Watercolor Video Lessons - Techniques For Painting Watercolors

Captain Watercolor gives art lessons about painting, color, value and texture. Demonstrations by Captain Watercolor teach everything from warm and cool colors to washes and drybrushing.

Watercolor painting lessons on video;
tips and techniques for beginner through advanced,
these teaching videos, lesson and demonstrations are free to watch and share with friends and other artists.

 

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The latest lesson > A whole new section - Video lessons from other teachers which I find interesting..

  - And before that > Drawing For Beginner


Several of my paintings< were recently auctioned online. Have a look at Scotch With Morty & Cookies Neighbo


LESSONS ON Drawing - Elementary

A drawing demonstrating one point perspective.# 1 - Drawing Using One Point Perspective One point perspective is probably the best entry point for anyone wanting to draw. That's because it has rules. Rules are wonderful because you can follow them. The further we get into art, the fewer the rules; also the more meaningless the rules.
So start here. You will be happy you did, or your money will be cheerfully refunded.

Drawing demonstrating the use of three point perspective for watercolor painting.#2 - Drawing Using Two And Three Point perspective Three point perspective may be the key concept for anyone wanting to draw. Once you are comfortable with this YOU CAN DRAW. Its only the foundation, but it will take you very far.
So do this lesson as I did it, and practice it until you have got it
Just make sure you start with the previous lesson, one point perspective.

Drawing demonstrating the use of perspective as it applies to round objects.# 3 - Drawing Round Objects In Perspective Linear perspective applies to everything, including round things. When you see it done, you will realize that you knew it already. Nevertheless, its not intuitive. This lesson will make handling round objects easy.

Just make sure you start with the previous lessons, one and three point perspective.


LESSONS ON PAINTING - Beginner

Beginner watercolor painting A First Watercolor Lesson. It's about paint handling, and "value"
Here is a simple “coloring book” exercise which will equip you to dig into your first painting.
You will learn how to make a “wash”, and how to adjust the “value” (the relative difference between dark and light) of your wash.

Drawings of trees. Painting Trees – Part 1
You need to get a “handle” on trees. They are fairly easy if you know how to approach the task.
Tree color is also, an issue. In reality, I paint trees in any color I feel like at the moment, but the beginner is going to want at least a little credibility. You need to know how to get the right kinds of greens. And greens can also mean reds or blues or yellows when it comes to trees. This lesson is full of tips and tricks for watercolor painting of trees.

A watercolor painted treePainting Trees – Part 2
It’s good to know how to approach painting a tree, but that’s not enough. Part 2 is a demonstration of how I do it, at least at the beginner level.
You will see how to paint in the leafy areas and then how to handle the trunk, branches and twigs.
We will examine “Sky holes”, and the general “look” of a realistic tree painting.

Wet piece of watercolor paper.Preparing paper for wet in wet painting
It sounds easy, but you gotta do it right.
it is easy, but its not intuitive and the lesson is really short. Give it a watch unless you are very confident in your wet in wet watercolor technique.


Watercolor painting of a small barn. A small barn makes a nice beginner landscape painting
In this simple yet far ranging painting will cover the beginnings of perspective drawing. You will become conscious of light sources and the shadows that result from them. There will be some easy, yet sophisticated concepts, introduced. These include implied edges, and massing objects to solidify composition. Its also the first lesson which I am truly happy with. ( That does not mean that I don't see flaws sticking out like mad. )

Watercolor painting showing aspen trees in the snow with a forest in the background.Aspens – A snowscape.
The basis of this lesson is scraping away wet paint. It’s an important watercolor technique. In this case we will create a forest with very little effort.
The forest is the background for a double trunk tree surrounded by snow. Snow is a challenge to paint until you know how. Shadow and color is the basis of convincing snow.

Picture of a blue sky woth white clouds and birds.Skies -Smooth and Blue - Blue Realistic Skies With Birds And Light Fluffy Clouds
This anything but simple lesson demonstrates how to paint realistic skies. We cover smooth graded washes, lifting clouds out of the background, and painting birds into it. We can use clouds and birds as design elements or to cover blemishes in the otherwise perfect sky. We are going to use our sky to paint a with a wet in wet marsh.
Then we will finish off the painting with a lesson on white. That's right, white watercolor. We will use it if we need to to accentuate our clouds.

