Watercolor Sketchbook Practices for Beginners | Visual Mind | Skillshare

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Watercolor Sketchbook Practices for Beginners

teacher avatar Visual Mind, Artist

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.

      Colors and Mixing


    • 3.



    • 4.



    • 5.

      Painting Ideas


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About This Class

In this course I'll show you some ideas on what to do in your watercolor sketchbook - especially if you're first starting out. I hope this helps and inspired you to fill your own art journal!

Meet Your Teacher

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Visual Mind



Hello there! I'm Melanie.

I'm an Artist and teacher on Youtube and have a big passion for Sketchbooks and Art Journals. I mostly work with watercolor and gouache and create lots of tutorials for these mediums.

I live in Austria, a small beautiful country in Europe. We speak German - in case you were wondering where my accent came from.

I follow my curiosity wherever it leads me. My mission is to inspire others to do the same. Get those paint brushes and start creating. Enjoy every minute of it because life is way too short to do otherwise.


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Level: Beginner

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1. Welcome: hater on Welcome to my Skill Share course on watercolor sketch book practices for beginners and this course I'm gonna show you So simple color mixing ideas as well as share with you some specific ideas on what you can do in your watercolor sketch book. I'll show you how to learn a little bit about layering on. I'll share a few tips and tricks with you. If you're a complete beginner, then this course is for you. On If you're a little bit more advanced but are looking for easy watercolor sketch book ideas or just ways on how you can on wine that have a good time with easy art ideas, then this course is probably for you as well. I hope you like this course. Let's go. 2. Colors and Mixing: So at first I wanted to talk about colors and mixing colors. And so I thought a good idea for your watercolor sketch book for one of the first pages would be to paint a color wheel. And so I just drew these circles and divided them. And then I looked on the Internet for a color wheel and copied that. So you just basically make sure that all the colors are at the right spot so you can see what d opposite colors are and what colors are next to them. So you have all those complementary colors you can see here that yellow and purple are complementary colors, a swell as orange and blue, green and dread. And the theory is that when you mixed owes, you should in theory get black. But most of the time you will get some shade off brown if you mix them together with equal amounts. But if you mixed like let's say you have a purple and it's a bit too vibrant for you. You can add a little bit of yellow to make it a little bit less saturated, so you can really use that to your advantage as soon as you know that. And use that for mixing colors. Also, if you mix complementary colors, you will de saturate your colors and you might not want that. So it's a great exercise just to see what happens if you mix them together like I did here . Even though those are super messy and not meant to blend, it just shows you what those colors do to each other, so that's the 1st 1 3. Blending: Now I've got some very, very easy exercises that you can use to learn a little bit more about blending. I'm not going to bombard you with lots off color theory and stuff. There are lots of skill share courses out there about that. I just wanted to provide you with some fun exercises where you can learn how Teoh intuitively use your paint. So I did this one where I just I put some color randomly on the page. I decided for a color palette, so I left out green and stuff, so I didn't do all the colors. But it's really colorful, and I just let the parts partially dry. And then I put some water and again and saw what happened. So just get used to your colors. Have fun, throw them on the paper and get used to your paintbrushes. And then on the left side is a little bit more clean. Exercise where I taped down some stripes and you can use does to practice blending so you can use more color or less color and just blend your colors together. You can use all kinds of colors. Those don't have to be complimentary like on the last exercise. Those can be all kinds of colors. You can use a lot of paint, a lot of water. Just practice how to do this. I personally learned a lot from that, even though I have been using watercolors for a while now. So really recommend this exercise, especially if you don't feel comfortable with blending yet and with water colors. If you I don't have a lot off experience than this is really good for you because you can really learn how the paint reacts. This is also a great idea if you have new paint that you're not used to yet, and you don't know how it's gonna react or how it's gonna blend and mix. Um, it's always a fun idea to just block some parts and use does, because once you remove the tape, it looks super cool and super clean, and it's just not as intimidating. If you have a starting point with the tape, you don't have to use washi tape like I did here. You can literally use regular tape. I'm just using what she taped because I kind of have an addiction bro problem. I buy it too much worse he tape, and I justified that by being a person who really uses the washing tape, even though I just use it once like I did here. So that's just a fun fact about me. So I did different kinds of blending. You can see it here and now I'm removing the tape, which is literally so satisfying. So if you really don't know what to do in your sketchbook and you want to practice with watercolors, debts a really great idea, I think on Dhere. Yeah, you can see me remove this, and I stuck to the same color palette as on the right side just to make everything look more cohesive. But you can use all kinds of colors. Obviously, you can also really make ugly stuff. It's your sketchbook, and that's what it's for. 4. Layering: Now I want to talk a little bit about layering, which is a really big thing when it comes to watercolors. Um, at first here I did the same thing that I did earlier, just blending two colors together because I wanted to have different colors on there. But I didn't really focus on making it a good blend or anything. I just put down different colors and just made sure that I had all kinds of different colors because I wanted to see how the colors would react with each each other. Once I started to layer everything. So this is just the first step on now. I'm putting down lines off different kinds