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The Magic of Watercolor

Lesson 5 of 24

The Color Wheel

Molly Murrah

The Magic of Watercolor

Molly Murrah

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Lesson Info

5. The Color Wheel


  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
  Class Trailer
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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

The Color Wheel

all right so we're going to talk about the color wheel here now this color wheel that I'm showing here is what I would call a neutral color wheel it's not a cool wheel and it's not a warm wheel it's sort of the basic red yellow and blue that I grew up with as a kid and learned about in mixing colors in my art classes red yellow and blue those air those air the three primary colors and basically the theory is that you khun get any mixture of just about anything out of those three colors depending on how you mix them together uh mostly browns in your earth tones and things like that then these air called the secondary colors these are half mixes of the primaries so you mix yellow and red together and you get r and she mix yellow and blue together you get green you makes blue and red together you get violent so the first set are the primaries these are the secondaries or the tertiary zehr coming up next actually and these air the tertiary sze which are all the colors in between so if you ...

mix half orange with half yellow you'll get yellow orange if you mix half uh yellow and half green you'll get yellow green so these are the tertiary colors and this makes up the basic color wheel and of course you'll get all infinite variations in between these basic colors but this is what you get if you mix start with your primaries and you mix half and half and go through now let's do an exercise here we're going to take your exercise she that is your color wheel this is the one that I prepared for the students in the class and everybody has it in the downloads also if you downloaded the files that were given now we're going to do our warm color wheel and I have a specific reason for doing the warm wheel here heller we're going to start with our new gamboa I got confused there all right and just put that in your in your top spot that has it why on it that's our yellow spot all right then we're going to go to our pyre old scarlett we're gonna put that in our our spot now we're going to our othello and that goes in our blue spot okay so now comes the hard part you have to try to figure out what happened half mixture of your two colors together are and you know I don't always get it right so believe me over the course of this class there'll be lots of demos that I do that don't work but that's what watercolor is all about so I'm putting my I'm starting with my green because that's where I ended up and I had blew in my brush we're sticking with colors yeah we're sticking with the warm colors so you're using your new gambo jt and your halo blue and I'm going to my green spot that's a pretty good green it looks like it's about the right color I'm going to save the violet for last because I have something special I want to say about that now let's do our new gam bows and pira ls scarlet like a pretty good fellow orange yes can you explain how you go back to picking up half and half of these colors without totally making what you have in your palate mud well that's it the best way to do it is to really sort of do it scientifically and that is mix up a bunch of color and people do it most successfully when they use pan paints and the reason being that with pan paints you go okay this blue was four passes across the pan paint to pick up the pigment so if I'm going to add the same amount of yellow then I'm going to clean my brush and do four passes over the yellow and added in since I used to paint and you know some of them are wet and some of them were drier than others that's something that you just have to practice you just have to get to where you understand what the middle value is between your colors and figure out how to make so on your palette but I'm also attempting not to get my my my little blotches of each color mixed up in there so just that's a function of just get the bird you mean mix up in the in the wells where the where the paint is yeah yeah well that's what that's why you clean off your brush as much as possible in between yes craig I use one of vocalize a question from chat um and the question is basically why how is it important to know how to mix these colors can't you just buy them pre mixed for you yes you can but I can't tell you how expensive that would be and also you know you're not going to find a palette that holes I actually took a workshop once from a woman who's so many colors she had four pallets and each pallet held thirty two colors so that was my thought is that it just gets expensive and also it kind of does kind of the point of what you're doing here exactly it's it's the painters that I find the most exciting whose work jean dobie there's a painter out there named jean dobie and I you know I keep thinking of all these wonderful painters that I should have put in the first presentation with their websites she has eight colors on her palate and they're all transparent she doesn't paint with any opaque she doesn't paint with any semi transparent she paints with all transparent paint paint and she has eight you know it's it's a personal choice and personal taste and what I was trying to do here I mean you can see over here I have way more colors over here then the students in the class have in on their palates but that's because I just started over the years and people would say oh look at this fantastic color and and I went oh wow that really is a phantom like this cobalt eel I love this color I use this color a lot and I wouldn't have a clue how to mix that I really wouldn't so eventually you'll add but in the meantime these