Watercolor painting showing how to paint a large body of water, with near and distant islands and with a lighthouse on one of these islands.Skies - Sunrise / Sunset --- PREREQUISITE> Preparing paper for wet in wet painting.
This three part watercolor painting lesson covers so much: smooth sky (smooth washes), "wet in wet" technique, the "lifting" of paint from the paper, how to paint water. Beginning with a fully prepared we paper, we paint the sky, from the top, blue then red then blue. while its wet we add an island to the mid ground, which effectively separates the air from the ocean. Still wet we add foreground islands which creates a channel between them. Then we let the watercolors dry. Once dry, we add a little vegetation to the edges of the foreground islands, making them very real. Finally, using blue masking tape, we easily lift out a lighthouse near the horizon. After painting in the details of the lighthouse we declare the painting done. This scene we paint is an important part of my life. it really exists, and I have painted it many times, in many different lights and in many different moods. I have made "Snake Hill Channel" narrower than life, and I have moved the lighthouse. The island on the horizon is Fire Island. It contains two State Parks, many public beaches and towns. Only the two ends of this 35 mile long strip can be accessed by car. The rest is ferry access from Long Island. From the ferries you must walk to wherever you are going.

Watercolor painting demonstrating painting skies. How To Paint Dawn and Sunset Skies - Sunrise / Sunset - Part 1 - Skies with multi hues.
These skies need to be smooth yet are very interesting. Here we paint a sunrise with an orange red horizon fusing smoothly into a blue green sky. We are after convincing the viewer that they are looking at what might be a photograph. The sky is not the focus of the painting, rather the backdrop for a seascape, landscape. The mid ground is the actual subject but it is subtle, so it needs a dramatic frame to focus the eye. That is supplied by the intense value of the foreground.

Watercolor painting demonstrating painting islands both far and near. How To Paint Water and Islands - Sunrise / Sunset - Part 2
Poetically speaking, these are islands in the sky. In reality the are the props for the subject,which is my favorite lighthouse. There is Fire Island off in the distance, and two other islands with the "snake hill channel" between them forming the dramatic foreground. Ya gatta love the drama in this painting and its all done with a few simple elements. The trick is the intense value and color contrasts

Watercolor painting demonstrating how to paint a lighthouse by either lifting or masking. Lifting and Painting The Lighthouse - Sunrise / Sunset - Part 3 - Lifting out the lighthouse.
Here we see one of the many techniques used for lifting watercolor paint. Even though the background sky is painted with a richly staining paint, we can lift enough of the paint to give the impression of a white lighthouse. This is a real scene, and this is a real lighthouse. it is Fire Island Light. It is part of my everyday world, and you can probably feel my reverence for the place.

LESSONS ON PAINTING - Intermediate

A wet in wet watercolor painting of a glass vase filled with flowers. Bouquet of Flowers - A Wet In Wet Floral Painting
The queen of watercolor painting techniques is wet in wet. This difficult but rewarding way of applying paint will amaze you, once you master it.

We work with the "sedimentary" properties of our paints. They diffuse outward and settle downward at different rates. This gives us the "wet in wet effect". On a small scale, the color is very broken. On a larger scale the edges are soft. We get electrifying results painting this way, and I will show you all of my tips and tricks.

Watercolor landscape painting showing mountains lakes and trees.Creating Depth
Depth is perhaps the single most important element in any landscape painting.
Creating depth requires several different skills. You will learn how to do it, and, most important, why.

Watercolor painting of a basket filled with tomatoes.How To Paint A Basket - Part 1
Baskets are favorite subjects for watercolorists, and they always look so difficult to paint. In this lesson I will show you the easy way.
Part of the lesson will be the use of watercolor medium’ gum Arabic” and also the use of masking fluid.

Watercolor painting of a basket filled with tomatoes.How To Paint A Basket - Part 2
Here we finish the painting by adding the fruit and shadow to the basket.
This part covers a little about warm and cool colors and a little about shadows in general.

