Your Introduction to Watercolor Painting: Create With Confidence | Ciarra Rouwhorst | Skillshare

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Your Introduction to Watercolor Painting: Create With Confidence

teacher avatar Ciarra Rouwhorst, Fine Art Calligrapher & Designer

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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.

      Class Project


    • 3.



    • 4.



    • 5.



    • 6.

      Setting Up Your Workspace


    • 7.

      Creating Color References


    • 8.

      Color Mixing Chart


    • 9.

      Color Mixing 101


    • 10.

      Class Project


    • 11.

      Closing Comments


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About This Class

Have you found watercolor difficult to work with? Are you dying to add watercolor textures to your design work, or handlettering toolbox? In this class you will learn basic skills, how to improve your watercolor technique and how to have more fun in the process. Great for beginners, designers, art nerds and craft addicts. This class is not neccesarily a Watercolor 101, but rather you will become better aquainted with watercolors, explore some fun tools and techniques, and create a stunning watercolor background. Let's get started! 

Meet Your Teacher

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Ciarra Rouwhorst

Fine Art Calligrapher & Designer


Ciarra Rouwhorst  (Ciarra Claire) is a self-taught artist and designer. She began learning calligraphy and design right here on SkillShare in 2015. She then used those skills to start her business Ciarra Claire Fine Art in 2016 (Formerly Silver Fox Calligraphy). She works mainly with bespoke wedding stationery specializing in romantic calligraphy and watercolor illustration.

