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Watercolor 101

Lesson 26 of 28

Other Fun Techniques

Molly Murrah

Watercolor 101

Molly Murrah

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Lesson Info

26. Other Fun Techniques


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Duration:1:11:27
2 Q&A Duration:35:31
  Class Trailer
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1 Basic Introduction Duration:04:30
2 Paint and Paint Properties Duration:35:33
3 Understanding Color Duration:08:06
4 Hue: The Color Wheel Duration:14:16
5 Mixing Colors Duration:15:56
6 Other Color Terms Duration:17:07
7 Light and Shadows Duration:03:14
8 Layering and Glazing Duration:06:19
9 Homework Duration:07:47
10 Q&A Duration:08:15
  Class Trailer
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1 Watercolor Papers Duration:23:36
2 Paper Characteristics Duration:34:12
3 Watercolor Brushes Duration:19:15
4 Basic Brush Techniques Duration:32:32
5 Putting It All Together Duration:09:28
6 Q&A Duration:07:08
  Class Trailer
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1 Drawing for Painting Duration:1:03:45
2 Proportion and Perspective Duration:06:41
3 Good Composition Duration:29:16
4 Last Class Preparation Duration:05:40
5 Q&A Duration:09:10
  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Introduction Duration:06:29
2 Creating Textures Duration:19:45
3 Other Fun Techniques Duration:33:13
4 Reserving Whites and Lifting Duration:53:13
5 Things to Remember Duration:21:54

Lesson Info

Other Fun Techniques

Okay so we're going to move on to some other fun techniques now this is a painting that uh justice silly little thing that I did in just a few minutes and what I did was I used a single edge razor blade to go in and create these highlights on top of the rocks so I figured that my son was coming in from this angle so I wanted these front edges to be sort of scraped away so that they looked like they had some sun shining down on them so I'm just going to put something on here and show you what I'm talking about and you guys can paint along if you want to I'm not gonna paint this whole little scene but I'll just do a little area that maybe has some okay we need the overhead now soon very odd colored rocks I must say get some yellow okumura in there okay, now this is where you used a single edged razor and I wanted to find my rocks with my razor wait have you ever tried painting with liberace's oh yeah we're going to do that if I get another sort of chris pigeon here now I've seen artists ...