will do you a great thank you way also have a question about the paper people were just absolutely enthralled that you could have this watercolor paper that you printed on with your and so people said oh my gosh you could put it to your printer can't believe that what kind of watercolor paper to you use it well I used my favorite is arches hundred forty pound cold price and next week we talk all about papers and we actually got a very sampler of papers from daniel smith that came a sixteen different papers in it and I'm going to encourage everybody in the class to go home and try those between now and next week just do some little fun things on him but arches hundred forty pound cold press is probably I'm going out on a limb because I don't really know for sure but just about everybody I know uses it it's their favorite paper and I would say is probably the most universally loved paper out there it's very durable you can scrub it last week I showed a painting that I had scrubbed out the upper portion of the painting five times before I ended up on my sixth try with the background I was looking for that was archie's paper and I scrubbed it out with a toothbrush well now you do it very lightly and the paper has to be completely dry before you start scrubbing but it's you know it's a it's workhorse paper and but it also paint beautifully absolutely beautifully you've had no trouble running it through your printer well no I had to run every sheet through individually by hand but it did was I've got a good inkjet I've gotto can't remember what it is it's an absent yeah it's an absent of some kind and but it's great it's it's a grating jet but I had to run it through individually each sheet because it's pretty heavy I mean this is way heavier than the kind of paper people normally through thie other thing that came up last week is that you don't want to run through something and have a dark side black lines all of these areas that I've basically drawn and put on the paper for everybody there it's like a fifteen percent tent of ink and it has to be completely dry because I tried running through those black lines that we did with permanent marker we painted over it and it just smeared right out on the paper so laser printers work laser printers were great they don't smear somebody let me know that last week to know so just reiterate that laser printers don't smear inkjet smear in jet smear if the pain is too dark and especially if it's still wet yes absolutely okay so we're going to try to mix our violent primary now the reason I left this one for last is I don't know if you look at the the primary is it's up as it's up on the screen it is not violent I mean that's not that's not a color I would call violet and the reason is this is the warm color wheel so it's not just mixing red and blue it's mixing yellow in at the same time because the red and the blue have a warm tent to them they have a yellow in them of some kind and so you're going to end up with a paint color that is not a pure violent yeah looks yes exactly we knew I was just thinking the same thing when I put my violent down I was looking and I was like oh great I made mud but now that it's drying I mean you probably can't tell it on on the camera but I'm looking at him like okay I see if violet you there just a second you can see it you can see it but it still is more on the earthy tones because you've added three primaries together and when you add three primaries together you'll go more towards the earthy colors so there's my halo here's my red I have to keep cleaning out my brush because I don't want to contaminate my red we're going to get back to that later now see I put too much red in there so now I have to go back and forth a low it's not an exact science I said it once I'll say it again it's not an exact science yes jail ground problem but what I did was I just went back and started over and put more red than blue I thought maybe the blue was more opaque but it's no the blue is the blue is the stainer that is the one that's less opaque the pira ls scarlet is the one that's more opaque alright so that I'm as close as I think I'm going to get and you'll see what I mean when I put it down it looks brown but you're right craig when it drives back let me just I got an awful lot of pigment there but when it dries back it's going to look very much like it does in the uh exercise sample that I did but have have you have you all noticed now do you do you realize how dark these colors started out when they were read and now that you've painted about around the when they were wet and now that you've painted around the wheel how light they've gotten I mean my red when it was wet was bright red and look at it now it's just hardly even a tent so I would go back in and I had to I'd have to paint this over again that's this is one of the reasons that some painters they don't even use a palette because they squeeze fresh paint out every time they paint now I can't tell you how expensive that would be really and truly because if they don't if they squeeze out too much and they don't use it they just wash it down the drain and then squeeze it out anew the next time they go to paint but they find that they just can't get the consistency of the paint out of dried paint in a palette the way that they can with paint straight out of the tube and they learn there mixing that way and and it it it is ideal I would I could tell you it would be an ideal way to paint but I can't afford to paint like that so molly we have some people on here getting really excited about this color and they want to know where they're going daniel smith too get this set oh well there's a there's actually a link on the daniel smith site that is set up just for the supplies for this class we can search for your name and yes they can they can search for molly mara at on daniel smith in their search area and it'll bring up the page that's dedicated to just the samples that