She started teaching on SkillShare in 2016, with her watercolor workshop. Since then she has launched The Self Made Creative Series. This is a collection of Skillshare classes designed to give self-taught creatives the tools they need to take creative leaps. You can also join the movement on Instagram and use the hashtag #selfmadecreative for a chance to be featured. There is also a Facebook gr... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hi, my name is Ciarra Rouwhorst and I'm the designer behind the Silver Fox Finery, an authentic design studio based out of Petoskey in Northern Michigan and I love watercolor. But that was not always the case. Watercolor and I had what you might call an on and off again relationship. I'm sure so many of you can relate. What would happen would be that I would get out my watercolors and I would be so excited to create something beautiful, but then as I was working I would become frustrated with my results and then in the end, I'd be really disappointed with the work that I produced. So disappointed that I would put my water coloring away and I would forget about them for a few weeks, a few months, sometimes even a year or so in between tries. I know that's happened to so many other people because watercolor can be a little bit frustrating to work with at times. But you can get through it, I did. I love watercolor now. It's so versatile. You can use it on so many different projects, whether it's a beautiful watercolor logo or a background for hand lettering, or a beautiful image for your blog. It's a really so versatile and so enjoyable to work with. In this class, we're going to break down some of the basics to take that guesswork right out of the equation. We're going to look at all of your supplies. We're going to go in-depth into different kinds of watercolor paints and papers and why some of them might cause you frustration. The problem might be your supplies. Also, we're going to get to know the supplies that we have. You don't need really expensive supplies to make beautiful watercolors. You just need to get to know them better. We're going to discuss all of your paints, we're going to do exercises so that you understand how they work with water and how they react to the other pigments in your pallet. By the end of this class, you will have designed a beautiful watercolor background or texture that you can use in a variety of circumstances. I'm so excited to be bringing this class to you and I can't wait to see what you create. I'm Ciarra Rouwhorst, and together we're going to learn to love watercolor and create with confidence. 2. Class Project: Your project for this class will be to complete a beautiful watercolor background. But there are going to be a few steps in order for us to get to that point. I'd like to first show you a few ways that you can use your water color background. Here I have a table number that I did on gold calligraphy on. It's made out of handmade paper by silicon willow. It's so beautiful to work with. Here's a little sign that has a watercolor background with gold calligraphy on top. Here is a bookmark that I designed for a wedding show that I did. I was actually calligraphing people's names on these bookmarks and giving them away. But the background for this was hand-on watercolor. Here we have another table sign, and you can see that this watercolor background is very free-flowing. There's some grays and some greens, some different gradients. Here I used the same color palette for a handwritten save the date. You can see the beautiful gradients and natural textures from the watercolor. There are a few other ways that you can use it if you want to digitize your work. That's great, you can just upload it in an image and make a background with text over it. So in this class, there's going to be a few basic steps. The first one is going to be supplies. We are going to learn about your supplies and different options that you may have and how they work. We're going to discuss a few different types of paint. I'm going to show you examples and swatches so that you can see the differences, and discuss the pros and cons, two pan sets versus two paints and see how they work in real life. You're also going to create these swatches and a color mixing chart with your own watercolors, so that you can explore how your watercolor work on paper and water, how they flow through the water, how much mechanical action they need from your paintbrush, how vibrant they are, as well as how they work together with the other paints in your palette. So you have a really great reference when it comes to mixing your colors. You're also going to learn how to mix colors and how to create a custom palette for your project, so that you have cohesive colors throughout your watercolor wash. We're going to discuss your materials really in-depth. We're also going to discuss different types of watercolor paper and show you the differences. For example, look at this wash compared to this wash, the only difference is the paper. It really can make a big impact in your work. Then you're going to take all of these skills that you've learned in this class to create some beautiful watercolor backgrounds that you can use however you want. I'm really excited to see what you create. I'm going to be having a PDF in the project information for this class, that will have clickable links to all the materials that we're going to discuss. I'm really excited to see what you create. So please take pictures and post your progress and ask any questions along the way in the discussion board. First up, we're going to talk about your materials. 3. Paint: One of the first things that we are going to be discussing in our class when it comes to supplies is we're going to be talking about our watercolor paint because watercolor paint is going to be one of the most foundational supplies we're going to be using in this class. But there's a lot of variety when it comes to the type of paint and also the quality of paint. Quality can really influence how your watercolor pieces turn out and how enjoyable it is to work with. We're going to discuss first the two types of paint. The basic types are tube and pan. Now, there's a few other kinds too. You can get into watercolor pencils and things like that. We'll actually be talking about that later but the difference between the tubes and the pan sets is the pans come ready to use, you just have to re-moisten them. They're going to be dried out cakes of pigment, whereas with the tubes, you have to have a separate palette and put your pigment from the tube into the palette and then use it that way. I personally prefer using tubes. I think some of my first watercolors sets were to paint and I think it might just be sentimental value makes me feel real artist [LAUGHTER]. But as far as quality goes, there's no difference, there's really high quality tubes, there's really low quality tubes. There's also very high quality pan sets and low quality pan sets. It's really just a matter of preference and what you can afford as well. Now that we've talked about the different kinds of paint, we're going to talk about quality. One of the first sets that we're going to look at here is this Prang professional set. This is the one that you probably all used in elementary school. It's a super popular students' set. The watercolors inside you can probably see it's a little bit shiny. That's because these are semi moist. They're going to still retain a little bit of moisture. They're never going to be completely dried out. You can see this is getting a little crack that's getting pretty dry but it's still pretty sticky to the touch. I have here the watercolor swatches from this set. We're going to be over making swatches later and why it's so important. But if you look here, you can see the opacity. See this black line, the paint is laid over the black lines. You can see how much of it shows through and how thick the paint is and you can see even with the white here, it really leaves quite a bit of residue, and this isn't necessarily a desirable thing. One of the most desirable traits when you are looking at watercolor paints is the opacity. Also these paints don't travel as well in water, which means they're going to be a little bit more difficult to mix. They'll probably work just fine. But as you can see here, they didn't really flow all the way to the end of the water without much assistance. You can see how lighter it is there. It may not seem like much, but we're going to compare it to some of the other paints. Another thing about this set that could be a pro or a con depending on how you're using your watercolors is that these colors are very vibrant. For me, they're almost too vibrant. I really prefer a more natural color to my watercolors but if you're doing design work and you're just wanting some really fun pops of color then a set like this is probably going to be fine. Another thing to consider with student quality sets is that they're not usually going to be light fast. That's something to consider if you're doing finished pieces of artwork that are going to be on a wall. You want to make sure that the watercolors you're using are a high level of light-fastness so that they don't fade over time. This set is a Gansai Tambi set by Kuretake. I'm not sure exactly how to pronounce it, but it's a Japanese set of watercolors. I really love these watercolors. I'll show you the swatches that I made. You can see it's really very transparent and they're really quite vibrant, beautiful colors. But you can see when you compare these colors to these colors, they have a little bit more natural tone to them, which I really like. The only reason I don't use these for finished pieces of artwork is because I don't know if it's lightfast because the paperwork for it is in Japanese and there's nothing on it that says that they're archival quality. I use these mostly for my design work if I'm doing