of colors. Here, you concede at I'm doing Red on Green, which is how will that we learned earlier. It's complementary colors, but I also used all kinds of other colors. I just wanted to see how do those react, especially if you have new watercolors. This a really fun exercise to see how they are going to react to each other, make sure that the first layer is dry and then you comport on new layers, even though I am not sure I really let it try perfectly. So it's not a problem if you're super impatient like I am. And here I am, removing the tape again, and it looks kind of cool because it has those borders. And then we're going to move on to another thing, which is, um, um, kind of a monochromatic thing I started off with. Ah, layer off very light blue paint. You can, of course, pick all kinds of colors. And then I used a bit of a darker blue, and I did some mountains here, and I started all with a very light mountain in the background and then just blended that down, waited for it to dry, used a little bit of darker blue and did another mountain. So this is very, very simple, and you will get a bit of a feeling for how much paint you going to use compared to the color. I mean, those are kind of no brainers, But even though it might feel like it's very simple in your brain, if you're a complete beginner, those are things that you kind of need to practice in order to hone in on your intuition on those things. So you will definitely learn from that, or even if you're not such a beginner, and you know those things already. It's just a fun exercise to do. If you don't know what to paint, just go ahead. Pain some monochromatic mountains because it's super easy and nobody's going to say, Oh my God, that mountain doesn't look realistic because really doesn't matter And you couldn't make up those mountains in your head and they don't have to have specific lines and they don't have to look a certain way because they're just mountains and nobody really knows what those look like right on here, ending in more and more even going darker and darker. So the thing is, start off, really lights, or you can go darker and darker. And I think in the end I mixed in some black to make it really dark. And, yeah, that's very, very simple idea. Removing the tape again, he conceded on the right painting. I didn't use tape, so that's an option as well, but especially if you're a begin area. It's a really cool idea to use some tape because you might not have done that before and it makes everything look cool immediately. So the next one is a very similar concept. I started off with Ah wash of very light blue green colors on and made everything a little bit lighter at the top and a little bit darker at the bottom. And then I started painting does trees. Those absolutely don't have to look perfect, realistic or whatever, and I made sure that they were on the on the border off the page. Andi would not go too far into the painting because I wanted to add a little something in the middle. But you can also just make the whole painting with trees. I just wanted to add this very amazing poem that I found It's by HSC be written house. And yeah, I thought that this was ah, really cute idea. Because if you're a beginner and don't feel so comfortable with painting yet, maybe adding ah, poem might be something that you're interested in. I don't know. And then I ended in darker trees, a swell just to make everything go together better. I don't know. It's not my favorite page, but I really loved the poem and I wanted to show you that I am I also want to show you the pages that I'm not super happy with because most artists don't do that, I think. And I think that's really important to just know that artists create stuff that they're not happy with all the time. And I just want to show it up because it's a little bit more realistic. And here on the next page, I wanted to do a little bit off glazing. So glazing is in watercolors when you when you use ah, layer with not too much paint and then you let it dry and then you do the same thing over again and just paint over the same spot. I feel like I'm doing a really bad job explaining it, but you will see it, and I just wanted to figure out how to really do that. And, um, it really depends on the amount of pain compared to water that you use, because if you use too much paint, you won't have this translucent effect. And I really wanted that. In fact, you can see it on some off the flowers here. Andi, this is called glazing, and I think that this is a really cool practice to just see how your specific watercolors are going to react, how much paint you need compared to how much water you need, because it's really different, depending on the water colors that you have because some are really opaque and some are really transparent. And if you want to do glazing, you will might want to think about buying what are colors dead other super transparent so you can use stuff like you can do stuff like debt. And if you really don't care about that, then you can buy cheaper watercolors. Did are more opaque, so I have a mixture off both, and I just wanted to see how the different watercolors would react. And in the end, I added some leaves to make everything look a little bit more cute. And I also used ah, white Posca Pan just to add a little bit of details and make everything pop. I mean, that's just optional, but you can do that, too. Just make everything look a little bit more detailed and cute. I guess I really like the effect that the Posca Pan added to everything. So that's the finished page of this one 5. Painting Ideas: So in this last section, I wanted to give you some specific ideas. Those aren't so much practices as the last ones were. Those are more ideas that you can follow and do and have fun with, and also learned something with especially the 1st 1 But just I yes, and here I'm doing the tape thing again, just making myself some tiny little squares. And that's a cool idea. If you feel intimidated by a whole page, especially if it's the first time that you're using a more expensive what a color sketch book. It can really feel intimidating. And so dividing the page up in little squares just makes it so much easier because you don't have the big pressure to make Ah, really professional painting that looks super finished. You can just play around, and that's what I did here. I just played around. I did some flowers, landscapes, like you conceded. I didn't mountains here again. I did some grass hunt. I experimented with salt, which is really fun. If you throw some salt on your water colors, you can see here how it reacted on. I just experimented and did whatever in my mind wanted Teoh. It didn't really force myself to make something cool on Guy also used masking fluid on the one with salt, and then I