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.
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Overview

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.

About

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
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Simple and Stunning Watercolor Techniques

Trailer

Underpainting

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
Pigments

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