something that's going to be scanned and then digitized but I don't usually use these for finished pieces of art. This set is really nice, it's a Winsor and Newton Cotman. This is a more affordable version of watercolor paints, but this palette is a travel palette and so it's a very compact, as you can see, it travels really easily. You can see these colors may not be as vibrant, but they're really beautiful, natural colors and they blended really well with the water. I really didn't use much action with my brush for these. The pigment just naturally flowed as you can see these are a little bit higher quality. Lastly, I'm going to show you one more set. These are my tube paints. These are Van Gogh artist watercolors. These are one of the more affordable versions of professional watercolors. These are lightfast so I use these when I'm doing finished artwork. The quality on these, actually as far as workable pigment goes, I prefer these a little bit. There's just a couple of colors. This color is sedimentary and the pigments don't blend as nicely, but I'll show you here. I have my water color mixing chart, and these are the colors that I used for it. As you can see there are some really vibrant colors. This cerulean blue is really beautiful. This permanent light red is really nice, but it also has some really nice neutral tones, which make for great mixing options for these colors. One of the pros for doing two paints is that you get to pick the colors that go in your palette. There were a lot of paints at the art supply store and I chose paints that I wanted to use. If you're going to go this option and go with tubes, I highly recommend you choose two reds, two yellows, and two blues for mixing. We're going to into mixing a little bit later, but it's nice you can see here I have a more cool tone and warm tone red, a cool tone and warm tone yellow, and then a more warm and cool blue. If you have those options, you can mix almost any color. It's also nice to have a couple of brown tones, but you can make browns and gray from your primary colors as well. I think that's about it as far as paints go. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave me a comment on the message board and I'll be sure to answer your questions. The next thing that we're going to talk about is going to be paper. 4. Paper: We're going to talk for a minute about paper. What makes a good-quality watercolor paper would look for, and what are some economical choices? To start out, I have some samples here. This is Canson sketch paper, 50 pound. This is just your basic sketch drawing paper. I just wanted to show you what watercolors looked like on regular paper and why. Specifically watercolor paper is necessary when using watercolors. What I did first here is I made a swatch of color. Then I added water to blend it out. You can see I was able to blend the color out with the water. But it has some funny effects here. The paper is horribly there's no texture to it. Here you can pretty much see exactly what I did. I put down a light lavender pigment. Then I put down a dark blue pigment then I put down a bright blue pigment, and then I went back over it with water to blend out the lines, and to blend them together. You can see here that there's a distinct line where I put the pigment down. What happens is, this paper absorbs the water right away. It needs something called sizing in order to keep the water on the surface of the paper for a little bit and control how much pigment and water is absorbed, and how long it takes to absorb. Good watercolor paper will give you a little bit of time in order to blend. You can rework things and blend them out. Which is great. Obviously that's not the case with this paper. Then I just made a few lines with my paint brush so that you can see texture of the paper. Obviously this paper is not good quality for using with watercolor. But it serves as a good example of why we can't use regular paper with watercolor paints. Next, I have Canson brand, rough watercolor paper, 124 pounds. With watercolor paper, there's three different kinds and we're going show you all three today. It has to do with the texture, and how they're made. There's rough hot press and cold press.The difference that you're going to see with these is the texture of the paper. This one is considered rough, but it's really not a very rough texture. If you can see here, it's really fairly smooth. But the Canson brand I really have not found to be very good quality. This, for example, is a 124 pound paper. Generally you want a 140 pound watercolor paper. This is a little bit thinner than I would like to use. You can almost see through it in the light. As you can see here, I wasn't really able to rework these water colors very well. You can still see a distinct line. Here with these, you can see the texture is really fairly smooth compared to some watercolor papers. This Canson brand, although it's pretty economical, I really wouldn't recommend it for more than just practicing on maybe swatching your watercolors. Next step is a mixed media paper. I wanted to show you this paper because sometimes mixed media paper can work really well if you're working on a project that's not necessarily just a watercolor illustration. I use this paper a lot for hand lettering. If I'm also planning on using calligraphy with my watercolors, I won't use it if I need a whole wash. But if I'm just doing a small illustration or something like that, I actually like this paper. It's a very smooth, this is Strathmore 400 series, which is their best make. It's a mixed media paper, a 144 pounds or a 140 pounds and vellum surface. You can see the surface is very smooth. You can see I was able to blend this line here pretty well. This is pretty interesting how the water reacted to the paper. You can see that I laid down the colors as I did before. Then I tried to blend it out. The effect that it had is really interesting. It's not necessarily the effect that I would go for with watercolor. You can also still see the edge of where I laid down the paint. But this might be an interesting texture if this is something that you're trying to do. You notice here, the watercolor pooled in certain areas. It was almost as if the paper was resisting the water. This isn't necessarily something that's desirable with watercolor. If you're doing a whole illustration. But if you're just doing something small or if this is the look that you're going for, it's a nice option to have. Here we have Strathmore 300 series, a 140 pound cold press. Cold press is not going to have a rough texture, but it's going to have a really nice medium texture to it, as you can see with this paper. I was able to get a really nice gradient here, and some nice textures from the water. With the paper having a bit of a texture, it seems to help a water move around a little bit and create interesting patterns here. What's really nice is now you can start to see the blending going on. I did the same thing with the other ones. I laid down one color at a time. Then I went back with my water to blend. Although you see this line around where the water finished, I could have extended it further but I didn't have room. But you can see that you can't really see the brush strokes of where I laid the color down, and these colors blend into each other seamlessly. Here with these lines you can see the texture a little bit. This watercolor paper is really an economical choice. Again, there are 400 series, which is even a step above this. That's what I use most often because it is a less expensive option and it still performs really nicely for what I use it for. This is Moulin DuRoy, watercolor paper. It's a 144 pounds, or a 140 pounds, but this is a hot pressed version. A hot pressed watercolor is actually going to have a really smooth flat surface. It's still a very good quality water vapor, but it's not going give you that water color texture. However, this might be a really good option for other projects. You can see how the gradient worked. It wasn't very good at reworking the water color pigments and blending out, but it does have a really nice smooth finish. If you're doing some brush lettering, or some calligraphy, or hand lettering. This might be a good option if you're doing a watercolor brush lettering, this paper might work really well for you, but as for doing large washes and things, I wouldn't recommend it. Here we have the same brand, Moulin DuRoy, a 140 pound. This is a rough texture. You can see that right away. You see all of these little bumps in the paper. It creates a really beautiful texture and notice how well blended this swatches, you don't get any of those watermarks. You can see here I was able to work out this watercolor really nicely. Here you have the texture with these brushstrokes. This is a really beautiful paper and you can see the difference, especially when I compare these two brands. This is the Canson rough paper, and this is the Moulin DuRoy rough paper. You can immediately see the difference in texture. This is obviously a much better quality paper. Yes, it's going to be a little bit more expensive. But when you look at the quality of what you get it's really worth it. Last we have Arches watercolor paper, 140 pounds, cold pressed. Again, it's our cold pressed. You're going to have that nice watercolor texture, but it's not going to be overwhelming. We have a really beautiful gradient here. Got a little bit blue at the end because my water was starting to get a little bit blue. But look at how gorgeous this blended effect is. You can't see any brush strokes. You can see a little bit here. But it just creates this really seamless effect. With these brush strokes down here you can see the texture of the watercolor papers. Arches watercolor paper is definitely one of the more expensive options when it comes to your papers, but it's also the standard for watercolor paper as far as professional artist grade