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The Magic of Watercolor

Lesson 3 of 24

Paint Properties

Molly Murrah

The Magic of Watercolor

Molly Murrah

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Lesson Info

3. Paint Properties


  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
  Class Trailer
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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
  Class Trailer
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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

Paint Properties

so let's get to our paint properties okay the first category of paints or the transparent the transparent so the really pure pigments and they have a very low light refraction now what that means is that the light in the paint doesn't get reflected back in the paint it comes back to the viewer from the paper so it's ah it's a wonderful quality and that it doesn't the light doesn't reflect off the particles of pigment and so it that's what allows the transparent ce to be so wonderful for for glazing and layering and creating depth and dimension because you glaze and your layer and you can see through the layers of paint down to the paper and then the light comes back it doesn't bend the light is basically the term I would use they mix very well without mixing mud you'll hear that term often in water colors you know oh I made mud there and you avoid mug like the plague and you can it's eat pretty easy to do if you don't understand color theory okay the semi transparent or somewhere betwe...

en the transparent and the pope aches they have ah medium light refraction they are pretty much all over the place in that mid range some are very semi transparent summer lean more towards the opaque so it just depends on the pigment in the color that you're using they can produce mud if you're not careful but they also can be used for layering and glazing if you don't mix them too dark okay the opaque so now theo paige paints are denser heavier paints and I mentioned this last week there's really no such thing to my mind as in a paint paint like the two of the paints that are listed in our palate don't even have an opaque designation on in the in the daniel smith catalogue but they're still very dense pigments and you can see the pigment lying on the paper and I have a slide in here that shows you what I'm talking about they have very high light refraction which means that they trapped the light inside the layer of the paint and and the light doesn't come back to the viewer's eye so they have a tendency to look dollar and you can see from this painting these this is not a luminous painting this is something that has a sort of dull feel to it it worked for the painting but I they're not my favorites I don't use them a lot but I do use them because their times when there when you have to use them and then you one thing you want to make sure you do is you don't want to combined to ope aches together because they really that really will lead you down the road towards mud so opaque so you have to be careful with yes what if you're looking to just you know what if you just want straight I'm dense black do you do you want to mix your old pigs at that point well you can I almost always mix some one of my opaque paints there's a fairly opaque paint called burnt sienna and if I want to mix a really good dense black I'll use a deep stainer like fellow blue and I'll mix that with burnt sienna and keep on mixing you khun get it depends on the the amount of pigment that you mix together but to get a really dense black if you don't want to use like lunar black or ivory black which I don't use the blacks really you'll mix a dark dark stainer with some kind of a pain pain if you want to now you if you want a really nice transparent black you can use a lizard and crimson you can use ultra marine but you need your stainer to get a deep rich dark color okay stayner's annual pixar to separate yes and I'm gone just about to talk about the stayner's as a matter of fact they're coming up so this painting has the stayner's in it and and the stayner's air all of these areas up here this is halo green and yellow blue fail a green yellow blue and taylor greene mixed together the halo colors are disdaining colors and windsor colors are stayner's also there aren't a lot of them out there but it's it's very important to have a couple of them on your palette I have both windsor stainer on my palate and then the a couple of halo stayner's I have both sailor green and yellow blue and you use them depending on whether you want like a cool you are a warm you they're the strongest pigments that we have their very transparent but they stay in the paper when you put them on so you can lift them but when you lift them you can never get back to the white paper there will always be a little bit of stain and it's because they have qualities where they literally soaked through the sizing on the paper they don't sit on the paper they soak down into the paper fighter fibers now when you mix stayner's my advice would be to mix up the amount of color that you want not color but liquid that you want and mix them light and then add pure pigment to it in order to make it darker if you make if you start your puddle and it's too dark then you end up having to add lots and lots of water and then you end up with you know a river on your palate and it took you that long to get to the color that you're trying to mix so it's better to start weaker and keep adding a little bit of pigment than to start strong and add a lot of water there's the stayner's air great for glazing I mean there there other paints that I use for glazing all the time too but stayner's a great for glazing and and they're also really good for glazing on top of because when they soak into the paper and they dry you put you khun glaze another pink color on top of them and it won't lift them up okay the sedimentary granulated paints have shown you this this painting before the top of my son's head but you can see here all of the various particles of pigment separating out and they could be either transparent or a pake they're not confined to any one particular category and it's just equality of the pigment I'm not sure what makes the pigment settle out but they do and they collect in the wells on the watercolor paper and they're great for creating texture and you know certain effects I mean like a beach scene or the side of iraq go or anything like that when you learn the qualities of the paint you begin to understand which ones you need to use to paint and create the various effects that you're looking for okay so this is the study that I did I did this quite a while ago with a bunch of different uh pigments that were on my palate and I sort of highlighted it a little bit so that you can see it on the screen but you can see this is indian red this is our opaque read in our palace and you can see you can you can't see any black paper shining through this at all yellow poker is what is thie other opaque on our palate now yellow poker is not called and opaque paint it's called a semi transparent paint and you can see you can see a little bit of black of the paper shining through it but it's still a pretty