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Getting Started with Watercolor & Gouache Paints

Lesson 10 of 13

Demo: Create a Gradient with Gouache Paints

Mary Jane Begin

Getting Started with Watercolor & Gouache Paints

Mary Jane Begin

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Lesson Info

10. Demo: Create a Gradient with Gouache Paints

Lesson Info

Demo: Create a Gradient with Gouache Paints

I want to play a little bit more with the wash Now. Watercolors had its time. Let's play with the washing again. Washing watercolor basically the same kind of pigment their water based but quash is like an opaque version of transparent watercolors. And this is an example of a chart that I did on super thin paper. This is £90. I did soak and stretch this and cut it off aboard. And because I don't use wash, I make my own. I hadn't used Tube Wash before I tested the Blick and the Windsor Newton. They're all gorgeous, and as you can see, the color because it is so dense, it's very, very vibrant. So combining quash with watercolor have totally recommended because you can get an intensity level with the wash that the watercolor ever quite goes to. It always dries a little lighter. The wash doesn't. It tends to dry denser, so you can really see that and the same thing that I did with the watercolor. I just label everything so I know what the color is because I won't necessary remember it and ...

they label it on one side. I did put this honest his arches. And as I said, it's £90 super thin. Um, I did make a little mistake there, so ignore that. The other thing I did and I like to do this on charts is to do a little testing. I tested wet into wet to see what that would look like with wash, which is a little different emotional. Show you with the Grady int, then with watercolor. It absorbs faster. The color pigment absorbs faster into the paper, so it tends to make a crisp remark sooner. So you have to move pretty quickly with quash. Um, I also noticed that some of these colors you believe beautifully, but they also work really well. Dry brush. You can get a level of transparency with the wash, just like you can with watercolor. So on your charts, you can also do little tests. It doesn't have to be a big deal. You have to waste a lot of paper, and this is a yummy chart. Again, I would have this chart in my studio. I would hanging on the wall and reference it so I can remember if I'm using light purple and I'm blending it with lemon yellow. What am I gonna get? Get that color. I wouldn't remember that. There's no way I would remember that and you could make a huge chart. It doesn't have to be this size. You might have decided to buy 20 paints, make a chart of them. It'll be a really big chart, but I recommend that. Okay, so that is Washington. Let's play with a little bit of wash will do some wet into wet to create what's called a Grady int. But before I do that, I'm going to use my tape in order to have my clean edges, because it's just more work when you're trying to paint freehand and make it a clean edge without the table. And I said it before, I'll say it again. You you press your tape if you don't press it the water clerk in league right underneath. So I always press it. You know, I could use my I could rip it, or I could use an Exacto. I'll show you that in a second. An exact life is a really great tool toe have, because it is a big Matt knife is a big matt knife. This is a nice, delicate little tool. And so I would use this very carefully just to cut my tape off my surface and have make sure it's a short believe. Don't press too hard. Don't cut the paper. But it makes a cleaner edge than just tearing. Obviously pressing that paper down, see if that this particular Exacto isn't super sharp. But there we go. And maybe that I'm just being too delicate. I don't want to cut the paper here, okay? And then we'll do these two sides. And once again, this is amusing the blue tape because it's a really nice tape for not allowing the color to go underneath. But it is so blue. And I had I've had students painting, and this blue edges is around their picture, and they're wondering why the picture looks so not vibrant like, because you're blue is overpowering everything that you're looking at. So I can't emphasize enough cover it with the white tape because then you can see your picture with more clarity. All right, Now can I'm gonna do a Grady int, but you could choose the color. What would you like? The grading color to bay? I asked the folks who are tuning in online and someone let me go back and see who had a vote for purples. That was from Sonny, OK? And Sonny were doing purple and purples really fun because you really can go from a dark value to the light of the page of the white of the page. So that's actually a truly excellent choice. Thank you. Yellow would be a little trickier. You would be able to see that transition so well. So that worked out Well, all right, so I'm gonna use a purple, but I'm gonna used wash instead of watercolors and again, the reason why is because I want you to see how it functions similarly but that it does create a denser pigmentation than straight on more car. Okay, so here we have our services. Okay, If I have a little edge, I'm just covering up most of the blue. The other thing I wanted to mention is that when you're using college and trying to make a big puddle of color, it's hard to make it on a pallet. So the reason that you have cups like this and I usually have about 10 or 20 of these sitting around is you could make a big puddle of color. So that's what we'll do right now. Since recovering a pretty big surface. I'm also