Light, Colour, Shadow: The Essential Triad for Watercolour Sketching
Light, colour and shadow are the three essential elements for creating an exciting watercolour sketch. That’s why it’s always a good day for me when the sun is out. Because sunlight gives form, volume and contrast to every object, and makes every scene more vibrant and alive.
In Light, Colour, Shadow: The Essential Triad for Watercolour Sketching, we’ll go through all the steps I use when I’m sketching on location on a sunny day. I’ll start by analyzing some sunlit scenes from my sketchbooks. Then we’ll paint shadow patterns on various wall surfaces. From there we’ll move on to how light and shadow look on three-dimensional urban subjects. And finally we’ll paint a full scene in sun, using some of the techniques we learned in previous exercises to create a sparkling sketch.
I’ll give you the same reference images as I’m using, so you’ll be able to draw and paint right along. I’ll also share my favourite mixes for bright and fresh shadow colours. And when you’re done, you’ll feel confident going out on a sunny day to sketch your own lively scene.
If you love to sketch in watercolour and want to infuse your scenes with light and colour, this course is for you. In this class you’ll learn:
- How to use lights and darks effectively to make sunlit scenes come alive
- How to use shadows to give form to subjects
- The best colour mixes for subjects in sun and in shade
- How to mix your own glowing shadow colours rather than using diluted blacks or pre-mixed greys
- The most effective water-to-pigment ratio for painting shadows
This course includes:
- Seven full-length video demonstrations that illustrate key concepts
- Downloadable reference images
- A full list of materials
Sketching Structure in the Garden
A new online sketching and painting course
I love sketching in gardens. But it’s always more fun when the garden is complex and lively. Maybe just a little bit wild.
In Sketching Structure in the Garden, we’ll go through all the steps I use when I’m sketching on location, with ink and watercolour. I’ll start by analyzing what makes a composition interesting. We’ll map out the sketch in pencil. Add lively ink lines. And paint on fresh and bright watercolour washes to complete our sketch.
I’ll give you the same reference image as I’m using, so you’ll be able to draw and paint right along. I’ll show you how I mix the brightest colours for flowers. Then I’ll share my favourite mixes for painting trees and shrubs. And give you proven technique for creating luminous greys. When you’re done, you’ll feel confident going out into any garden setting to sketch your own lively scene.
If you love to sketch in watercolour and want to add more colour and freshness to your work, this course is for you. In this class you’ll learn:
- How to analyze a scene and create a dynamic composition
- The best method for painting a wet-in-wet sky
- Eight tested and proven recipes for more varied foliage colours
- Colour mixing techniques for brights and neutrals that you can apply to all your sketches
- How to use darks effectively to make impactful sketches
This course includes:
- Full-length video demonstrations
- A downloadable reference image
- A full list of materials
What people are saying
One of the best online classes I’ve seen. Well organized, clear and articulate. Beautifully done by a terrific teacher and wonderful artist. — WAYNE BISSKY
I just finished watching Shari Blaukopf’s online course, “Sketching Structure in the Garden”. Beautifully broken down and explained, with lots to think about and try, but presented simply so it’s never overwhelming. I particularly loved hearing her talk through her thoughts on Luminous Greys for shadows and Mixing Greens, and I’m inspired to pull out my paints and play with mixes NOW. — SUHITA SHIRODKAR
Great class! I binge-watched it all and have learned lots. It’s the little comments you make that provide helpful hints. Love the way you add a bit to the colour every time you dip back into the paint. It’s an awesome tip. — LEONIE MCLAREN
I’m also happy to offer two online video classes, “Sketching the City in Pen, Ink and Watercolor” and “Sketching Landscapes in Pen, Ink and Watercolor” on Bluprint.com. These courses are each 2.5 hours long, and in seven lessons we cover all the steps I use when I’m sketching in the field. “Sketching the City” is all about the things I love to sketch in urban settings: brick and stone facades, windows and doors, light and shadow, as well as all the elements that give a city life, such as pedestrians, foliage, signage and utility poles. In both courses we work in pen and ink and finish our sketches in watercolour. In “Sketching Landscapes” we start with a peek through my sketchbooks (yes, I carried them all to Denver in my suitcase!) and a glance at the materials I use on location. From there we journey to the Flatirons in Boulder at sunrise to work on composition and value sketches. Back in the studio, I go through the step-by-step painting of different types of skies, and then draw and paint the Flatirons scene, along with other common landscape elements such as trees and foregrounds, adding in texture and darks along the way. I hope that breaking it all down into steps will make it easy enough for anyone to try out on your own.