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Simple and Stunning Watercolor Techniques

Expand your repertoire of advanced watercolor painting techniques to infuse your work with interest and excitement alongside artist and instructor Mary Murphy.
Simple and Stunning Watercolor Techniques is rated 3.5 out of 5 by 21.
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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Instruction tempo / format was comfortable I have done watercolor years ago, and decided to buy this course as a refresher course. Informative course for beginners.
Date published: 2022-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Misnamed I think this video series should be called "Beginning with Watercolors" or "Watercolor Basics" I am a watercolorist, and was looking for some new, unusual ideas or tricks. I did appreciate the section on saving a painting, and I love that she uses a big coffee container for water! I also took to heart the "10-minute painting" idea and have set up a place on my table for doing just that. That alone may be worth the price of the video! I would have liked to see more painting demos. Thanks.
Date published: 2021-12-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simple & Stunning watercolor techniques I had taken one other course before this. This course gave me some new ideas and techniques.
Date published: 2021-10-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Watercolor Techniques I'm still watching these lessons. I have the DVD and some times I like to go back and watch again. Very interesting gives me time to try things.
Date published: 2021-09-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from INFORMATIVE The material was presented in an interesting and easy to follow manner. There were some very good tips and techniques presented that I intend to try in future works.
Date published: 2021-08-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from I need more demonstration I liked Mary's style, but would have liked to have her take an entire painting from start to finish and allowing us to follow
Date published: 2021-06-26
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Extremely disappointed! I am extremely disappointed with this course. It consists mainly of the instructor talking about a few of her paintings in a monotone voice, without specific instruction or insights. There are a couple of conceptual hints for advanced painters, but not much on how to actually paint using watercolors.
Date published: 2021-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing course. Mary is so talented. I am a long time oil painter but in COVID I have been trying my hand at watercolors. Mary’s demonstrations are well thought out as her explanations and intelligent approach. I am a retired art teacher with an MFA from Pratt in painting so there is always room to learn! Thank you Mary!
Date published: 2021-01-05
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Play with size, scale, texture and a variety of water-based mediums. Learn advanced watercolor techniques alongside artist and instructor Mary Murphy. You'll see how to create a complementary underpainting, use masking methods to preserve white space and achieve harmonious color shifts. Then, discover a simple strategy for making compositional decisions and apply a gridding technique to scale your painting to any size. Find out how to use a variety of household items to easily produce amazing effects. Then, explore other water-based mediums: gouache, acrylics and watercolor grounds. You'll even build confidence choosing paper, brushes and pigments. Plus, learn to critique your work, fix mistakes and adjust values for a fantastic finish.


Mary Murphy
Mary Murphy

Time’s passage is unrelenting, but art comes close to stopping it for a moment.

Mary Murphy loved art from a young age, but her initial career path took her in a different direction, towards life as an award-winning speechwriter. After 20 years behind a pen though, she picked a brush back up and the rest is history! She honed her skills training with artists such as Martha Deming and Jim McFarlane, president of the American Watercolor Society, setting up an in-home studio so she could paint nonstop. Her exuberant floral paintings began to accumulate local and national recognition and awards, and now she’s thrilled to bring her passion to the Craftsy community.

By This Expert

Simple and Stunning Watercolor Techniques
Simple and Stunning Watercolor Techniques



01: Underpainting

Meet Mary Murphy, your guide to simple and stunning watercolor techniques. In this first lesson, Mary introduces the underpainting, the base of any good watercolor. She demonstrates a few masking techniques and shows how complementary colors help balance a painting and create surprising effects.

19 min
Size & Composition

02: Size & Composition

Why you're painting is often just as important as what you're painting. Mary looks at the intention behind each work as a way of highlighting how to plan size and composition using thumbnails and sketches. She also offers a tip for scaling and paints a miniature square floral.

21 min
Creating Texture

03: Creating Texture

Mary will show you how to use a variety of household materials, from credit cards to table salt, to add texture and visual interest to your watercolors. Then she paints a scene near her home to put those principles into practice.

23 min
Exploring Water Media

04: Exploring Water Media

Learn how to complement your watercolors with other mediums. Mary introduces gouache and acrylic, which offers the exciting option of subtractive painting. Then she shows how watercolor grounds can help provide even more texture before combining all elements into one of her works.

14 min
Brushes & Paper

05: Brushes & Paper

The tools you use determine so much about what your painting will look like. Mary introduces a variety of brush types and techniques, from scumbling with a mop quill to writing with a rigger. Then she shows how paper weight and texture can give your final product unique effects.

27 min

06: Pigments

No two watercolors are created equally. Mary walks through what makes some pigments transparent while others are opaque. She also introduces the concept of granularity, which helps produce more life-like skin along with skies and clouds, before finishing with a primer on staining pigments.

18 min
Rescuing Techniques

07: Rescuing Techniques

Painting in watercolor means always having a chance to correct mistakes. Mary takes a painting she'd abandoned long ago and attempts to recover it in real time. In the process, she shows how to critique, introduces rescuing techniques and teaches how to check for value.

29 min