goes, this paper is really versatile. It also comes in different weights. If you prefer a rough texture, or a hot pressed texture, you can also get it in watercolor blocks, which is great, where it's a pad of paper, but it's glued all the way around the edges so you don't have to bother with taping down your paper. But because it is more expensive, I only use this for finished artwork. I really don't use it for practice because I just feel like it's such a beautiful paper that I want to save it for something really special. But if you've only used student grade watercolor paper up to this point, I'd highly recommend picking up even one large piece of this from your art supply store. For example, this piece is from a large sheet that I tore into smaller pieces. You can get about eight of these pieces from one of the large sheets. It'll cost you about seven or eight dollars probably, but it's a nice way to try to sample it without the expense of buying an entire block or an entire pad. I highly recommend this paper also, the Moulin DuRoy paper, the rough texture worked great, but for more economical choice, I highly recommend the strap more than 300 and 400 series. I'll have links to all of these papers in the materials for this class. If you don't have any of these papers, go ahead and grab some watercolor paper. If you already have some watercolor paper, go ahead and try these exercises and see how your paper reacts to your water. In the next class will be talking about paint brushes. Can't wait to see you there. 5. Brushes: In this lesson, we're going to discuss watercolor brushes. When it comes to watercolor, there's three primary components that are really important, and that's your paper, your pigments, and your brushes. But out of those three, I personally feel like brushes are third in importance. I don't feel like they make as big of a difference when you buy expensive brushes. However, that being said, the least expensive brushes can be very frustrating to work with. I'm going to show you some things to look for in your watercolor brushes and what works and what does not work. This group here are basic brushes that you might find at a craft store. These two are natural bristle brushes, these haven't even really been broken or washed, so there's a little bit of glue in there still. But it's almost like straw, it feels like these brushes are not the best brushes to use with watercolor, unless you're going for a dry brush texture. For example, maybe you would use it for graphs or something like that. But if you're just using these to paint, it might be really frustrating to you because they're not going to hold color the way you want and they're not going to be flexible, so these can be tricky to work with. These brushes are your basic craft brushes that you might find at Walmart or in inexpensive sets at an art supply store. You can see these bristle are very smooth and plastic. These are just not going to hold water for you very well. They may work okay, they're definitely going to work better than the first brushes that we looked at, but these can cause you problems as well. Another thing with inexpensive brushes is that these hairs can come loose pretty easily and then you're stuck with little hairs in your watercolor, and trying to figure out how to get them out after it dries, or before it dries, and not smudging anything, and not letting watercolor collect around the little hair that made its way into your paintings. That can be really frustrating to deal with as well. These are some brushes that I use quite frequently. These are brushes that I use for doing a wash or laying down large areas of color. They're brushes that I've had for a very long time, they feel like natural brushes. The natural hair brushes are going to hold more water for you and have a more flexible shape to them, but still hold their original shape really well, and they're going to be a nicer quality brush for you. That's something you might want to keep in mind when you're searching for brushes. These are brushes that I use on a regular basis for smaller, more detailed work. These brushes here, are master's touch brand and I just got them from Hobby Lobby, they're synthetic brush but they work pretty nicely for what I use them for, for illustrating and for doing some small details. These are the two brushes that I use the most for doing really small work, like maybe a watercolor wreath or something like that. It's really nice when these brushes come with a little cover. See this brush has a really nice point to it and this little cover makes it so that I keep that nice shape, it doesn't get messed up with my other brushes. These are a couple more fun options that you can try. This is a fan brush, this one's in rough shape, it's pretty old. But this is also a great brush for doing texture like graphs, but I find this brush to be really useful for doing splatter, you put a little paint on it and you give it a couple of flex with your finger and you can get a nice splatter effect. This is a water brush. This brush actually functions by putting water in the handle here, there's a reservoir with a valve. As you squeeze the water brush, it pushes water through the cartridge and into this tip. This tip is actually a brush, it's made out of synthetic hairs as you can see, and it's a really handy for doing travel painting. If you're painting outside, it keeps all of your water in one place, it's not messy that way, and it's also really useful if you're doing watercolor lettering. A lot of people use these and they're very versatile. It's not the greatest brush, in my opinion as far as details go with watercolor illustrations, but it's really great for a lot of purposes. This last one is not a brush, but I'm a little partial too deep pens, because I love calligraphy as well. But these can be a really fun tool when it comes to illustrating and watercolor, because you can actually take this pen and paint the watercolor onto the nib and then use it to draw a fine lines. That's something that you might want to try if you find that using a really small paint brushes are hard for you to control, because these have a stiffness, but it's also flexible so you can get varying weights to your lines. It might be something that's fun to try, I put a link to an inexpensive set of depends in the materials for this class. Feel free to check that out and see what you think. That wraps up our module here for supplies for watercolor. Now we're going to get into doing some exercises for you to get used to your paper, your pens, your brushes, your pigments, and get to know them better, and have a little bit more fun in the process. 6. Setting Up Your Workspace: This video is going to be all about your workspace and the things that you need to have in order to complete this project, as well as some that are just going to make it a little bit easier for you. So firstly, I always have an entire roll of paper towel with me. I have little holder for it us so it can be right on my desk. But paper towel is a really great resource when you're using watercolor because you can use it to mop up any excess water, you can use it after you rinse your brushes to make sure you get all the pigment out. They're just really handy to have, and I like to have a whole roll so I don't have to run out and get more. It's just really nice to have it all there. Second resource is a ruler. You can use any ruler you want but I really like this clear grid ruler. I'll put a link to this in a PDF for this class. But it just makes measuring things really easy because you're going to want to measure your background depending on what you're using it for. Obviously, you're going to want your paint brushes. As we already discussed in our supplies video, you'll have picked out a paint brushes that you are going to use for this class and ones that you feel comfortable with, as well as your paint. These are the paints I'll be using for this project. I also recommend having a separate palette. This is just a small plastic palette I think it was maybe $99 at Walmart or something. It's just really nice to have extra room for mixing colors. You'll want to pencil to measure out the parameters for your background. This little pipette is really handy. I'm going to use this and one of the videos so you'll see why I like to have us around. You'll want an eraser, in case you need to erase any of your lines. You'll want to tape, tape down your paper and you'll want an art board to tape it down to. I have here on my desk an art board and I'll put a link in the PDF for this class but it's really nice. You don't necessarily need to have an art board. But if you have something that you can take your paper down to, that way you can prevent the rippling and warping in your paper. You'll want to have a container for water. Ideally, you'd like to have two containers and I really like to use mason jars, so I'll have a couple of mason jars and that way you can rent out your paint in one jar and then pick up clean water in the next jar so you keep your palette really nice and clean, and keep your color mixing consistent. You'll want your paper. I have a couple pieces here, [inaudible] rough grade paper that I'm going to be using for this project. This is another really handy tool to have. It's a paper cutter, and I think you can get this at pretty much any art supply store, crafting store, and it's really nice for trimming down your artwork if you're going to be framing it. I believe that's all the things you're going to need for this class. Like I said, you don't need all these things. You don't need to have a paper trimmer. You can use scissors if you want. You don't need to have a ruler, but they're just things that really come in handy and that you might want to have with you. One more thing before I start working is, I usually take off all of my jewelry because I just like to have my hands be free and not have to be thinking about fidgeting with things, and also one more suggestion for your supplies in your workspace is, it's a really nice if you can keep all of your things together in one spot and make sure that it's not a spot that's really inconvenient to get to because if you go to bring out your watercolors, Say you have an extra half an hour on the weekend and you just want to play around a little bit, if all of your things are in different places and you're not quite sure where everything is, you can waste that entire amount of time or not be willing to go through the effort to get your supplies out, and so I really recommend maybe getting a little box even at a shoebox or something so that you can keep all of your supplies in one place, and that way you're much more likely to get them out and use them more often. That's it for setting up your workspace, and I'll see you in the next class. 