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The Magic of Watercolor

Lesson 6 of 24

Other Color Terms

Molly Murrah

The Magic of Watercolor

Molly Murrah

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Lesson Info

6. Other Color Terms


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Overview Duration:1:05:57
2 Q&A Duration:47:19
  Class Trailer
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1 Paint Properties Duration:25:46
2 Understanding Color Duration:11:06
3 The Color Wheel Duration:22:18
4 Other Color Terms Duration:21:35
5 Mixing Colors Duration:10:27
6 Light & Shadow Duration:13:11
7 Q&A Duration:21:36
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2 Papers & Manufacturers Duration:41:35
3 Watercolor Brushes Duration:45:21
4 Putting it All Together Duration:14:13
5 Q&A Duration:23:24
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2 Drawing for Painting Duration:50:40
3 Proportion and Perspective Duration:29:47
4 Supplies for Next Week Duration:48:09
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2 Creating Textures Duration:11:57
3 Reserving Whites & Lifting Duration:29:11
4 Wax Resist Duration:07:00
5 Other Techniques Duration:25:37
6 Things to Remember Duration:10:57

Lesson Info

Other Color Terms

so now we're going to move on to what I call other other color terms that when you start painting in watercolors you're gonna hear them wherever you go especially if you start taking a class on any kind of weekly basis or anything like that intensity and saturation this is about the brightness or dullness of a color now jason we're moving into the section that you know a lot about and it's about how saturated the color is so the paint around the leftist head nut all and ted made a statement in his class to us once I know nothing in my paintings ever gets above about a seventy percent value and he likes the very high what he calls high key look and when you take a look at this you can see what he's talking about he also loves to crop very interestingly as you can tell from that painting he loves to create a little bit of mystery you know he'll put somebody on the right hand side of a painting facing off to the right and normally right those of us in graphic design and photography we wou...

