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Watercolor 101

Lesson 28 of 28

Things to Remember

Molly Murrah

Watercolor 101

Molly Murrah

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Lesson Info

28. Things to Remember


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Duration:1:11:27
2 Q&A Duration:35:31
  Class Trailer
Now Playing
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
Now Playing
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

Things to Remember

The final wrap up things to remember you guys before you paint decide on the feeling you want to express that I think it's the number one key thing if you see an image that inspires you get in touch with what it is about that image that inspires you and decide that that's what you're going to be focusing on conveying in your painting pay attention to that because it's really important then when you get when you have achieved that feeling you know you have a successful painting determine your format what size are you going to paint it? Is it going to be a long horizontal a tall skinny vertical? Is it going to be a half sheet eight sheet quarter sheet figure out all that stuff ahead of time? What matt sizes do you think you're gonna want to go? I want to use make sure you paint your live area of your painting to meant match your mattes matt sighs pick your painting goal and that will help you determine the format for your painting, plan your composition and figure out where your center o...

f interest is going to be positioned you want to repeat shapes sizes line figure out your eyes movement where you're going to put texture, colors, values and your center of interest can be accentuated using value color contrast all of those things can draw attention to your center of interest and don't forget good execution doesn't equal good design so composition is incredibly important and you could be the best execute er in the world but if you don't understand the principles of good composition you you'll have a hard time ending up with a good painting figure out your brush strokes in your techniques are you gonna have dry brush or you're gonna have breast strokes at all just meld into each other and blend what techniques are you going to use to create your effects what kind of edges soft hard lost and found remember I talked about lost and found where one area like the shadow of a hat bleed onto the ship part of a side of a face if you're doing a drawing and you want that effect erase the line in between the shadow of the hat in the side of the face so that you know that you want your paint to go right down and just lend altogether that's what a lost and found edges and I know they're painters out there who say that if you don't have a least a couple of lost and found agent and she's in your painting you don't have a good painting it's kind of interesting to me but um there are people who feel that way do value studies I mean until you get used to painting until you get to the place where you can see the values and in your mind's eye do your value studies they really help you plan your composition, transfer your drawing and reserve your whites. We've talked about transferring the drawings, using the grid or projecting or using tracing paper or just drawing by eye. A lot of people just loved to draw by eye and that's how they do it and then reserving your whites. That's what we talked about today and then when you're painting, start with your lightest colors in oils you start with your dark colors and then you paint your light colors on top in water colors it's the other way around because when she put a dark color down, when you paint a light color on top of it, you won't see it, so start with your lights and start building your layers until you get the intensity that you're looking for. And one of the thing I would say, uh, educate yourself, you know, there's so much information on the web, it you every single thing I've put in this presentation can be found on the web there far better teachers than I am far better painters than I am all out there, you can find it and and start taking with the teacher if you can afford it, and the other thing I say that you need to do is make sure you get a teacher who's good at giving critiques because good critiques will propel you forward in ways that you just won't be able to achieve on your own if you have somebody who just constantly looks at you and says this is wonderful there's nothing you know this is wonderful and moves on to the next student you want somebody who will tell you how you can make your painting better and that's important get the best supplies you can afford especially your paper good papers essential then I would go with good paint and like I say you can't do better than daniel smith and then you know good brushes uh good brushes there that's your hand tools and that's the tool that's going to define you as a painter so good brushes are also important but the best supplies in the world don't make up for other elements if you if you haven't studied your composition and plan to strategy they're just helpful partners focus on your painting principles not your image details don't get hung up in the details try to take my I had took a workshop once and the painter said don't even bother bringing a brush smaller than a number nine didn't he want you to have a smaller brush in that I've heard of other guys who make people put their paintings on the floor and sit on a chair so that when they paint they have to hold her arm out like this so that they can't paint details so don't get hung up on the details because they can construct a constrict you as a beginner don't paint subjects that are too difficult try not to set yourself up for failure, you know keep it simple keep it so what's that saying keep it simple stupid, you know try not to set yourself up for failure because if you have two or three paintings in a row that you can't stand, it'll be very hard to find your enthusiasm to do your fourth and fifth so set yourself easy targetable goals that you can achieve and then you build on them one by one there's a, uh a gn artist out named eric sweigart and I was reading an article by him the other day when he said as far as he's concerned all these rules that I've sort of been talking to you about, he said they really none of them match up to the fact that what he looks for three different things in a painting from a distance when you see a painting, does it catch you doesn't catch your eye and make you want