How to Apply Color Using Watercolor


Color Techniques for Drawing


Lesson Info

How to Apply Color Using Watercolor

You should have one piece of nice watercolor paper, you can tell because it's a little heavier and it's got a deckle on the bottom. And then, this is a printout that you have online and I actually shoved watercolor paper through my printer to do it, because I wanted you to experience painting on the watercolor paper. Then this one I got just card stock, like the heaviest card stock I could find at the office supply store, and I printed out on that, and then we have coated this one with acrylic medium for you, so you could just kind of see what the difference is. So, when you want to make a chart to try out some materials, your chart doesn't have to be squares. I've decided our chart is gonna look like this nice daisy picture that I drew. It keeps it a little more interesting, and you really get more of an idea of how you're applying the material to an actual drawing. We have some brushes. And when you first buy a brush at the store, a lot of time it has sides in it, it's gonna be a lit...

tle stiff. So just dip it in your water. So I'm gonna do the first demo with just watercolor. And I'm gonna do some on a coated paper and some on an uncoated paper, and you can do this at home. We're gonna do the top half of the daisies just in this blue watercolor that I have, and then most of the class today we're gonna be using gouache, so the rest of you, you can fill in the bottom half with gouache. Okay, I always have a piece of paper towel under my water, too, so that, tends to spill. Actually I think I'm going to have my water over here. And my palette here. So this is just, first off we're demoing watercolor on watercolor paper and on coated paper. Doesn't matter what kind of paper you coat because you're really only painting on that thin layer of plastic. Okay, so the first one we're gonna start with is, so you can watch me do this one, and then when we do the next one, you can see how we all do it together. I'm gonna start with one leaf, and I'm going to be, just practice how thin can I possibly get this watercolor? And I want to see how light can I paint it? This is pretty concentrated, so I'm, okay, that's how it goes. That's as light as I can get it. The next one, let's try, let's see how thick we can get it. So just scrub in your palette quite a bit, and go, okay, that's pretty thick. Wow, that is really thick, okay. Now let's try that on the coated paper and see what happens. Start at this, how thin can I get it? Oh, look at. It doesn't even really stick too much at all, it beads up. If you have that much, usually it'll stick a little more. This happens frequently, and if it does, I'll just take some water on a paper towel and just kind of scrub at it just a little, just to kind of break up the surface just a little bit. Okay. Okay. So, thin, okay, there, that's sticking better, and it does still bead up a little, that's kind of the technique that happens. And thick. Okay. Okay. Then the next one we're going to do is try and do a fade. So we're gonna try and do both of that techniques on one leaf. Start with a glob, get a thick glob. Dry off your brush, just water in it now, and I'm gonna pull some of that paint out. See I got the next shade in this fade? Dry off your brush again, come up with just water, and pull, now I'm pulling the medium shade up, not the dark shade up. And wherever I put the next bit of water, it kind of attracts everything to flow that way. Okay, let's see how we do that on the coated paper. Start with the dark. Okay. Kind of sits in all in one puddle, doesn't it? You can dry off your brush and put a dry brush in there if you have too much liquid on there and you want to pick some up. Okay. And then, that's how it pulls out. So you can see a little bit of a difference already, what the watercolor looks like and what the coated paper looks like. Okay, so now another technique is what's going to happen if, coat the paper with just water first, and do it on both. Whoops, that one did it for me. I'll help it along. And then paint your water in, how does it flow? I mean paint your paint in. Okay. Oh, see that one didn't flow nearly as much, did it? Let's try it again. It is flowing out there. And it is spreading a little on its own, but not as much. This one just like went crazy. I could pick it up and move it around. The next one we're gonna do... Just paint it all one color. This happens a lot, you just do a solid medium all over. Okay. And then, gonna dry this just a little so you can see what's happening here. Getting pretty wet here. (dryer blowing) See how the coated paper, it beads up so much that the beads are like flowing away from the blow dryer? So this one we've done a medium coat everywhere and what happens if we come in and try and rework it a little? Maybe we want to add some of these. Okay, that sits right on top, that's nice. This one, sits on top okay, but if I really kept at this and kept scrubbing at it, it would start to lift the stuff underneath it. So let's try and lift it on purpose. What happens if we have a solid color? Okay. Solid color, get it kind of dry. This one does need to be dry. And... (dryer blowing) Okay. So what happens if we want to erase anything from here? So I'm gonna do just maybe a few little dots of water on here. And then I'm gonna try and wipe them off, what happens? Okay, not much, right? Few little dots of water on here, see what happens. Okay, well, it is wiping off. Normally you'd see, here's my sample that I did. See how the dots just totally come right off? And you can wipe that paint off immediately. I think that's 'cause we just have one coat on this. But you can see, you are able to wipe this off whereas this one, mm, not so much. That one didn't wipe off. Okay, moving on to the next one. The last technique is gonna be a dry brush. So this is when you get a lot of paint on your brush, and this time you're not having this bead of watercolor flowing, this time you're just like, scumbling it across the top of the surface. That's kind of neat. There's a texture to this paper, that's how it's taking. Let's try it on this one. So that one, it's grabbing more, and it, you're not getting the scumbling across the top as much. Okay, so that's just your first chart of how to paint with a watercolor. And CleoCounty asks can you do a quick recap for us, just sort of starting and working through the petals on the two flowers that you did, just sort of telling us again how the different techniques with the watercolors are helpful for the beginner in learning how the color applies? Okay, so this one is the thin. Okay. And this one is thick. And you start out doing those just to give yourself a value range, like how light can I go, how dark can I go? And then this one is a fade. So you would use this on a petal of a flower where the inside part was real deep down and then it came out into the sunlight, and you want to fade from dark to light. This one was wet paper. And it ran a little bit, but this is definitely a technique in watercolor that you would use, like say up in some clouds or something, or in some water, where you want everything to be kind of washy and run around. Just wet the whole paper first, and then you don't get these stain lines as you paint more. And this is reworking it. And this is removing it. So, you're definitely going to want to come in and add some veins in the petals. And if you do make a little mistake or if you forget to leave out a highlight, you'll probably want to remove some. So in this case, you can't remove watercolor from watercolor paper, which is true, but reworking it, yeah, you can easily add more on top. This one, it doesn't show up quite as well here, but you can definitely remove anything that you get on there just by taking the wet paper towel and rubbing it, and oftentimes, when you try and rework, go back into a section, you'll also remove the paint too, so, that's the good and the bad right there.

Class Description

Are you ready to work with color on your drawing but overwhelmed by all the possible options? In this class, professional painter & illustrator Cleo Papanikolas shares fun, beginner-friendly color application techniques that can turn anyone’s drawings into vibrant finished pieces.

In this class Cleo will teach you 8 different color styles ranging from spot color techniques to using metallics with illustrations.

You'll also learn how to:
  • Load and Apply color with your brush 
  • Use different mediums: watercolor, gouache, brush pens and colored pencil 
  • Create harmonious color palettes
With your finished color pieces, Cleo will show you how to move your drawings out of your sketchbook and out into the world. Learn how to display your drawings on gallery walls and onto physical products, from iPhone cases to large scale tapestries, with sites like Society6.  


user 43495d

Cleo does start quite nervous, and not very clear in her explanations. Thanks to the guy asking the questions throughout the class…I guess he was as confused as us in the beginning. BUT…the class does get better!! She gets more confident and does give good examples to take your simple drawing to a colorful piece of art you can sell on products or share on social media. I really enjoyed later lessons. And I always say-if I can get a least ONE good advice or trick – then it was not a waste of my $20.