opaque pain ah let's see windsor red is a stainer and you can see how that sustaining you can hardly see that these anther quinn oid eliza in crimson I mentioned that one before that's on our palate and that tense the color black but you still see mostly black shining through so this is degrees of transparency in the various paints that are out there and when you figure out what your favorite pigments are you'll start to be you'll start to just know this by heart and you'll you'll be able to figure out exactly what you want to use whenever you're looking for to paint a certain technique so these are our paints on our palate and I put this in again most of you know this already but I put the qualities of the paint after them aureole deline yellow is transparent eliza in crimson is transparent and french shelter marine all transparent pains then our warm primaries new gam bows and yellow blue green shade or both transparent pira ls scarlet the one in the middle is considered semi transparent and that is a you can actually see in this paint sample that it has more pigment in it and it doesn't have the transparency that the other ones do you're optional primaries are the ones that I call the more opaque this is your yellow okker more opaque indian red is a true opaque classified true a paper paint in in the daniel smith catalog and it truly is and then cerulean blue is a more opaque paint but again it's not truly opaque but it's a pake enough to be considered in a paint paint in my mind so let's do an exercise here uh you people in the studio audience what I did was I prepared these exercise files and printed them out on watercolor paper and what this is and this was in the exercise files that everybody downloaded a ce well what this is is our cool primaries are warm primaries and are opaque primaries and this is a permanent black magic marker down the middle and we want to we want to make that on this one so I'm going to go ahead and do this the people who are participating in the studio audience already have this done but just take a permanent black magic marker and color in your middle bar like that so that it's completely black those of you following at home if you haven't done this already go ahead and do it okay that's pretty good and while that's drawing will go and paint in the the other two primaries so here's what you need to do use I would start with your oriole in which is your cool yellow primary and pick up a good amount of pain you don't want it to be you want when you put it on your palate and mix it out on your palate you don't want to see too much of the white of the palate underneath the paint on the palate and then just paint over your line try to do it in one stroke I would use your thick one inch now it's going to go outside the lines those lines and just there for a guideline but you paint over your paint over your top line and make sure you clean your brush out in other words put it in your dirty water and get as much of your paint out as you possibly can and then put it in your little clean water so that when you go to your next color now the next color will be your lizard in crimson again get a good amount of paint on your brush so that when you mix it on your palate it's pretty strong and go over your second molly we have a question of the you wet the paper first before doing it not on this exercise no okay not necessary there's another question online from line caper so nicely well I'm going to show you that in the next class I'm gonna show you how to tear it now these I didn't you can see on this this has the nice beautiful deck old age which I love so much and the and the sort of dekel dedge over here but I had to get I had so many sheets of paper to cut to tear and all of that in my hands were starting to hurt so I put them on my paper cutter and I cut the sample papers here but I'll show you how to tear paper and in the next class okay now now we're going to go to our ultra marine blue again get a nice dark color and paint over that area I didn't make that very well I have some extra paint up top but that's good enough look at those beautiful colors they're gorgeous okay now we're gonna move on to our warm primaries your first went up in the top would be new gamboa now this is very important to make sure you brush is clean so make sure you clean it and you're clean water pretty pretty well there are times when you have might have a lizard in crimson on your brush and you go rightto ultra marine it really kind of doesn't matter because there are times in your painting one of the things that we talk about a lot is letting colors mix on the paper and so you can do things like double load your brush where you put one color on one side of the brush and another color on the other side of the brush and you can paint with two colors at the same time that's called double loading so being very careful of making sure your brushes completely clean is really on ly necessary when you're doing these exercises or unless you have an area on your painting with you I need to be completely uncontaminated okay there's your yellow color your new gambo sj yes your question on the amount of water because I'm noticing in the studio here that some of us are a little more transparent looking than others in our samples that's that's because you're beginning painter and and you don't and you actually you actually don't even know that uh water colors dry anywhere from thirty to fifty percent lighter then they show when they're wet so I could just do it again you can do it again when it's dry actually you khun do these again while they're still wet to make him darker if you want to that's fine because this is not you know we're not glazing we're not doing any of the techniques that require a bone dry painting underneath but that's when I was talking about when you mix the paint on your on your palate make sure the consistency is nice and thick I mean sometimes you you mix paints on the palate I did a painting the other night and I left the sky was again it's my curse in watercolor painting I left the sky to light and I had to go over and painted again and you don't want to end up having to paint things three and four times unless you're purposefully glazing to build layers and that means it's purposeful but I left it too uh to light and I realized you know I didn't get the painting to the consistency of honey I mean it really needs to be that thick if you want it to dry to the color that you're probably looking for okay so our next one is spiral scarlett and pirouette scarlett is our semi transparent red in the warm color wheel that we're doing and you should be able to see that see how spiraled scarlett you can see how it's covered are automatically it's semi transparent this is transparent that's transparent thes air all transparent look att the pyros scarlett so that's what you're looking for in your pains getting to understand this consistency is very important in knowing how to paint and use your colors effectively now this is our stainer this is arthur yellow blue you're not going to but this is such a dark color it's very transparent but you'll see next to the ultra marine it has a it has a hint of yellow in it which moves it to the warm side this is more towards