ld never do that we would always face the person back into hell put him on the run right hand side he'll put a figure here and face him off that way and somebody's basically well like a portrait that's our three quarter view or something like that and then put just some sort of interesting background one time I saw a painting that he did of a man the man wass his head was here the background was very much like this one had some drips in it and stuff like that and then he put just like a square of color here that painting was on the cover of one of the famous watercolor magazines and won first place in one of the shows he entered into it was fabulous and if you did a picture like that for marketing or advertising would be awful that's right what will you introduce that some way and you leave much to the imagination zach think it piques people's interest and they want to know what was going on what they were thinking and right you know do the exact same thing that you form your own opinion or something they give you enough that so I love stuff like that I did too and if I saw that painting in the gallery I wouldn't it would be in possible to pass it and not go back and go what was he thinking there's something there that I'm not seeing what is it right now why is that person that's what paintings all about it's capturing somebody's attention yes I just want to offer up a thought of that in our three week course the history of photography um I just forgot her name um anyway oh yes I saw that I watched that programme she's a good friend why can't remember people wanting this key plus commission and carla um they did not start painters did not start painting these weird crops until photography start coming in so that people could capture the moment in unexpected ways yes and that was just best part of this relationship between art and photography how before a painter would never consider drawing something where people were not perfectly aligned and then as photography came in painter started painting things with objects in front of people and people walking out of friends right that's very interesting I never thought of that although I saw that class will it takes absolutely excellent photographer to capture that moment in a person's life that draws you in you could do that in painting because you're not waiting for that moment you're creating that moment that's a big difference so it's ted ted takes all of his own pictures and he has a very interesting painting style and we'll go into this in the drawing portion he grids office his pictures he sends amount to he turns them into grey scales he sends him out to kinko's and hasn't blown up to the exact size he's going to paint them and he has this big wooden easel and he mounts the black and white on one side and it's watercolor paper in the other he grid's out the painting and he measures it literally centimeter millimetre by millimetre and transfers it over to his paper he can spend twelve hours just on a drawing and his drawings are very simple it's not like he's putting in a lot of detail he doesn't but he measures meticulously and then he goes in and paints and I mean it I love his paintings I mean I just I just they're so fascinating to me takes wonder he's the one who uses one brush he uses a number sixteen kolinsky sable that's the only brushy uses it's amazing how how artists have their own way of doing I know and it's all over the place too so there's a couple comments on a lot of comments that people said you know if I could only draw good you know I could paint you can draw if you do a grating process yeah exactly one of the first things I learned when I was little kid is you draw a great grid and you can go and you can follow that grid beautifully it's right you could do that so you don't need to draw I mean you can draw just like people can't yes you can you just have to have it you just have to have patience parsons is a is a really big part of this whole painting process yes correct project oh yeah a lot of people project a lot of people project another thing you can do is if you have a printer or you can get a something printed the right size exactly the size that you want to paint it and we'll go into good size is next week in the paper I don't want to I don't want to do next week's class this week but this is stuff that we will end up covering then you if you've got a big you know like sliding glass door you tape up your thing you put your watercolor paper on top of it the sun shines through and you can trace it you can use something called sorrel tracing paper they have graphite and comes in different colors you can take that tracing paper you can put a piece of tissue on top of your photograph so that you can see through trace it put it on top of your watercolor paper put the cyril graphite paper in between trace it again down onto your paper you can use a graphite pencil to take that tracing paper put graphite all over the lines on the back and then when you trace over it the graphite will trade there lots of different ways to get a drawing onto your paper lots of different ways and you don't have to be a great drawer although I will also make the statement that good drawing especially because you can see your lines often times through your paint it adds to the drawing when the drawing is a good drawing you know I see people project a lot and when I project I lose my line quality it's just not not my favorite thing to do so the picture on the left is low intensity this is a cat painting I just did about three weeks ago and this is a very high intensity painting and this is this is and I'm talking about yeah I had to paint this background three times to get it this color I thought I did it right the first time and I didn't and then when I realized I had to paint it again I wasn't real happy about that because it was a trick maintaining this sort of feathered edge around the cat you can see the fur and it's very soft edged yeah and but I used I used miskin on the whiskers so masking fluid so that wasn't so bad then I painted it a second time if what it dried the second time it still wasn't right and I had to go in a painted again and it was a success I don't know quite how I did it but I figured out a way to maintain the softness of this edge but to get the background is dark as I wanted it to be because I really wanted it to be mysterious back there I didn't want anybody to see anything I can't what was that we were talking about what was that yeah my painting name is you talking to me or what was the matter what you know I couldn't figure out what to name it but that I was happy I was really happy with this painting and I don't know if you can see here all this model defect that salt that I put salt on the top of the cat there to create that little bit of texture and modeling and we'll talk about that in the last class okay now temperature is a term that you'll need to understand because this warm and cool business is very important important campaigning er cool's push images back and warms bring them forward and one of the things I wanted to show you like this is a painting of mine this side of the painting is actually the cooler side of the painting when you look at the painting without the glaze on top this side of the painting was the warm side of the painting now this is photoshopped trickery I just put a color and a photo shop on a layer because I didn't want to ruin my painting this was a good painting and I didn't want to glaze it but you can see what happens this this cool area falls back even though the painting underneath on that side was warmer and this warm side bounces forward and you use this temperatures to evoke the moods and emotions that you're looking for in your paintings also you go with your cools for your gloomy emotions and you go with your light colors for your happy sunny emotions now we have analogous and complementary colors the analogous colors are the colors that air close together on the color wheel so all of these colors over oh here would be in the analogous range purples purple blues blue purple up into the reds thes air all your analogous colors the's air analogous colors yellow and orange are pretty close together on the color wheel various yellows and things like that these air complementary colors the red and blue are opposite each of the orange and blue are opposite each other on the color wheel red and green are opposite each other on the color wheel so analogous colors I work very well together they mix pretty well together they turn into some really nice they stay pretty vibrant when you mix complimentary sze together they get dull and so a lot of people mix complimentary sze together to put to create graze on their paper and you have to be careful you know wanted mix to pope aches and stuff like that but they they create grays and they create um flat rather dull colors side by side though complementary colors make each other very vibrant so when you put the red opposite the green they really there's a vibrancy that they create