Watercolor for Beginners - Watercolor Experiments and Mixed Media | Jana Raninis | Skillshare

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Watercolor for Beginners - Watercolor Experiments and Mixed Media

teacher avatar Jana Raninis, watercolorist

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.

      Getting Ready


    • 4.

      Painting the Background


    • 5.

      Creating Texture


    • 6.

      Drawing Details


    • 7.

      Special Project


    • 8.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Are you a watercolor beginner or you already have some experience, but you want to try something new?

Would you like to try letting go and let chance take control of your art for a change?

Are you ready to let your imagination fly?

If your answer is yes, try this fun and relaxing class, where we will let the watercolor work its magic on wet paper, and then by adding regular kitchen salt we will create a lovely floral texture. Just a final touch with a white gel pen and here we have a lovely and dreamy watercolor painting/drawing of a yarrow - an elegant wildflower you may have seen a million times, but never thought of painting.

Meet Your Teacher

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Jana Raninis



Hello, I'm Jana.

I live in Slovakia - a small lovely country in the very heart of Europe. I have studied Arts years ago, and since I was a little child, a set of paints or crayons was the best present anyone could give me. But then life happened and I found myself doing a corporate job instead of illustrating children's books. However, it does not mean I gave up on painting and drawing - not at all.

In fact, it is pretty much how I spend my evenings, my free days or even lunch breaks sometimes.

I just love it! Especially watercolor. One of my art teachers once told me I would eventually end up with acrylics, because watercolor is just too unpredictable and the mistakes are too hard to correct. Well, she couldn't be more wrong :).

