. 2. Overview: If you're creating work and thinking, I need to get back to basics, I don't really quite understand what I'm doing, or what I'm reacting to, or what I like, I want to put those words in your mouth, I want you to understand what it is that makes a painting great, to look at line, to look at color, to look at composition, all these things that contribute to wonderful work. They're just fun practices that we're going to exercise in each one of these lessons and we'll walk away as always with something worth showing. I personally don't like to do classes where I just doodle or worse write down notes, and I don't have something to look back on it, to show for it. Being such a visual learner, I really like to be able to see what it is that we're talking about here, and that's what we're going to do. You can take this course over snippets every day, in fact, I think that's how I would suggest it, that way you have this collection of lessons and you're learning it slowly, and when you come back to it the next day and you're on principle number 2, you're thinking back, okay, what was the number 1 again? Ooh right, and that little mental jog that you did right there, that is very useful in learning, you'll actually grasp the concepts more if you do it as a daily practice if you take it a little bit at a time. We're going to go through each one, and I'll teach you a bit about each one before we get to our sketch books and exercise, what they mean for art work. 3. About Color: Color. Now when we're talking about color, it's usually the first thing that comes to mind when we're thinking of paintings. It's what we fall in love with at the art of Play Store and really the bait of getting us into painting. When we talk about color, I'm talking about how light hits an object and is perceived by the eye. That's really scientific talk for saying we each interpret color through our eyes and it's actually light. But what are some ways that colors are used in painting? We're talking about color, we're talking about hue, so that would be the difference between red and green, yellow and blue, the hue of that color. Then we talk about intensity, which is basically how saturated a color is. How much that color is of itself, how true it is, how intense it is, or how dull it is. So a very desaturated color would be gray, and it's a perfect segue into value. Another way of talking about color is in tonal value. So we're talking about light and dark, even within the same range of color. Some words to avoid when you're talking about color are bright, simply because it could be considered value or intensity, so that's why we use these big words to talk about color. We talk about hue, we talk about intensity, and we talk about value. Here's some paintings that best exemplify some of these principles. We have a lot of different colors and we have really intense, saturated colors. Then we have colors that are used to describe different tones, different values within a painting. 4. Practicing Color: I have my sketchbook ready for my first lesson. Color. All right, I have my watercolor paints out. This is a Mijello mission gold palette. It's quite pricey. You can use whatever watercolor palette you want because we're just playing with the colors we have. I'm going to use a size 4 round brush. It's pretty handy. It's small. You could go a little bigger than that and later on I'm going to use a really big flat brush. Right now I just want you to start with whatever is your favorite color and give it a little swash, so create a little circle. Now on our color wheel, we're going to think, which color do I want to go to that skips one and then goes to this. Pink is a derivative of red. So if I skip over towards warm colors, I would skip over red, orange and go to straight up orange. Straight across, is this green. There is my split complementary scheme. Now I want to do an analogous scheme from this first color. My first color was pink, and I pulled that out again after pink. An analogous color scheme chooses colors that are right alongside it. Right alongside it, I have red orange, and orange. Just to make it a little lighter, we're going to stretch over into the yellow orange. Do you see how these colors kind of go all in a line, that is my analogous color scheme. Now, I'm just going to pick one color. I'm using a small flat brush, this is size 6. But honestly it looks like it should be smaller than that, a smaller number than that. You don't have to have this brush. I am just creating a little swash of color with it. Now I have two cool colors, green and blue, and a lot of warm colors. I'm going to try my best to stick to these colors, and I can add black or lighten then as I want to, and I can mix them together. Which is going to be really fun. it's so fun I got to show you. I'm going to mix my pink with my orange. See how just creating a little circle of pink over the orange, just reactivated it. They mix together. I'm going to mix my pink with the green. In order to reactivate your colors, just get your brush very wet. That way, it awakens the paints on your paper again. I'm going to do the same with the orange. Here's orange plus pink. What color does that make? It's a bit like the burnt orange. The orange with the green makes a nice muddy brown and beautiful, that is very pretty. Those are all the color combinations that we can do by mixing these three colors together. Because if I mix the green with the orange, that's the same as mixing the orange with the green. One more step I'm going to take is in using white, I'm using pen white by Dr. P.H Martins. I'm going to mix a little bit of that white with my pink so that I see what that looks like when it's light. Wash my brush off, mix a little bit of the orange with the white. Wash my brush off, white with the green. Pretty little of mint. Too dark, I'm going to add a little more white. There we go. I can even bring it into this brown, mix that up. You get this cool, muted brown. Putting a little bit of the white into this kind of violet color that I got from pink plus green, plus white, and that would be the same, pink white and orange. That is a lot of colors that we have to choose from. So we can make one very complete painting and we don't even need to dial in to this kind of bonus blue that I threw in just for fun. What I'm going do is I'm now going to use my big flat brush. You can keep using the brush that we've been using. This is just actually going to be faster. So I'm going to first get my brush wet. This is a size 20. I'm just going to create a gradient of colors with that bottom tier. I'm going to start with that wet part of my page on the very top. I'm going to add pink. This method is called the wet on wet painting method, is because we're painting wet paint onto a white sheet of paper. It makes the colors blend a lot better than if we went from a wet brush to a dry sheet of paper. I got my brush still wet but this time I added some orange, I'm going to let them crossover a little bit. Checking to see if my paper is still wet. Not really, so I'm going to add some more water. The brush was a little dirty, so it already had a little bit of the pink, but that's okay. My next color, yellow, orange. You can even skip colors because if we go straight to yellow, the yellow and the orange would blend, right? So I don't need to add this red orange right here. It's already red orange. It's already the pink and the orange blending together. Comb those through as much as you like. You can keep going if you want to make a full rainbow and make more colors, I'm going to stop at yellow because I really want to keep my color scheme like I have here. I'm just reapplying paint as I need to, where I'm seeing that there's some spots that need more color. Honestly I'm just having so much fun. This is such a simple activity and you learn so much about color just by looking at these colors interplay and mingle with each other. Make more of these if you want. But this is all we're going to do today. We are playing with the colors that we chose, our split complementary color scheme, creating wet beds of color, and then filling it in with more so they gradiate together. It's really fun to watch. 