LESSONS ON PAINTING - Advanced

A watercolor painting of a barn and silo, illustrating blue shadows in the landscape. Using shadows in landscape paintings.
There is so much to know about shadows in the landscape. There are objects in shadow which cast shadows on other things. There are shadows under overhanging surfaces. And there is the special case of foreground shadows which create the feeling of sanctuaries.

A sunny day lifts our spirits. You will learn that the hallmark of a sunny day is blue shadows. The emotional content of a painting is carried by the colors in that painting. The use of the color blue in this case, will definitely communicate a feeling of happiness. You may also come to understand the "blue period" of many famous artists.

Monoprint watercolor painting using plastic wrap.Monoprinting using plastic wrap - Easiest Painting ever..
This as a fabulous way to generate interesting patterns in watercolor paint. Sometimes they are so beautiful that you just want to frame them "as is". I usually use them as a "start." I use a start as the basis for a painting. The final work is always very dramatic, ( or a failure). if its a failure, that's no problem. I just wash off whatever paint I can, an then use it as another start,

Abstract watercolor painting of a bridgeAbstract Art – A discussion.
Even if you hate abstract art, you at least need to know what it’s about. If you are a beginner who loves abstract painting, or an old hand who is getting bored, this is for you.

LESSONS ON - Color & Composition

The color wheel for watercolors. a lesson on mixing every color there is. Color For Beginners - Mixing Colors

A lesson on how to mix any color at all, and how to mix it for maximum effect.

Color is my favorite subject. Here you will learn to use the dual primary palette, ( I use it ), and why. We can make every color at all with only 6 tubes of paint. We can also darken them, even to a black, and lighten them to almost white.

Color schemes are a very useful technique for determining the colors to use in a watercolor painting.Color For Intermediates - Color Schemes

A lesson on how to select color schemes for your paintings. This is not just a watercolor lesson, but is useful with any medium. oils, acrylics, pastels, anything. It is not only a painting technique, but also a technique for your personal life. It's useful for selecting your wardrobe, the clothes you put on now, and interior decorating.

Watercolor painting showing warm and cool color schemes. Color Advanced - Warm And Cool Colors - The Emotional Content Of A Painting

In the previous two color lessons we covered the "nuts and bolts" of color. This lesson covers the "touchy - feely" part of color. First it offers a few tips and tricks about speeding up the color learning process. The next part covers the use of color for contrast, such as creating a center of interest. We also learn to use gray to potentiate colors. The main part of the lesson is how to use color to convey feelings.

Lessons On Materials

A setup demontrating watercolor paints in a color wheel..Watercolor Paints – What they are and what you will need.
The word, “palette” means two different things. First it’s what you put your paint on. Second, it’s your available paints, in other words, not only the number of paints, but what their specific color and properties are.
There is no perfect palette, and what works for me may not work so well for someone else. Therefore what I am offering is a starting point. Hopefully you will also find it to be all you need.
We will cover the sedimentary properties of colors, which are what makes watercolors look so unique, and what makes them so beautiful. We will also cover a palette for mixing any color at all.

Watercolor paper showing a deckle edge.Watercolor Paper
The “look” of your painting, will be determined by the paper it’s painted on. Cheap paper can often be a very good choice, but good paper is a pleasure to use.
Also the ease and cost of framing will dramatically change by selecting the right size paper to use.
This lesson will cover what you need to know about watercolor paper.

Various tools used for watercolor painting.Watercolor Tools
Besides paint paper and brushes, there are a bunch of tools which make painting faster and easier.
Of course there is your palette. You will also need the right pencil and eraser, which is surprisingly simple. Other tools like scraping tools are easily made from credit cards and plastic spoons.

A lesson about watercolor brushes.All About Brushes.
This lesson covers the different brushes I use and how to use them. Also what these brushes are made of, and what what are the implications of the fibers regarding quality. durability and cost. implications of the fibers regarding quality.

