Course updated March 2017
Many people would like to make art by painting, but many don't even try in their adult years because they 'believe' that they don't have the talent, don't know any technical stuff and more likely than not, somewhere along the line somebody told them they weren't any good at it !
So this created a 'limiting belief' which inhibited them from enjoying a fun, relaxing, soothing and expressive creative pursuit.
Get ready to change that 'limiting belief' and enjoy painting for it's own sake through this non threatening and friendly 'play - cedure'.
This is what one student posted in her blog :- 'I was so surprised to find that she (Nicola) started very simply, just playing with water and unmixed colors of paint. Slowly a beautiful patchwork of designs appeared on her page. Where borders and boundaries in the art were a bit blurred, she went in with a pen and neatened them up. Sometimes she chose to add designs with the pen and then paint over them, and other times she added swirls and triangles to the dried paint. With growing excitement I realized that this project was well within my comfort zone.'
With no one looking over your shoulder and no expectations you will find you are learning through play and gaining the confidence to do more. Most of all just enjoy the pleasure of doing it.
If, however, you don't enjoy it and are not happy you can claim a full refund within 30 days. No questions asked.
So you think you can't paint? Let me explain how you can and how you can lay the foundations for a rewarding pass time with one step at a time.
You only need a basic box of watercolour paints, a brush and some paper.
Where to get your supplies depends where you live. If you don't have an art supplies store near by, there are plenty of alternatives via the internet. See contents of Lecture 52.
You will also find it helpful to have a wax candle, which we will use later on, some watercolour pencils and some masking fluid all of which can be obtained by your art supplier.
See the PDFs to give you more information about paper and paints.
A student said they were having a problem with getting enough water and colour from the dry paints. I have therefore added this short film just in case anyone else is problems.
If you aren't sure if this course is for you, read what someone else said about this course.
This is the first of nine videos which take you from making your very first marks through to the colourful finish. Anyone can do it. Put aside any preconceived ideas about what 'art and painting' is supposed to be and enjoy yourself.
Just go with the flow and do what ever YOU want.
You decide what marks and shapes you want to make. There aren't any rules.
Keep on playing, you'll know when it reaches the 'finished' stage. It only matters that you like it and enjoyed doing it.
Here are a few ideas for the marks you can make.
By playing with your paints on your postcards, you have already been layering and mixing colours without thinking about. Now we are going to take it a step further and look at mixing different shades of greens, using what ever yellows, blues and greens you have in your paint box.
Make a little colour chart on a spare bit of paper and keep it as a handy reference.
This short video will show you how to get started on creating your first painting, of an apple. Starting as we did with the postcard, making the outlines.
Here we will add more colour to the apple by adjusting the colour of the green and we will also cross hatch for the shadow.
I hope you are impressed with what you have achieved. From simply making marks, filling shapes with colours you have now completed your first painting of an object. Congratulations, and may it spur you on to do more.
I created this lecture in response to a comment from a student about using watercolour pencils instead of paint for this exercise. Watch the video and see the difference between the two different medium.
'A' is for apple and you may think this is too simple, but you will learn a lot and it will give you a good grounding as you learn more.
First draw the simple shape of an apple then:
* Learn how to mix the correct green.
* See how easy it is to create highlights.
* Paint realistic shadows.
* Make your painting look three dimensional.
Finally add the touches to make you want to pick it up and bite into it.
From drawing a simple shape of the apple, then go on to paint it and make it look real enough to puck up an bite into,
I have added this lecture in response to a comment that it would be nice to see me do a painting without the heavy pen outline as in the painting of the apricot in Lecture 15.
So,I have done the apple again, like the other one, but also with a painted shadow rather than a cross hatched pen shadow. The painting is in three videos, here and also lectures 17 and 18.
The process of painting this again will help you enormously in understanding how your paints work.
I will post another lecture shortly, with more fruit idea using different techniques, eventually enabling you to follow me painting a still life.
If anything on this list isn't clear to you, just get in touch.
If you fancy painting something else, take a look at this little painting I did of an apricot. Nothing too exciting, but look how beautifully the paints mix on the fruit and the marks they make, As there were two sources of light, that created two shadows and you can almost feel the bloom on the skin.
Have a play.
I have added these videos for those who posted that they were having trouble getting the effect they wanted.
I have specifically commented on certain things such as blending and paper problems.
REMEMBER : Different makes of paints and different paper will all give you different results, just keep practising and you'll be fine
Adding more colour.
NEW IMPROVED VIDEO uploaded August 18 2015
One of my favourite fruits to paint. Why? Because they come in lots of different colours and are fun and super EASY to paint. Such fun you will not be able to stop !
Here I demonstrate and create a composition as a stand alone painting.
I've uploaded lots of my cherry paintings, most of which I have sold. Take look at them to get ideas for adding cherries to your fruit still life or just making a painting of them on their own. What ever, have fun and keep learning
I would like to apologize for the tripod leg you can see in the video, I will do this video again soon.
Trying mixing different shades of red with whatever you have in you paintbox, using different reds and blues.