5. About Value: It's said that value is the most important thing in a painting, but color gets all the credit. Value is a great second step to think about. It's really the cornerstone of a lot of paintings. If you can take a painting and just completely remove the color, which is something I often do actually on my phone just to see the intensities of value going on, that will help you decide what to do next in your painting. Some people call it tone, but we're talking about how light and dark a color, or not. Maybe black, maybe Grey, it is. When we're approaching value, we're thinking about contrast. That would be a very stark, dark, and light way to appreciate value. We're talking about gradation. right talking about some really slow gradations in value, and then we use value as a focal point. Here's some visuals to help you understand that idea of contrast, or some might want to sound fancy, you can call it Chiaroscuro, where we have this Italian term to describe this harsh dark and harsh light, and how it makes our eyes focus on crisp outlines. We have really settle values in this gradation and focal points that are created through value. These are some paintings that show these different principles of value, the high contrast of the Mona Lisa. In the second painting by John Burton, you see a gradation of values from some very crisp contrast to some very light tones as the figures grow further and further away. Then in the third painting, called "The Matchmaker," you see how the focal point is really drawn by that harsh contrast value. We have a lot of dark and a lot of light, and then our eyes are drawn to that place, and that's a great way to use the principles of value. We're going to exercise those now. 6. Practicing Value: Now we're going to work with value. Value being the light and darkness. We're still working in color theory here, so I'm going to use my same round for brush and I'm just going to go from this color. There it is, in its purest form. I'm going to put it over here and do it in different levels of darkness, by adding the complimentary color being this emerald green. I'm going to guess that that's a really dark, bring it over here. Nice and dark. Now with watercolor, the way that we get lighter and darker isn't just by mixing colors, but it's also by adding water. I'm going to use whatever paint is on my brush, bring it over here. You might add a little more water to make it lighter. You can remove color by rolling your brush and picking it up, and I'm just adding a little bit of that purple color that I still have on my brush and to this wash, and your first one doesn't need to be perfect. It's all a practice of getting this just right and predicting how light or dark these colors are going to be, by how much paint you have on your brush and how much water you're using. This is a great exercise if you are new to watercolor and you are trying to understand how much to put on your brush, how much to put on your page with each exercise, creating a little value scale. Rolling that brush if we need to take away, adding one water if we need it to be lighter. Then for my final one, I'm going to use what I have left as a mixture with white, and that's as light as I'm going to be able to go with that color. Let's try the same with the green. Again, washing your brush getting a pure, amount of pure swash here. Just straight up emerald green. Putting it here. Now since green is inherently darker, I'm sopping up some of that paint so that it'll be a lighter color. I realized that it's going to get dark real fast, so green in its purest form is probably going to be more towards the end of my value scale here, whereas the pink was right in the middle. Use it a little bit with the white, see how that comes out. I really love this color. Have more white. All right, now we need to get darker, so I'm going to go more full on the color on my brush. Let's see if this is as far as I can push it in its purest form. It looks like it. Now, if I want to go darker, guess what, it's going to be those colors up there, so I don't need to paint that again. I'll just add a teensy bit of pink. Look at how that already changed my colors so much. This mix has more green than pink, that mix has more pink than green, so there is my values for my green. Now for the fun exercise. I want you to create clouds with these colors. I'm going to go with the cool color because it would feel more natural. No, I'm going to go with the warm color, I'm going to go with the pink. Pink clouds, I just can't resist. I'm going to start with a light white mix with the pink to make my clouds. The way I make my clouds is by basically making a collection of half circles in different sizes and then filling them in. Here's a smaller half circle, three or four is a good number, and then connecting them all on the bottom. It's obviously not the only way to make clouds, this is my way, that I found to be the most fun. All right, but since I'm exploring value, I'm going to do this. Next cloud, with more paint, I'll do a darker version. Same motif, just darker, and play with my values. I like my cute little clouds, nice variety, and the values. I feel like I have a better understanding of how to get darker and lighter with my colors by painting a few clouds. 7. About Line: The third element of art that we'll talk about is line. In painting, we always have line because it's essentially each time your brush hits the canvas or the paper, you create a line, whether you want to or not. These are paths from one to another moving through space. Now, lines can be very defined, they can be very symmetrical, but not varying in width, not a lot of line quality, but then you have gestural lines which are placed much more freely. They express a lot more with a single line. Perspective is also a great use of line and it is what it says. We'll use lines to create the depth and surroundings to better understand the environment that our subject matter is in. Here are some paintings to help cement that idea of how lines can define as Mondrian did, as lines can evoke emotion by being gestural, by being very loose, by using a lot of width, and thick and thin lines to show the outline of something. It doesn't have to be stick, straight line. A cool way to show perspective, it doesn't have to be a pencil sketch. Perspective is often showed with line simply because we are guiding the eye from one point to another with the power of line. 8. Practicing Line: Now we're getting into something that I really tried to incorporate in my work. Although color is a biggy, color's a really bit picky. Line, so I love to talk about line quality. It's because we can make lines that are uniform and that speaks for sure. But there's something about really increasing the broadness of how thick and thin your line is. We're going to do these in orange. Now, I'm going to create some regular lines. Kind of try my best at being very