where they you know those like tall you you're driving down the highway and you see where they have gone in with those big jackhammers and they've cut you know striations of shale off like down the side of the mountain see an artist go in and use the full side of the razor that's a very good these now they're representational but done in context with some trees and sky and stuff like that you know exactly what you're looking at and they work really really great does affect assault combs they do they do so I mean painting with a razor blade it's really a lot of fun and you literally can paint with it so I'm going to pick up some color with the razor blade right off my palate now I need thicker paint when you paint with a razor blade it needs to be pretty thick paint I mean you don't want really really wet loose watery paint because it'll just slide right off you're right off the blade so I'm going to see if I can get some good paint on here I don't know if I'm gonna be very successful but okay some reason see how you can get some I've done rocks this way and actually my next slide shows that but we'll finish this up first are you loading it with paige? Well I'm using is big paint and I'm just literally scraping it up off off the floor of the palate and trying to get as much on the edge of the blade is possible and it's not easy I mean I probably could use a brush to try to scrape some of it upon them so I mean, I you know I can see how that would have some very interesting uses down the line and then if you wanted to go in and drop in some color that leads into it you got texture, color bleeding in look so well it's it really is pretty easy when you just stop caring and just a technique when you really just go hey, what's the what's the use I'll just do it anyway, you know? Yeah, but if that works absolutely works. So, um, susan, if we could go back to the presentation for a second of the next painting actually was created that entire painting was done with a razor blade and then I went in at the at the last and put in the the the little pieces of grass and stuff like that. See then that whole thing was with a razorblade, all the rocks and everything the whole the whole thing with the rock with the rocks was done with a razor blade. And then I used dry brush along the bottom for the grass. And I used to rigor to put in those little green, stocky things that are coming up in the base of the rocks and then the sky was painted, and the clouds were created with rolled up paper towel, and this painting was done on that cancer and biggie paper that I gave you in the beginning to do just for your paper, paint samples and things like that, and, uh, it doesn't soak up the paint that readily right away and that's, why you see the striations across the middle of the paper? Because I painted on the side that had that texture on it, it actually has lined texture on it, and that was the side that I painted on. Now, this painting, I was completely down with the credit card. Yeah, I mean, the whole painting was done with the credit card, except for the background, of course, I'm talking about the trees, the trees were completely painted with a credit card, and what you do there is you put, you put different puddles of paint next to each other, but you don't mix them different colors, and then you use your credit card, and you use a card that has a a little bit of flex to it so that you can sort of scoop it down underneath the paint, left the paint up with it, and then you go in. And, of course, the biggest concentration of paint would be down these left hand side, so you can see the biggest load of paint is always on the left hand side, because that's, where I started the credit card before I scraped it across and you scrape it in these circular motions and you get the bark on the birch trees. And then after that dried, I went in, and I added darker shadows down the sides of these trees because I knew I wanted the light to come in from this direction. So I darkened shadows down on these sides. And then, when all of that was done, I went in and I painted in the background did some negative painting around it painted in the background. But that whole thing was done with a credit card, that that is a really fun way to all of these air. This is the fun stuff, you know, I keep saying it over and over and over again. These air fun techniques and that's exactly what they are. They're fun techniques. Now, this is not a great tree. Sort of like a bob ross. Happy little, you know, lollipop tree. But this was painted with a natural sponge. Now, these natural sponges are this kind of thing. Let's, do an overhead. These are natural sponges and that's what this tree was painted with. So you went the sponge. Now you guys don't have natural sponges you can keep on doing what you're doing and let me mix up some good green sap green is one of my favorite colors I use it all the time and I don't think I know anybody that doesn't have sap green on their palate now certainly they're painters they don't use it but I don't know any of them and this is not a very dark load of it but so what you do is you sort of form your natural sponge and in a way that you think will give you the the interesting texture that you're looking for and then you go in and you start playing in yur color my best sponge for doing this is not with me today I thought it was but I couldn't find it before we started what makes it better just shaped perfectly for this kind of painting but see that pretty happy yeah pretty cool little tree now what I would then d'oh it was I would go back and I would just start dropping in some other colors I'd drop in some other greens while it's still wet so things start to bleed and usually when you have bows of trees sticking out like that the undersides of them r r in shadow so I would create some shadows and things on the underside edges and let the color just bleed see what this is doing now if I what had wanted to do an entire painting I would've painted a light blue sky wash in the background first and let that dry and it wouldn't have even had to have been completely dry throughout the whole thing could see here it wasn't completely dry there when I started putting in the tree and it sort of bled and sort of blended together which I actually ended up liking quite a bit there then what you would might do is go in and use your rigor brush and figure out where you're gonna put some branches in here and you let them show see that they're treated pretty quick like you're happy treat more than okay but you know you look at these things and you go oh so detailed and there's so much to do and everything but not really I mean if you sit there and and start thinking about these things and planning your strategy you can see how you could do this stuff pretty pretty darn quick you really can and I I just bought a brush from a guy named ron ranson r a n s o and he's a british painter he has one eye he paints he's just a one eyed painter and he's this old old curmudgeon why that works really works he's a magnificent painter and he has his own brush this is called iran ranson hockey brush by pro art and he was a I just saw him do a demo and daniel smith and he paints everything with this brush so let's see what happens when I do this brush what he's what he was able to do well, I don't have enough paint what he was able to do with this brush and this is the first time I've used it on obviously I don't know what I'm doing yet but he was able to get stuff with this brush that just blew me away trees and oh, there we go he was using the side of it but life gives you nerves yeah, he uses this brush he uses a rigger and he uses a, uh like a big flat wash brush and that's it that's all he uses so I can see how it with a little more practice I would end up being able to get somewhat the same kind of effect yeah, very cool his brush was a mess too. I mean, these hockey brushes air you know they're made out of, uh it's not really. This isn't really hog here. I don't know what kind of hair it is, but um it's natural and you're yelling at a hockey hockey h a k a hockey it's basically like a japanese brush it's made just like a japanese brush where it's the bristles and they're contained and then they're wrapped in this wooden thing and tied in it's a hockey brush but there's our treats so we're going to go back to the presentation now this is alcohol and alcohol does some very interesting things yes it does actually you know what before we do that because I'm gonna turn this over in pain on the backside for the alcohol I think my little area for my um rough sandpaper is done so I'm just gonna go in and show that real quick I'm sorry susan I'm making us jump back and forth between presentation and alcohol but I wanted you to see on the presentation what the alcohol does first and then we're gonna go and we're going to do it and the alcohol what happens is the varying degrees of wetness make a huge difference in what happens to the alcohol when you put it on your paper so that's what this shows you this slide shows the out the paint was very wet on the left somewhat wet in the middle and almost dry on the right and you can see as you move through the various stages of wetness the alcohol does different things so let's go back to the overhead now because we're gonna be on the overhead for awhile so this is the area I painted and I don't know I don't know if I got my paint dark enough for you to see yeah it's working there we go that can give you the same kind of effect as the candle does for like water on the ocean and this you can have a little