In Progress
Lesson 1 of 0
In Progress

LESSON 5 OF 5 | a drift of bees

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In our final lesson of ATN5 | series no. 1, we are going to tackle something that I still struggle with – identifying and painting values – especially the areas we consider black(ish) shadows and really vibrant or rich colors. There are two reasons that I struggle with adding the deepest, brightest and darkest layers to my illustrations.

  1. First, I know that by adding super vibrant or dark washes, I risk the possibility of losing the transparency of watercolor – something that is top on my list of goals for each piece I create.
  2. The second is… well… I get scared! Because I work from light washes and build up color with tons of layers, that means that if I add those last few layers with really saturated color or almost black shades, I might very well ruin the piece. Those are two pretty big mental roadblocks for me.

So we’ll end this series working on knowing how to create the colors and knowing when to say when.  Yikes…. let’s get going!

STUDY. PREPARE. PRACTICE. IMAGINE.

STUDY |  Let’s review the basic definitions of COLOR. (Even I get all of the terms jumbled in my head sometimes – and more than likely in the videos, too!)  We’ll be focusing on identifying VALUE and SATURATION by mixing and layering HUES so it’s important that you understand the differences between them!

  • HUE | Is the pure/true color
  • VALUE | Is the brightness or darkness of a color in terms of the TINT, TONE, or SHADE of the HUE. Think paint chips from your local hardware store.
    • TINT | Is the pure/true color plus white. 
    • TONE | Is the pure/true color plus black
    • SHADE | Is the pure/true color plus grey (a mixture of black and white)
  • SATURATION | A graphic designers term for the brightness of a color. At 100%, it is a HUE. As the percentage of pure/true color goes down, the SATURATION goes down. In watercolor, paint straight from the tube to the brush to the paper has a 100% SATURATION. As water is added to the paint, and the paint to the paper, the SATURATION goes down. 

PREPARE | CLICK HERE for course supply lists.

  • Gather the supplies you need including the handouts and enough pre-cut squares to play along!
  • If you want to use the same paint colors as I do throughout the series, you can find them on the course supply list, too!
  • If you already have a stylus, you don’t need buy the stylus I have on the supply list. I just like it because of the grip!
  • You’ll also need to draw or print a wing for your bee. Simply search GOOGLE for “bee wing illustrations” (be sure to choose IMAGES underneath the Search Box). Once you find one you like, print and cut out the wing only on newsprint or copy paper and cut it out. 

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PRACTICE | Be brave with me as I practice mixing strong pops of color and layering almost-opaque blacks. Yikes! I am still working on this myself so I may print out a few more pictures and copies of the handout and try it again!

IMAGINE | This is the best step in my process! (I will leave that sentence every lesson because its so true!) In this lesson, we’ll learn to add the deepest tones of color to our busy big bee. And as an added bonus, you’ll add a new tool to the mix. 

PS | If you haven’t noticed by now, due to very popular demand, I have added FORUMS to my website along and…. drum roll please…. photo sharing in the new forums! You must be logged into my site to see and share in the Forums. You are automatically added to the corresponding Forum for each class you have enrolled in. Please keep in mind that I check in once a week – if you have a question, my new stealth HALLMONITOR will keep an eye out for me and do her best to answer your questions, help you out, give you love and pass important messages along to me. Have fun!

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