consistent with their width, with their thickness. Maybe make some wavy lines. But again, uniform. As best I can. Now I'm going to play with line quality by going thick and thin. I'm loading up a lot of water and a lot of paint onto my brush so that I'm more flexibility. The size of my brush is four, but you'll see that I can use the very tip of it to make this a very thin line and then press down and make a thick line and let up to make a thin line again. This is going to take a lot of practice if it's something that's completely new to you, but it's well worth learning more about. Now, let's put it in practice. We're going to explore line quality with a couple of different subjects. Maybe one of them will be more interesting to you than the other. One is butterflies. So butterflies are fun to draw because they're just symmetrical, and it's two-ear like shapes put together. But with my line quality, I can make the butterfly's wings feel thicker at times, feel thinner. It really adds a lot of interest and even realness to something that can be so easily doodled. Lets try and butterflies sideways. See how I pushed down my brush as I get into those curves and let up as the weighing attaches to the butterfly. Now let's try the same principle with a horse. Horses can be hard to draw. But if you look at a horse, think of it's most dominant movement, and that's where you want the line to be the thickest. Here I'm doing it across his back. Getting thinner as I get into the snout. Went a little pointy on the snout. Pointier than I wanted to. A uniform line for the neck and for the ears. Notice how these lines, they're just giving a feeling of form. It's not the most realistic horse you'll ever see, but it is there to show the movement of a horse. If I had drawn the same horse with a uniform line, he would look more like this. I'm drawing the same horse but with it looking the other way, and you might like that better. But there is no movement, there is no feeling of getting an understanding of where it's going and where it's putting its strength. I'm going to do just the face of a horse. Doing two lines for the ears, two lines for the eyes, and two lines for the nostrils just to get my bearings. Then use a thinner line on the inside of the ear. Give him some thick hair here. Some thinner lines along the edges of his face. You want go back to butterflies. I totally understand. How about as we create whatever it is that we want to create, we create the silhouette of it with a watery watercolor wash. I'm making the silhouette of a butterfly. I'm going to try to squeeze in silhouette of a horse. Neck, body, legs. Very small little horse here. Feeling like he needs to fill in a little bit, close enough. After those dry, I'll come in with a pure color. Maybe start mixing my colors a little bit. I have a little bit of this pinkish orange going a little darker. Now I'll create the body of the butterfly with a nice thick line that tapers at the end so it's thinner. The antenna. And I can create the outline using some line quality where I am going thicker and thinner with my lines. Filling in where you got a little too light. Putting in a few more patches of color. Add a little bit of green, very thin line. So right here in this little butterfly I got quite a bit of variety with thickness and thinness of each line. Let's do the same for the horse. The horse, we will make him standing strong in front. Almost looks like a drop shadow. You come around and spread. We get thicker, adding little bits of detail, little eye, little nostril for our horse. You can try some other animals by specially first creating that silhouette, that little watery color of just the outline and filling that in, letting that dry. Then try your best to try to look at these animals and interpret where their movement is going. They play with how thick and thin you create those lines. 9. About Shape: A personal favorite and a common favorite among artists. Very simply, it's an enclosed area. It's a shape, you get it. When we're talking about shape, we're talking about geometric shapes. They could be organic shapes or shapes can be the positive or negative space, so other shapes can make the shape. Here's some examples of some of those very easy to envision. Geometric shapes, things that you can label. Organic shapes, not so much, harder to describe. Usually found in nature inspired by nature. Positive and negative shapes. The doughnut type shape is created by the negative shapes, or if you think about it, the circle within the doughnut is a shape created by the negative space. Here's some paintings that represent those nicely love these beautiful geometric shapes created in this first painting, overlapping. We can reduce anything into shapes. Once we understand these shapes, we can easily interpret them. Matisse's organic shapes that he did out of cut paper. Very flowing using just the movement of your hand and not being too guided by exactly what it looks like. Or we have these positive and negative shapes playing with our mind in this Escher drawing where we have, is it the black that's the positive space that's actually the shape, or is it the white that's a negative shape? It's all very confusing, but they're all shapes created by these enclosed areas that we create visually. 10. Practicing Shape: One of my favorite principles of painting, shape. The reason I love shape is because you can interpret so much with the shape of something. You don't really need a lot of the other things if you've got your shapes right. I'm going to use a flat brush. This is size 12. The reason I'm using this is just to show you, again, you can use whatever brush you have. But I want to show you how to easily create shapes with this brush because I feel like it really it teaches well. I'm going to use this red-orange mixture we have here. The great thing about a flat brush is as I use it perpendicularly, it's going to create a nice wide line that makes creating a shape pretty easy. I'll use the brush from the top down, twirling it to create a circle, instead of using it at an angle, which we usually do when we're painting. Just painting some basic shapes. You've done these before, not a big deal, but we're going to use these basic shapes to build whatever we want. In this case, we're going to do a barn. I'm going to mix my green, and my pink, and my orange to see what kind of muddy color we get here. I'm doing a barn because it's nice and symmetrical. It has some very hard edges, and it'll be great to give us an idea of how things can be put together as shapes. I first create a rectangle. Could be a square, but it's slightly taller, and I want to keep this color pretty light because I'm going to work on top of it, adding more and more details. This is the front of the barn. I'm going to give it a curved top, it's like a curved triangle, and I'm going to follow that line, working sideways with my brush to create the roof. Now, I'll create the side wall, doing the same as I did with the roof extending the line from the front of the barn backward at a slight angle, and then filling that shape with color. Then we're going to let this dry. But just for the sake of helping you understand how everything is made of shapes even if it's not something blocky, I'm going to do a tree with our emerald green. Much like we did the clouds, I'm just going to create these half circle shapes, not necessarily filling them in. They're more like macaroni pieces, and just so that aesthetically it looks similar to the clouds we already created, I'm going to make them flat