US $19.97

Light and Shadows in Watercolor: Paint 6 Different Scenes

——   Created by Darren Yeo

Learn the easy way to paint light and shadows using a special two-step method - paint the light first, shadows after.

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4h 13m
Lesson time
Skill levels

More about this course

Hi, I'm Darren from Watercolour Mentor. You'll learn how to paint convincing light and shadows in this course to create strong contrasts and realistic paintings. Understanding tone and how to add shadows from a light source is one of the most challenging aspects of watercolor. It's amazing how you can 'create' light in your paintings by simply adding a few shadows. I'll show you how to do this quickly and easily with only a few brush strokes. Obtaining the right darkness of paint is important too when painting shadows as some shadows are softer and lighter, while others are darker and sharper. I'll show you how to paint shadows for different situations. This class will challenge you to take risks and add in contrasting tones and brushstrokes which are essential for your progression in this medium.

I will show you my simplified two-step process in painting any landscape scene with light and shadows. There are 6 fully narrated demonstrations for you to paint along to. By the end of this class, you'll feel more confident in understanding how to simplify and paint complex landscapes and make that light pop out from the page.

I'll be covering:

  • How to simplify down a reference photograph and add light and shadows. I'll show you how to create areas of interest by contrasting light and darkness next to each other. This will put you out of your comfort zone at times, but once both elements are together, you will see how essential it is to create contrast such as these in your painting to create convincing light effects.
  • Layering - watercolor painting is meant to be fun and quick. Learn how you only need 2-3 layers to complete a watercolor painting. I'll show you how to paint the light in one layer, and the shadows in the second layer.
  • How to use color effectively to create areas of interest to portray the mood of a scene. Layering a cool-colored shadow over the top of a warm-colored area can have spectacular effects.
  • How to use tone, or light and dark areas to create depth and richness in your paintings. I will show you how to paint different kinds of shadows from smaller ones cast by objects and people to larger ones cast by buildings. The tone of the shadow is also crucial as some shadows are lighter than others in a painting, and it is important to have a combination of these in a painting.

I'm excited to get started, so let's get painting!

The course project

For the course project, follow along to the painting demonstrations. There are 6 unique landscapes with step-by-step narration. I've included the original reference photographs in this class as well as some simplified stencils for your convenience if you are looking to trace the scenes or would like a simplified reference picture to draw from. I recommend you try drawing each scene freehand, as this will build your drawing skills, and allow you to compose and alter elements to make a unique scene. When painting, focus on the obvious areas of light and darkness in the reference photo. It is important to choose a light source, and sometimes this means changing the direction of light from your reference photo. If you are unsure, have a look at my uploaded paintings for hints on shadow placement and direction

If you have finished the 6 demonstrations featured in this course, pick a royalty-free photograph or perhaps one of your own photographs of a landscape. Using the process and techniques described in this course, create your own unique painting.

Finally, upload your painting(s)! If you have questions or would like feedback on your work, let me know and I will get back to you.

Note: Scanned images of my final paintings, tracing stencils, and the original (royalty-free) reference photographs are included in the materials lecture in this course.

13 Lessons

2 mins
8 mins
Materials Required
'Paint-along' Demostration
19 mins
Dresden - Subtle Shadows 1
25 mins
Dresden - Subtle Shadows 2
22 mins
New York, Manhattan Colour and Shadows 1
21 mins
New York, Manhattan Colour and Shadows 2
27 mins
Street Scene - Sharp and Soft Shadows 1
22 mins
Street Scene - Sharp and Soft Shadows 2
29 mins
Turkey - Complex Shadows on Buildings 1
28 mins
Turkey - Complex Shadows on Buildings 2
31 mins
Turkey Street Scene - Simple Building Shadows and Figures
25 mins
Santiago - Simple Building Shadows and Figures
2 mins
Class Project
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About the instructor

Darren Yeo
Darren Yeo
  • 31 courses

Hi, I'm Darren from Watercolour Mentor, and I'm here to Mentor, Encourage and Inspire you in your watercolour journey! I like to provide as …

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Class benefits

  • Certificate of Completion
  • 30 day satisfaction guarantee
  • 24/7 streaming access
  • Project included
  • Direct teacher access
  • 4h 13m of on-demand video
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