7. Creating Color References: I'm actually going to walk you through the process of charting with some watercolors. For this one, we are just going to do the watercolor swatches with a gradient. I'm actually going to use these watercolors. It's a travel set, I believe it's Winsor & Newton, but I can't find the label and I haven't used these in years, so it's going to be a fun experiment for me. As you can see, when you look at this watercolor set, it's really difficult to see what tones the watercolor pans actually are. This one looks almost black, these few look almost identical. So it'll be interesting to see what the paints actually look like on the paper. That's one of the reasons why swatching our watercolors are so important, so that we can really see what the watercolor looks like on paper in real life, not just as sediments in a pan. I have my water here. I'm just going to wet my brush, and before I start with the watercolor, I'm going to create my opacity test. I'm using this grided ruler. It doesn't matter what ruler you use, you can use anything you want. I'm going to be using Micron pens, they're one of my favorite inking pens, they're waterproof. are highball. This one is the graphic one, it's one of their larger ones. I'm just going to trace along the side, here of the ruler and create two lines. Then I'm going to make sure that when I swatching these watercolors, I'm doing in the same order that they are on the pan. You'll see that as I go. I'm going to take this first blue here, and I just added a little bit of water to my brush, and I'm loosening up the pigment. Once I feel like I've gotten a good amount of pigment on my brush, I'm going to go ahead and start with this first swatch here. Now I want to make sure, I'm going to add a little bit more water, that when I go over this opacity test line, I have a nice amount of pigment. I want this to be the darkest lines, so that we can really see how much light shows through the watercolor. Now I'm rinsing my brush out so that when I bring it back to the paper, it's pretty much just water. I'm going to go about an inch away from the watercolor and start laying down water until it meets paint. Now I'm going to be observant and see how the pigment flows through the water. This color is pretty light, but you can see there's already this gradient. What's happening is that pigments are being transported by the water. Each pigment will be a little bit different. I'm going to go ahead and blend it a little bit now with my brush, then add little bit more water at the end here to get it even lighter. There we go. There's another interesting part about swatching our watercolors is, I'm going to go ahead and do the next one here, that not only are we going to be able to get a better idea of the color value, but also how the color works, because each one is going to be a little bit different. I want a little bit more pigment, I'm picking up a little bit more water. Laying down my watercolor on the page, and take my brush, picking up just water, laying down pure water on the page, working it towards my watercolors. See how beautifully that moves through the water. That creates a beautiful gradient from pure water to pigment without any real work for me. I'm going to go ahead and travel through all of the colors on my brush set or on my watercolor set. One other little tip that I'd like to show you when I'm using a lot of watercolor, and I know I'm going to be using a lot of colors. A little shortcut I like to use is this little pipette. It's just this little siphon you can suck up water from your water jar and then just put a couple drops in each color. That way, it saved you the work of having to load your brush, especially if you're using a small brush. I'll just put one to two drops of water in each of these pans, since I'm going to be using all of them for this exercise. When you're working with watercolor, you only have to moisten the pens that you're actually going to be using. I'm going to go ahead and try out this color. It looks like a nice rich brown. This watercolor set, by the way, it's a very compact travel set, which is great if you are on the move a lot, or if you like to paint outdoors, if you like to sketching journals, it's really convenient. There's really not much of a difference as far as quality goes from pans versus tubes. There's both high quality and low quality pens and tube sets. Here I'm bringing down the water, I'm watching how that spreads. Okay. Blend it out a little bit. One more thing too, when you're swatching your watercolors, I have a little droplet here so I'm going to take my paper towel and just get rid of that drop of water, make sure that when you are swatching your watercolors, you gave a little bit of the distance in between each color, because you really don't want your colors to blend with each other. You just want to get a really good idea of how your color works by itself. I've moved on to the next color brown here, and I'm already noticing that this particular shade is very opaque. You can barely see the line here, and these colors are very similar, but they have different properties and you can already see that. I'm going to add my water to see how it reacts. It flows really nicely. It's an interesting color. You can tell this is definitely more of a red-brown. It has a very rich pigments as you can see with the opacity test. I'm just going to do one more, and then I'm going to go ahead and use time lapse, and then show you the finished results. This one looks like another brown tone, but it's more yellow, more of a mustardy tone, also pretty opaque. See what happens when we add our water. That moves very nicely. That's a beautiful earthy tone. Let's spread it out a little bit here. Okay. I'm going to go ahead and speed this up, and then I'll show you what my result looks like at the end. Okay. I finished swatching these colors, and there's a couple of things that I want to point out. You can really see after putting the color down on the paper, they're actually really quite vibrant colors. They're really beautiful to work with, but you don't see that unless you swatch it. When you're just looking at these pans, they all looked so earthy and so muted, but once you add the water, it really brings the pigments to life. For example, this color here, it's a beautiful vibrant rosy red, but in the palette here it looks like a really deep brick red. You just don't know until you start putting the colors down. Couple other things I noticed this brown here, is a little bit thicker, a little bit more opaque, but it's not mixing as well with the water. That's not a big deal, it's just something to be aware of. I know when I'm doing washes and things, if I'm doing something very subtle that I want the watercolor to just blend naturally into the water, this probably isn't the color I'm going to use. This color, on the other hand, is quite orange. When you're looking at the pens here, it looks brown, but once you put it on the paper, it's quite orange and one of the reasons why is because it's very translucent. You can see with the opacity test here that it's a very translucent colors. So that might be really interesting to work with, with some washes that blend it. It was really nice at blending with the water. These are all different things that you're just not going to know until you start playing with your own paints and your own palette, and just exploring it a little bit, which is why creating these swatches is such a great exercise. It's not only a great reference for you to use later when you're working on projects, but it's just a really great warm-up to get used to your paints and understanding how they're working. We're going to talk a little bit more now about creating a color mixing chart and understanding how your colors interact with each other in your palette. 