on the bottom. Do another one. It's always good to have a little repetition in your piece, that's actually a design element. It's also good to work on something else while you're waiting for something to dry. I'm going to go back to my smaller round brush for some details on our barn. It's still a little wet. Use a brush to just soak up some of that water so it'll dry faster for us. I'm mixing my emerald green. Wash my brush a little bit before I dip it into the pink. I'm mixing those up and creating that dark purple, and using the last principle that we used, creating lines to make our barn's edges. If you want to look at a photo reference so that your barn looks legit, you're welcome to. I am just working from memory as a fun little exercise kind of to keep the pressure off and keep these videos short so we can keep learning. I'm outlining my shapes and give my barn a nice big doorway. I'm giving it a nice big window up here. Again, thinking about shapes, let's say it's open and these are the windows opening inward. Put in another shape and burn two to half. Now you have some windows, not typically, but maybe. You can even focus on some of this ribbing coming down. I'm going back to my trees. I've got this purplish color, if I add a little orange, it will get browner, and I'm creating the branches just with single strokes of my flat brush, reaching out like little hands to the trunk of the tree. Letting a few of those ribs show. I'm going do some of those branches to each other, the fun, whimsical tree. To further our fun with shapes, I'm going to add a few leaves. This red on top with the green, tiny little details like this. Let me do really final illustrations. I hope you were able to appreciate how everything is made up of shapes, and if you just compile them just right, my oval face, the rectangle I have holding out my head, my rectangle-ish shoulders, my roundness and the shoulders going down to ovals that extend to more ovals, you'll see how shapes are everywhere, and shape is so important in painting. 11. About Space: Space, we often talk about space within a painting as that positive and negative area. We portray depth with space, we create volume as in the weight of the amount of space there is in a painting. Space can be created by relative means, meaning we can create a space by overlapping some things, making some thing's further in a distance, these are all used to create an ambiance, an atmosphere within a work of art. We can be very technical and create space by using perspective, measuring with lines, making sure that everything recedes to the right perspective rather than just relative proportions like in the first example. We can completely disregard proportion and where things are and just make it all flat, flat planes creating space. Here is some paintings that show each one of those distinctively. You've got Salvador Dali's painting where you have an idea of the space, it's going out into the distance, it's not a real space, there is some perspective, but most of our idea of where we are is by comparing one object to another. We have perspective, where you are using just all of the skill and technical ability you can to create the space. In the third painting we're just forgetting about how big things are relative to each other where they lay, it's just flat plains and we're just having fun with the shapes more so to create that space. 12. Practicing Space: Space is a principle that we will see better as we look at the last one composition. But space, also used to referred to as volume, is just what it sounds like. It's the interplay of subject and everything around. If I'm sitting here and I'm looking off, it gives you a completely different sense of this photograph we're looking at right now. Especially if I'm looking away, what am I looking at? So we're going to create some space by painting what will be the negative space, the unused, so to speak, space in our painting where our eyes get a break. But it also creates a little tension with what isn't and what is. If I were creating a field, you start with the middle color, let's say the green that I've chosen. Then I'd come into something that could be the near space. This is what we're standing on theoretically. Now, you can get darker with the color ahead of us or that we're on, closest to us. But as things get further away from us, they actually get lighter. Water particles in the air interfere with what we see and so things appear to get blurrier and lighter as they recede. I'm creating just some fields, some different fields in different colors, starting with my first color, coming to what's ahead of us, and then behind some very flattened half circles to show that feeling of space. Really fun to watch these colors weave into each other. Now, when you have this idea of volume, you have to have the attention of something. We've got some beautiful colors here, and I almost hate to tarnish them in any way, but we need something that reminds us that this is the main main. What is conflicting? What is interesting? What is pulling us away from these fluid washes? Then I'm coming back to this. I left this little pocket white. If you painted it all green, that's fine, but you're going to need to wait until it all dries before we work on it some more. But I left it white because we're going to add little flowers or grass in there. Even a pattern of Xs is going to be enough because what we want is something that's just busy and making us look in that direction. I'm going to use a color that might be a surprise, it's brown, because I want the color to feel very different from what everything else is. Just creating a few daisies. Actually some are coming out from this little area and some are bleeding over. You want your viewer of your painting to have even something that frustrates them a little bit. Think of the Mona Lisa and how much intrigue there is around the semi-smile on her face. If it had been a full smile or if it had been apparent to every viewer what is going on there, there wouldn't be very much interest in the painting. But it's virtue is in how it's little unknown, it's a little mysterious. I'm imagining this field as if it were a quilt and just creating a little fun pattern in this pocket. A bit of white and a bit of yellow. I'm going to try to do the center of these daisies without bleeding too much. We could bring some of these dots out here. I'm adding a few leaves just to further tie in this strange little section of flowers in this large amount of negative space. That's all we're going to do for space, little quilt to the field, sub-quilt. 13. About Texture: A very fun element of art is texture. What's fun about texture is that we can be talking about the way a painting feels by looking at it, or the way a painting feels by touching it, or texture can also be created by pattern. I wouldn't recommend touching a painting, but we have seen paintings that are made in such a way that they do have tactile texture to them. Most of the texture that we see in art is visual. We use our pencils and our brushes to try to show the texture of something, and then pattern, that's the repetition, the movement that's created in order to show texture. Here is some examples of texture. We have Monet's water lilies that have palpable texture, if you were able to be close enough to touch one of these paints, you would feel the texture of that painting right there. We have beautiful sketches showing detail, if we zoomed in on this hare, you would see very intricate details and showing different textures on the ears versus the whiskers versus the fur of the belly. Texture is also shown through pattern, so it might not be a texture found in nature, found on earth, it can be a perceived idea of texture through a pattern. 