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Watercolor 101

Lesson 27 of 28

Reserving Whites and Lifting

Molly Murrah

Watercolor 101

Molly Murrah

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Lesson Info

27. Reserving Whites and Lifting


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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
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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
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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
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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

Reserving Whites and Lifting

So now we're going to talk about reserving whites and lifting and this is where I need you to take out your um graduated you know, your variegated washes that you did this is a fun fun technique first I'm going to uh show you a couple of instances where we have used where I used masking fluid to reserve whites and paintings in this particular painting. This is just a detail of a full sheet water color that I did and these areas that you can see this little area of white this little area of white along with bird's head on the side of this little bottle on the side of the uh uh bass in the background all of those areas were reserved with masking fluid and what you do is you put the masking fluid down first and then you paint over them and the masking fluid keeps the paint from soaking into the paper and then when the painting is done you lift the masking fluid out and you do that with a rubber cement pickup. We talked about that before now this little bass in the background I did that th...

is whole little chunk here was reserved with masking fluid but it was in the background and it was pretty much and shadows so after I pulled the mask and fluid off I went back in and painted on top of it so that it's highlight was muted and dulled because it was further back in the painting and it was mostly in shadow it didn't have a bright light on it. One thing about masking fluid is that it really is best to apply it to dry paper now I brought a sample of applying it toe wet paper which actually is kind of interesting but what I usually do is I do my drawing I apply the masking fluid then I went the whole thing soak it, staple it down to a board and stretch it that way or I draw the painting stretch it, let it completely dry and then do the masking fluid then if I want to go back and work on a soaking wet pay a piece of paper I wet the paper again often times I'll stretch first let it dry completely in between often times if I know I'm gonna put down like an under painting and I want the paper to be soaking wet I'll soak it, soak it, soak it, staple it down on the board and start painting right away while it's still wet from being soaked on foot and put on the board but usually you do you're masking tape uh uh fluid on dry paper now here is a sample this is very interesting here is a sample of this is water color board and this was just a silly little face I started painting out of nowhere but right next to it, I completely soaked the board, and then I splattered, masking fluid on with a toothbrush, see what that does to me, it's a very neat effect, and you, I mean, think of that for snow in the sky and stuff like that, I mean, it's a, you know, like a swirl of snow and stuff it's just it's a very neat effect, and then you have to let it dry completely, and then you go, I go. When I went in with my, uh, represent pickup and lifted up the masking fluid now you don't really know what you're going to get. I had no idea that I had splattered just this huge blob masking fluid so that when I lifted it up, there was there were no spaces in between that accepted paint. I had no idea done them because you couldn't see it. Now there is colored masking fluid out there, you could get masking fluid that has like a blue tent to it and or a kind of a golden tent. You get it tented so that you can see where it is and a lot of artists use that. I'm kind of scared to use that because if you don't get it all up or if it somehow doesn't all if you leave it on too long and it doesn't come up then you really do have a ruined painting whereas you khun sometimes just leave masking fluid on a painting and nobody's the wiser you put it under glass and you can't tell if you can't get it up it'll eventually yellow I think over time over years but I just loved this I thought that was just terrific get your nose in face no I didn't mean it at all now masking fluid when you buy it and it's brand new is pretty it's pretty thin you can certainly put it on a toothbrush and you know fan your finger across the top of the toothbrush and it comes out in these in these drips and drabs and splatters and all kinds of things and then of course it fanned out when it hit the wet board also could you have you could you use it in a spray bo for what it I don't know about a spray bottle I think it because once she if you did it once in a spray bottle you'd have to just keep spraying until you were done and then probably have to have to you know it's just I think it's just a little bit too thick now we use you guys have the masking fluid that was supplied by daniel smith and that has the little name bonnet remember, it comes with a little nips did you cut the tops off your little names to make sure you had a hole? So take out your daniel smith masking fluid and put your name on the top and I have a pretty fine nearby on mine and I'm gonna put this tape back on because my little nib has a tendency to come off because I kept it yep, the whole so small we'll see