Painting Wild Places with Watercolors: Crater Lake

Step-by-step instructional videos with a downloadable Color Painting Reference and full-size Traceable Drawing Guide.
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Instructed by Gary Spetz Lifestyle / Arts & Crafts
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  • Lectures 12
  • Length 43 mins
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English, captions
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 10/2016 English Closed captions available

Course Description

Forged from the creation of his 111 Public Television "How to Paint" episodes, Gary has perfected his popular step-by-step teaching method for watercolor . Rather than progress from an "easy" painting to a more difficult painting, Gary starts his students on "any given painting." Choose "the subject" (the painting) that you prefer, and Gary will walk you through its creation from start to finish.

It has been his experience that by breaking the watercolor painting process down into easy-to-follow steps, students can take on any of his painting compositions—thus progressing more rapidly. Gary’s proven teaching method will make you a better watercolor painter!


In many ways, novices are at an advantage as they have not yet pre-learned any watercolor painting approaches. But more advanced painters usually benefit from Gary's many unique watercolor techniques as well.

Watercolor is considered the most versatile and challenging painting medium. It can seem, at times, to have a life of its own. Gary demonstrates how to take control of this dynamic medium by breaking it down into easy-to-follow steps.

Painting Image Size: 19" x 13" (on a 21" x 15" half sheet of watercolor paper)

This course has 43 minutes of video content AND, to help you achieve success, it includes numerous very helpful “Downloadable / Printable” Reference Materials:

19” x 13” Drawing Guide (in 4 parts to be taped together)
Masking Drawing Guide
COLOR Painting Printout
Palette Guide
Supply List

What are the requirements?

  • This course is designed for all skill levels, so that absolutely includes beginners -- perhaps especially beginners. Beginners are in some ways at an advantage, as they do not have pre-learned ways of painting. So beginners fear not. It is all step-by-step. I hope and believe that more advanced painters will come away with some new techiques as well.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Successfully paint a bold, dynamic, detailed watercolor landscape.
  • Gain confidence in controlling the often unweilding medium of watercolor.

Who is the target audience?

  • Anyone who wants to learn unique techniques in controlling the fascinating and versatile medium of watercolor.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Learn To Paint A Mountain Lake Scene With Watercolors

This is an introduction to my course that includes the downloadable/printable Beginning Notes and Supply List.

Step 2 contains the very helpful downloadable/printable:

Masking Guide
Traceable Drawing Guide (downloadable in 4 parts)
Master to Drawing Guide

COLOR Painting Printout

After downloading these PDF files, you can then open it in your computer's PDF viewer (probably Adobe Acrobat Reader). Printing from the PDF viewer will make it print out correctly (size/orientation). If your computer does not have a PDF viewer, you can install Adobe Acrobat Reader for free, here:


Gary demonstrates masking out some of the painting's lightest values.

This lecture includes the following downloadable/printable PDF files:

Masking Guide Traceable
Drawing Guide
(downloadable in 4 parts)
Master to Drawing Guide
COLOR Painting Printout
Gary's Palette Guide

Please note that the COLOR Painting Printout is purposely pre-lightened as home printers tend to print dark.

Step 1 contains the downloadable/printable Beginning Notes and Supply List.

If printing this document, it would be best to "Download" it as a PDF. This "Download" option is below this image window (to the left). After downloading, you can then open it in your computer's PDF viewer (probably Adobe Acrobat Reader). Printing from the PDF viewer will make it print out correctly (size/orientation). If your computer does not have a PDF viewer, you can install Adobe Acrobat Reader for free, here:


Gary applies the painting's base colors on wet paper.


Gary shapes and shades the base colors of the lake's rim.


Using a paint filled needle-less syringe, Gary applies the lake colors.


The first stage of masking is removed and a second stage of masking is applied.


Gary paints in the foreground tree base colors.


Gary applies the island's base colors.


A demonstration on shading and shaping the foreground tree colors.


Gary shades and shapes the island base colors.


With a palette knife, Gary scrapes texture into the wet bark of the foreground tree trunks.


Gary demonstrates the finishing details for the completion of Crater Lake.

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Instructor Biography

Gary Spetz, Signature Member of the National Watercolor Society

Through his award winning art, Gary Spetz attempts to enhance the viewer's appreciation of the colors, shapes and designs that surround us. Gary travels extensively in his quest to both collect painting materials and find new paths to explore. In truth, he enjoys the "going to" as much as the painting process, itself. As an avid outdoors enthusiast, he hikes, skis, sails, and kayaks through the landscapes that he paints.

Gary is a "Signature Member" of the National Watercolor Society. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota who, over the years, has achieved numerous acceptances into the prestigious "Top 100" National Park painting collections of the National Park Academy of the Arts . He has also been featured in 98 national PBS television episodes (American Public Television) pertaining to learning watercolor and art travel. Many articles of his work have appeared in Watercolor, Artists, and Watercolor Magic magazines. And his work has been published in the books, Searching For The Artist Within and Art From The Parks.

When not "in the field", Gary and his wife reside in northwest Montana.

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