14. Practicing Texture: Today is a fun one texture. What's fun about texture is that we can use just about anything to explore it, because texture is all about variety. I'm going to start out with watercolors since I have them out. But I want you to use whatever mediums you have. Maybe you'll look at what I'm doing and think, "I think I could replicate that with something else." We're going to do something different in the way that we paint. I'm going to show you the dry brush technique rather than the wet on wet. It lives up to its name. We want a brush that's dry but clean. We'll dip it into some paint. As we paint different lines, you'll see that it creates a rough texture as the brush hits the paper, and it doesn't really have a lot of paint to work with. What's fun about creating textures is you can create patterns. You can use a lot of different mediums and add things to it. You could paint with quash or acrylic paint and add sand, or you can go to the store and buy it already in there. It's really fun also to create textures with just those same supplies that you've been using. Again, here's my brush, I added some water, and instead of painting a box and filling it in, I'm going to stamp with it up and down. Today is just all about exploring different textures with whatever you've got on hand. I'm going to pull out my colored pencils and try out some textures with those. I'll keep exploring with the materials I have, the watercolor paints because I want to really exploit all the ways that I could possibly use my materials. I'm keeping with my color scheme. Just to help you have a target or something that you're creating with these things, let's just say that we're making grass and foliage in different textures. I hope you discovered some new textures you could create not only by using different art supplies, but using them differently, and by creating different kinds of lines within your work. 15. About Scale: Size is a very important element in painting. We will think of size in these ways. It can be natural. So proportionate size. We could also be talking about the scale of the painting itself or the things within the painting. But if it were dramatic, we could have a very small person, a very large person. We have perhaps something that should be smaller, be large. And it's there to tell a story. It's there for an intent and that is within the painting. The size can be hierarchical. We're using size to show how important something is by making it massive and making other things fall under suit. The painting itself can be massive or tiny, to communicate more in the painting. To be a mean term, portraying another element, another important part of this painting, through size and scale. Some examples of that dramatic shift in making things disproportionately large, or we're focusing on the sides of things and manipulating that to tell a story, shown in this painting called Curiosity. The second example of hierarchical structure in size. We see especially on the right-hand side, that the tires of the importance of how big things are. It could be in the order of it, but also the scale. So somethings that are made to be very important are placed almost mathematically so that we see them in that order. One of my favorite artists, Chuck Close, does massive portraits that he does in a really unique way. You can look him up when you have some time. But he makes these portraits very large, so up-close, they don't look like portraits. They can be appreciated from afar. That's part of what he's trying to communicate and he does that through size from scale. 16. Practicing Scale: Let's talk about scale or size. Today's activity is pretty simple or this activity is pretty simple because it's a little bit like what we've already done, but we are going to zoom in on something that we've already painted. The easiest thing for us to zoom in is the flowers. In the space project, we had a little section of daisies, so we're just going to do one or two that are really close up and just think about the difference between small and large. What you're going to be looking at, that tension that interests that happens just by changing the size or the scale of something. Using my four round brush, I'm just going to paint the daisy, easy yellow centers. I'm going to do one that's a bit of an angle. Let's go big. Then with any of my warm colors, I'm going to extend from there to create each petal beginning with this angled one so you can see flowers or these radial flowers are basically an asterisk. If you think about an asterisk pulling from the center outward. We're trying to think, okay, well if it starts from here, it gets a little wider, it's a little bigger. Loops around and these are going to be in a crescent formation as they get wider and shorter, winding around the center of the daisy. Now since this one is bigger, the center was bigger than this other one, that's why I wanted to work on it first because it's in front of that line. That's part of the principle of scale. This size is going to be a lot more forthright. Standing right in front of us, looking at us, it's a lot easier to get our bearings on it. Again, it's fun and a smart idea to work on several things at a time when you're painting in watercolor. Because it's important to get your timing right on some things and letting them just sit and dry until the next stage. Being careful to place the petals of this daisy behind what's already painted, so you have a bit of that overlap going on. I'm dipping back into the yellow and going a lot thicker on it. Lot more paint on my brush and less water so that I can speckle in a little bit of texture into center of these daisies. Using your green, being careful to go behind what's already there. Since we are talking about scale, how about we give this one some nice big leaves just to make it a little different from the stems, add a little white. I'm going to leave the center with a little bit of a design just so that flexibility, I can add in a different color if I want to in a second here. It's just unbelievable to have just one leaf. You need several. Nobody knows why. In that weird center I left here, I don't think this is typical of daisies, but I'm going to add in a contrasting color, just because I can't, this is my whimsical little farm I have going on here. Finally, I'm going to add a little more definition to the daisies by using the principle of line. Adding a few center lines, a few corner edge markers where I feel like it's not quite clear what's going on here. Sometimes you don't have to be so clear. Sometimes you can be very nicely defined and sometimes not and as the artist, you can choose when to do that and when to just not outline something. It becomes both a stylistic choice and something that just needs to happen. For instance, here when things overlap, I feel the need to add more color to help define so that our eyes aren't going, what's going on there. Quite get it. Then we're forced to presume, makes us feel a little uneasy. It's fun to make every reason accountable sometimes in creating a little bit of tension, a little bit of entry. But when it comes to more obvious things like overlapping and where things really are, where they meet and where they end. Then we should provide some visual cues for that. Then I will definitely would advise the element of mine to help to find what we're looking at here. Just for the sake of our sketch book page here, so that when I look back on it, I know what I meant by scale. Let me go ahead and paint a few very simple daisies here, loosely with my brush to show a difference in size between the daisies over here in the upper right and the daisies down here in the upper left. So dry your big thing and a little thing to show scale. 