what happens now hopefully it'll work I can't use the you can, you can but if you want a finer line you know I have a tendency to want a finer control unless I'm trying to work in a big broad area if I'm working in a big broad area though like illness board paintings that I do, then I use a brush and I have separate brushes for basket okay? Because there's there's just no way to keep them really pristine and working really well so take out your variegated wash that you did and you can see as soon as I squeezed masking fluid started to come out a little unpredictable you have to you have to get to where you're used to using it and you know what it's going to be doing uh sometimes it sort of bubbles out on the end like it did here uh in the first class when I did it I got like a little pearls it came out in these these just blobs of of masking fluid that when I struck him down it looked like a string of pearls on the paper which actually would have been very interesting effect if I was looking to paint a pearl necklace around somebody's neck that we would have worked great. So now the the thing about these nips is that the minute you get done with them you need to put them in water so they don't dry out because if they dry out and you get the masking fluid down inside it's interesting so masking fluid when it's wet we'll dissolve in water so when you're working with a paintbrush and you want to use the masking fluid, you have to make sure that you went the brush often and get the masking fluid out of the brush and then dry it and then put the masking fluid in again. I never do more than probably a couple of square inches of painting with masking fluid on the brush before I then choose to go completely washed the brush and try to get as much of the fluid out as possible before I start all over again so I'm going to take a brush and I'm going to put some masking fluid down on my piece with the brush just so you can see what you can do now see this piece of tape along the end of the brush that's a marker I gave myself to say this is your mask in fluid brush so don't forget to give yourself little helpful hints and things like that if I ever start painting acrylics um I will I will make sure that I used different brushes for acrylics than I do for water color as well because you don't want to mix those brushes up either, so I'm just gonna paint an area and you can paint pretty well you can get some pretty nice uh, control then you can get some pretty thin lines. Especially if you this is not even a very small brush. This is like a number eight brush. I got wet first. Yeah, I did wet it first, just a little bit, but you, you know, you take most of the water out of it before you use the masking fluid, so I'm going to let that dry and then another tool that I use all the time to put on masking fluid is a quill pen and I loved the pen. This is the quilt is just one of those old fashioned quill pens. I love the pen because you could get some great control with a quill pen, so I'm gonna actually do it down here so you can see how much thinner I'm able to get the line with the quill pen ran out there I'm putting in this and kind of a plaid so that when I go in and take it off, you can see the difference. Now I'm putting this down on top of the color because I want you to understand that you don't only put masking fluid on top of white paper, you can also put it on top of something you've already painted. Then when you glaze over that color with another color and you lift the masking fluid out the paper of the paint that's already on the paper will show through, so it doesn't always lift back just dwight and that's. Why I wanted you to do this on the very gate paper, but I'm also going to do it just real quick on a piece of white, and then we'll paint over that so that you can see what that does. It really goes through wreck lead back to the white paper and you always do go in and lift the masking fluid out if if it will come up again if you put it on wet paper and it soaks in sometimes it doesn't always want to come up, although when I did that sample on the wet board, all of it came up, I didn't have any trouble getting it all up, but I do know some people who have had some problems now before you paint on top of it. It needs to dry so we're not gonna paint on top of this masking fluid quite yet. Okay, susan let's go back to the presentation. Oh, I'm sorry that's the wrong one this one now this is a painting of a small detail of a big flower painting I did and so I think it's a half sheet um where I used stencils toe lift backto white on the paper and I can't even tell you this was the very first time I had ever worked with stencils in watercolor this was done years ago and they just brought the entire painting tto life for me. I was so excited when I realized I could do this that all those areas those tiny little pin points of light that were shining through those leaves because the sun was shining directly on this a bouquet of flowers and so there were pin prickles of light throughout the whole thing. And when I realized I could go in and cut stencils and lift that color out it just brought like I say it brought the entire painting tto life for me. So get out your straight edge and you add I put, um permanent magic markers for you on your desk use your permanent magic marker to create some kind of I don't know leaf on a stem or or is something that you want to create a stencil out of now I brought this actual cutting board to cut on but I gave you guys good thick pieces of cardboard cut out so you don't want to be cutting on your uh gate aboard you want to be cutting on the big piece of cardboard so just draw I'm