Watercolor Without Fear: Painting for Pattern Design | Catherine Jennifer Charnock | Skillshare

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Watercolor Without Fear: Painting for Pattern Design

teacher avatar Catherine Jennifer Charnock, Artist, Art Educator, Graphic Designer

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.



    • 4.

      Finding Your Motifs


    • 5.

      Creating a Secret Pinterest Board


    • 6.

      Choosing a Color Palette


    • 7.

      Preparing Color Swatches


    • 8.

      Recoloring Your Source Images


    • 9.

      Composition, Storytelling & Flow


    • 10.



    • 11.

      Sketching Your Motifs


    • 12.

      Layout and Color Thumbnails


    • 13.

      Painting Baby, Yeah


    • 14.

      Checking the Repeat


    • 15.



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About This Class

This class teaches a low-risk, highly-flexible approach to watercolor painting for pattern design. Using small blocks of watercolor paper, I will show you how to work on a dynamic canvas and create your painting as a half-drop repeat.

 Following a step-by-step process, the class covers:

  • Finding motifs
  • Creating a color palette, keeping in mind trend and color research
  • Composition, Storytelling and Flow
  • Scale
  • Sketching
  • Layout and Color Thumbnails
  • Painting, and
  • Checking the repeat.

This class is for anyone who wants to work more freely with watercolor. Because the method uses small blocks of paper, it is easier to take risks and be more adventurous with your paint. If you’re tired of making small, neat watercolors… if you want to be less tentative with your paint… if there’s a wild painter inside you that longs to be set free, this class is for you. It is also for surface pattern designers who work digitally and want to have more hand-painted work in their portfolios.

This is a two-part class. In this, the first part, we will work up to, and including, the painting. In the second part ("Watercolor Without Fear: Painting for Pattern Design Part 2") I show you how to join your paintings in Photoshop, and create a repeating pattern tile. You will then have all the skills you need to turn your paintings into patterns for fabric, wallpaper and beyond.

If you’re completely new to watercolor then it’s a good idea to check out my class: “Principles of Watercolor: Learn to Paint a Torch-Ginger Flower” first, as this will give you a solid intro on how to use watercolor paints.


 Part 2 of this class shows you how to join up your panels in Photoshop and create your repeating pattern! 