8. Color Mixing Chart: If you've already gone through the effort of swatch in your watercolors and testing your watercolor papers, there's one more thing that you can do to really get to know your paints better and gain the confidence that you need when you're illustrating or creating washes for projects. I'm going to explain how I created this color chart for my watercolor set. These are the two paints that I showed you in the beginning. What I did was I laid out my paints from red, yellow, blue, and then my neutrals, and then a couple of complimentary colors in between. When choosing my paints, I chose two reds, two yellows, and two blues because I wanted hues that were a little bit more on the warm side and the cool side of the spectrum because that's really helpful when it comes to mixing colors and getting the tones that you want. Really all you need are the primary colors in order to create any of the other colors that you're going to need. You don't necessarily need to pick up green and purple and orange paints because we can create those ourselves. If you have both warm and cool tones of your primary colors, it really expands the range of colors that you can create. I also have here a Payne's gray and a raw sienna and a burnt sienna for my neutrals. I have them all written down here and I ensure that once I put them in my palette, I labeled my chart accordingly in the exact same orders that I'd be able to quickly see what colors I was referencing and to switch back and forth between looking at the chart and looking at my palette. Once I had my palette all setup, I moved on to making this chart. What I did was I basically just counted how many paints I had and created a grid using a ruler, and making sure that I had one square for each color and then the same going this way, one square for each color. To start off what I did, there's a couple of different ways that you can do this. My chart is not necessarily a true mixing chart. If you want, you can mix each color individually on a separate palette and then apply them to the corresponding squares. Some of my colors are actually more so layered than they are truly mixed but it still gives me a good idea how these colors interact because watercolors are naturally transparent, I can see the relationship between the color underneath with the color above. Once I created my graph using a ruler, I used a micron pen, my micron graphic size to create transparency test line here. Make sure that when you create this line, when you do this yourself, you use a waterproof pen because you're going to be painting over it with your watercolors. What I did next was I took this first color the matter like light, it's a nice rosy red color, and I filled in this first rectangle going over the transparency line and filling in this first square. The reason I go off to the side here is so that I have a swatch that I can label and then these swatches are going to be mixed with other colors so I can see what the true color is. Then I felt in each square across this row, try to be really careful when you're filling in these squares that you don't want your squares to touch. See here, the paint touched and then the pigments bled across. So try as best as you can not do that if it happens, it's not the end of the world, it's going to be okay, I promise. But just try your best to keep it within your squares. It's also a nice exercising control as well. Then once I created this across here, I took the same color, starting here and going down, so I filled in every square going down. Once that was complete, I moved on to the next color. Same thing, filling every square across and every square down. As you go, you're going to notice that this square going down the middle diagonally is going to be a true pigment because it's going to be a match on either side of the same pigment. Also, you're going to notice that you're going to have two color combinations that are going to be identical, so here we have the azo yellow light mixed with the matter light red, and you also have the same mixture here with the same yellow and the same red. You'll see online that sometimes people will create just a half chart because they don't want to bother with having duplicates, which is totally okay if that's what you want to do, go right ahead. I personally prefer to do it this way because I really like having two color combinations to reference because when you're mixing colors with watercolor, you're really doing it by eye and by feel and you're never going to be a 100 percent sure if you're getting a 50/50 percent combination of the two colors that you're mixing, and so when you mix them on your paper twice, you get two colors to reference. For example, these two colors here, this one obviously has a little bit more of the yellow to it than this one does. This one looks slightly more peach. The differences are very minimal, but having two to reference from gives me a much better idea how the two colors interact with each other and what kind of variables I can expect. Same with this color here and this color, they're both of the same color combination, however this one obviously has more blue to it than this one did and so this one created a deeper purple whereas this one created more of a lavender color and by having both to compare, it really gives me a solid idea of how these two pigments interact. As you go along this chart, your watercolors will most likely still be somewhat moist, so I really tried to mix the colors within the square on the paper. If you have a nice quality watercolor paper, your watercolor will rest above the paper and not soak in right away, so you'll actually be able to do some of the mixing here on the chart instead of mixing it on a palette and then applying it to the chart. I hope that makes sense. Once you're finished with the chart, you can erase your pencil lines and make sure that you label your chart with the pigments that you used and make sure you label your colors. Then keep this chart with the watercolor set to reference. We're actually going to be using this chart to reference in the next video class about mixing your watercolors, and so this would be a really great time if you've been watching these videos to take a break and get out your watercolors. Take advantage of this opportunity to get your watercolors out if they've been sitting in a closet all lonely for years and years or if it's been a couple of weeks and you haven't used them or if you've used them all the time, but you haven't done any of these exercises. Please get your watercolors out and make a chart. If you don't have enough time to make a chart, just make swatches and observe how your watercolors work. Learn about your paper. See what the weight of your paper is. See if it's cold pressed or if it's hot pressed and how your colors interact and by doing this, you're really going to get to know your watercolors better and that's really the key to getting better at painting because if you understand how your pigments work, how your paper works, how they interact with each other, then you're going to be able to manipulate them and to control them in the way that you want, and that's really key when it comes to watercolor paintings. I'm really excited to see what you create. Please take a picture of your swatches or your chart and upload it to the class project, and I'll be looking at the class projects and I'm really excited to see what you do. Take a break, get out your paints and I'll see you in the next video. 9. Color Mixing 101: In this video, we are going to be talking about color mixing, and this is one of my favorite subjects because it can take the colors that came in your palette and transform them into anything you want. It can be a little intimidating at first if you've never tried it, but after this class I'm really hoping you'll have the tools to explore the color possibilities in your palette and really expand your horizons when it comes to the things that you can create. Also, I always prefer mixed colors instead of the colors that come straight from your palette, and I'll be discussing why in just a few minutes. But first, let's look at this little color chart here that I made. I'm all about experimenting and just letting your creativity go. This little circle here is a little sketchy, not a super perfect circle, but that's okay because it's about not taking yourself too seriously and just having fun with what you're doing, and I really hope that's what everyone can take away from these classes. There's some exercise to get to know your paints better and everything, but it really comes down to just enjoying what you're doing. When it comes to color mixing, let's look at our primary colors, we have red, yellow, and blue. From these colors, you're going to be able to develop any other color in your palette, or not in your palette, but expand your palette to incorporate so many different colors and we're going to discuss how that's possible. Most palettes are going to come with one if not two, maybe three versions of your reds, your yellows, and your blues and that's going to allow you to create different varieties in shades of color. Your secondary colors are going to be your orange, your green, and your purple and I actually got this orange, green, and purple by mixing these two primary shades from my palette. Now, when you start mixing these colors together, you're going to be getting what's called tertiary colors, and these are found by either mixing a primary color with a secondary color that's across from it on the color wheel, which is what I did here. These two swatches are exactly the same, it's this orange mixed with this blue. Same thing here, these swatches are this purple mixed with this yellow and the screen with the red created these swatches here. When you mix tertiary colors that are across the color wheel from each other, what's going to happen is they're going to be considered muddy colors, so they're not going to be bright, vibrant colors, but they're going to be very neutral, dusty grays and browns. But that's really useful because those colors are really important, especially if you're going to be doing landscapes or anything that has a more natural field to it. Tertiary colors can also be formed by combining a primary color with one of the secondary colors that are close to it, so you can create a lime green by combining this yellow with this green. Tertiary colors are really helpful when it comes to mellowing out a color and making it less vibrant, and making it a little bit more earthy and a little bit more natural. Let's take a look at these swatches here. What I did was I took this rosy red color and I wanted it to be a little bit more earthy and less pink, so what I did was I added just a little bit of this olive green that I had in my palette and it turned it into this brick red that is much more of a natural tone. Same thing with this blue, I wanted a blue but this blue seemed very unnatural and stark, so what I did was there was an orangey red in my palette and so I used a little bit of that and combined it with this blue because orange and blue are opposite each other on