17. About Direction: Direction. Direction is how we guide the eye through a painting. You can do this, and the most obvious way with line. When we talked about line, you probably saw them going in a direction, so that makes a pretty simple direction line. But we can also use light to create direction to guide the eye to a certain focal point, to bring speckles of light throughout or even color. Because color again, is another way to exemplify light. It's another perception of our eyes. Direction could be something that simply done by the size of your painting. If you're doing it in a horizontal landscape or square orientation, it will dramatically change a painting if you make it a different orientation, a different format. The way that you create your art, the surface that you create, the dimensions also plays a role. A famous example of using line and really arch marking texture is Starry Night by van Gogh. The lines directs the eye throughout the sky to move throughout the painting and it does so in a very fluid way. In the middle painting you see how light the stark, and light and dark of the left hand figure is going into the receding looking down. But you want to look down because you're guided by the light in this painting and the direction of the figures. The format of this third Japanese painting how long it is, it's to make us feel a certain way and understand the painting in a different way than if it had been horizontal. 18. Practicing Direction: All right. Now we're getting into broader compositional type values. Direction. Direction is basically how we're guiding the eye. It relies on the focal point we have in a painting. While we don't have our painting put together yet, and we're not going to create an entirely new painting just to learn about direction. I'm going to give you just a few little shortcuts and exercises we can draw and paint just to have some ideas on how to portray direction, how to guide the eye through the painting. One very useful way that we use to guide the eye through painting is through color. Use the highest contrast or the brightest color in the spot that you want the eye to be guided towards, while other colors might amp up on the way there. Do you see how the eye naturally wants to go from here to there to there. It really wants to get to the yellow. Another way to guide the direction of the eye is basically by drawing it for the eye. I'm going to use some of this white, make a mint out of it, and make a river. Your eye cannot resist that river no matter what color we make it. It will just naturally guide the eye or through thinner lines. It doesn't have to be a big subject. It could just be a little bit of just a simple line. Another great practice in line forms. You'll see that used a lot with the illustrations with calligraphy. They will guide your eye by using the lines. We've directed people with the colors we use, with the intensity of the lines or even the subject matter that's shown in this little river. This is what I've got to follow. It's just such a clear visual cue of where my eye needs to be working. Another one is by prioritizing. We talked about size before and we talked about scale. How something that's bigger is just going to attract your attention. Well, what if you placed those bigger things in strategic spots to again, guide the eye? We did that with color. But what if this river was leading us to a bunny at the end of the river. Now, I can put this bunny over back here and I do think that he would attract some attention from you. Do you think I could guide your eye over to this bunny? He's isolated, he's by himself, and he's by this big bright yellow orb. But if I created a couple of ears just peeking out from the corner here, your eye would be guided by scale over to this bunny just because he's so big and he is demanding some attention. You could be guided over to him because of contrast. Maybe not necessarily color, but that second principle we learned of value. Using light and dark tones and creating a tension there by making the eye look to where there's different values going on. That's going to help you look at my bunny. Even though he's coming off the page, even though he is not, maybe the main thing, you just cannot ignore him. He's making your eye move because we've got this really dark brown next to a stark white background. Practice some direction lines, play with the contrast of things and see if you can challenge yourself to hop around the page as much as you can. Get it hop somebody of those cute. In my painting, you want to look at this bunny and this bunny guides you up through the cool colors to warmer to warmer, to very bright, to very stark, very isolated peak bunny in the background while these lines can affirm, yes, you have landed at the right place. In the next lesson, we'll explore how to make viewers linger at your painting a little longer through time. 19. About Time: Time is how long you get your viewer to linger. When it comes to this principle, it's just better shown in examples. So we're going to go straight to that. A painting can make us linger by making us feel something, or maybe by looking at the painting, you have a sense of time. Perhaps you're looking at a painting that has a vast expanse and it feels like a longer amount of time, or it could be a very emotive romantic, passionate painting like this one in The Kiss by Gustav Klimt. We can feel time through movement and it could be a really complex kind of painting. Think of looking up in a cathedral and seeing fresco on the ceiling and noticing just all the details of angels and cherubim and all the things going on. The movement there makes you linger and spend more time there. It also communicates time because what we live through, what we're doing by lingering at a painting is actually feeding into the interpretation of that painting. It could be very simple, like in Andy Warhol's, Campbell's Soup Can. We have something that is so surprising that it causes us to pause, and we're really trying to figure out what is this painting trying to communicate, or maybe making us look at something in a different way or forcing us to pause and look at something that we pass every day. 20. Practicing Time: All right, time could be called movement. What's funny about time is that it's not an element of a painting that you see on the painting, it's the effect of the painting on the viewer. How much time someone spends looking at your piece can be determined by lots of things. Time can be shown or brought on by contrast. A lot of the things that we already talked about, this stark contrast, that can make us look at something a lot. Repetition, where we have the same elements over and over again, and our mind is trying to make sense of what this rhythm, what this repetition is about or maybe you are really masterful at direction at guiding the viewer throughout. Maybe you're really masterful at the details, at the colors, at the tones, the values. Maybe you're really great at showing shape. I have stared at pieces because I am just drawn in by their shapes. It could be anything, but it has to be done well, and it's definitely usually a combination