Watch it now: Watercolor Without Fear: Painting for Pattern Design Part 2

Meet Your Teacher

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Catherine Jennifer Charnock

Artist, Art Educator, Graphic Designer

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Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: I've just got a secret about watercolor painting. Paper size. It makes. The biggest problem with watercolor painting is that if you make a mistake, you can't fix it. You definitely can't paint over it. And good watercolor paper is expensive. So what do you do? You paint, you hesitate, tighten up. It's like giving a pin to a novelist and saying, here, write a novel, but you have to write a perfectly the first draft. Who does that? I'm Catherine Jennifer, and artist and surface pattern designer. After the arrival of my twins, I needed a way to paint in short bursts with minimal setup time. In a small space. I started to experiment with watercolor and I fell in love with it. But I found that if I painted on a small sheet of paper, I felt confined and frustrated. And if I painted on a large sheet of paper, I was tense and afraid of messing it up. And I almost always did. God. If I've joined small blocks of paper together to create a larger canvas that was low in risk and heightened flexibility. Magic started to happen. In this class, I'm going to show you how to do multi-panel watercolor painting to release your inner watercolor wild child. Not only that, I'm going to show you a process for creating new work that is trained, inspired, and industry relevant. This class is for anyone who wants to work more freely with watercolors. It is also great for surface pattern designers who want to have more hand painted work in their portfolios. So no more locking up your wild child, join me in his cows, and let's adventure into multi-panel watercolor painting together. 2. Project: The project for this class is to gather motifs that you like. Explore the motifs through sketching and then create a multi-panel painting out of two or more watercolor blocks. We will do each part together following a step-by-step process. We will gather motifs and create a secret Pinterest board. Do some quick trend and color research. Decide on a color palette. Do some sketching to explore which motifs we want to work with. Think through our compositions using thumbnails and color mapping. Do the painting, check our composition and repeat using Photoshop, and then make the final touches to our painting. By the end of the class, you will have a solid process to follow to create industry-relevant, trend inspired artwork. And you will have a two or more panel painting which you can add a frame as a diptych or useful part two of this class where I'll show you how to sew your paintings together in Photoshop and create a repeating tile. You will also hopefully have experienced the freedom that painting with this technique offers when you're less afraid of messing things up and can be more adventurous with your watercolors. In the class resources, you'll find a downloadable sheet showing the step-by-step process. There's also a link to my secret Pinterest board. You're welcome to work from my motifs if you want to. The finished project should be a quick photograph showing your multi-panel painting or any part of the project that you want to share. I love seeing sketches, thumbnails. Any part of the project that shows your thought process would be a great thing to share in your project. The aim of this class is to get you to loosen up with your watercolor. And this involves taking risks. A stunning multi-panel painting should not be your target. It's the small, beautiful moments of watercolor magic that we're looking for. Those moments when you felt free and completely in the flow and got unexpected but beautiful watercolor results. So feel free to share just a tiny portion of your painting if you prefer. And of course, please share any thoughts you have about the process. I'd love to hear how you found it. In the next video, we'll look at what materials you'll need. See you there. 3. Materials: Materials that you will need for this class are some watercolor paints and some blocks of watercolor paper. The watercolor paints that I use are these cure talky gans item B paints. I love having all the colors ready to use. I also use some White Nights watercolors, which are these. And also Holbein watercolors are fantastic, really good quality and highly pigmented. The tube watercolors I squeezed into pellets like this and allow the parents to cure, which means dry. I have a warm pallet and a cooler palette. It's useful to keep note of what you've squeezed into each section of the pellet because you will forget and you can't tell when they dry what color they really are. The cure chalky paints come with a sheet like this, which you paint into. And this is super useful every time you paint the watercolor blocks that I absolutely love, or these arches achiral, this paper is cold pressed, which means it's got a nice texture and it's 300 grams, which is a £140. The nice thing about these blocks is that they come glued at the sides so you don't have to stretch it. There's no taping around the edge. You can just crack on with your painting. I also have this which I use as my palate. It's a porcelain which is block. You can get it from Jackson's art. And it's beautiful to work with because it's smooth. It shows the colors perfectly and it's really easy to clean. For brushes, my most used brush is this one. It's a septa gold. And this is a size 14. This is a round brush. It comes to a beautiful points so you can get some thinner lines out of it. But it holds a lot of water, which is what you want with a watercolor brush. The other brush that I use a lot is this one. It's a Pigeon Letters brush size six. I also sometimes use this. It's a sip to gold round brush and it's a size ten. And then occasionally when you want a really thin lines, you might want a rigger brush, which is this. It's really long and thin and you get these beautiful, very fine lines for detail. I also occasionally use this brush, which is a silver black velvet brush. It's three-quarter inch and the shape of it, which is called oval, lets you create interesting angles. And it's especially useful for leaves with these big brushes. When I store them, I always with them, get them to a nice point and put them back in the plastic. And that keeps them from splaying the bristles out. The other bits and pieces you'll need is Pinterest on your iPad. If you want to use Pinterest pencil and either a sketchpad or I'm printer paper for sketching your motifs and doing your color thumbnails and some watercolor pencil crowns can also come in useful for your color mapping thumbnails. These are the watercolor pencils that I use, the nothing special, W H Smith. And just have a nice range of colors. If you don't have watercolor, pencil crayons, don't worry, just use anything you've got. The color mapping is very quick, very simple. So any old pencil crowns will be fine. In the next video, we will start gathering our motifs. I'll see you there. 4. Finding Your Motifs: The first challenge for any creative project is the Christian, What shall I create? And I found that the easiest starting point is to start collecting motifs that you like and that you want to work with. Pinterest is the obvious first place to start looking, but are also recommend for your main motifs looking on royalty free sites such as Pixabay or Unsplash or pixels.com. You can then save images from these sites and upload them onto a secret Pinterest board. I like doing this because I really liked the easy interface that Pinterest provides. But if I know that I've found my main motifs on royalty-free sides, then I won't run into any problems with copyright. If I do end up licensing or selling my final painting, I've created this Pinterest board, which I'm going to use as my starting point. This is a secret board and the link is in the class resources. You're welcome to work from this board if you want to work alongside me or, and I encourage this, try looking for motifs that you like and that you want to work with. It can be anything, birds, animals, houses, people. Look for anything that peaks your interest and then follow that thread and see what you come up with. The aim of this class is not to teach you how to make art that looks exactly like mine, but rather to show you the skills and processes, you can release all the goodness from your own imagination. For the kind of patterns that I make, I generally think of motifs in four categories. Your main motifs, which might be your birds and animals, your characters, your main flowers and plants, some secondary flowers, and then you'll fill them achieves. So here's an example of a painting that I'm currently working on. The main motifs are the birds and some of the animals. So obviously the two can the Medicaid sunburn. This is a slow loris kind of creature. Another two can. Then I've got my main flowers, which are these blue prototype. Here's my secondary flowers, which are these orange and yellow Cistercians. And then I've got my filler motifs, which are these pink flowers, green leaves, all the small things that fill in the gaps. So what you need to do now, if you want to work alongside me, is go and look for some motifs that you want to work with in this project. There is no right or wrong. Just look for anything that catches your interest and save it onto your iPad. And in the next section, I'll show you how to upload your images to create a secret Pinterest board. I'll see you there. 