going to find my nice big um, Grady int brush, which is this brush. And the reason why I use this is because it covers a large surface area. So we want purple. Now, this is the winter Newton purple, and it's light purple. Let's see how white it really is. I don't tend to use the brush I'm going to use on the surface to mix color. But what I'm gonna show you is I'm a squeeze this into a fair amount of it into the well cup here. And then I'm going to grab one of my brushes that I'm not as, um, how shall we say not as concerned about on his worried about. I would use, like a cheaper brush to mix. You know, you're a junkie brush. It doesn't have to have a nice point, anything like that. But I'm just activating with a little bit of water, so it's not just a big pile of this purple, so when I stick my brush in there, it's not going to pick up too much of a thick pigment. I want to have a Grady int, but I don't want to be too too dense. Okay, let's try that. Oh, that's gonna be a nice color. All right, so the first thing you do with the Grady int I need my security blanket is we're just gonna add water. Oh, there was a piece of green on there. Make that go away. Go away. Green and watercolor. You know, you could pick that up gone. So you know, if you get a color there and you're not crazy about it and it's still wet, just pick it right up. If it's almost dry, lead it bay. It's the level of wetness that makes the difference. If it's super wet, you can pick it right off with a paper toe. So this particular surface is rough because I discovered and I don't usually use rough paper. And but in making all these samples and testing this, I got to play with it. I'm like, Oh, this is Superfund surface. It's very toothy it has, which means it has a lot of texture. Now, when you're making a Grady int and That's probably one of the most basic things you would do in watercolor a gradation. Think of a sky going from dark to light. You have to put the water down first because if you don't have water all over the surface and it can't be puddled soaked. But it has to be, you know, damp, I would say a damp surface. Wait a few seconds. The color won't bleed across the surface. It'll make that edge. So let's just see what this wash does. Oh, look at that. It blooms beautifully. Sunny. Nice choice. I really like this color. And it is. You can see this is quash and it can't. We know it can go densely opaque. We just tested it, and it gets really intense even when it's thinned out. So Grady int is where you're actually going back and adding a little water to thin out the color. See? And so the I'm going, I'm using the white of the page to help disc radiant, become ingredient. I'm thinning it out with a little bit of water until it's almost to the white of the page, and this would make a great base for a sunset or something like that. I don't know. This could be anything, but you can see the water has really done the bulk of the work here, which is, I think, one of the beauties of watercolor and you can go back in. But once you've laid the color down, you don't want to keep messing with it too much because you're going to start to change that great Asian that you have there. If you have too much pigment at the base, you can just pick it up with your like. If it's dripping, you can tip your paper and then pick up the water color that's landing on the edges, because sometimes when you're painting, you have too much water on the surface and you want to get rid of some of it. So I just use this as a kind of a sponge, my paper towel and pick up the watercolor and also just clean up the edges a little bit. So that's a Grady int with quash, and you can see the density. The color is quite lovely. It also really picks up the texture of the paper Watercolor would do this to, but this is a rough paper, and it's got a lot of tooth to a lot of texture. But in this case, it's it's quite yummy. You could make a really gradual transition dark to middle, to really light. Or you could make one that's more of a break. It really doesn't matter. It all depends on how much pigments on the end of your brush. I did the first pass, and then I added a lot of water to send it out. So that is what's called Grady Int or Radiation.

Class Description

Are you interested in working with watercolor and/or gouache paints but not sure how to get started? In this course artist and illustrator, Mary Jane Begin will introduce you to the world of watercolor and gouache paints. This class is perfect for beginners looking to learn the basics of the medium in order to begin a painting practice. By the end of this course, you will be equipped with the know-how to pick up a brush and start experimenting with watercolors and gouache!

In this class you’ll learn:

  • All about the different types of watercolor and gouache paints available on the market and how they work
  • Which brushes and papers to use with those paints
  • How to begin making simple marks and shapes to familiarize yourself with the medium

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I really enjoy Mary Jane Begin's style of teaching--I have a degree in Fine Art and have been painting for years, but think she does such a good job of building on the basics and encouraging play. Get your supplies ready ahead of time, if like me you want to play along. Thank you!

Kelly LaFrance

Awesome class! Awesome instructor! Exactly what I was looking for, and highly recommended. :-)


Fantastic class - so informative and inspiring. After watching the lessons, I picked up my watercolors and started playing around with some of the covered techniques. Highly recommended!