the purple side this is more towards the warm side and I see that I didn't even makes it dark enough doesn't take much for your water to get completely not with a low once you especially once you're working in the stayner's in the halo it'll get dark immediately I really wanted to put a sink in my studio but when I found out with the city of kirkland was going toe they were going to make me dig up my septic tank just to put a cold water sink in my new studio so I went uh I think I'll just use my kitchen there's some people online saying that the the fellow scarlet looks transparent online and it's not the tale of the viral scarlett okay it's no it's not it's not completely transparent but it does look it after it dried it soaked in they can't see it well if they put another pass on top they would see it for sure but it's it's it's a semi transparent paint it's not a paige but it's not transparent either okay so let's go to our opaque primaries which are yellow poker and you know craig the other thing is is that everybody has a different hand that makes sense you know I can uh I can think I'm mixing a color perfectly and when it dries it's not somebody else I think they're mixing it perfectly and when it dries it's not and everybody just has a different hand so okay no you can certainly see while it's still wet how ever so much more opaque that one is now it will drive back when it dries back but you'll still be able to see the pigment in it indian red will be very noticeable or should be you know this is not a perfect science I can't tell you how many times I go in and I think I know exactly what I'm doing and then I do it and I go oh boy it seems seems like there's a real art toe how much water you no way you're putting in your brush how much paint your loading in your brush and tell you I'm gonna get a feel for it totally and I explained last week that as a graphic designer my training is in mixing colors perfectly but I makes him perfectly here and if you mix him here's the statement if you mix them perfectly on your palate they're going to be wrong on your painting so that's a very that is the hardest thing because think about it just think about that concept it's it's it's trying to come up with something that works here when you have not when you don't have something visual to guide you over here on your palate so but that's just practice let's just practice and paying attention to what you're doing and noticing the subtle differences I mean I have before every class especially this one eyes my mantra this morning was mixed darker mixed darker mixed darker because you just I have to okay our last color is arthur yellow blue again it's really classified as a semi transparent but I find it to be a very opaque color it almost looks to me like it has some sort of white mixed into it because it's so opaque looking I don't know that it does but so molly we have a question online from leslie and she was wondering if the level of standing there opaqueness varies with the paint manufacturer yes it has everything various with paint manufactured so find a good paint stick with it yeah your colors change I mean they're people who you know they'll use cadmium red light from one manufacturer and but academy and merab medium from another now cadmium sir is a very it's a very toxic paint I don't even think daniel smith is making them anymore yeah they're not and because it's toxic and so but other manufacturers still are and uh I had a I don't know if I told this story last week I had a teacher once of a his name is ted not all I actually have some of his work in this presentation and he found that in order to perfectly control the amount of water that he had on his brush before he went to pick up paint he would put the brush in his mouth and draw it to a point in his mouth pulling out the excess moisture so that he would end up with exactly the right of moisture right amount of moisture in the brush hairs before he went to his paint now he used cadmium red light in every painting so he was taking in toxic paint every time so it was all I could do to keep from groaning every time I saw him do that when I whenever I was in class with him yes great but some people online asking that now that you have painted out your little exercise can you go through and remind us of the names of all the individual colors sure sure the one up atop is oriole aureole in yellow the next one is eliza in crimson and the next one is ultra marine blue those air the cools the warm primaries air new gambo sj pira ls scarlet and halo blue green shade the opaque primaries are yellow poker indian red and cerulean blue and then tim be online says that different color names from different manufacturers maybe name different but there's usually a pigment number is that now I don't know that I don't know the answer to that that's probably a good thing to find out is there a way of being able to match colors between different manufacturers or just your eye well the best thing to do is to make samples of paint on your on your paper and then take that with you wherever you go to buy your paints like when I went to put this pallet together I went to daniel smith they had a book where they took all of their paints and somebody literally painted them on the paper so you could see what the colors were and that's very helpful that's how I came up with pirate scarlett because I originally wanted cad red medium to be are warm read and they don't make it any more and they didn't they weren't carrying it so I went through the book and I found a color that uh came to exactly what I was looking for and that was pyro scarlett now I don't know if you can see these things have dried back very light you know they you remember how dark they were when I first started to paint them look at the pira ls scarlet in the middle now that really is the most opaque paint in that particular grouping and it is dried back very light so already I didn't makes my pain it's to the right consistency on my palate so this is the one thing you really have to pay attention to somebody online suggested painting this out keeping a notebook of all absolutely to do that and see can basically tested you know how you put it down to see what they're absolutely that I have sheets in my I have a workbook I have a binder and I take thes eighth sheet and I cut them out and I put cut uh punch three holes in him and put him in the binder and I do paint tests on it and then I take a pencil and I say okay this was a lizard in crimson and oriol and yellow mixed together half and half and you can do your own little color studies that way at the end of this presentation I also show two books really good color mixing books that you can also buy where they have all of that stuff done and photographed and printed in the book for you so those air that's a very helpful tool is well and well I'll give you the names of that at the end of the presentation okay so that was that was the first exercise and I'll show you the one I did at home that I used this is the one I did at home that I used to make that slide they're pretty close but these colors or too light see I got them darker the first time it's not an exact science

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!