of those things. As we're considering this, we're at the end of a lot of our sketchbook pages and surely you can create some of these motifs in your sketchbook. What we're going to do today is actually do some thumbnail sketches. When I was in art school, one of the first things I did was create thumbnail sketches and learn what they were. Thumbnail sketches are tiny little sketches, tiny little drawings, maybe the size of your thumbnail that help describe what you're going to do. It's like your plan for your piece. Now, we have created a lot of things without creating thumbnail sketches but these sketches are really handy in particular as we consider, finally, the composition of the piece, which thereby will help our viewers to feel movement in the piece and understand time and use time to linger at them. The very first thing you're going to do when you're creating your thumbnail sketch is to decide if your piece is going to be horizontal or vertical. It will feel like a different expression of time itself. If you look at comic books, you'll see that the widest panes on a comic book page, the pane being that little window with the drawing, will express the longest amount of time. Maybe it's a panoramic view or maybe it's someone's sitting and it's a really long span of boring time, whereas the very dynamic panes are vertical and you see that, and maybe there's a fight sequence or something that goes in rapid succession. You could also choose to do a square, particularly if you're trying to post on social media, that's handy. But as you're creating thumbnail sketches, think of what you want your background to feel like. If it's flat and horizontal maybe a horizontal orientation is best so it feels very placid, very calm with your little barn and a butterfly, Sun, creek, horse or maybe you want to show the majesty of that gradient sunrise we did. The barn is just tucked back here. Notice how moving things around is making us see the same subject matter very differently. Even though this river is still guiding our eyes to the sun, having these huge flowers in the foreground using that scale and the color once this is in will be the showstoppers. Whereas in this painting, it's a lot more calm, maybe even stagnant and just feeling like time is very slow and the painting might not require that much time from the viewer's side to look at it. If you've ever been at an art gallery and have seen someone staring at a piece and you're thinking, what are they looking at? They must be so much deeper or insightful than me. This is exactly what I'm talking about. If something is really intricate, you're just going to naturally linger at it if it's interesting enough. A lot of this hangs in the balance of things that we are interested in and how we're going to interpret things in our heart. So different things are going to impress different people but the principles are still the same, they're just rearranged. According to your preferences, you may want to create work that has an upside down landscape or has the barn is just barely visible here and is off to the side and upside down, never done that before. But depending on your style, you're going to create different thumbnails to try to represent the look that you're going for. Create at least three, preferably four, thumbnail sketches to help you understand how time and movement come into play as really a combination of a lot of the things you've been learning so far. In the next lesson, when I talk about composition, I will be taking the paintings that we've used so far and compiling them into a pleasing composition or maybe several. This is a source spot for a lot of people so I look forward to showing you some different approaches to doing that. But before we do that, make sure you understand how to guide the eye, how to keep the eye on your painting through time. 21. About Composition: Finally, composition. This is where everything comes together, and it's how the painting is thoughtfully arranged. When we think of composition, it can be done in so many different ways. It's really hard to put it on just one slide and narrow it down to these ideas of unity imbalance, we have some movement. We have a painting that feels well rounded or grounded. We can create composition by guiding the eye in lots of different places. By creating movement and rhythm, by creating different focal points, and strategically forcing the viewer to look around the painting. Composition is also achieved through focus intention. Using all these things, all these elements that we've talked about, using dark and light, using hard lines and thick lines and soft lines, there's a tension there. In combining these ingredients, there's these different aspects going on that make us notice the composition because it's really forcing us to linger and to notice all these things coming together. Here are some examples. Unity and balance in Frida Kahlo's paintings. She often has direct symmetry, so you have two Frida Kahlos looking at each other, and they're balanced in almost a symmetrical way. Degas is known for his movement and rhythm. If you want to study composition, he's a great artist to dig in deeper to. There's a lot of focus intention in paintings that are more busy, that are using more colors, that are using more light to their advantage. Let's pull everything together in our compositions. 22. Practicing Composition: Composition, as we consider composition, this is a biggie. A lot of us really struggle with this idea. We know that it matters, where we put things and how to arrange them just right. But I really want you to focus on the fact that we've built up on nine days thinking about all these other elements to culminate here. Ironically, it was hard to place nine or 10 at the end because we want to play with composition in order to receive the end goal of time. But anyway, this segment is not about you going into Photoshop and taking all these elements and putting them together as I have, I just want to illustrate for you how all of these things can come together to become something that shows probably just most of the elements that we've talked about so far. As we consider composition, as you watch me put these together first in a square format, kind of horizontal format, and then in a vertical composition, so you get a different feel for how those are inherently going to have a different effect on the viewer. I want to just give you some pointers as you consider composition. I have all the elements, the things that we've created in the last few segments, the last few principles, and they're like these different puzzle pieces. You need to first consider the biggest ones. We have space, and in our case, in our exercise, color. Color doesn't necessarily have to be something that you move around, so to speak. But since they did the exercises, we have this beautiful gradient of color, which is actually going to serve as our background sky. Once we place those down, have this blanket, this scheme of how big this is going to be, then we choose things by way of priority. When you're thinking about your composition, how you want to lay things out, always be considering how you're going to guide the eye. Sure, the direction, the flow, the movement, all these things. But where are we going to land? What is the spot you want to make sure that your viewer is not going to miss? That will be your focal point. Not all great art pieces have a clear focal point. I know that sounds weird. But remember that all of these elements don't have to all be in play. We pick and choose and