5. Creating a Secret Pinterest Board: So once you've chosen your motifs and downloaded your images from royalty free sites, it can be really useful just to upload them onto your own secret Pinterest board. I love using Pinterest because it's such an easy interface and you can see at a glance all the different source images you've got to work with. And you can very easily find extra sauce inspiration for your filler motifs. So you go to your Pinterest profile and sometimes it's hidden by this annoying question mark. But if you scroll down a bit, you'll find this plus sign here. If you click on that, you get this drop-down list. Click on board, and then this is where you can create a new board, give it a name. And if you want to keep it secret, which I recommend, you check that box and then click on Create. I've already done this for this project, so I'm going to come out of that and I'm just going to navigate to my board. As you can see, I've already got some images uploaded, but I want to upload some more images. So again, it's this plus sign here that you're looking for to create a new pin. You click on that and click on Pin. And then you get this screen. And if you click on this gray arrow over there, you then navigate to where your source images are on your hard drive. I'm going to choose this one and I'm going to click on open. Now, something that I like to do as a matter of good practice is always to keep a record of where I got my images from and who the photographer was, just so that I don't run into any copyright issues. Further down the line. When I got the image of pixabay, I took note of the photographer and I save that image into the file information for that image. Now in this case, if I have that image highlighted and I use command and I, it pulls up this, which is my file information. And I have saved the name of the software. I've got the image and the photographer in here. So I'm just going to copy and paste that into here. I'm going to give it a title. It's just a title for, for myself and click on Publish. And there we have our image. Click on the back button. You can come back to the screen and you can upload the next one. Click on open. Now I'm going to go back and find where I got this from. So that's the same image. Use my keyboard and go command. I. There's my file information, there's my information that I want to record in Pinterest. So you don't have to do that. It's just good practice. And it means that you never have a panic about with a youth unduly infringe copyright in any way. Click on Publish, and there we have it. So go ahead now and create your own secret Pinterest board. Upload your images from your royalty free sites, and then spend five minutes browsing to find a few extra source images that you can use as filler motifs. Don't stress too much about this. There's no right or wrong, there are no rules. The point of this class is just to explore where your imagination can take you and have some fun. In the next video, we will start the process of thinking about color. We'll explore how to research trends and we will consider the possible end use of our painting as a pattern so that the artwork that you create has industry relevance. I'll see you there. 6. Choosing a Color Palette: The next step is to think about what color palette we might want to use in our painting. This might already be in your mind based on the motifs that you have chosen, or you might need to dig a little bit to explore possible colors. There are two things to keep in mind when you start to think about color. The first is to think of the possible end-use of your painting slush pattern so that the work you're making is relevant to a particular industry, such as fabric or wallpaper. And the second is to consider current trends that relate to that end-use. So for example, if you want to make a pattern that will be for fabric, then you might want to narrow it down a bit and consider, well, what kind of fabric is it? Kids fabric is it's women's and men's fashion, or is it home decor fabric? The color palette that you choose will be different depending on which type of fabric you are wanting to create. Four. Here's an example of a watercolor pattern that I made with fabric in mind, specifically fabric for the women's fashion market. I researched color trends for the year to make sure that my pattern was on trend. Alternatively, if you think that your pattern might be used for wallpaper, then you're likely to choose quite a different color palette. The end-use might be suggested by the motifs that you've chosen. Or you might need to actually decide on an end-use and then choose your colors accordingly. Once you've decided on a possible end-use, then the next thing to do is sum, research. When I first started learning about the surface pattern design industry, I was really skeptical about trends and I lacked confidence in my ability to know what the current trends are. However, I've learned that it's actually not that hard to get an idea about current trends. A quick Google search will bring up interior design blogs. You can look up paint manufacturers blogs like de-luxe or Pharaoh and ball, if you going down the home decor root. And there are sites like WGSN and trend Bible where you can get some information for free. So it's really worthwhile spending an hour researching trends. You'll be surprised by how much information you can get. So for this painting that I'm going to demonstrate, I wanted to explore primates. I wanted to look at slow lorises and monkeys. And that led me down the road and I found pandas. And then once I thought, oh, I liked the Pandas. That got me to thinking about different plants and flowers that go with pandas, which led me to Google Chinese flowers, which gave me a list of five types of flowers including chrysanthemums, lotus flower, or kid, to others, I can think of all of this research went into the decisions are made about the color palette, which I'll show you in the next section. So the thing you need to do now is look at the motifs you've got. Think about a possible end-use for your pattern, and then do a little bit of research around that end-use and see what you come up with. Make some notes. You might want to make a new Pinterest board for trends and save a few images. And that would be a really great starting point for your decisions about color in your painting. Don't forget that if you want to share your research or your process as you go along, feel free to upload that into the project gallery. I'd love to see what you come up with. 7. Preparing Color Swatches: So what I'm doing now is I'm developing possible color palettes that I might use in my painting. I want to use a limited palette of about five colors plus black and white. I've researched color trends for kids and baby nursery because I've got this in the back of my mind that what I want to create might fit that genre of design. So I've got all these images which are suggesting soft neutrals, pale pinks, pale green's beautiful TO hopes and muted blues. And in addition to that, I've got some of my source images here. And I want to work with some of this beautiful pink from cherry blossoms, which I think is really lovely. I'm working with Kyoto key, gans item B paints, which I've got the large pants it, and I've got my corresponding color chart. It's really important to paint your swatches in if you buy these paints, because as you can see, when they're in the pan, they just look like dark lumps. And you need to know how they look on the paper. So what I've got so far is the beautiful bright pink that corresponds with the cherry blossoms. And I've switched it from intense, too pale. And then I've also got an olive green, which is the complementary color of the pink. If you don't know what complimentary means, it means the opposite on the color wheel. So when your ICs or pink or red, it automatically looks for a green to balance out the colors. In addition, I, because I want a lot of pale colors, I've got a sort of slightly pale green. And I initially thought that this greeny brown would be enough. But when I compare it to that pink, I realized that