Course Outline - Intermediate Watercolour Course Animals & Birds

On this intermediate watercolours course we are going to cover or revisit these topics:

1. How to use the wet in wet technique to paint loosely. The effect of salt sprinkled onto wet in wet colours. How to add details with aquadrop pens.

2. The effect of using a water spray onto an image to create a fur effect.

3. How to use thin colour washes of either warm colours or cool to achieve a three dimensional effect and the use of detail in one part of the image.

4. Using the techniques from the previous three lessons to use a photo as a reference to create a loose style watercolour painting.

Week 1:

Starter: Draw out the image outline. Consider where the details will be enhanced when the paint is dry.

Main:Wet the body of the cockerel or bird. Mix up strongly pigmented puddles of the colours you choose for the bird. Using different brush strokes to define the feathers. To prevent areas of run in, use a line of white paper. Allow the colours to run together. Add salt.

When the paint is dry fill in details using aquadrop pens or a small round brush, to add definition to feathers or eye.

Homework: a different bird image such as the peacock.

Week 2:

Starter: Draw out the image roughly and lightly. Include areas of black and white. Consider where the detail and focus will be and the greatest contrast will be.

Main: Mix up strong colour puddles, maybe black. Paint onto dry paper. Spray on pure water with a diffuser spray. What is the effect?

Homework: Try another painting with a different animal motif more or less in silhouette. Maybe add another colour.

Week 3:

Starter: Playing with different colour thin washes and then splatters on top. What works? What creates muddy colours? Draw out in detail the colourful bird or animal. Try to just give a fine outline without too much detail. Consider where the focus and detail will be.

Main: Mixing thin colour washes using complementary colours across the colour wheel from each other. Wet the shape of the bird or insect with clear water then drop in different thin wash colours. Use white paper to limit colour runs. Use the kitchen roll to pick up excess. Allow to dry. Use a small round brush or fan brush and press or drop in spots of pure colour. Allow them to mix if that happens. What is the effect? Maybe add salt?

Homework: Use a fine brush, watercolour pencils or aquadrop pens to paint in details.

Week 4:

Starter: Review the techniques from previous three lessons. Which worked, which need more practice?

Main: Draw out a horse or other animal in some detail using a reference photo. Use wax resist in fine lines to create a highlight. Wet the paper where you want the colour washes to run together. Add very thin washes of translucent thin colours to get a chromatic effect. Use the brush to create a flowing mane. Outline with a rigger, aquadrop pen or watercolour pencil to finish the details.

Review course: Which method did you like best and why?

Homework: Complete another animal or horse using your favourite method from above.