the color wheel and it created this nice gray, dusty blue, that's more like a color that you would actually find in nature. Same thing last time here with yellow, I took this yellow and added just a little bit of purple, and it turned it into this mustardy, very earthy tone. One more thing you can do which you can see I did here at the bottom is color mixing is really nice because at least in my opinion with watercolor, you never really actually want to use white or black paint. For white, you just use the paper, so more water equals lighter colors and no color equals weight, that's pretty simple. But when it comes to black, it's a little bit more complicated, but it doesn't have to be super complicated, so what I did here was I mixed this indigo of really deep blue color with this, I believe this is a burnt sienna or maybe a raw amber, I'm not exactly sure, but it was a dark brown that was in my palette and I mixed the two of them to create this color. Now it's not a true black when you really look at it. See, it has a little bit of depth to it, but that's really what you want, you want a color that has a little bit more character to it, not just a straight black like you would get from an ink. Now, let's discuss your colors that are warmer and cooler in tone and what effect that can have on your color mixing. So this is the palette here that I used. I did a couple of examples here to make a purple and to show you the difference between using a cooler tone and a warmer tone. For this example here, both examples, I used this same bright blue, but for one, this top one, I used this cooler red and for the bottom one I used this warmer red. For the top one, the blue and the red combined to make this really beautiful purple, really pretty color. For the second one, what happened was because this red has more orange in it and orange is opposite the color wheel from blue, it created a more neutral color that's a little bit more dusty looking, a little bit more muddy, and you can see that here. Now, it's still a really beautiful purple, it's just a very deep and earthy. But if that's the color you're going for, then you'd want to use a more orangey red. If you're looking for a more vibrant purple, then you would use this cooler red up here. A couple more examples here with the same thing. I wanted to create a green color and so I used these two primary colors, this bright light blue with a bright a lemon yellow and no surprise, it created a really vibrant green. Well, for this green over here, I used a darker indigo color and a warmer yellow that was steering a little bit closer to orange and it created a much more natural tone, which is why I would prefer to use when I'm painting. Last example here with creating an orange tone, I used this cool red with this cool yellow and it created a very vibrant color. Then I used a really warm red with a little bit more of an earthy yellow, and it created a different shade of orange than the one above, as you can see here. The point I'm doing these exercises is just showing you that when you mix your primary colors, you also need to be observant to see what qualities and temperatures your primary colors are producing because it will make a difference when you're doing color mixing. If you want a really vibrant green or you want a really earthy green, the primary colors that you're going to mix to attain that color are going to be different. Also, you can mix more than just two colors if you really want to expand your color mixing horizons. I gave you an example here. I wanted to make a green, so I combined this really bright blue with this olive green and it created a really nice turquoise color, but I wanted it to be a little bit more earthy, so I added just a little bit of this brown and it turned into this really beautiful hunter green. For this one, I actually wanted to create a lavender color and so I created or I mixed this rosy cool red with this bright blue but it was a little bit too unnatural looking and I wanted to tone it down a little bit, so I added just a little bit of this mustard yellow and it toned down this swatch to make it a really pretty grayish purple, as you can see here. All of these colors I got just from mixing the colors here in my palette, and that's the nice thing about getting one of these larger palettes is that you can use, as you can see, I have all of these different walls that I can use for mixing and all of these ones here I used for mixed colors as well. Then when I'm doing a project, I'll also have a separate palette and this one I set up with the colors specifically that I want to use in my project and that way I keep those colors consistent throughout, its really nice also. If you can have an extra piece of paper handy, just watch these colors out just like I did here, you don't have to put your whole color recipe, but just as you're mixing to test on the paper and make sure that you're getting the color you want or to figure out if you have to add a little bit of one shade or another. Lastly, I'm just going to show you a couple of swatches and why I feel like color mixing is so important. So for these two images, I wanted to create a teal looking background. For the first one, what I did was I stuck solely to pigments that I found in my palette. So I already had here this bright blue, this indigo, and this green, so I wanted greens and blues to make teal colored background. I really like using a few shades so you get some variety in your backgrounds. Here's the background that I produced. It's really pretty, but it doesn't look very natural. This green is pretty far away, it contrasts with the blues and this blue I just don't really care for because it just doesn't look very natural, it just looks very artificial to me. So I'm going to show you now the difference with this background. This background I created from colors that I mixed. I used a very similar color palette as you can see, I took this blue up here and I just neutralized it a little bit. I think I added a little bit of the indigo and I think I added a little bit of an orange just a little bit, so it's still a really nice, pretty light blue, but it's just not as artificial looking. Same thing with this indigo. I wanted to make this more of a green tone and a more natural tone to this indigo, just give it a little bit more depth and interest, so I took this color and I added some of this bright blue to it and I also added a little bit of, I think it was a brown color or an orange color to make it a little bit more earthy. Now, this color was pretty different because I didn't use this green at all. What I did was I took this blue and I mixed it with yellow to create a green, but it was a little bit too bright, so I also used some of this indigo and maybe one or two other shades just a little bit at a time to get it to be this minty tealy green. This was the background that was produced by my custom mixed palette. As you can see, because I had designed these colors myself, they blend really nicely with each other, no color really looks out of place and they just flow really nicely and have a much more earthy and natural appearance than when you look at this one. It really didn't take much time at all, but that's the difference that color mixing can make. I really encourage you to get out your paints and just make some swatches, play with your primary colors, see what secondary colors you can make, see how many different shades of green you can make with the palette that you have and just have fun, experiment, don't take it too seriously. But the more you play with your colors, the more you experiment, the more confident you'll become, and that's really the point of this class. Have fun with your color mixing, and I'll see you in the next video. 10. Class Project: It's class project's time and I'm going to take you step-by-step and show you how I create my watercolor background for this project. A couple things to keep in mind. You want to think about how you are going to use this background, for example, are you going to put hand lettering or calligraphy on top of it? If that's the case, you want a rather smooth paper. Are you going to be digitizing it? If you're going to be scanning it and using it with graphic design, maybe as a clipping mask over some typographic elements, the size of your background might not be as important. If you are going to be framing it as a piece of art, then you want to make sure you have the right dimensions. For example, that's what I'm going to be doing. I chose the Moulin du Roy rough grain paper because it has a really beautiful texture. I'm not going to be doing anything else with this piece, I'm just going to be framing it. That works perfect for me. As you can see, I already tapped down my paper. When you're tapping your paper, if you can tape down all four edges, that's best because it's going to restrict the amount that your paper can move and bubble and it will dry a little bit flatter. I also took my pencil and ruler and I measured out my dimensions. But I left a little bit of extra space around here so I could do some color's swatching because I'm going to be creating my custom palette for this project right now. The first thing I want to do is create my palette for my colors. I'm going to be mixing my colors and swatching them, and you are going to be able to see the whole process. One of the colors I want to create is going to be a peachy pink. I'm picking up a color. I just added my palate recently. It's like a rose color. It's already pink, and I want to make it more of peachy pink. I'm going to add a little bit of an orange red to it. Mix that in there, and then I'm going to test it on my paper. I'll add a little bit more water to it, so that's really nice. It's a nice pink color, add a little bit more orange. See how that does. Now, that might be a little bit too orange. Yeah, I think it's a little bit too orange, so I'm going to add a little bit