to walk up close and look at it? Does your I carry through the picture or do you get stuck in one spot? And the third thing was, does your I rest on an area of dominance? So there's got to be some area dominance in your painting and he said if you have those three things and a painting, then he considers it a successful painting and so that's part of going back to not getting too hung up on the details you know, look for the overall impact, draw and paint regularly and often just practice practice practice it's on ly a piece of paper you guys don't beat yourself up really and truly that piece of paper you can turn over and use for somebody something else so never let go of this saying in your head it's only a piece of paper and never compare yourself to anybody else either it doesn't it serves no purpose and you know they use other people as examples to aspire to but don't compare yourself to them and above all have fun just have fun this is just the most fun medium I think that's out there and I know there are other people who certainly would disagree but there's so many things that you can do in water color that I I I just don't think you could do quite the same in any other medium and uh I say go for it it's really worth it so I found one last quote we don't recognize talent until after the fact at which time it is indistinguishable from the results of persistence and hard work and that's really true everybody can develop talent but it's the persistence toe hang in there and the hard work behind it that will get you there but everybody's got it everybody can see everybody can hold a brush you gotta want it you gotta want it and you got to keep going so thank you for making this course so much fun I just I loved every minute of it my audience you guys here in the studio were fabulous you've added so much to the class I really really appreciate it. Thank you thank you. Yeah, well there's a lot of a lot of folks in the chat room were also expressing their appreciation to you and creative live for really presenting a great class. Everyone here is saying that they've learned a lot and they just think the world of us and instructor so really, really nice that's really great uh one thing sam a lot of folks have been asking about our the glazing tools okay barn's right let me show those again you could touch on that show those again kay barnes is my present instructor. I mean, I have a really just basically go in paint with her, you know, way just paint together she has an open studio on wednesday nights I go up there for that and then she's going to be starting a class in a couple of weeks and I designed her uh materials for her dvd and everything so I'm gonna go up and paint with her again I did so this will be my fifth year painting with kay barnes and I think she's a wonderful person and a wonderful instructor but she has it presented a dvd if you get the standard package over here on this left hand side you will get these exact same glazing tools but in a smaller size and that smaller size the whole package will come just in this package just like this and in the dvd she explains how to use these tools how you use them and I'll show you an example she'll take a couple of her different tools and she'll go ok let's see what happens if we put they low blew down here? Is that the color sky I want behind this tree? I'm not so sure maybe I don't want a low bloo maybe I want ultra marine that has a little more of a cool purple cool look to it and she'll put that down and chill go oh yeah that's that's the color I'm looking for so you use thes glazing tools this way and it goes from a dark tent all the way down to a very, very light tent and what this allows you to do is it allows you to figure out the color that you want to put on your paper without committing paint to paper so you can go in and take this tool say I want to use this in conjunction with the halo blue you can put it down to see what kind of a now this this uh quinn gold has a little bit of red in it so you can see it turns it into sort of like a neutral gray color and that's the quinn gold on top of the ultra marine and this is the altar marine on top of the queen's gold did you see the difference there they have a very so they thes glazing tools will also allow you to figure out if you're going to glaze with two colors which one do you want to put down first you want to put your cool down and then you're warm or vice versa so and she explains all of this on the dvd and she all of these are all of these are based on daniel smith paints french shelter marine quinn gold and they're all based on daniel smith pigments and you're saying that the final size of these things are not the same size as you're showing the way you can get this is the deluxe it this is the premium edition which is a little bit more money because obviously she had to pay more money for these for these uh bigger glaser tools and so what happens when you get the premium set is you get the dvd and then you get this large set glazing tools and that's. What? That that's what? That kid comes as and then the other one comes with smaller glazing tools. I I would probably recommend getting the larger set because eventually now, as a beginning painter, you usually pay pretty small, but when you know, when you start moving up into have sheet full sheet watercolors with tiny little versions, just I won't do it for you. You're gonna be working with bigger areas and you're going to need to to have these glazing tools cover more area. So, um, kay barnes, dot com k a y b a r n e s dot com and you can contact her through there and get the glazing tools there. I think they're a couple of people who have taken this class who have already contacted her that she's sending the glazing tools out too. So yeah, she says some folks here we're talking about it's not on her website just yet. No, I already called. Okay and said that she's gonna have him for sale on our website here very soon. Yeah, these are brand new. I mean, you know, I only just designed all of this stuff for her dvd package, you know, a week and a half ago, so this is all brand new. Stuff for her and she's getting up to speed on this soon as possible and the other thing that a lot of folks are asking about it is there going to be a watercolor to a one? I don't know we'll have to ask if it again everybody all of this just depends on the support for creative life putting these classes on and uh we have other artists that we want to talk to I have a fantastic oil painting artist