it really depends on the way that someone works, and that's what makes it fun and exciting. Is that different artists do think so differently, and this class is to help you decode what it is that you're reacting to, what you like, and how is this piece good and that piece is good and they're so very different. If you want to mess around with pieces the way that I'm and placing them in different places, beginning with the first priority of the focal point and ending with more of the textures and deciding where to put those little notes, you can do this in Photoshop. I have a tutorial for that, that I will link below. You can also do this on a phone app by taking a picture, erasing the background, and then you have all these little elements to play with. You can do this as an old school method and literally cut and paste, which is actually a lot of fun and can be another way of growing. You don't have the luxury of scaling things larger or smaller or stretching them or duplicating them as easily as you do digitally. But it has a completely different feel, and so you are playing with shape and line edges in a way that you wouldn't in these digital ways of working. Again, when you're thinking about composition, maybe you're creating another piece for today, for this exercise, that would be great too, just as you've done all of these different little parts. Now, you know how you want to arrange them according to the time, movement, thumbnail, exercise, and now you know how you wanted to paint your piece. Please that would be awesome. I would love to see that in the project area. We first create a focal point, we select what it is that we want that to be. Then we have all these other elements that fall underneath by order of priority. How are these elements going to fall into place? In our exercise of being a landscape, we're looking at something and we're looking into the span, into the depth of the background, and so that creates these layers. That's why I had you paint hills in these layers because that will help us visually organize. Start warming up for the idea of how we're going to organize our pieces to be scaled. So as they come closer, their bigger, they get further, they're smaller, and we have a little more depth already built-in, which is so great. Something to be wary of when you're creating a composition and placing things. We do not want things to rub up against each other to be right next to each other, we want things to overlap a little bit so we know what goes first and what goes behind. Visually, it just reads better, reads quicker makes sense, and it doesn't leave us confused through the space in between. That's totally fine. We just don't want things to butt up against each other. When your thinking about composition, you also can push it further into the edges. We don't have to be confined to this square. We can work beyond the edges. You don't have to be confine to whatever space that is. If you frame it on mat, you can always make the frame on the mat bigger. If this composition is not obvious to everybody, if it's not easy to read, that's really okay. We want it to be a little tricky. When something is perhaps too simple to figure out, then it's a quick read. We're not going to spend much time looking into it. But the more thought you put into how you put your piece together, the more time someone is going to spend looking at it. There is a time and a place also for a very simple art and I'm not against that. You'll often see my pieces just be one thing isolated on a background, but when we're thinking about composing things right and we're wanting to learn more about how to do that, that's when we need to be a little more intentional about it. Just as a recap, we find a focal point. We prioritize all the remaining shapes. We think about depth and perspective. Don't be scared by those words. That just means how things look in a distance versus close up. When you're creating a scene, when they're close up, they're bigger, when they're further away, they're smaller. The more detailed when they're close up, the more blurry when they're in the background. Then bring back color. I like to start with color and finish with color. Color being so important in my work and in a lot of people's work. In a lot of artwork at the end, we're looking at things. Does it feel unified, are the colors speckled about, is there a gradient going on, do I like that, is it too organize. It's almost like getting dressed in the morning, you want to match, you want to coordinate, but you feel like you're doing it too much. I challenge you to either play with the pieces that we've already worked with in the last few exercises, in the last few principles, or create a new piece now with what you know. Just to exercise a little bit on that compensation piece of how to create great art. 23. Bonus: More Learning!: You can find more color fun with the sun and moon class I have right here on Skillshare. We painted suns and moons, first arranging our color scheme and playing with split complementary color schemes. You'll see that mixing colors is really easy. Mixing them together and combining them to create palettes that are pleasing and create also some visual tension. Value is a big one and it's the one that we don't want to miss. If you want to have more fun with values and colors, we actually replace values with color in this animal portraits class, it'll challenge and stretch the relationship between those two. An artist that I looked to for how she handled the shape was Mary Blair. I did class here on Skillshare dedicated to her, where even I got to include a lot of different artists who are also influenced by her work. The projects include focusing on shape and making them different things. You'll have to watch it to see. 24. Quick Recap: I hope you learned something and I hope you got your sketchbook out and you were able to explore some things that you knew were there. I've been teaching for a few years now and I get to see people get really excited about creating. We'll jump into creating, we'll jump into how do you do this and how do you paint that, and how do you draw this? We are interested in different subject matter. Beautiful. But then we come to a place where we realize, I don't really know what makes something good anymore? Or I can do this one isolated thing, but then how do I put it into context? How do I know it's going to look right or make sense or I'm just using whatever colors I like and I'm not applying any color theory to it? Those are great questions and don't feel like, "Oh, I missed the boat because I didn't do that before it. I didn't think about these things before." That's all part of the game. That's what this class is for. I hope that it was a good way to exercise the things that are taught in textbooks and maybe taught widely at universities or art schools. But I wanted you to just get your hands dirty, spend a few minutes a day or a few minutes over the span of this class and exercise those principles. I hope you keep painting and I hope you leave a review, let me know how you like the class. If you want to find me on social media, I go after watercolordevo, D-E-V-O at the end all one word or you can try to spell my name and you'll probably find me anywhere. My website is my name or I hope to make more of these videos where I can break down some basic principles about art that are a big deal and can enhance your work at whatever level of creating you are at. Please do post a project. I want to see what you've been working on. Thanks for being part of the class.