of blue. Add a little bit of that light blue, I've been playing around with a lot. Now, because I added blue too, that was orangey. Let's see how it works. Actually, I like this color. It's hard to describe because it's like a lavender meats coral, a mauve color, and I really like that. I think I'm going to keep that. I'm going to leave that color alone. That's one of the colors I'm going to use. When you're selecting colors for your background, you want to make sure that they are going to blend well together on the page, for example, if you use an orange and a blue or green and a red in the same background, you're going to create muddy transitions in between. Let me use this color as my base. I'm going to develop a couple more shades that I feel like are going to complement this color here. Let's do more of a purple. I'm going to pick up the same base color that I used originally, this rosy pink, and I'm going to drop it into my palette, and I think let me just swatch this and see. I don't really like this shade, is too unnatural to me. I think I might just try to add a tertiary color and see what that turns into if I try to make it a little bit more neutral. Because this is a very cool tone, it's close to red. I think I'll use a green. I'm going to use a pretty cool green because this is a cool color and then it won't contrast as much, won't make it too muddy. I like that. That looks nice. I'm liking how this color turned out. I like how this color turned out, now I think I want a third color. Let's see. I think for my third color, I'm going to go with something a little bit darker, I'm going to clean out this well, so I can use it for my third color, it's here where paper towel comes in handy. For my third color, I think I want to go with more of an egg plant tone. I think I'm going to keep with the same rose color as my base. That way, all three colors that I'm using have a similar color story. I like how this one turned out with the cool green, how that made it into such a beautiful purple, and I want it to be even deeper. I think instead of using a cool green, I'm going for a warmer green and I'm going to use the olive green from my pallet. Let's see what happens there. Now, I'm not liking how that is turning out. I think what I'll do is I'll add some blue to bring it back closer to a purple and I'm going to add more red. The nice thing about color mixing and doing these little swatches is that you can continue tweaking a color until it's exactly what you want. I'm going to add a little bit of red. I'm going to add more of this beautiful rose color, and if it doesn't turn out how I want, I can just start over too. Let's see. Now, it's turning into a nicer purple, so I'll try that. Oh no, that's turning out really lovely. You see how I took this color, and just by adding a couple more shades, it turned into this. That's the magic of color mixing. I think I want it to be even darker and deeper. What I'm going to do is I'm going to add some indigo to the mix. Before I add too much, I'm going to test it and see. I like that. Now, what I'm going to do is I'm going to take this swatch and put it in between these two colors that I already mixed, and I'm going to try to blend them together a little bit just to ensure that the colors are going to look nice together in my background. What do you think? I think I have my color palette. These shades are close enough together that they don't create mud when they are mixed. But there's going to be enough of a contrast in this background that I'm going to create to add interest. One more thing when it comes to doing your backgrounds is again, you want to take into consideration the final use. For example, if you're going to be doing lettering, you want to make sure that wherever you're putting your lettering is not going to be too dark. I can use pretty saturated colors for this because it's all I'm going to use it for. Also, if you're going to be scanning it, you might want to make sure that your watercolors are darker than normal because sometimes the scanners don't pick up all the pigment. Here comes the fun part. What I'm going to do is I'm going to lay down water over this whole area and then just start dropping in pigments, and manipulating them with my brush and the water. I'm going to take a larger brush, I'm going to use this wash brush. It holds a lot of water, so it's really nice to work with for this purpose, and I'm just going to start laying things down. I got a little bit of paint there. I won't worry too much about these pencil lines because once I trim it down, you won't be able to see it anyways. I want to make sure this is all saturated. There's a few different things you can do. You can do a gradient which goes from darker to lighter. You can go from one color into another, but I like to let it swirl and let the water move the pigment itself a little bit because it just creates a really beautiful textures. I'm going to take my brush and I'm just going to start dropping in pigment. For this particular painting, I do want it to be fairly light, so I'm using a lot of water. You want to try to keep an eye out for balance. For example, I have a lot of dark color up here, so I want to put a little bit more of my dark throughout and a little bit more of these tones up top. I've laid down my color. Now, I'm going to start playing around with the water. I'm just adding more water, I'm not picking up anymore pigment, and just moving the paint around. You can see it starting to buckle here and all of the pigment is starting to go towards the middle. I don't really like that very much, so I may do something to change that. What I'm going to do, I'm going to take my art board, that my picture is glued to and I'm going to tape it to move the water. That got all the water to one end, and then I'm just going to pick it up. There you go. That I believe is my water colored background. It's really, really simple to make. I think the biggest things is just knowing how to mix your colors and what paint you want to use, and then just letting the water do the rest of the work. I'm going to let this dry and then we'll see how it turned out. 11. Closing Comments: So this is the background that I made for the class project. As you can see, it's very subtle with hints of lavender and coral, a little bit of peach and eggplant tones, but it's very muted and subtle. Your background doesn't have to be like that. It can be much more vibrant if you want. Just use more paint and less water, I'm really excited to see your backgrounds and to see what colors you choose, and to see if you learned anything new in this class and if that helps you to feel more comfortable. The goal of this class is really to help you to enjoy the process of using watercolors more and to have fun and using watercolors be something that brings a little bit of joy into your life rather than frustration. There's a couple more things that I think can really help. If you combine doing watercolor with something else you like. For example, if you like tea, maybe that can be your thing on Sunday mornings to have cup of tea and pull out your watercolors, or if you're a wine fan, if you got together with girlfriends, every Wednesday night and shared a bottle of wine and did some painting. It can give you a little bit more of motivation to continue practicing, especially if you have a buddy system. If you have a schedule on the first Saturday of every month, you get together with your friend and play with some watercolors. Another great resource is sharing your work online. Sometimes it can be really difficult to be positive about your own work if you have high standards, I think so many creatives struggle with that battle of having, the expectation of having your work be perfect and not necessarily getting to that point, but the nice thing is there's such a great online community. You can join Facebook groups for watercolor or lettering or whatever your passion is or you can create an Instagram account. I personally really love Instagram because, it's such a visual social media network, and if you're shy about your work or you don't necessarily want people to know who you are. You can easily create an anonymous account and only post your artwork, but you might be surprised on some of the positive feedback that you can get from people, and then another really nice thing is to find other artists that you feel are at a similar level as you and follow them and see their work and see what they create and watch them grow as you grow, it can be a really nice sharing opportunity and also to follow artists that you find are inspiring, because it can help you to be more creative and to expand your horizons, but be really careful not to compare your work to others, that can be the downfall. Don't look at people who've been doing this for their entire life and wonder why can't I be like them? Just compare yourself to your own work, and that's another nice thing about Instagram is that as you continue to create, you can look back on your feet and see your improvement right in front of you and see how far you've come and that can be really rewarding too and I'd love to see your work. I'm super excited to see your projects in this class, but I'd also love to see what else you create. Feel free to follow me on Instagram, I'm Silver fox Finery, and let me know that you found me on this class, and I'd love to see your work and see what you create. Also, please use the discussion board in this class if you have any questions, and I'll be sure to answer that if I can, and maybe some of your fellow classmates can answer them or they have some of the same questions. I'm really excited for this class to be a really positive experience and to help you to succeed on your journey as an artist and to be more creative and have more fun with such a beautiful medium like water color. Thank you so much for taking this class, and I can't wait to see your projects.