more control over because like I can go in and pay a little more attention because I can see what I'm doing see this technique you can't see what you're doing until you put your paint down this technique you put your paint down first and then you can see what you're doing afterwards but they give you somewhat the same kind of effect and what this does is it literally goes on top of the paper and scratches off the hills scratches off the mountaintops basically and leaves the paint down in the valleys on the paper and that's why that works if you wanted to paint on that would it give you a kind of a would probably give a kind of a blurred effect so let's put some pain on to see what happens we should probably just see what it does it soaks into the areas that you've scratched off quite a bit yes because you raised up the fibers and you've completely gotten rid of any sizing on the paper so it just yet so it just really soaks in it gets dark and and it's very very fuzzy and it has no real definition and if there's a major flaw in the paper you'll really see it and so there's a there's just it's I mean I can see how this would have for use at some point you know absolutely I can see how you could use this so let's do it I'm gonna clean off my palate here real quick let's do a little test with our alcohol so get I would say get a couple of colors e that's funny now that's funny that you brought that because I was going to show one of those I actually have one of those too. Yeah, it was this's what? She just popped well let's see if I can pop it yep there we go the you can buy these at an art supply store and therefore, you know, applying paint like a syringe and you can get it in these fine dot I know a lot of people use liquid acrylics and they'll put liquid acrylics in here and then they'll splash it all over a painting and I mean these air great these air absolutely great and they they work for putting alcohol down and splits to accept that I find that I can't control it very well, you know? So what I brought is something called an oiler boiler you can buy these that art supply stores also these air these little containers mind has alcohol in it and they have this needle point and when you press out I don't know can you see the drop? Yeah, you can see the drop coming out of the needle point so the size of the drop will make a big difference and what happens on your on your paper so I'm gonna just put down a couple of gonna do a big wash of ultra marine and then I'm going to put down the indian red which is one of our opaque paints because the paints will handle this slightly differently so here's the ultra marine what was the name of the container again an oiler boiler boiler boiler I haven't don't ask me why they're called that I don't have a clue okay now before I even paint the red when this is still soaking wet I'm going to put a few drops of alcohol over here on the left is this is so cool to me I love watching this see that look at their ranges yes absolutely flowers um you know those things underwater lycan on rocks and things like that underwater I mean, you know fabulous for that kind of a crystallized effect on me yeah yeah now I'm going to go to my indian red put down a big swath of indian red and let's see what happens because that's what that's what the most opaque paint on our palate is our indian red this is isopropyl rubbing alcohol on it okay, now I'm gonna go put my drops down right there now this is really what this indian red it is soaking wet it's probably even to wit now if you use bigger drops it does something even different again so the type size of your drop will affect how this looks so now let's go up you might wantto blow on this just a little bit what happened? Our apologies this is dry enough to get a different effect I have sort of a puddle here in the middle so it may not work and I'm going to put several drops in one spot uh I am because on the on the the one on the other side I used the rough side because I wanted to do the scratching so this yes is the smooth side so you can see that's different from the first grouping it looks different this indian red just because it's drawing a little more because it's dried a little bit more exactly exactly and this indian red is such an a paper paint that when you put a lot of it down it stays wet for a long time see what happens here a little bit different I'm not getting it last time the applicator that I used put out a lot more than just this tiny little bit and the big drops were really something but that doesn't that doesn't that slightly different you just see that really needs yeah yeah it really does and this so let's go back up to the top where it's even drier and see what happens when it gets really dry, you hardly see in effect along the edge. Uh, another thing you need to realize paint dries from the outside in. So when you have it, when you soak your paper and you get it completely soaked and you put it down on your board, you stretch it, it will dry from the edges end so along this outside edge of the swath that I painted it's pretty dry and I put the alcohol down and you can hardly you can't even see it as soon as I get a little bit over to where the paint is still somewhat wet you can see it now, let's see if I can oh, yeah, you can you can literally with this oil or boiler you khun literally paint with it. See that? Well, you can't see the streets very well because they spread out so much that you can kind of see them. It's the light. There we go that's a little better on the light. You know what, he's been good for? Straight lamps? Absolutely ought to be great. It would be great. That would be great. Well, I used I mixed a couple colors, and it seems to separate the colors yeah, I wouldn't be surprised. And I would and I and I wouldn't be surprised that that depends on the color she mixed too. You know, if you if you mix two standards together that have such tiny little pigment particles that much, it might not separate them out so much as if you mixed with sort of semi transparent. So but that's alcohol if you want to paint over that it's probably a good idea looking, let it drive don't try paint yeah, and and it doesn't weird thing in the first class, I did paint over it, so let me paint over one of these and you'll see what happens it's it's really weird, it does exactly the opposite it wherever the alcohol was, it turns it like, really dark, so let me just paint over this with a little green. Well, of course he didn't do it here, probably because I was using a different paint that time you can paint over it, but say it just it's just kind of odd, and I bet it would be completely different if I let it dry completely before I painted over it drying time. I can't stress this enough drying time and where your paint is in its drying process that's when it's probably one of the most important aspects of painting and watercolor absolutely absolutely and the only way you're ever going to really learned that is just to keep practising and keep doing it because you'll make mistakes and when you make that mistake it registered oh man, I painted that in too soon if I had waited ten minutes, how do you stop caring about your results for the first five years? It's very hard because you and believe me, I know I mean I said I made the statement I went to greece, I painted in greece, I can't I did like eight paintings in greece, only two of them I could stand to look at and it kept me from painting for four years. You can imagine that they kept me from painting for four years because, you know, I'm a graphic designer, I'm used to being able to make beauty, you know, make nice and make bank pretty things, you know? And it just was it was I couldn't take it it was just so hard, but I have, but I had the supplies and I went on the trip and I still have those two paintings that I did that I light and I went, I know I can do this if I apply myself, if I really apply myself, I know I could do it, and so four years after I came back, I picked it up and I haven't stopped since I haven't looked back since okay so let's see where we are in the presentation we're getting towards the end just ok we have one more thing oh we're at two hours old ready oh lord I'm so sorry here we go again all right this is the last thing that we're going to practice actually you know what let's not even practice this this is not something that we need to practice and I'll show you what it is blowing through a straw and anybody could do this and all you have to do is take a piece of paper and get big thick globs of paint and put them in drops on your paper and blow through the straw and when you blow nice and slow you get nice long streaks that kind of looked like this and when you do it when you've got a glob of paint here and you do a short burst real hard burst it'll fan out into all these little spidery things and you know this is a very thiss can be used I mean I've seen branches and bush is out in the out in nature that have these kinds of tendrils and ends on him especially like I don't know when they've dropped their leaves like road endurance when they when they've dropped all their little pedals what's left looks just like this so there are this techie neat can absolutely be used and I seen it used a lot in abstract paintings too so and you can get. Look, you can pick your painting up. You can move it all around. You can let the red lead into the green. And while it's still wet and it's, just it's a lot of fun, so I suggest everybody go take a straw, put blobs of paint on there paper, and just start blowing away. It's. Really a lot of fun.