just going to draw I don't know let's I drew a leaf shape on a stand last time so draw a few shapes now you need to on this acid tate it's best to work with a permanent magic marker because nothing else will really stick to it something that you know you can cut out fairly easily you don't want to make it too difficult for yourself right out the chute here now I like to use an exacto because it's just you use it like a pencil and you could get very, very sharp and you could get right down into corners and points and things like that so uh as a graphic designer I've been using exact does forever for thirty some odd years and so I have several of them and that's what I like to use but you're straight edge razors will work anything that you have that would that is it has a razor's edge will work so then what you do now this stuff is it's actually acid tate that you can put in a laser printer and print on top of their various other things that you can use but this works fine and I had several sheets of this to bring in for the class, so I just brought this in but it's pretty hard to cut through so you have to press pretty hard and what you want to do is cut all the way through and create your stencil now there are you khun by stencils out there all of the art supply stores carry them uh there are stencils that are already cut in the shape of these just like wonderful trees and things like that and you can buy them already cut so that you don't have to do this part yourself and I've seen a really wonderful stencil south they're they're really done a great job on making those things but we're just making our own simple little versions here didn't cut that part very well ok one more edge and then I think I should be ok ok, here we go now take your variegated wash once you get your stencil cut how are you guys girls close to that. Okay, now I also gave you little white cubes and these things are called magic erasers. You can also use a natural sea sponge you khun use a uh uh a fairly hard brush like a lot of people use uh brushes that oil painters paint with that have stiff bristles you can use your scrub brush you can use just a regular old soft paint brush if you want to just lift off the top area without getting too far down into the paper, but I'm using this magic eraser because I want to I want to show you just how far you could get back now I think this is ultra marine blue that I'm going to start with and that should lift up pretty well see that look at that now you will absolutely get water underneath your stencil and if you don't want it to lift up if you don't want it to soak into the pain and lift up the pain you need to block, you need to block underneath your stencil and block your paper as well but just explain one more time what what you just did well, I cut the stencil put it down on the paper and then where I had a hole in the stencil I used my magic sponge to go over the painting and one of the clear areas on that paint's dry yeah, this pain is dry yeah, you know you can only do this on dry paint if you try to do this on wet paint, you'll hurt your paper, you'll start pulling up the fibers of the paper and it won't be pretty but look how clean and crisp and edge that produces it's really great it's a craft loved this technique now if you want to do something that's not quite so clean and crisp like that you can go in and use your scrubber scrubber must be wet and you could just go in and sort of lightly lift away but the stencil protects any area that you don't want lifted so I didn't want to take that particular area completely backto white so I used the scrubber I did not scrub hard now I could have scrubbed hard and it would have gone back to white pretty closely probably now this one should be wet yeah spun should be wet absolutely these magic eraser sponges air really great they're really great for lifting paint a lot of artists use them and just love them now you can also just use a brush and just go in and softly what you do is you're just softly wedding the area if you want to get something that's just sort of like a gossamer lift you know where it's just where you just taking off the absolute top layer of paint and you don't want that much definition see that right there very very faint hardly lifted it all that works great just works great so see I got hard crisp lift soft lift and gus zimmer lift so you varying the amount of water in your sponge in order to achieve well no you just you you wet the sponge and you just squeeze it out so that it's not soaking wet because you don't want you try not to let as much water seep underneath your stencil is possible because then you really do run the risk of the water soaking underneath the paint and then when you go to blot it it blots up more than you wanted to blot up so you just wet it enough so that it'll lift just about how much pressure you're exactly it's about the pressure and these magic sponges lift so well that I mean that when artists started discovering these I mean I I know artists who went tio ace hardware and bought up every package of magic sponge they had that's the mr clean yeah that's the mr clean magic spending so and they really do work I'm telling you they just work like they just worked great. So that is lifting and I will tell you lifting is once you have a painting painted and then you go back in and you just looked out a few highlights I mean yes, you have to go to the trouble of cutting your stansell's and things like that but you just go wow. You know, it just puts zing in your painting and I just loved it so much when I discovered that so and this is what you did in that uh okay that's exactly what I did in the book