in the color that that people use quite a bit in that painting that I showed you the italian painting of d n a she was using oranges and blues and reds and greens all over the place in there and that was because she was choosing complementary colors putting them side by side and they ended up being very vibrant that way now we're going to go into values I use the five value scale I think it's really almost impossible to paint all ten values and to know that you're putting all ten values consciously when you don't paint by numbers and your colors flow together you end up creating all ten values anyway but if you look for the five if you go in and you say okay I've used some masking fluid and I've created some areas in the painting that are absolutely white and I've used the darkest stayner's and the darkest darks and I've created the values that would be in the five points on the value scale and you've gotten your three values in between you're going to come pretty close to having a successful painting and this is a ten value scale and you can see this is a little bit difficult for a newbie to paint I'm gonna ask you to go in and paint this one in the week and it it's not going to be easy it's going to be a challenging thing to do but values air really important there what creates the drama in your paintings they're incredibly important and I did another bit of photo shop magic this is a portrait I did of myself last year of a photograph that's thirty years old but um I went into photo shop and I took out is much of the of the values and there as I could and I mean you look at that and you know that's a nice painting but that's the painting look at the difference I mean which one would you want to stare and look at so the drama is in the values ok we haven't exercise here we're going to do our five point value scale so this is the a sheet of paper that I printed out for you I almost hate to use the halo blue but that's the one that I did because it's going to make your wife that's clean water very dirty but let's go with the halo blue and you leave your first area of fierce block white because white is a value in a painting so we're really only going to paint for squares and again I would start you know I need to clear often area my palate I would start with trying to match your lightest color first because then all you have to do is add more pigment to get it to the dark arranges but sometimes I find it's almost easier to go with some of your darker colors because then you could then you back off it's just whatever is your preference but I would try this way first cause you can always go in if it's too light and add color to it what you can't do so easily is take the color out so take tries so much lighter right yeah I remember that for sure so the point of this exercise is to see if you can actually create the values exactly so not knowing how it looks on your palate not knowing how it's going to dry on your paper and then judging the twenty forty sixty eighty hundred percent exactly oh this looks easy now this is where using a little sheet like this can be a help because before you actually painted on the paper where it counts you can go in and you could go well now that that's probably pretty close to what I'm looking for but it's pretty close to what I'm looking for when it's wet okay so when it dries you know it's going to be a little bit lighter so you might go in and add just a touch more paint that might be better it's a little bit darker so go in and do your twenty five percent square and I would use your big square brush because we're talking square shapes this big brush is good for geometrics now another thing you can do sometimes you end up with you know pools of paint on the bottom I don't know if you can see the pool paint here get a thirsty brush in other words take your brush and pull all of the the water out of it and just touch it down to that bottom edge and it'll pick up your pool of pain tip there okay so now I would go in and I would add a bit more pigment and I could do a little test here you know I have fun I have some extra pieces of the scrap paper if you if one of you would like to pass these out to everybody they can use them to test so that looks like that close cheating you go over your color no it's not and that's another reason why you do it light first I mean I I had to go over that I had to go over a couple of squares in there a couple of times it's not cheating at all not in the beginning stages I mean if you eventually want to get to the place where um I think I mentioned last week my teacher dan lynley just she puts one she puts one layer of paint down and her colors of perfect every time I don't know how she does it I wish I did but she's a master at it and but you know she's been painting for forty years to I mean and she studied with one of the most famous russian painters in the world and you know it's just it's a skill it's just amazing skill and she has has it down and I just went over that one after forty years I'm going to guess that she completely forgot how she learned it to begin with it just developed her own technique yeah she's because after forty years you just know I mean there is no way you could do it in your sleep with your arms behind your back and she does and she's a very right brain person she can't she's one of those people has a hard time painting and talking at the same time because she just but she said she's also very interesting she understands color well my paint my teacher now kay barnes understands colored amazingly and but kay barnes knows the name of every color out there dan understands color like it's ingrained in her but somebody will ask her okay what color you're using and patriots if especially students are famous for doing this they sit there in the audience with their little notebooks and they say okay what color is that and dan would go red and kay barnes would go oh that spiraled scarlett with a touch of you know lizard crimson thrown in and people want to know we'll just help much that's exactly the right amount it was the exactly the right yes you're right it's the right color for the right amount for what you're doing and saying what am I doing it's like I don't know but you'll see when we get there okay so we're on our third square here that was painted is this fun this is so much fun okay now we're going to do our last one and that's going to be pretty close to just almost solid pain I mean this this is going to be where when you when you let me show this when you run your brush over your palate you don't see the white of the palate underneath the paint it's thick okay so that's what are last square is going to be and you'll see when this dries back it still isn't going to be really a hundred percent but what's one hundred percent in a color I mean one hundred percent yellows only you know fifteen percent in yellow blue so all you could do is get to know each individual color individually now it looks to me like these two colors air could too close and I'm wondering if I didn't make my twenty five percent square a little bit too dark I think I did looks a little bit lighter there and that was more successful let me get that exercise out and make it we'll make a comparison and this kind of thing do this all the time make comparisons all the time so it's not too bad it's not too bad but this is a little bit lighter but take notes make comparisons do the same thing four times

Class Description

Join Molly Murrah for a fun, 5-week watercolor class for beginners. Learn about color, papers, brushes, drawing and composition, as well as many great painting techniques that will get you working and playing with watercolors!


Susan Mueller

Absolutely loved this class! I've been fiddling with watercolor for the last year, but have never really taken any art classes. This was the perfect intro level class in so many ways, covering basic principles of color, composition, etc. - and always in a warm, encouraging atmosphere. I learned so much about watercolor as a medium, and I would recommend this to anyone interested in getting involved with it. Would love to take a class with Molly again!

a Creativelive Student

I absolutely love this medium and have owned the material for about 5 or so years now, afraid to waste them. I've bought books but realizing I am both a visual and audio learner, this is the format for me. It is so important for me to be able to replay and review the information that taking a local course is just not as convenient as this has been for me. Molly is a delight to watch and listen to, she is such a wealth of knowledge. Thank you Molly and thank you CreativeLive!!! I am in love with this site.

Linda Berg

Molly is captivating! Her soothing voice exudes her love of watercolour painting! She is very organized and knows how to paint with watercolours and how to teach it as well. Not all painters can teach... I was drawn into her 'teachings', loved listening to her wealth of knowledge, and signed up for her course. Oh, I recommend it totally!