Picture of a watercolor brushWatercolor Brushes – What to look for when buying them.
Buying watercolor brushes can be an overwhelming experience. There are way too many choices. 
Brushes come in many different sizes and different are made with many different fibers. They also come in different shapes, and it’s bewildering to confront a catalogue or store display. There are way too many choices.
Experienced painters don't use dozens of brushes. Often they use only a few. You too can have just a few brushes that can do everything you want to do.

Picture for a lesson about careing for watercolor brushes.Watercolor Brush Care
Without the proper care, brushes don’t last too long. It’s not hard to care for your brushes. Funny thing is, in my experience, not one single teacher has told me how.

We will also cover how to repair a brush that has gone bad.

Written Lessons

How To Develop A Personal Style

I have some empowering things to say on this subject. If you are seeking a personal style, you may find this very interesting.

It's All About Value - Lights against darks

Powerful painting with well defined centers of interest are generated using values. This is possibly my favorite lesson..


Tips, tricks and techniques for painting with watercolors

Here are some things I know are true for me. They are rules that govern my paintings. They may not suit you, and that's OK.

Notes To My Students - By - Joe Bucci

Joe is a landscape painter who works in acrylics on canvas. These tips about painting apply to watercolor, and all painting media. I recommend a read.

Examples of Great Things You Can do with Watercolor painting


watercolor painting by Linda Doll.I chose this one to be first, because it is so very simple. The composition is almost entirely rectilinear (Horizontal and vertical lines). It is relieved by two diagonals and an arc (top left). The artist is Linda Doll.

watercolor painting by Leslie Klarr. This devilishly simple seeming delight by Leslie Klaar speaks with just a few flat colors yet tells the whole story

watercolor painting by John Lovett What so you think about this little gem, by John Lovett. Its all about the center of interest. How many colors do you see. Even though it seems so colorful, there is only yellow-orange and blue-green. The color harmony is critical here.

watercolor painting by This reminds me of John Singer Sergeants work. Color is secondary to the values of this elegant composition by William H. Jones . Of course its a canal scene in Venice .Notice that the color scheme is the similar to the one above.

watercolor painting by Thomas Freeman Thomas Freeman shows us how to push objects back into the distance. See how he expertly uses ever fainter and less contrast(y) washes to give us such impressive depth.

watercolor painting by Wyatt Waters How about some color. It takes a magician to use every single color in one painting and not make a mess. This beauty by Wyatt Waters tingles with excitement. There is nothing here except some glass and some fruit, but boy, does it sing.

watercolor painting by Eleykaa Thaleh And if the above isn't enough color for you. consider this painting by Eleykaa Thaleh . Try looking the other way, (if you can).

watercolor painting by  Alvaro Castagnet This amazing painting by Alvaro Castagnet is a study in values, ( contrast between dark and light ), The foreground has huge contrast, while the background has only lighter values.

watercolor painting by  Dennis Albetski Dennis Albetski painted this subtle work using the techniques of watercolor to their greatest advantage. There was a lot of wet in wet, and flicking going on here. Notice how the blue-green "pops" against the "red-orange" of the background. They are "complementary" colors.

watercolor painting by Jeanne Dobie I am a sucker for this sort of work by Jeanne Dobie . There is a marvelous intensity to her shapes. Notice that she put a "hole" in the middle. I think that's kind of cool.

An example of an excellent watercolor painting done by none other than the captain. Here is another example of contrasts. There are only two colors in this painting, the blue and orange, "complementary colors". What amazes me about it is the composition. Its so "curvilinear". The stones are round, the fish are arcs, and the subject is a wheel of fish.

watercolor painting by Paul W. McCormackIf you are going to paint this precisely, you better be good, because any flaw will stand out.
I like the contrast between the girl with the background.

Notice the "analogous" color scheme. Using only reds and oranges makes this a very "warm" painting.

I reproduced it so large to show the incredible detail. You can see it bigger and better at Paul W. McCormacks web site

watercolor painting by Charlotte Huntley This is referred to as non-representational art. It is way harder than it looks.
Charlotte Huntley is a master at it because this accumulating of shapes and colors had to be created from nothing at all.





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Joe Bucci

 

Watercolor Demonstrations ( not a lesson, but useful )

Not yet available as of Sept 2008