a shot so let's show that shot again so that was all paint and then you created those white spot that was all painted and then I created the white yeah exactly all of these all of those areas this all of these see all of these air clearly stencils this area that area, that area all down with stencils and it just put the thing back in the painting so let's before before we move on in the presentation now let's go back two are areas where we put our masking fluid down and just take a brush it doesn't matter which brushing take it doesn't matter which color you use I'm going to put some green around this area where I painted the leaf with the masking fluid with the brush and you can see what that does now this is still too wet I don't want to go over that you can see the masking fluid is still white however the masking fluid underneath that I put on with the pen where I put on such fine lines that's already dry but where the masking fluid still shows itself is being white it's still wet you do not want to put a good brush on top of that that will that will not be a good thing so that needs to drive before you go in and paint on top of that but let's put some of that pie roll scarlett on the bottom where it's dry is that cool now you can see right there I painted on top of that and the area that had the masking fluid on it has not painted and when this dries you go back in with your rubber cement pickup and you lift up the masking fluid and what you will see is the paint from underneath the painting showing through the paint on top now I'm going to go back to this piece over here where I just put it on the white paper so you can see how you and I'm gonna actually I'm gonna use fellow blue here, which is our deepest, darkest stainer and I'm gonna paint on top of that and you'll see how that area is still reserved that's very noticeable and then you'll go you'll go in when that dries and you'll lift that off and that was done with a quill pen and you could get some really nice detail think about like fence posts or say you've got a branch on a tree that's on the other side of the tree and it's got this a burst of light on it and you want to reserve that or those sharp highlights on bases things like that that need you want a really crisp highlight um it's the way to go masking fluid is the way to go okay, now we have to let these dry before we can look he's up and this other stuff is I don't know if it's even gonna dry soon enough for me to even paint on top of it but let's let these dry and then we'll go back in and lift him up later well, you don't want to use a hot hairdryer on it and you don't want to get too close to it I mean, if you hold a hair dryer up here, you can use it but it can't you if you don't want to use a high heat setting because what it will do is it'll sort of melted and sink it down into the paper even more and it'll make it even more difficult to lift up I have I have done it in the past, but I was really careful and I know somebody who did that and, you know, put the hair dryer right here and then she couldn't get it off a doll that was it for me. Yeah, that was it it's like like I don't know ceiling and aluminum shield on something with heat you know? I mean, she just she just wouldn't come off, so um, it's, you need to be careful with it. You need to make sure you keep her brushes moist and wet if it dries in your brush I think I mentioned before you can use something called goo gone tio to swirl it around in the goo gone and it'll help it'll help get rid of the masking fluid if it dries in the brush, but I had a brush that I was using and I thought, oh, I'll just use the goo gone and I started using the goo gone and now the brush is just it's yeah, I can't eat I can't even get the brush back in appoint anymore because so squished it down and trying to get the masking fluid out so you don't want to you don't want to go that route unless you absolutely have to okay, so we'll go on now this is the upper portion of cindy my cat and what I wanted to do here was show you how you can use your scrubber brush to get a very, very soft to lift and in the upper portion all up around her appear these air all just very soft lifts I didn't want a hard edge lift because it was for and I wanted it to be very soft and actually right down here I used my quill pen to create thes and even my even these were a little too course in a little too thick for me and I didn't do them right in her little cheeks there and so I used my smallest scrubber and sort of brought these areas up so that it didn't look like all of these tendrils of whiskers were coming out of one spot just about but I wanted soft lifts here, so let's, go back over head and just take your variegated wash again where, anywhere on there that you want and just start using your scrubber that works pretty well. It's great for blurs. Like if you wantto create like, a little bit of fog in the background or you got some soft clouds in the sky that you don't want to be really hard edged, you just want to have a hint of cloud you can go in circles, you can create round shapes I think with the with the the boy I got a little carried away with this with the scrubber brush my paper oh, yeah, and also those little boys you guys drew those on ninety pound paper and because they I had to use the ninety pound to get it to run through my printer and that ninety pound paper is not durable paper. I mean, if you want paper that you can do just about anything to and not worry about it too much, you want to go with your hundred forty pounds fever. So that's, one of the reasons that's, one of the reasons I, uh you you you I had trouble on them, it was the paper big