okay so we're winding down so there's some things that I just think it's really important to remember if you're going to become a painter so the number one thing you really really want to do as a painter is when you get ready to paint if you have an image that really inspires you and moves you which most of the time I do then get in touch with what it is about that image that inspires you and moves you and figure out that that's the feeling that the essence of what I want to try to express when I'm painting it so decide on the feeling that you want to express determine your format and remember we talked about that we talked about detroit you know determining your format based on your sizes of paper right sort of full sheet have sheet quarter sheet remember what your mat sizes are make sure that if you if it's something that you think you're going to want a frame that you keep your mat sizes in mind and make sure that you paint the area that will become what I call the live area of your...
painting inside your mat and that is the mat opening you know that's goingto let your image come through so determine your format is it horizontal or vertical some people paint very very short but very long vertical paintings that has that conveys a certain kind of feeling to it that's sort of like a panoramic photograph that we deal with in photo shop and things like that a lot so all of that needs to be determined ahead of time plan your composition I've said this many many times before and I'll say it again you can be the best painter in the world but if you've got a lousy composition you're going to have a lousy painting it's just that simple so you need to figure out where your center of interest it's going to be and remember we talked about that last week in terms of putting your center of interest in that rule of thirds grid that I showed you and things like that and plan your composition it's incredibly important repeat your shapes repeat do varied sizes don't don't have exactly the same lollypop flower in the same size all over the painting figure out where your line is and what kind of line you're going to show if you have a nice I direction you need to be able to to flow someone's eye through the painting you do that with colors you do that with movement you do that with how you position your shapes on the paper create textures use colors varied colors for interest and plan your values and if you have your center of interest positioned you use things like value contrast highlights to make it even more noticeable as your center of interest that's what makes it the center of interest and again good execution just does not make up for bad design so the next one would be figure out your brush strokes in your techniques we went through brushes and talked about various techniques and brush strokes do you want them large and loose do you want defined strokes do you want certain areas of the painting there very detailed and defined and other areas that are big and broad painted breast strokes like that painting that I showed of stand miller's the guy with the glasses where the eye was absolutely detailed in the mouth in certain parts of the beard but then he had a brush stroke about three inches bigger on the side and he had dry brush and wet he had everything in there so figured that out ahead of time and the techniques that you're going to use to execute that plan your edges do you want soft hard blended grated edges do you want lost and found edges where where the edge of something just loses itself into something else and then picks itself back up someplace else that's called lost and found edges they're very effective technique and their talked about a lot of water color some people think that a painting isn't a good painting if it doesn't have lost and found edges in it do a value stelly make sure that that all of this that we've been talking about works and your value study will help you figure that out obviously it helps you determine your values but it places your center of interest it shows you the composition it shows you how the eye is going to flow through the painting they're a good thing to do transfer your drawing and reserve your whites and however you transfer your drawing whether you do a pencil sketch where you've gridded it out and transferred it measured it very very carefully or you've just completely drawn it by hand or o r whatever you've done if we've projected it on the wall and you've created and you've traced it or you've used cyril tracing paper and and transferred it down that way whatever your technique do that on to your paper and then be sure to figure out where you're going to reserve your whites and how you're going to get them back if you paint over them and then when you're painting start with your lightest colors this's generally the way it's done in watercolor start with your lightest colors and then build your layers on top of that and try to keep yourself to a minimum I'm sorry a maximum of three to four layers because after that unless you've used completely transparent colors you're going to start to get you're what we call mud and you're going to start to get your flat areas in your painting and it's the luminosity of watercolors that makes them so exciting so that would be sort of like the process I would go through as you were planning your strategy and getting ready to paint and finally educate yourself there is so much out there there are so many books there's so many workshops you can go to there are websites that everything every single thing that I have taught you in the last five weeks you confined on the web somewhere and they're wonderful teachers out there to find a teacher who can give a great class and can give a great critique because you're really the critiquing is really important and it really helps to have a teacher who knows how to do that well and I'll tell you something even good teachers our take from other teachers so just never stopped educating yourself it's really important to keep up on things and the spies get the best supplies you can afford just get the best supplies you can afford it you know it doesn't it just helps it just helps and one of the things that I'm always really concerned about is that people get discouraged before they spend enough time to get good and slightly good is all I'm talking about but they get discouraged before they spend enough time to have enough satisfaction to want to keep on going so don't chop yourself off in the knees by getting discouraged too early but also don't forget the best supplies in the world can't make up for a bad for a bad painting or a bad painters so you know just get the best you can afford to support you as you go along and make your progress focus on painting principles in general not image details and this is something that beginning painters fall into the trap of they want so badly to start painting good paintings and they they start focusing on the details and they want to know every little detail and really after you become good at painting unless you're a really detailed painter like some of us are you start to throw away the details and you start to remember the bigger principles you you start paying attention toe on lee those things that matter and that's color composition movement of the eye through the painting and the details you start to leave them out because you really should only put in details that support what you trying to say in the painting anyway and half the details that you see in any photograph that anybody ever paints could be thrown away so focus on painting principles not on your image details as a beginner don't paint subjects to difficult don't set yourself up to pay to fail right out to get go leave the door open for you to be happy with what you're doing and if you set yourself on unrealistic expectation that's going to be hard to do and they're they're those of us who are just perfection oriented you khun see what you want it to be but you can't execute it well just to hold that vision as your goal and keep working toward it don't let it stop you before you get there this's you know life lesson this isn't just painting listen paint regularly and often what is it practice practice practice just keep on painting don't stop you won't be sorry I mean if there's something that brought you to this class and made you interested in learning watercolors to begin with that as far as I'm concerned you have everything you need to move forward and become a great painter because you had that inspiration to start to begin with and that's all it takes keep on going and above all it's only a piece of paper be good to yourself don't beat yourself up you know you can spend hours of time on the painting and then do something at the last minute that just ruins it I've done it many many times say okay great I've got a nice piece of scrap paper I can turn over and paint on the back start over take your first painting learned from that and move on to your second and your third and your fourth one of the girls in my class the other night said she had just finished a painting it was the fourth time she's painted it and this is a pretty experienced painter it happens don't beat yourself up about it it's just not worth it and finally have fun so that's it everybody that's my class that's my course I've had such a great time teaching this and interacting with everybody it flicker and the people here a creative text or just some of the best people I've ever met and it's just been a blast I've really really enjoyed it
Molly Murrah began painting in watercolor 20 years ago on an excursion to Greece. To date, she has exhibited in many national and international shows, and has won several awards. She is a past President and currently involved volunteer for the Northwest Watercolor Society, an international organization and one of the top watercolor societies in the country.
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.
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!