Class Description

Learn about color, papers, brushes, drawing and composition in this complete guide to watercolor. Molly Murrah teaches painting techniques that will help you create your own special works of art.



I would also recommend this class with some hesitation. This course is a broad and sweeping overview of watercolor painting. It is a good reference course and I will probably be treated like a reference book for watercolors. The skills we covered were valuable. It was beneficial to hear about the watercolor artists that Molly enjoyed and to have a list. The exercises were appropriate. I would recommend this course to someone who likes to know all the details of things before getting started. If you are someone that wants to jump right in this may be frustrating. Obviously, I am the latter. A few suggestions from my perspective....limit the product pushing. The references to Daniel Smith were off putting. I will try to avoid purchasing their products at all costs even if they are the best. It was very difficult to get access to the paint colors that she wanted us to have as some of the names are slightly different than what is available to me locally. I have already taken a beginner color watercolor course which I loved!! If I had not taken that course I probably would have been lost here. In that course(also online) we finished a project for every 10 minute lesson. I learned the basic technique's and it was FUN! I wish this class had more projects to practice that can be completed by a beginner and intermediate. Portraits seem like a large undertaking and it would be helpful to build confidence with smaller and simpler projects. I just felt a little discouraged. Molly is very talented and the work she shared was very thoughtful and showed incredible skill! I am very thankful that she took the time to teach the class and share her knowledge.

a Creativelive Student

This course was fabulous. Molly is a great artist/teacher. Her instruction has really unleashed my creativity and given me confidence to create.


Looks like a really fun class! I'll take it soon!