reason I'm probably so you can do nice broad areas. It depends on which edge of your brush your used you can scrape out highlights on the tops of rocks. You can scrape out highlights on people's cheeks when you want a nice soft effect. I actually on my little boy painting let's. See, where did I put him on my little boy painting? I did use a scrubber brush, chris, I can't find him now. Here he is on the tip of his nose. See the tip of his nose and here very lightly. I didn't actually use a scrubber brush here. I use just a regular paint brush nice soft paintbrush to live some of the color down here and right over there that was all lifted afterwards. And you use the masking tape for the virus or the I used a little bit of masking fluid in his eyes. Yep. And for this and I used no, I didn't use any masking fluid for the whites of his eyes at all. You just didn't paint their, um well, I did paint there because eyeballs are just are never white. I mean, like, your eyeballs right now or blue from the shadow of your hat, you know, so they're never white um but I painted them with the same flesh color that I put over his face and I let that dry, and then I went in and I sort of painted around them because I didn't want them to literally turn into exactly the same color as his face. But my first wash of paint, I just painted over the eyes painted all over everything I see thee, this area in the hat I used my quill pen, and I use masking fluid there, but I put paint down first because I didn't want any of this to be absolutely bright white, so I painted a layer of paint first, then use the quill pen, then painted these other areas and then went back in and lifted out the masking fluid. Do you use a scrubber brush for blending places where you have a hard edge that you don't want? Yes, you could do that, but the thing about the scrubber brushes is that they do change the surface of the paper, so once you start using a scrub brush, you want to go back in and paint over over it again. Your paint will not react on the scrubbed area the same way it would on a pristine piece of paper, so you just have to figure out your timing on this kind of stuff now I have painted over scrubbed areas before. But oftentimes what you'll get is you'll get like little capital a reaction on the paint and you know, it just doesn't look good I think in the very first class I showed the painting of the sailboat where I had scrubbed out the whole top of the painting like five times and painted it a sixth time and by the time I painted it that last time after scrubbing it out everything I had little little you know, varicose veins sticking out of everything on that painting because I couldn't get a crispy edge if my life depended on it, I just wouldn't have happened if I had unless I'd gone into maybe you stick acrylic or something like that which of course I didn't want to do so if you plan on if you plan on doing a lot of scrubbing and lifting, I would imagine you want to stay away from using your stayner's yeah, yeah unless you unless you don't mind the stain quality being in the background if you don't want if you don't want to lift absolutely back to white, then using your standards is ok but they that's what gives them the name stainer they they're particles are so fine and they and they soaked right through the binding medium and they get right down into the paper but even they loe you can use this dry let's see, I used a low here and I think it's dry enough let's see what happens when I scrub on it even a low you can reclaim but not completely toe white sea that tent that and remember in our paints and colors class where we did the three we hit did the black stripe and then we did the paints on top of them in one side of the stripes and with the paints on it was longer than the other and I said go back in and use your scrubber brush and scrub through those portions of your color bars that will tell you just how far back you can scrub with each one of those colors and that's what that was all about that was our transparency test are our warm kool and opaque and transparency test all in one exercise so that's what that was good for so this is dry I'm going to lift this up you can just use your finger if you want to if you don't have a rubber cement pick up it's not the end of the world look at crispin clean that is absolutely christine right backto white paper crisp, clean hard edged works great now I'm gonna go in and left this because this is dry now when you lift masking fluid up on top of an area that you have painted on top of it will lift up some of the paint but it doesn't lift up all of it but like I just did another one of those poured portrait ce and when I went in and lifted up the masking fluid off these big, big big areas that I had painted, I'm going absolutely have to go back in and paint those areas again but you can see here lifted back to the color on the paper and this lift it back to the color on the paper, but you can see some areas in here like little white specks and stuff where parts of the paper came up yeah, my color is coming up with a masking fluid that was underneath it where I didn't put in the pain I'm I'm you don't understand we put masking fluid in an area and only painted over half of it, huh? And when I get rid of all the masking food, it becomes lighter everywhere, not just where I put paint. Oh yeah, because your yeah, because well, but you had paint underneath, right? Hey, underneath, I didn't put anything over it in it's lighter. Yeah, because you're scrubbing on top of it with this. Okay, so you you do lift up? Yeah, original, yeah, you do, you do now you won't lift all of it up right, but but some