I am here today to share my p... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hello guys, welcome to my class. My name is Yana. I live in Bratislava, Slovakia. I love out of any kinds, especially watercolour. And what I like about it the most is that it's sometimes quite unpredictable. You plan one thing and you'll get something completely different, which can happen especially when you work on wet paper. And it can sound frustrating. I know, but it can also take you places you would never go by herself. This session will be very much about letting watercolor work its magic. We will watch to paint around randomly onwards paper. Then we will create some beautiful texture using just regular kitchen salt. And then we will finish the piece using white gel pen. As a result, we will have a nice painting sludge throwing of biodiesel, which is nice and humble, wildflower you can find almost anywhere in the world. I truly hope you guys will find this class fun and relaxing and you wake up your imagination a little. So if you are ready, you can get started. 2. Materials: Today we are using watercolor paints for the background. It doesn't matter if you have watercolors in pants or tubes. Bought Hilberg. To prove this, I am using two colors today, one from pan and another one from 2p. To prepare the paint to mix it with water. I'm using this little a ceramic balls. It is in fact an egg cap from Ikea, really cheap. And I love using these cups for colour mixing. If we don't have these, you can go with any small cup or bowl you have at home or plastic bottle cap. He also needs a watercolor paper. I have a sheet of paper 15 by 21 centimeters or six by eight inches. I am using the dealer and drowning Aquafina water color paper. It is an affordable paper, not the best paper in the world. But I like it for my watercolor sketches, experiments, and exercises. Of course, there are papers out there of much higher quality. But if we are just practicing, having fun and experimenting, I believe you do not need the most expensive paper there is. So prevent the paper from curling. I used this pad. It is an old piece of cardboard or HDF. And I am fastening my paper to the board with masking tape. Or you can use watercolor pads with sheets already good. Together. We are going to need a big branch that can hold a lot of water. And for our textures, we are using just a regular kitchen salt. Doesn't matter what kind of solid you have at hand and it kind of will do. Here I compare effect created by table salt and sea salt, which has been a grain. Bowls look interesting, but I think I like table salt better because the textural looks richer. To complete the artwork, we will be using a white gel pen. I do not have any special brand here. It's just some no-name Penn I got in stationary store, but it works fine. If you do not have whiteout, then you can use the wide crash or acrylic paint and a thin brush. But it's possible that you would need to go over the same line more than once to make it very pop. Based on my experience dispensed to send to soak into the paper. And they are not standing out the way I want them to, unless I add some more layers. Obviously, we will need a water and to clean our brush or remove excess liquid from the paper. Good. So have a paper towel at hand. And I also have here just a regular plastic straw. 3. Getting Ready: I always start with fixing my paper to the board with a masking tape. This will prevent the paper from curling, from forming water bottles and awkward to watermarks as the paint dries. Also, it will give me nice wide frame when the tape is removed. Step two is preparing my paint for the background. I'm using only two colors. You can use only one if you want, but it's more fun to use to, to see how they mix together on the paper. However, I do not recommend using more than three colors. The result could look Maddie. Here I have a Windsor and Newton called man watercolour paint in tube. I choose viridian hue, which is nice bluish green. I am pushing a little bit of the paint out of the tube into my mixing bowl. Hand from different watercolor set. A betters work, white knight Set. I choose my all-time favorite, indigo. I can recommend both the sets. They are affordable, offer good-quality. Especially these white knight said was a pleasant surprise. The pans are quite big, the pigment is rich, and I just loved painting with them. So here I have my bowl. I have a bit of Winsor Newton paint colored in. And to mix it with water. I am using the regular plastics thrown. I'm transferring just a few drops of water from the jar into the bowl. I used to have because I do not have any pet. But if you have some, that's even better. Now just mix the paint and the water until the paint is dissolved. To prepare second paint, I use wet brush to activate the paint in the pan, and then transfer the paint into the bowl. You may repeat two or three times to get the right amount of paint in the bowl. And then just grab your straw or PPAD again and add a few drops of water. Just remember, we need the backgrounds to be dark enough to make our wide details pop. So be careful about the water you add. Seems are paints are ready. So let's spend a background. 4. Painting the Background: Further background, we need Suez are paper first. That is why I recommend big brush that can hold a lot of water. It's easier that way. You need to make our paper down. Try not to apply too much water. But no worries if our paper seems to add, as it happens to me here, just tilted to decide and remove the excess water with a piece of paper towel. When your paper is dump enough, it's time to apply the paints. And here is when the found begins. Take one of the cups and carefully pour the paint on the paper. Not all at once, just by drops and pour it randomly. You can already see how nicely the pain drowns as it touches the wet paper. Do the same with second color. Again, just randomly pour the paint on the paper. Now take the paper pad or board into your hands and slowly move it from side to side, up and down until the whole paper is covered in paint. If the paint doesn't run somewhere because there are already some dry spots on the paper. You can help it with a wet brush. If you still have some pain to end a mixing bowl who can use it? If you have too much liquid on the paper. Just tilted the paper habit, led the pain to go to one side and remove it to be the piece of paper towel. You can also add some more paint with a brush if you think the colors are too light. And then again, just moved a paper from side to side to make the pains blend together. This way we can create lovely, seamless background with colors make sense, okay, the naturally and even creating new color shades. 5. Creating Texture: Now as we have our background painted, we need to create the texture which will in this case represent the delicate blossom of white arrow. Remember the soul doesn't work on dry paper. Depending on what kind of paper you have. It may drive fast, therefore, make sure you are quickly. It's good to have the salt in wider ball. It will make it easier to get it with your fingers. Using your fingers. They just a bit of salt and drop it carefully on the paper. Remember, we are creating flowers when the salt, so put assault where you want your flowers to be. I dropped the salt in a short line or in half circle shape to mimic the shape of Yaro flour. I want to have five fully grown flowers and two or three bats. Try to place their flowers not too close to each other so that each one can stand out. And now when the salt is in place, or we need to do is wait. And we wait. And we still wait. Handy, you can water your plants, or you can do your dishes, or have a cup of tea. And here it is. Look at the beautiful texture created by the salt. The salt is causing the pigment to move and it creates light spots on the paper. I just love it. But be careful even if the texture already appears, the paint under the salt is still not dry. So if you do not have time or patients to wait longer, just grab your hairdryer and help it a little bit. And now it's now creating. Now in the paper is dry under the salt. The salt has to be removed. I do not recommend using your fingers to scratch it off. You can smear the painting and damage the texture. Instead, I use these form. Just carefully translate tries to get rid of the salt. You can do it over your kitchen sink. And so you wouldn't have to clean the mess on your table as I had two. Any salt that did not fall off the paper can be removed using big dry brush. We'll look at this. It looks lovely. I just love is Technion. You can never fully predict the result. Sometimes you'll think you'll get a flower, but when the solid is done working, you realize it's not a flower, but rather a three or clouds or whatever. I hope you guys have also created some nice extras and I can't wait to see them. But we're not done yet. We need to finish the artwork as stems, little leaves. So let's do it. 6. Drawing Details: We are almost finished with today's project. The last thing we need to do is to bring her flowers to live by adding details. Here, for example, my salt created shapes which reminded me of grasses. So I just added stems and leaves, and I was absolutely happy with the result. Today we want to draw yellow flowers. We already have the Blossom. All we need to do is to add stems. Now, when you look at the picture of the arrow, you can see that there is a main stem and build a flower. There are many smaller stamps grow in from domain one connecting the flower to the main stem. Also, the small stem is another grow symmetrically. One starts here, another one a bit higher. So let's mimic it in Android. We can also add some nice tons worried, the drawing doesn't need to be Turiel aesthetic. We want to keep it a dreamy and lows. You do not have to Google how the Yaro leaves look like. Just throw what you feel may be looking at. And again, you can use a white gel pen, but it's okay to replace it with a squash or acrylic paint if you do not have top-N. And we can add some grasses as well. It will look like a meadow. They are not all the same. Some grasses are banned, some are straight. If you feel you want to add more accents to the blossom, you can draw small dots representing the tiny white petals of the euro. But it doesn't have to know that it's optional. Maybe your texture created by the assault is light and after contrast with the darkness of the background. And it's finished. I like it, it's area, it's delicate. You can make her on greeting cards using this technique or bookmarks, small gifts for your friends and family. And you can make the background color matching your walls, just as I did here. Then frame it and display it in your home. 7. Special Project: Guys, you've come this far and that's wonderful. You did very well. And that's why I have a special project for you this time. Then the background, the same way we did together. And then just create whatever you want. Think of something you would like to create, or maybe just leave it to chance, robbed assault anywhere on the paper and let the idea come to later. Here I have some more examples of what you can create using salt. I have a starry night sky. I paint into trees here with indigo color. Or this lovely grasses are my favorite, are some gentle dandelions. And I have birch trees here in nice autumn colors. And also do not forget to upload your projects in the project section, I would love to see your artworks. 8. Final Thoughts: Guys, thank you so much for taking my class. It was a pleasure to share some of my tips and tricks with you. I hope you had fun, you relax a bit and maybe you'll learn something new. This is also my very first scarcer sessions. So I would really appreciate if you give me your feedback, if you let me know your thoughts. And I'm also excited to see your projects uploaded in the project section. I would love to see your color choices and your imagination to Q. Wish you all the best. Take care. Bye for now.