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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 3.7 out of 5 by 30.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Activated Memory I hadn’t painted in several years and this course reawakened my memory of techniques I had been taught
Date published: 2022-06-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Disappointed The course is no where as good as the one called “Painting with Watercolors” by Katerina Ewing. I didn’t learn anything and I am a newbie.
Date published: 2022-05-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Assumes some prior drawing experience This program starts with some very basic watercolor techniques which are clear and effective, and then moves quickly into how to create a painting. It is assumed that the student knows how to adequately compose and draw a design which can be transferred to the watercolor paper and integrated into the coloring of it. I have done a lot of life drawing so it was not an issue for me but might be for others considering this program.
Date published: 2022-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent As with other Great Courses, this one is inspirationall with features for special effects.
Date published: 2022-03-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good basic information. There were a lot of helpful techniques presented in the limited format. At first I was put off by the order of the lessons, but realized as I progressed that it seemed to present some fun things first before getting into the technical aspects of the course. Overall, I'm glad I watched it, however, basic watercolor information is needed to take advantage of the course.
Date published: 2022-03-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Assumes lots of background knowledge The instructor assumed that participants have background knowledge in composing pictures, fine drawing as well as basic watercolor understanding. As a beginner, I had some trouble keeping up. Also, she had a bit of a "know it all" attitude which I found off-putting.
Date published: 2022-03-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from didn't explain grounds - how to do it no contact information -why? An email address would be great. i could ask how to make the ground effect
Date published: 2022-02-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great introduction! I bought this course this month and am enjoying learning the basics.
Date published: 2022-02-02
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  • co_hasreviews, tv_1, tr_29
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  • clientName_teachco
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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

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