that I want to bring in and he wants to give a class on how to see yes just how to see as an artist how to know what toe leavin to take out how to know whether you want to paint that seen there or shift her focus and look at it over here it's all about how into how to see and so that wouldn't even necessarily be about oil painting and in that course would be about would be invaluable for any artist no matter what medium you worked in that clothes that course would be a valuable so we're going to try to get him in to talk with greg but again all this depends on whether the the public supports these ongoing classes I hope they do because I sure would love to keep on going with them yeah, well there's folks here who were actually saying, you know, more art classes just in general yeah oh, yeah, and and believe me, watercolor is a small niche medium I mean, you know, they're there when I go to the east side association of fine arts there there hundreds of people who go to those meetings because that is a across the spectrum association, the northwest water color society is water media, so our meetings have about eighty people, so, you know, the more we can go out to a broader audience, there are many, many more oil painters and acrylic painters in watercolors, but because for the very reason that so many people consider watercolor two hundred, and so they just don't go there, and I've I've known amazing watercolor artist I said this in the first course there was this watercolor artists who used to study with d n lemley who is you know, I've said it a million times she's an amazing painter, and this woman's name is, uh, well, I won't say your name, but, um she entered a show, and for the last couple of shows she got juried in and her paintings were oil paintings, they weren't watercolors anymore, and I said, I said, you're not painting and, uh, you know, I'm surprised to see a painting in oils, and she leaned down and she whispered in my ear shouldn't want any I was in big room about a lot of people standing around she didn't want anybody hearing she leaned down and she was a magnificent watercolorist she still lean down and said while sir so much easier e you know it's like quiet oil's air so much easier and and I guess she just gotten to the place where she didn't want to have to work so hard to end up with something that she really really liked and and so it's a it's a niche mark it and uh you know I would love to bring in I mean acrylics are amazing I mean people do amazing things with acrylics and of oils of course so yes we're going to go there if we get enough financial backing from the public out there to make it possible so well that's about it I guess any more specific questions at all any kind one will want one things about people were talking about was in the beginning the class when you're showing pictures of the little boy they were asking about flesh tones placement of mainly like the reds in the skin tone let me take him out again real quick I can find him I don't know what we have so much stuff here I don't even know where I put it over here okay do we want to go over head one more time? I have a little bit of everything in this little boy I started with an overall wash of yellow okker darker in some spots lighter and others put it over his eyeballs everything they're nice too. While he was that was all still wet I started dropping in the red and I used um cat red light but you could use pirouette scarlet I think even in some areas I used the pyre old scarlett but I started dropping in the reds then I started dropping in the deeper colors but this had to dry a little bit before I could put in the shadows and actually on some of the shadows I put the shadows down when the paint was dry and then I went in afterwards and blended the edges so like you can put in a shadow let's just put in this is a deep dark shadow but you can put your shadow in like that and then where you want it to be blurred, you go in with a fairly dry brush and you blend the edge. So when I did my shadows like underneath that hat this shadow underneath the hat portion could be fairly hard edged because it was underneath the hat but then I went in and I blended the other edges after that he's got a green in his face cerulean blue ultra marine he's just got a million colors in here and that's what gives him the character I think all those colors and on his lips. Remember, I talked about making sure the lips aren't just this hard edge. All the way around, I blurred his lips out along the bottom. He was fairly hard in the corners and fairly hard along the top edge. But I blurt all of this out, down at the bottom makes for much more realistic lips that way he was a lot of fun to paint the only problem. Oh, and I need to unclad remember this. The only problem is that this was done on the ninety pound paper and that ninety pound paper when it's soaking wet like it was when I did his whole face. It just buckles like crazy. So once he was done and it was very difficult painting him because he buckled so much actually, to tell you the truth. But once he was done and I was happy enough with it, I turned him over. I sprayed the whole back with a very fine mist of water, put him on my table, put a board on top, put like a stack of magazines this big and left him there for two days. Then I took this out. He was flat as a board, and but because this is ninety pound paper he's already absorbed two more absorb moisture and see he's already not flight is avoid anymore. If you do that with a hundred forty pound paper help, he'll stay flat, but that's, how you do it, you don't put so much water that soaks through to the other side, but you put enough water to stretch the fibers on this side and then you weight it down and it'll go flat just flat all over again, so that's it. Anything else that's it just a lot of people just saying post to your flicker and facebook pages, keep on doing that, I'll keep checking. We may not have a class any longer, but I'll keep checking. I don't I don't get to check every single day, so if you put something up, have patience with me, but, um, I do check periodically and if there's anything, if I see that, I can think it that I can help you in any way. I will offer a suggestion that one woman whose little boy face was on the same slide is mine. I mean, I just wrote her back and said, I can't think of anything to say, you know, this is just fabulous, so anyway, thank you, everybody, thank you.

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!