it's quite a weak color. So I had to go back to my palette and choose a stronger green. When you work with watercolor, it's important that you've got a balance of value. And if you've got a strong pink, then you've got to match it with a strong green. Then I've got some mid greens which are going to be hopefully be quite beautiful, which I can use for leaves. And I've also got this slightly more tan color, which will hopefully add some warmth to the finished painting. And then, because I know I might want to paint some branches and twigs, I've added a brown and mixed it with a slightly red or brown. And I've noted the two colors there. So these are just to guide me when I come to do my painting. And then the last color that I want is going to be black. Now there are lots of different blacks in this world. You can get your jet-black, which is quite a blue black, and then you can get your lamp black. There's arrange. So black is not just black. The black that I prefer most of all is Payne's gray, which isn't even black. I get my Payne's Gray from a tube and I put it here is softer than a really harsh black. But if you use it quite intensely, then hopefully it can give enough depth. I'm going to swatch that here. As you can see, it's coming out theory gray. Now because I've gotten the back of my mind that I might paint pandas. I'm thinking that might not be black enough. See if we can get the color even more intense. This is looking more black. I might want to actually combine it with my chalky black. So let's see what happens when I do that and that makes a much deeper black. I've seen in trend research that nursery trend at the moment is neutrals with pops of black. So that kind of works really well. So that's my color swatching done. I'm going to keep those on my days to refer to as our work with the painting. And even though I've done this, I might decide when I do the actual painting that I need other colors, but I'm going to use this as a starting point. That's all it is. In the next section, I'll show you how to recolor your images in Photoshop so that when it comes to painting them, they are already in the right color palette. I'll see you there. 8. Recoloring Your Source Images: I'm now going to show you how to recolor your source images in Photoshop. This is really useful when it comes to painting, especially when you're painting in a limited color palette. So I'm going to start with this beautiful image. In Photoshop. There are lots of different ways to do the same thing. So I'll show you a few of the different ways. So the first thing I'm going to do is go to Image Mode and change it to gray scale. This gets rid of the color completely. Then I'm going to go to Image Mode and change it to Duotone. Duotone window pops up. And if this drop-down allows you to change it to monotone to Duotone to try to inequality. I'm going to leave it at monotone. And I want to change it so that it's mostly my cocky greens color, which I've already got in here. So using this window, I can change it to any color I want. And then the whole thing is basically just that one color. In this instance, I lack the cookie that I've got this I'm going to click Okay. This window here allows me to add points to this Duotone Curve. And it changes the lights and darks. So I want to just have it more or less like that and go, Okay, now, it won't, let me save it as a jpeg currently because it's still a monotone. So I need to go to Image Mode and change the mode back to RGB. And then I can go File, Save a Copy. And I'm just going to note in the file name that I have changed it to a monotone. If conservatives jpeg. And I've already got one, but I'm going to overwrite the one I've got. So that's one way of adjusting your source images to a single color. And you've got lovely tonal gradations of their color. The next image I'm going to play with is this image of the two little red pandas. Now at this stage, I don't even know if I'm going to manage to paint these spenders adequately in my painting, but I'm going to just see what I can do anyway. So I'm going to go to layer, new adjustment layer and here and saturation. I'm going to check this box which is use previous layer to create a clipping mask. What that does is it's called non-destructive. Editing means that I can fill about with it and it doesn't affect the original image itself. From here, I go to my Properties box, which is here. And I'm going to just slide my hue slider along and see what happens to my image. And I love doing this because quite often you get really interesting results. What I'm looking for in this case is to try and get my little red pandas to be a light gray. And I'm going to have a look my saturation panel that takes the color out. These saturates, the color. If you slight lift. So that's quite nice. That's much closer to what I've got in my mind. In terms of color. I'm happy with that. I'm gonna go to File, Save a Copy, and I will just make a note in my file that I have adjusted it and save. So that's another method you can use. This beautiful image of leaves. I'm going to see what I can do with that. Now for this one, I think it might be useful to try the Channel Mixer. So in my Properties panel here, if I take the red out, as you can see, it goes much more green. I'm looking for things that are more Cauchy. That's nice and see what happens. I want to keep my overall painting quite warm. So something like that is quite nice and the colors are closer to what I have in my mind. I'm going to try one more layer, which is here in saturation. And click on the layer gives you the correct properties. If I slide the hue, this is getting the actual leaves a little more green. Which is what I'm going for. The advantage of doing it this way rather than as in monetary, is that you get a lot more color subtlety remaining. And that's quite nice for when you're painting. Now, I've got my adjusted images. I'll upload those to my Pinterest folder. And it just means that when I'm painting and trying to stick to my limited color palette, I'm less distracted by colors that I don't want to creep into my painting. So now we've got all our source images recolored in the color palette that we want to paint it in in the next video. Before we move on to sketching, we're going to talk about composition, storytelling, and flow. I'll see you there. 9. Composition, Storytelling & Flow: Before we start on preliminary sketches, it's useful to stop and think about composition, storytelling, and flow. As an art student and begin a painter, I was terrified of this thing called composition. It sounded important, but I didn't really know what it meant. And basically, all it is is that you can control how your viewers eye moves around your painting. There are some rules about composition that you can learn. For example, the rule of thirds, which is more useful to photography than pattern-making. And there's the golden section ratio, which is more useful for graphic design than pattern-making. I think you can have a lot of fun playing with composition or pattern-making. I'll show you what I mean. For example, in this painting, a natural starting point is here with this toucan that I then naturally goes down to the green bird who is looking back at the toucan. Then there's a kind of S curve going down the pattern from animal to animal. Then there are a few motifs place to help the I make its way back up towards the starting point again. Because this pattern is a half-drop repeat, the composition also naturally falls into diagonals. When presented with a lot of visual information, the brain, naturally it looks for sharing. So here the darker blue leaves of this flower also create a diamond shape when the pattern is seen as a whole. And the same thing happens with this larger toucan and the larger yellow flower here when I was painting this. And we can have the next thing to add. I thought I would put a chameleon over here climbing up the branch. However, I then realized that the position I have painted it in was basically forming a horizontal line of motifs in my painting, which didn't look great if I pushed that block of paper APA, but I now have a diagonal forming, which is much better for the eye, and it completes the diamond shape. In the final pattern, this chameleon got edited out. But this example shows how if you use watercolor blocks flexibly like this, you can work things out as you go along and make corrections, both to the things that you've painted badly, as well as to your composition. Thinking about composition can get overwhelming, especially when you're at the beginning stages of your painting and you don't even know what you're going to paint. So don't worry about it too much. It's just useful to have these ideas in the back of your mind when you start working on your sketches. Another aspect of composition is storytelling. You can have a lot of fun