of it will come up and that that's what happened here this area is absolutely lighter in this area right here started out the same in a way it's a it's a finer way to use a scrub brush yeah and it gives masking fluid will almost always give you a hard edge even on this piece here even though it looks kind of blurred and everything if you could if you looked at this under a microscope every single one of these little edges would be hard it will just do that but you can get various effects with it that really worked great uh depending on whether you put it on wet paper or dry paper and this wet paper technique is I think this is fascinating looking so you play around e did this was this is that water arches watercolor board which I love to paint on actually um and I just took a big brush and I've completely wet this whole area I put the masking fluid down while it was soaking wet let it dry let it completely dry and when this when the masking fluid dried on here I couldn't see it at all I had no idea where it went I had no idea what the splatters looked like I didn't know what I was going to get then I put the red color on top let it dry went back lifted up the masking fluid and that's what I got very interesting I think now I think I can actually paint on this now because this is dry so I'm gonna go in and put some paint on top of here and see putting an icky color. But now if you put it on nice and thick I want to show you this, see how that has literally created like channels that the paint got trapped in see that like, it's hard for me to figure this out this out, but these little areas air full of paint and these little areas aren't wills. Yeah, it creates, like little valleys. So if I set this aside and let this paint dry like this and then go in and lift up it's going to be a great looking, you know, it's gonna be just really interesting think about pains of a window where, you know, there's always like one section of the window that's darker than the other, you can create that this way. So in those kind of cases, you really do want to go in and put a thick beat yes to create those if you want to use this technique to do it now, I mean, you know, I usually just paint the pains with with a paintbrush and then go in and drop in darker points of color inside each pain, you know, if you want to do it that way, but you could do it this way too there's so many ways to do things that's what I love about this medium they're just so many ways to do things so I'm just going to set that aside and see if that drives before the end of the class and then we'll go in and lift that and see what happens to it so before we go back to the presentation as long as we're in the overhead let's go and try to scrape our salt off now it should be dry enough I actually have a credit card here I'm going to use it my fingers have been using paper towels that you can use anything you want but a credit card will just get all those little pieces that are stuck on the paper you know it's like putting it through a putting him through something can't think of what I'm trying to say here yeah yeah it's like shaving right shaving off the soul no, it does doesn't it e didn't really dark there and it looks like stars yeah yeah I can use a man on hers on whitehurst looks like many hold years up michelle so itsy peeking through stores I mean there's just a few more realistic to start well it's not on camera anyway so no but it's not back here here oh really? Ok, I can't tell what showed him that isn't anyway so here's here's mine and some of the splatters from the purple got mixed and over here look at that it's very cool so this is the table salt finer grains this is the kosher salt you can see much bigger grains we put them on at different times this was much wetter and this was dreyer and you can see a difference in the color you can see how the table salt so get up morris of the paint here then here because when I put it on here it was drier so this is such a fun thing to just experiment with you know just start with soaking wet paper and drop your salt on it then start with a patch let the xin justus the xin is about to leave the paper drop your salt on it that is usually when you're going to get best most noticeable effect and then let it get almost too dry and drop the salt down and take little notes you know make it start your little notebook, start your eight sheets with your three hole punch and do your little tests and take little notes and that way you know exactly what you're looking for whatever you're looking for it next time it makes me look make makes me think of blanket yeah two rocks like yeah exactly exactly and I love I mean I've seen some amazing effects done with salt in snow paintings I mean, you know, I've mentioned it already but you know, I just sit there and go well, did they do their timing perfectly? You know, they just got it right fun exactly what it needed to be. Okay, so we want we went through. We're back to the presentation now, so we went through cindy and the soft scrub outs on her for and her forehead back to the presentation. Yes, back to the presentation. Now, this is something I didn't show in the first class, but I wanted to show it. Oh, you know what? I got a splatter of paint on my this is ah detail of a painting of just some tulips and flowers that I had had started and up in the left hand left hand corner. I used plastic wrap, so I put the colors down and then you take the plastic wrap and you scrunch it all up and you stick it down and you leave it down a decent amount of time. It has to come pretty close to drawing, uh, with plastic wrap, you can actually let it dry almost to dry, and it won't