NEW IMPROVED VIDEO uploaded August 18 2015
Just keep playing with different colours and maybe with more or less water in the mix. Play around with the shadows too.
I have added the final picture in the resource section and I hope you will let me see your finished painting.
EXTRA VIDEO added Augsut 18 2015
So you have already painted an apple and some cherries, now you are going to add a lemon to your fruit salad. You will learn a useful technique called 'using a resist'.
Let's start with the bowl, you can make it what ever shape you like and learn a bit about perspective as well.. I'll show you how.
This is where you can add a pattern to your bowl by using a special affect with a stencil and an old toothbrush.
This is just one of the techniques you will learn in my new course 'Watercolour Painting Special Effects - MUST HAVE for artists'. If you haven't already joined why not? Message me for details
This video shows you exactly how I go about doing this. It illustrates a thinking process and way of working which will make it easier to draw any object and make it look believable in relationship to other objects. For example as in a still life.
If you are not sure about doing this, just get a bowl and put some fruit in it and look carefully at how the pieces sit in the bowl and the shadows they create.
As always, start off painting with very thin colours.
Gradually adding more colour and shadows to what is a 'practice' price, just a watercolour sketch
I know not all of my students will have the need for Christmas cards, but with the December 25 not being far away it seems a good starting point.
Don't forget there are plenty of other times when you might want to send a greeting card. This lecture will also give you ideas about producing them.
Let the paint dry and then come back to do a bit more. If you wanted to paint more than one at a time, place tham in a line and work each stage on one after the other. A simple production line.
Paint this simple little snowman, sitting in the snow set against a winter sky and falling snow.
You will need some masking fluid to do this one.
Well of course you know about this !
But it's always good to remind ourselves of the basics from time to time.
So do this next little postcard and play around with as many blues and reds as you have in your paint box and write the names beside each one to remind you and add the page you you reference collection. Or shall we start calling it a portfolio.
You know this really, but here it is to make sure.
Work your way through your paint box or tubes by making this chart to see how intense a pigment can be and how light you can make it.
Remember the more water you add the paler the colour, and this is where you can bring more impact to your work. We call these differences 'colour values', see Lecture 33.
I explain it to my students by relating to the weather. 'You would not appreciate the sunny days if you didn't have the damp and dark days.' You need to have intense or dark colours on your painting so they we show up the light areas. Such as the way we would want to paint shadows to show there is sunshine.
This is something that will come in useful later on as you become more accomplished with your painting. But if you are an absolute beginner, it's good to be aware of it now.
You may already have discovered this to an extent when you were painting your postcards.
Enjoy seeing what happens and post your findings if you wish
Resource: A photo of my chart
As I continue to help you build your knowledge about painting here I am adding a short film to show you some of the scenery where I live and to ask you to consider, if you were going to do a painting of the view, how would you go about it.
We have been using still life so far as your learning subject matter, now consider something different. Take a look at this and see what ideas occur to you.
What would be your composition?
What colours would you select?
How would you plan the painting process?
What special painting effects and techniques might you choose?
These are all question you can ask yourself when ever you look at any subject.
Enjoy the view and if you decide to paint a picture don't forget to share it.
In response to a student's question I have uploaded this document to tell you something about the marvellous paper.
Extra resources for you as advised by the clever people at Udemy.
If you have any more to add, please let me know, thanks Nicola
Why choose one of my courses?
Because, as a self taught artist I understand how a lot of people feel about their creative work, sometimes anxious, sometimes overwhelmed and often that it's not 'good enough'.
Well I will hold your hand as you overcome these fears as I offer a friendly, relaxed and sensitive teaching style.
Do one of my courses and you will feel as if I am in the room with you every step of the way.
Here's a bit about me.
I originally trained as a graphic artist, and then followed a different career path working in the national media, travel and public relations in both London and Paris.
After sometime I returned to my creative roots full time, so to speak, and became a full time artist, teacher and creative entrepreneur.
The artist bit means I have worked in a variety of media, but am currently splashing about with watercolours. I love the magic they make when the pigments play with the water. And if you let them do their own thing, it's even better.
I have also painted murals in a child's bedroom or around a swimming pool, covering everything from fairies to Tuscan views. Painted furniture with decorative effects and designs and given walls specialist paint effects and stencils. All fun stuff for the discerning home owner
The teaching bit involved me teaching a 'Decorative Paint Effects' section of an interior design certificate course at Kidderminster College, Worcestershire, UK. Here they studied paint effects for walls and furniture, designing and cutting stencils, Period design elements and produced sample boards.
Then continuing the theme of teaching I have also tutored on many private workshops in the above subjects plus decoupage, gilding and trompe l'oeil (trick the eye painting).
Now, installed in the south of France I continue with all of the above but adding on-line courses to my creative portfolio. Flexibility is the name of the game in today's world
I have exhibited widely in the area.
Recently I was invited to plan and teach a creative summer school, offering a variety of artistic subjects, at one of the leading camping venues in the area. So, you never know some of these subjects might pop up as one of my courses on Udemy
I have had work featured in a national 'lifestyle' magazine and on BBC Radio 4 and Central TV in the UK
Society of All Artists.
Living France Magazine