creating little scenes or VNets between your characters and my teams. I like to imagine my birds Chet into each other sharing a joke or a little secret. So my patterns become playful and whimsical. One way to do this is to make sure that your characters are looking at each other rather than at the viewer. This is sometimes tricky, but it makes a big difference to the storytelling aspect of your work. Or you can paint animals, watching other animals. You can play with groupings of characters, like here, I've got two birds marveling at this butterfly. You can create subtle nuance and whimsy just by being playful. Here's an example of a frog who I like to think is practicing yoga. Linked with storytelling is flow. This almost happens without you having to think about it Once you've got your storytelling going. But here's an example of how I created flow without having my character's looking at each other. These two birds are looking upwards towards to Ken, and this naturally draws the viewer's eye upwards as well. So to recap, the things to keep in mind when you start sketching our composition, which is how you want your viewers eye to move around the painting. Storytelling, which is the interactions between your characters and flow, which is creating directional movement in your work. In the next video, we'll talk briefly about scale, and then we'll move on to sketching. See you there. 10. Scale: Before we start sketching, there's one other thing to keep in mind, and that is scale. It's too soon to know what you're painting is going to look like. But it's still good to think about scale in two ways. Firstly, there's the overall scale of the pattern. Here. You can see this pattern as wallpaper, but on a smaller scale. And here it is. On a larger scale. As you can see, the effect is quite different. Secondly, there's the scale of your motifs relative to each other. Basically, with busy patterns, you don't want to have everything the same size. So when you sketch your motifs, keeping the back of your mind which ones you might want to make larger and which ones you want to be smaller. This is important because the eye needs resting places in your painting or pattern. And by painting some things larger, you create these resting places and your eyes drawn to those bigger things. First, it's totally fine and sometimes fun to break all the conventional rules about scale and draw a tiny things, huge and enormous things are really tiny. This scope for so much fun and invention. When you start to play with scale. Before we start sketching, we've got the following things in the back of our minds for classes of motifs, your characters, your main flowers, your secondary flowers. You'll fillers, your color palette, which is determined by the possible end-use of your pattern, as well as by color trends, composition, storytelling and flow, and scale, which you need to think about in terms of overall scale of your pattern, as well as relative scale of your motifs. In the next video, we launched together into sketching and into the unknown with open hearts and forgiving minds. For this, you will need some cheap paper, printer paper or sketchbook and a pencil and your source images. Get those ready now and I'll see you there. 11. Sketching Your Motifs: So now we're going to start sketching our motifs are purposefully chosen. Some new motifs that have not worked with very much before. So this will feel as new to me as it is to you. And anything can happen. I'm going to look through my Pinterest board and sketch a few of the characters that I might want to work with in my painting. I'm going to start with the red pandas. I've never drawn red pandas before. So this is new to me. I really like the dark eyes and they bushy tails. So I want you to just explore the forms a little bit and think through how I might use them. In a painting. I like the way these two are sitting together in the tree. And the fact that they are both looking down at something which immediately suggests a story. What are they looking at? What has captured the attention? This one here, I think this tail belongs to him. And this tail belongs to him and this has potential for some stripes. Stripes could be a fun element to include in the painting. And the gaze is looking down at something. The next one I'm going to look at is this little guy who's just basically a blob with a face and a cute little ear, which will actually lend itself to watercolor painting. I coming down there. As you can see, this is very rough. He's looking that way and he's on a branch. And this part is in shadow. There's no need to get stressed about these drawings. It's just sort of learning the subject a little bit. This one is gonna be slightly trickier because he is walking. And this will be quite a difficult pose to get right. I have a go, something like that. And then coming down there. And he also on a branch. Something like that. Nice lakes are darker than the rest. And this air has a doctorate in there. And he's looking that way. This one is quite nice because it's got this curve of the body, head, legs, and tail coming down like that. They're just quite a nice shape. Dark there and there. And I like that. Dark here. Legs coming down in front and then the branch is coming in there. And down the I like him and I like his stripy tail. And he's looking nice and he's looking that way. I'm going to go on and have a look at the big black and white pandas. So this suggests to me that they might be the main characters just because they're so big and black and everybody loves a panda. Something that I could think about is incorporating some line drawing into the painting, which is something I haven't tried before, but could be quite fun. I like this one of him sitting sitting down. It's got quite a nice shape and not a dark there. Yeah. And the black is the swan. He's sleeping. Just getting an idea of the shapes. That this is the black around here. Then eyes. He's quite nice. Now notice that I can't see the back of him, so I don't know how it ends and I might have to bring a leaf or a flower or something in there. But I could have him sitting on a, on a tree instead of on that man-made saying, this one is quite sweet the way he's peeping out from behind the tree. This little black is, I quite like the possibility of using negative space to indicate things in my paintings. So that's something I wanted to keep in mind. The sky has got this shape, nose and then head coming on their big it is. Okay. Now I like the idea of this black part of the panda being quite loose and washy in watercolor as something to explore. This one is really lovely with his arm hanging down. Total relaxation. I hadn't considered during line drawing for the pandas. But actually, now that I'm just playing around with these sketches, I'm thinking that might be something to consider. And the spirit is dark. And I don't want to show man-made structures in my painting. So that would have to be a branch that just ends there. That would be dark. It would be dark. And little eyes. And dark. This bit here. Would be dark. I like that More than I thought I would. Okay, So I'm enjoying these Pandas a lot more than I was enjoying the red pandas. And it's possibly because they're bigger and the eyes are more defined on the faces. I'm going to have a look at the monkeys. Now. Monkeys are going to be a little bit harder because the heads are smaller. And getting the proportions right will be a bit more challenging. But it's still worth having a look. This guy has got legs on this two strings. And his head. And I quite like is black on his face. He's got quite round black eyes. I like him. This one is sitting on his tree and then he's got his arm dangling down as if he wants to help some things, certain other one app maybe. We'll immediately, again, there's a story here. What is he reaching for? What's happening down below? So there's room to explore what's happening here. His face is in here. Dark patch there. I like him. I like his long arm and his vision is going that way. I wanted to have more fun with these monkeys than I thought. These two. They look quite human in the way they're standing. So there is a similarity with this one, except his his legs are obviously dangling down. Very humanoid in its pose. And I don't know if I want that in my, in my painting. So I might end up deciding to avoid. This one, and this one is very pensive, sitting on his little branch. Like he's got quite a blocky shape that'll face, legs. Another arm here. Might be a bit tricky to do in watercolor. But we'll see I like his little dark face, which is in here. And again, makes you think, well, what is he looking at? His branches coming way, which could be a nice diagonal. I've got this one, which is quite fun. Just a little blob sitting on on his tree stumps. So right. That face is way too big. So the faces are quite small. And