stick to the paper. But look at that interesting effect that it created in the background there. Now, this is not a great shot of it because, you know, the painting is big and the area was small, but I just I didn't know what I was going to get? I just knew I wanted some text you're back there I just wanted something that wasn't flat paint and I thought it but I you know, I just thought that was a really, really interesting effect now this on the right hand side is crumpled up tissue paper just drop down on a page a piece that I had done a variegated wash on and while the wash was still real wet, I just crumpled up the tissue paper from a you know, a present white tissue it's got to be white thie others have dye in them and I think they could probably leave some color on your so we're not talking kleenex know we're talking, wrapping tissue paper something that hasn't creaking and I dropped that down and I padded it down as much as I could and I let that sit now one thing you don't want to do with tissue paper is you don't want to let it sit on there until it's completely dry because if it gets completely dry you goto lift it up and it can stick to the painting and you don't want that then you have to wet it and then when you know so you have two timing again timing is sort of everything on these things, but I thought that tissue paper effect was really interesting and I wanted to show that this time too now everybody has a candle, so one of the things that you can do it's, you can use wax to leave an area quite so take a clean piece of paper, and this is one of those instances where you might want to try it on the rough side of your paper, remember, we have a smooth and a rough side. The smooth side is normally considered the, um, the painting side, the side that you paint on, but if you're looking for a rough texture as I might be here, especially if you're using a candle, turned it over and you can try this time working on your website, so I just have the dregs of a little piece of candle here that used to be in a little votive. Actually, you know what, let's, do something first, because we're going to end up doing, uh, sandpaper and when we do sandpaper, paper's got to be dry, so let's paint an area down on one side of paper, down at the bottom, somewhere off on the side somewhere doesn't have to be really thick or soaking wet, but let's get something painted so it can start to dry before we go back and try to use the sandpaper, make sure it's got some decent color in it, though. Okay, so we can let that be drawing now on the other part of your paper, take your candle, take your piece of candle and let's say, we were just doing an ocean scene. Actually, I'm going to draw like, a little line, see if I can actually execute something here say this is a horizon on your ocean and you're gonna have a like a sunset over here and a sky and the sun is low and it's going to try to, you know, it's going put highlights on your water, so let's say that the water highlights are going to look something like that. So what I would do is I would go in, and I would start dragging the candle across the area, and as I got closer to me, maybe these areas would not be quite so intense. Now, I can't see, so I don't really know this is gonna work, but let's, find out. So then I would go in and I would pull some color. Yeah, it's working a little bit? No, you probably wouldn't want it quite that perfect, but you can see what I'm talking about. You can see how if you learn to master this technique than those little pinpoints of light looks like a highlight on the water, exactly. That's what it's supposed to look like a little of color in here benefit maybe you would even have a little bit of liz around or something like that along the back depend it would depend on what's happening in your sunset highlights on the ocean now I used around candle I probably wouldn't use something that had around end on it because you can actually see the rounded areas where I put the wax down and you wouldn't want that so I would probably use a candle that I may be sharpened off the end of and, you know, used it more like a pencil rather than just this, you know, sort of course instrument that I was using here but that's going to give you highlights and if you wanted those highlights to be sort of golden, you would paint all that down stuff and all that stuff down first and then do your value, then put your whites on top of that to reserve that and then paint on top of it, you're darker don't remove the wax the wax well, arms are waiting you don't really have to remove it and I was going to try I have a sample from last time that I was going to try to see what happened when I ironed it, but I just I just didn't have time to go there, you know, put us soft paper towel down on top of it and a warm iron to see if it would melt the wax and then the paper towel would soak the wax back up. But I, you know, I think it's about a fifty fifty chance it would just melt the wax and have the wax just go back down into a paper, you know, but I'm you know I'll have to try that to find out now. This is still wet, so we can't. We can't go in and use our sandpaper on this area yet, and the way to test whether it's wet is used the back of your hand and mine. It's still very, very cool. If you use this part of your hand, you can you run the danger of getting the oils from your fingers and things like that down in your paper. But the back of your hand is pretty clean, and this is still really, really cold, so that means it's still very wet, so we're going to have to come back and do some scrubbing on that later.

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!