removed the tape and obviously ripped a little bit of the paper, which is totally normal. And it happens. You're not the only one. If that happens to you might want to consider a different tape, but it happens. So on the left side I did. Some plants leave stuff like that. I always recommend doing that. I keep saying that because it's just it's organic. You can learn different line variations, especially if you have a new brush. I have a really cool um DaVinci Kazan you brush, which is quite expensive, but it's I think it's the best vegan brush out there. I really love it, and I use it all the time. So if you want to buy one really coop, Russia gets a recommend that one. Um, if you want to practice line variation and just have an easy and fund doodle do all kinds off leaves, plants, flowers, everything that's organic because it will always look cool. It doesn't have to be super finished or anything. I just did some of those on. That's the finished page spread here and then the next one. I started all with, ah, pen and I did does cute boats, ships, paper boats, I think on. And, um, you just have to make sure that you are doing the lines correctly because I messed up ones and it happens. It's not a big deal. It just happens. And I think this if you get that license right here, I minced up. It's super simple and just a fun idea to make some doodles. And in the background, I did water to make them to put them all in in the sea or wherever they are. Uh, which makes literally no sense. But it was just a fun idea, and I used different shades of blue here, and I just really let go off the thought that it would have to look really cool and finished. It's just a fun doodle Andi. I used a white pasta penne again just to add a few details and at a a little bit to the background. So I really recommend investing in some kind of white pen. Jelly roll pens are also great, just anything that's white, so you can do some highlights. Don't use it too much because you can really overdo it. But whatever. Do whatever floats your boat pun intended on. And then I colored those boats in a swell and yeah, you can't really see that I messed up anymore. So if you make a mistake, just keep going. Don't let that stop. You don't get frustrated. Because when I was a being beginner, I got frustrated and quit. Don't do that. Just keep going. Have fun with it. Everyone messes up and really good artists. Just keep going. That's our secret. Honestly, we're not gifted. I am I calling myself a really good artist. Whoa. The next idea is fish. And I really loved this page. I think it's my favorite page here, and I just started off with those easy fish shapes. I think that this idea is super easy and looks really cool. So, um, I did some eyes on the fish, which is basically just a circle with a circle around it. So a filled in circle and then circle around that one. I mean, you can see it, and I did those for all of them, and then I added some very simple scales and did some lines on the fins and just it's very simple. Doesn't have to look any specific way. Doesn't have to look perfect. Do it. Just have fun with it. And I think that it looks really cool, even though it's very simple. And then I gave them some red, colorful fins, and those are very simple as well. Just added them. And then later I added a little bit of detail on them as well. Just lines. It's not rocket science it I mean, if you aren't able to follow that, just do it over and over again until you get the hang of it. You don't have to be a perfect artist right away. Just keep going, enjoy it, have fun and add details. And I don't know, um, I added more fins with the white Posca pan. That's an optional step, but I don't that they looked really a little bit empty if they don't have that. So all I thought that I'd add that in later, and I did some details on those swell just, um, lines around them and done more lines in between the Finns just to make them to make everything fit together. And that's the finished page. It was a lot of fun and a really recommend doing that one. And then on the onto the next piece, this one is really simple. And I did Strawberry's here, which is basically just a pink red. Whatever color you want to use oval shape, it's not a perfect oval shape, and it doesn't have to look any specific way again because it's a pattern. It's meant to be cute. It's not meant to be realistic. It's just meant to get your creative juices flowing as people are seeing on. Then I added in the leafy bits, and I didn't let the paint dry on all of them. You concede here it runs into each other, but I kind of did that on purpose because I think that it looks really cool and it adds a little something. It's it looks so unintentional and just fun, and I didn't want to make it so rigid. I don't know. I really I think it's a lot of fun when paint runs into each other because that's the nature of watercolor, and sometimes it's gonna happen on intentionally and sometimes it's gonna happen intentionally, and people are never gonna know the difference on. Then I added in some seats again with the white pen. Just Teoh at this little detail and make your that. You can see that there's air strawberries. And then I thought that it would really look cool if I added a little background. And I did some dots product out that it looked a little bit too cluttered. And so I used a dry tissue and removed it a little bit. Not completely, but just a little bit so that it's very light. It's still a background, but it's just it doesn't compete with the strawberries anymore. You concede it's meant to be the background. And then I added, in a few triangles, green triangles on. Guy thought that now it looks really cute. So you can always add things, remove things, and that's the fun of watercolor. Sometimes you can really erase stuff with, um ah, tissue. If I wanted to really, really remove all the paint, I just should have added a little bit more water first, So then I could have removed it. So those are all the ideas that I had a really hope that you like those. So this waas my skill share course with watercolor practices. And I really hope that you like this Course I'd really love if you could recommend this to someone who like to watch this. Um, if you have, if you follow anything on this course, that's your class project. Just follow anything. Pick anything, Put it in the section Where does go? I don't even know what that section is called. Just put it on in the project section off this course, and then we can all share our creative pieces and get inspired. So I really hope that you like this course. If you're interested in the topic, you can also watch my other courses. And you can also take a look at my YouTube. General, I'll see you in my next course. Hopefully. So I wish you a nice day and goodbye