it's got this lovely, relaxed and coming down here. And it's got an arm or tail. I don't know. Something going down there. Okay, This is a terrible drawing, but That's okay. So the monkeys that are lacking Based on this one, this one, and that one, which is useful information. I've also got some tigers which I think are gonna be really hard to draw. But let's just give it a go. I'm not even sure I want tigers in my painting. There's a bit of a tidy trend at the moment, which is partly why I was curious about them. But the forms are quite difficult. The back straps appeal to me a lot with the eyes are tricky because they're so tiny. I saw a tiger a few months ago at, at a wildlife park. And it was amazing. It is the first time I've actually seen a real tiger. And it was just so majestic, was incredible. So just even having a look at the form of this animal makes me think I'm going to leave out tigers because I think that'll be too difficult to do in the style that I'm imagining my painting might be. So I'm going to leave those out. And then I've also got some lovely flowers. I looked up the national flower of China and got a list, one of which was plum blossoms. And these will be beautiful to paint and just will be quite nice to paint really big. And it could really make the most of watercolor qualities with these flowers. So I think these are gonna be some of my main motifs. I've also got bamboo, and I want to use bamboo stalks to create structure in my pattern. They've got these cross pieces and they can work in clumps. They can indicate direction. So these will be quite useful structurally in my painting. And then I've got bamboo leaves which will be easy to paint and hopefully will form the link between things, the filler. So we've explored our motifs and selected which ones we want to work with, which ones we want to discard. And we're now ready to move on to composition, thumbnails and color mapping. I'll see you there. 12. Layout and Color Thumbnails: Now we're ready to start thinking about layout and color mapping ideas. I hardly ever sketch on the actual paper that I'm going to paint on. This is because if I do sketch, I find that I instantly tighten up when it comes to painting. And it also starts to feel like I'm coloring in. Instead, the way I work things out is by thinking visually and exploring with paint on the page. So the thumbnails are a great first step, moving towards working things out with the paint, the color thumbnails are also useful to work out rough color placement ideas. I'll show you what I mean. I've got my six color swatches and I've got my corresponding coloring pencils. I've got one pink, I've got two greens, a darker green and lighter green. I've got a tan color, and then I've got two browns and my black. And I'm also going to just use a normal pencil. What I do at this stage is just thinking about composition ideas and motifs. I know that I want to use the cherry blossom flowers as quite big motifs. And I don't know whether this painting is going to work. At this stage. We just need to be very loose and playful with my ideas. And it's a way of thinking visually about what you might want to do. The way I normally start these things is I normally plan just one panel and I usually start with my main characters. So if for instance I was going to start with this panda and put him over here, hanging down. Then I might think, oh look, what if these two little red pandas, we're up here and on a branch and looking down at the big Panda. So that's one idea. That is an element of two. And when you do composition, It's always good to compose in 3s or 5s. Odd numbers is generally best. So on the other hand, the third object could be a flower. So I don't know if I want my painting to be completely full or whether I wanted to have gaps in-between. But I could think about big, beautiful flower here or up here, beautiful leaves. I'm just now thinking about scale, thinking about composition, and trying to pin down the image that's in my brain. A bit more space. So if I have the large Panda here, the two little guys up there and a diagonal going there. I'm thinking about these flowers. I like these flowers to be huge. So what if I have oversize flowers and leaves and then have, I don't know if the solute to have tiny animals or whether that will just look weird. I don't always do this because sometimes I just dive in and I find that works better. I'm enjoying these plum blossoms where the flowers are really big. And I think I could paint that quite nicely. So I'm just loosely thinking about how I could draw these things. One coming in here. I've got my four things here. If I was to imagine my small pandas here, and a branch coming down now. Face. And another little face and a tail. Let's imagine those are my Pandas. And then what if my big panda was here is coming down? He would need to be on a bunch. Going that way. Branch would have to be much thicker. I've got these beautiful flowers a child wanted to paint quite big. And so to that. And this one could be behind this panda like that. Then there is an arc happening here. Just thinking about these leaves could be entering into the picture. That's a beautiful flower. Be there. Something that exact bigger. The problem with using characters like Pandas is that they really draw a lot of the eye's attention. And I didn't know if I want that to three. So there's three things there. What if I had another grouping of three here? One. And the third one is underneath three. This leaves a lovely and I quite like the idea of having a quite open and just some beautifully painted leaves and branches is gonna be quite a lot of diagonals going on there. I may need to flip this photograph and see how that can help me. It might work to have just the pandas and not the little red pandas because the little red pandas are a lot smaller. So if I'm thinking about color, these will be kind of pinky middles. And he as well. Hail this one. And then this panda has quite a lot of black on him. Yes, I quite liked to be almost abstract, so almost just suggestions of color. And then when you look closer you go, Oh, it's a panda. I would be quite fun. So I could have that one there. He would need to be on a branch, so I'd have a bit of a branch Coming down there. Now, if these flowers are big, an oversized, Then I've got this panda hiding behind a tree which I could flip. So now I have flipped this image and I can see what it looks like if he's hiding behind a tree on that side, I would obviously need the branch or the B going that way, but I could have him here. This little head, eyes here, and body down here. Now the problem with this photo is I can't see anymore the panda, which means I need something here to cover that up. Maybe I could move these alphabet, these leaves just put out pops of black in. This would be neck, which might be too much black. So that might not be a good one to use. Or I go with that and I put this grouping of three flowers there. Could go here. Instead. That pan that could be behind those vows, or maybe just two of them that in pink, sorted like that. So I hope this gives you an idea of how you can use thumbnails and color mapping to think through your motifs, to explore which ones you want to use and which ones you want to leave out. And to start to think about the placement of color in your painting. I don't always do this exercise. Often, I just dive in and start painting. But if the leap from sketching painting feels too huge, then this is a great in-between step, as it usually helps you to find a starting place for your painting. If you do, do this step, It's important to keep in mind that a lot can change when you start painting. So it's best to think of it as a useful tool for exploring ideas and then put it aside and just dive into painting and see what happens. So now it's time for you to go ahead and create your own rough thumbnails. Don't spend too long on it, keep it loose. Pick the one you like best. And then in the next video, we'll start painting. I'll see you there. 