were using here and I mentioned last week you know that if you buy everything you know like we talked about these water containers that were supplied you know I mean there were they're wonderful and you can stick your brushes in the side of him if you want to and they stand straight and they're really really great but you don't have to go the round I mean you can use his cd top like I use here I mean their ways to save money from the supplies and I'm those were top of the line and that was if you had absolutely nothing and you wanted to buy everything that would be the the list of supplies that you would get so I'm going to show you the color wheel I did now this is a full color wheel can you see that there we go this is the full color wheel and what I did was I prepared this color wheel and then I went in and I removed the colors in order to get the slide that that I just showed in the in the presentation one of the exercises I'm going to suggest that you do when you between this class and next week's class is filling your entire color wheel and but you can see the difference I mean you can see the difference in and I'm pretty close like that's way too light this is a little bit lighter than I made it there that's close this is very close but every time you do it you're going to get something different and until you practice it enough to know what you're going to get way I mean we talked last week about palate do something there you know that's palate juices when once you know what you're doing and you're starting to paint and all of that talent juices can be a pretty valuable commodity and after all if you want a perfect picture every time that's identical to reality we have classes on photography right well there was a comment in there when you showed that in italy with cars and everything else and somebody coming we just photoshopped that out it's like ugo you know I should send that I should send that picture to you for retouch thursday or something we could make it look just like your watercolors way should think about that what would be fun since I'm not a painter and you're not a photo shop or that would be fantastic it's right all right great I see I see a split screen and weaken like have you both going at it really competitive okay yes greg what about mixing the color on your paper oh yeah that's a very recommend there I think I mentioned last week there's some artists that hardly ever mix on their palate they only mix on their paper because they get cleaner colors that way but it doesn't always work and when we when we start to do our mouse ears exercise that we'll get to a little bit later on you'll see why it doesn't always work I mean it's the channels flowed through and the colors mixed together but they don't if you want a flat color mixing on the paper won't necessarily do it for you if you're looking for a flat color well somebody has come up with a new name online for this hybrid classes called photo watercolor shopped photo watercolor shopped that's great another person asked why are you painting on the smooth side of the paper because they're they're two different sides to the paper one of them has more of a tooth on it and the other one is a smooth side and it's because of the process of how they're made and we'll talk about that more next week the smooth side of the paper is generally considered the decide that most people paint on but if you're looking for a rough texture then you turn it over now the rough texture on the back is not a varied texture the smooth side has no pattern to it it's has more character in my opinion because it's there still some indentations and still some wells but there isn't a well every millimeter on the back when you turn it over because of the way the papers made the roughness is mohr patterned it's almost like a photo shop pattern you know there's a there's a hill in a valley every millimetre or something like that and some people love that some people turn the paper over I don't know it depends on the manufacturer how they do the sizing in the paper some people don't size what they consider to be the back exactly the way they size the front that's why I requested a sample pack for people to just play with and see what they like plate paint on one side turned it over paint on the other there's a a silly little paper out simply little paper I don't know it's made by cancer and it's called a cancer biggie paper it it's not a very good paper it doesn't it comes in a ninety pound weight which is very thin most people I like it I it has lines in it let me show you it has a a grain to it that you can see when you paint on it and I happen to like it I think it's fun I did a painting with it once and just look what I came up with can you see the grain oh it's it's almost like stationary paper interesting yeah it's a very fun paper I love the way the the collects in those those lines and things like that but you can't scrub on it it's not it's a very absorbent paper look how fast this is drawing the paint is just soaking in just like a sponge but if you want to paint quick and you like the added effect that that texture gives its fun paper I bought a whole bunch of it and I use it for mixing colors and testing my samples I always have some kind of a a sample sheet on the side where I go you know I don't know that color looks right on my brush but I don't know if it's right on the paper and so I'll go off and I'll do you no mix something like this and I'll go I don't know if that's the right color and I'll go over here and I'll see so I always have some kind of test paper on the side that I'm testing colors on always this is a fun paper you know it buckles I don't know if you can see just these two little pieces have already started this paper buckling so you know most people don't use it for you know fancy paintings that they want to sell in a gallery but it's fun to experiment with

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!