13. Painting Baby, Yeah: Painting baby yet. So by now you should have done your thumbnails and filter by color placement and picked which rough layout you're going to use as a starting point. Feel free to share any thumbnail sketches you've done in the class gallery. I'd love to see them. So we're ready to start painting. This painting, especially the detailed ones, can take a very long time. So for the purposes of this class, I'm going to use six blocks of Arches paper, and I'm going to use my motifs quite big because I just want to show the basic idea and the process rather than hours and hours and hours of detailed painting. Before we start painting, I'm just going to explain how I'm going to use the blocks as a half drop repeat. So I'm using six watercolor blocks. So if I draw my six blocks here, that will form one block in my painting. Now when it comes to doing the repeat, the top and bottom will repeat underneath straight down, like this. So that's easy. Whatever comes off this top here needs to join on there. Okay, so anything that's up here will join on here. So that's really simple. When it comes to doing the half drop. This block will be repeated to the side and half way up and halfway down. So if I make my six blocks like that, and like that, then this block edge will be repeated here. Okay? This block edge will be repeated here. Although I usually just do a color thumbnail and then launch straight into painting. For this painting, I have actually done a little light sketching just to try and get the placement of the motifs right. So when it comes to do the painting, this block will actually, will join on to this block like that. This block edge joins onto this edge. It'll be easier to see what's happening. Once I've started doing the painting. I'm going to start by painting the gibbons. Because this is going to be a pattern. I purposefully want to paint these givens quite flat. So I'm not too worried about depth and accuracy. So when I get the basic shape in, as always, with watercolor, I want to use as few brush strokes as I can. When you're doing a painting like this, it's always a good idea to start with something easy and work your way towards the hardest things. As you get more warm. There we go. That's our first given. This is the next one. Down. Next one. I'm going to have swinging. It's got really long hearing. Reaching down. I'm putting quite a lot of pigment on because I want these to be bold. I want to maximize the watercolor effects that I can get. By adding little droplets of water, especially around the faces. I had toyed with the idea of just drawing these as line drawings. But I think for uniformity of the pattern, I've decided, I'll just, if you do sketch, you want to make your pencil lines as light as possible so that they don't show through on the painting. Okay, Now this is going to join onto here like that. So I just want to make sure I've got his hand in the right place like that. And those are my givens, 123456. I'm now going to put the first layer of pandas in. So I'm going to paint as a base layer for my Pandas. Just been very light gray. Let that dry and then I'm going to later do the darks of the legs and ears and nose. So this is just to get the basic shape in. This has got a bit too dark, so I'm just lifting out some of that. So now is where I want to come and have a lot of fun painting the big pink flowers. I want to make the most of the watercolor properties and have lots of blooms and pretty things happening. And I wanted to paint quite freely. Just want to have fun with it. If you've watched my other class on watercolor, you'll know that timing is a crucial part of which color painting and knowing how wet your paint is at all times so that you can control the blends and how the paint mixes on the page. Just going to stop there and let it do its magic. While that's happening, I'm gonna come over here and do this one. Now, this panel in the half-drop will join with this one. So I'm going to bring everything over here that will go down there. That will go up there. And now I'm going to paint this flower to come across both of these panels. The joy of this kind of painting is that if I mess up one of the panels, all I do is remove that sheet and then try again. So it takes the risk. It really reduces the risk element in painting, and it means you can afford to be more adventurous with your paint. There's some nice things happening here and it's starting to dry. Before that gets too dry. I'm just want to maybe put a bit more definition into that one. Let's see. Just that. I want this petal to be clean. So I'm going to pick up this, take a smaller brush, and I'm going to take a tiny bit of brown. It's important to get enough contrast into your color is very easy for everything. Just sit in the mid, mid-range and that is not what you want. Well, it's it's really easy for things to sit in the mid-range. So it's always good to be conscious of adding darks. I want to be very careful of not overworking what I'm doing. So easy to overwork a watercolor. So I'm going to stop there with that one. This one is getting dry and I think it's ready for me to add a few darks. Now the darkest part is in the center. I'm going to, my next flower. I'm going to do this one. I'm going to loosely these petals. It's nice to leave a bit of the white paper showing through. It adds an highlight. Gets a nice quality to your painting. I'm using the paint very wet. Yeah. It's going to take quite a long time to dry. Let's say, Okay. Now I'm going to do this flower. Now. I'm going to put it back to how it was when I started it. This one is going to come down here. And this one is going to go up there. I just find it's easier to reorient myself back to this as a starting point. And now I want to paint this flower here. And I know that anything that the top is going to repeat it the bottom. So I'm gonna just take that and bring it down. Take that and bring it down. And bring it down. And now I can very easily paint this flower across the divide. I'm going to pull from the center and keep it really loose. Swan, I might load the center with a lot of pigment and then pull it up, which could work really nicely. Something like that. It's beautiful thing. This one needs to be really light. Going to learn that center. Even more. This way. You don't control every single aspect of your painting in order to get that watercolor magic happening. And sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't work. Okay. This one is very rapidly getting dry. I'm gonna just put more moisture in there. To know the middle. One. Slowed up the middle a bit more. This one's pretty much dry. Might be able to know when strike. I want another flower here. This morning. I'm going to do the same thing. I'm going to load the middle like that. Then I'm going to pull, see what happens. That's quite a fun technique. Really let the paint do what it wants to do. That's a nice one. Let's see if I can get a bit more magic happening here. Maybe a little bit more magic happening. It's fun once you start to relax and just enjoy the process. I'm pop a bit of brown in. So it's good to do what's called all over painting, which is to be consistent across the entire spread that you're working on. Don't work on one corner and forget about the rest. Although sometimes when I'm doing a painting that I'm just doing intuitively and building up, I actually do, just do that. But if you're working on something like this, it can be good to have an all overtreatment. Okay, now, I'm going to join this back to here. So this one coming down there, the swan going back there. And I wanted to just pull the stem cross, join like that. So now I'm going to paint in a few of the branches that the monkeys are sitting on and hanging from. And I'm going to use my brown mixed with a little bit of my lighter brown. Okay? And now I'm going to put in loosely the things that pandas are touching on. I want to keep this quiet, loose and not too stressful. The first one is here. This one is cut in half, so I'm going to swapped them either. And I don't want to get confused, so I'm going to swap all of them back that this panel here is sitting in a tree branch to sit on. This might turn out to be the weirdest parenting effort. But that's okay. It's just fun to try new things and follow your curiosity. Because you never know where one thing might take you to something else. And it really doesn't matter if the painting doesn't work, you can just do another one. And now I'm going to put the darks of the pandas in. The next one is here and he is looking up. I've actually combined two different images for this one. So it's gonna be a little bit tricky. Give it a guard. I love doing this with watercolor, just letting the paint be free and move around. It's really satisfying. And it's quite nice to actually not be completely in control of every single aspect. Little bit of magic can happen when you relinquish some control. Some nice things happening here. Okay. Steepened out some of these blacks. We want to try and establish a continuity of tone across the whole of the painting. So if I've got relaxed and I want them to be similar, darkness. In the different areas of the painting. So now is the fun part, which is painting the leaves. And the most part, I just want to paint quite freely and loosely and enjoy the painting process. This is my color swatch and I just want to mix up those colors again. So 11 is 140. Yellow. That's quite a strong pigment. And 54, this olive green. That's a bit of a sludgy green. I want my leaves to be quite similar in color to my Gibbons. I'm going to swap the position of the blocks just because that will be easier. In my mind, this format is the starting point. And I know that when I swap them over, this has to go there, and that has to go there. So now it's just a case of adding leaves and blossoms and making it into a fun and playful design. So I'm going to start with a few little blossoms. My colors have gone a little bit muddy and my mortars muddy, so I'm going to quickly wash my water out. So I've got clean water and clean brushes. And I'm going to start by just entering in some light, happy little blossoms into the gaps. These can be quite less than abstract. And just enjoying the pink quality. With water, I always have a duty jaw and a clean jar. And that helps me keep my colors nice and pure. Now this one will join their space there. So I think I might just put leaves for now. So let's do some leaves. Leaves are lovely to parent. It can be really therapeutic. Just keeping them simple, especially with watercolor. Add a bit of dark to some places here. It's inflow. I'm being a little bit conscious of not painting over the cracks if I can help it. It just Next we're less Photoshop work at the end. But that shouldn't be a compositional factor. That's not the most beautiful thing I've ever done. But that's okay. I'm just gonna take this one. I'm going to put some leaves in here. I'm little blossoms in to fill some of the gaps. And also where I've ended branches and things. Sometimes it's useful to hide the flowers. Okay, Now this is going to connect to this. And next to that. So I can check for gaps. And it's this here. He's waiting for something and I want to introduce, I've put a lot of this angle going on with my branches. So I want to now start bringing some branches down. Got some lovely watercolor values happening there. If you watched my other watercolor class, you know what I mean when I talk about timing, being critical with watercolor painting. There's a bit of a gap here. And I think having this leaf behind his head worked quite well. So same thing here. Okay. I'm going to swap my panels around one more time and just check for any other gaps. Hello. I'm Don again. And then I think this here could do with a lethal to I'm going to flip them over again. I'm just going to see if there's anything else. I need to paint. This area here feels unfinished and not well painted, so I'm gonna see if I can do anything to improve it. I think the addition of a few leaves might be helpful. This over here wants a little bit of connecting up. At this stage in the parenting our actually quite a few stages. A guy stopped just started responding to what was on the page rather than any preconceived idea that I had in my head. If you drop water into the paint, you get this sort of effect with a nice dark edge. When it dries. And if you lift out the water, you can lighten it slightly. Then it's just this flower which joins that last little bit. There's one more thing that I need to do that is put the faces on the little gibbons. I'm just doing a kind of indication of a face. I'm not actually going to do a real naturalistic face. So here we have our basic painting. So now it's your turn. I don't think too much about it. Just wet your watercolor paints, grab your thumbnail sketch and have a go. And if it goes wrong, just tear that page off the block and have another go. And try and forget about pressure and perfection and just enjoy the painting process and the fact that if it goes wrong, it's not a problem. Sometimes you can paint all the right elements and it still doesn't quite feel right. Here's an example. This happens and you're not happy with how to nap. Don't take it personally, Don't stop beating yourself up. This is about exploring, having fun and learning. Just grab a new page and try again. These two pages I've painted numerous times before. I felt they were right. Don't forget to post some of your work in progress in the project gallery as you go along, I'd love to see how you're getting on. And if you have any questions, feel free to use the class discussion section and I'll do my best to answer them. In the next video, I'll show you how to use Photoshop to check your pattern, your composition, and the repeats. I'll see you there. 14. Checking the Repeat: I'm going to show you very quickly how to check your painting using Photoshop. This is something I do just for peace of mind to know that my repeat will work when it comes to sewing it together. The first thing I'm going to do is crop my image so that I only have the painting in my image. And then I'm going to double-click on the background layer to unlock it. Then I'm going to go to Image Canvas Size, and I'm going to make my width roughly triple and my height roughly triple, maybe a bit more than tripled. Let's go for eight sounds. I now have my painting floating around on a bigger Canvas, which means I can move it to the side. And if I hold down the Alt key and the Shift key and then drag upwards, I can copy that layer. I'm going to repeat that and drag downwards. And now you can see that the repeat is working top to bottom. This monkey here is legs are joining up. This stem is joining up. There's maybe a bit of work to do here, but that's fine. Overall, things that joining up. So that's looking great. Then I'm going back to my central peace and I'm going to drag it across and halfway up and back to my center across and halfway down, like that. And now if I zoom in, I can check whether the repeats are working along the side and I can see that they are, they might be a little bit of work to do there. Just bring that one down a bit. But basically I can see that this flows nicely into there. Those are joining up. This petal here is joining up. And because this is just a photograph, is not exact, but that's fine when we actually scan it. And so it together, it will be a lot more exact and precise. And that's all there is to it. It's just a useful little tool that you can use to quickly check that your repeat works. So that is my finished painting. I hope you enjoyed watching the process right from the start of not even knowing what I was going to create through gathering the motifs and working up to the painting stage. In the next video, we'll wrap it all up and celebrate what we've achieved. I'll see you there. 15. Conclusion: We made it a massive thank you for sticking with me to the end. I hope you found this class useful and I hope it's opened up a whole new avenue of fun and enjoyment that you can have with watercolors. We looked at how to find my chiefs that can give expression to your imagination, the four different types of motifs. How to choose a color palette, keeping in mind the possible end-use of our painting flesh, pattern, and how to research trends that are relevant to that end-use. We thought about composition, storytelling and flow. We considered scale. We did sketching and then moved on to rough layout and color mapping. We painted. I showed you how to paint a block repeat, and how to use Photoshop to check the repeat and check the composition. And then we added the finishing touches to our painting. You now have a painting that I hope has released a little bit of your wild child through watercolor. I really hope that this method gives you a new freedom when it comes to watercolor painting. Both in terms of how your paint, as well as the paintings that you dream up, you now have the tools to dream up any painting you want and turn it into a pattern for years in fabric or wallpaper and gift wrap, the possibilities are endless. This is illustration meets painting meets surface pattern design in one glorious moment of liberation, please share your project. I'd really love to see what you've created, right from preliminary sketches, thumbnails. And even if you haven't finished your painting, I'd love to see work in progress. Don't forget that. You don't have to photograph the whole painting. If there's a section of it that is just beautiful with unexpected results, share a quick snap of that. You can always update your project as you go along. So don't wait until you've created a huge masterpiece before you share, rather share what you've got as you go along so that we can all cheer you along. If you enjoyed this class, I'd be really grateful if you could leave a review on Skillshare. It makes a huge difference and I'd welcome any feedback you have about the class. Also, don't forget to follow me on Skillshare, so you'll be notified when the second part of this class is published. If you want to connect with me on Instagram, I am at Catherine Jennifer designs. I'd love to see you there. And if you share work from this class on socials, please use the hashtag Skillshare by Catherine Jennifer, and that way I won't miss it. Finally, don't forget that this is part one of a two-part series. So look out for part two in which I will show you how to sew together your multi panel painting in Photoshop and create your pattern tile until next time. Thank you for watching. Okay.