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March 3, 2011
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Tutorial: Mood in Watercolour by Gold-Seven Tutorial: Mood in Watercolour by Gold-Seven
Some hopefully helpful pointers on adding mood in your watercolour painting. Please download for full view!

Hope it's useful, and happy painting! :heart:

I don't cover the basics in this one, but I covered them in my previous tutorials:




Finished painting can be found here.
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:iconantiquegarden:
AntiqueGarden Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wonderful tutorial, very helpful. Thank you so much!
The young lad in your painting reminds me of Fitz from Robin Hobb's Farseer series :D
Reply
:iconkrshn12:
Krshn12 Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks. I have also learned & learning from fellow artists (even very young ones)
Reply
:iconabbyanna:
Abbyanna Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for this tutorial. I am just figuring out watercolors so I appreciate tutorials like this. :)
Reply
:iconpronker:
pronker Featured By Owner May 28, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Lovely and clean work - I'd love to start watercolors next, thanks for the ideas.
Reply
:icongarnetelf:
GarnetElf Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2011
HARP! :love:
Reply
:iconnairalin:
Nairalin Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Ich liebe deine Tutorials!! :) Die sind immer sehr hilfreich. Einzige kleine Minus ist die wirklich kleine Schrift. Die ist eher schwer zu lesen. ;)
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Download klicken.










;)
Reply
:iconnairalin:
Nairalin Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Ups, übersehen... Danke!!
Reply
:icondragons-wine:
Dragons-wine Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
On an "impossible to sip from" note, I have on at least two occasions dipped my bush in the coffee I should clearly have set further from my rinse water >.<
Reply
:iconkeira-bui:
Keira-Bui Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thank you so much. Your style is awesome; it looks like Alphonse Mucha - my favorite artist :XD:
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I love him too. Thanks for the comparison!
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:iconartelleth87:
ArtElleth87 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
now thats a complement
Reply
:iconbasike-crowolf:
Basike-Crowolf Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I will learn and learn and learn... thank you for this and for inspiration
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
You're welcome!
Reply
:iconbleuphoria:
bleuphoria Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2011  Student General Artist
This tutorial is great, I've saved it for future reference. Also the painting that this tutorial was based on is amazing. I love all the details in the knotwork in the background and the harp!
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! Glad it helps. :)
Reply
:icondreamerpierrot:
DreamerPierrot Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2011
I always love looking at your tutorials ^^! Thanks alot for sharing XD
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
You're very welcome! :)
Reply
:iconzornisse:
zornisse Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Das ist wirklich sehr, sehr hilfreich. Was Farben angeht, bin ich eine echte "Niete". Ich finde nur die Schrift so klein - gäbe es die Möglichkeit, das Tutorial etwas "größer" zu bekommen? Wenn es nicht zu unverschämt ist, das zu fragen.
So oder so: vielen, vielen Dank!
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Einfach "download" klicken ;)
Reply
:iconzornisse:
zornisse Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ich setz mich in die Ecke und schäm mich ein bisschen
:O_o:
Danke sehr!
Reply
:iconsadismek:
Sadismek Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i'll never be able to do such things... still i will remain a traditional artist, not like digital art is not cool, but it's kinda impossible to use for me. if i want to color something, i'll color myself with pastels or pro colored pencils or i'll beg someone to color it :lmao:
Reply
:iconhisako:
hisako Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2011
very helpful :D
Reply
:iconninamarinaacuatico:
NinaMarinaAcuatico Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2011
Wowzer! Thanks a bunch!
Reply
:iconsunab:
SunaB Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2011
Thanks a lot for this tutorial.
This is something I've been toying with trying, but never quite got up enough nerve to do so. I couldn't figure it out quite how to do it. This is just what I was looking for.
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Glad it helps! :)
Reply
:iconsigune:
Sigune Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Can I ask you something? I'm always struggling with the fact that my watercolours look kind of ... dull. Not shiny. And the thing that attracts me about watercolours is the fact that if you do them right, they are full of light. I thought that maybe my problem was caused by the fact that I used opaque paints for washes, so now I only use opaque pigments for details and small touches of colour. That does help. But it means I don't get to use a lot of warm colours, because most of the warm reds and yellows are opaque.

I see that in this tutorial, in order to create the glow of the fire, you start with a wash of cadmium yellow and gold ochre. These are opaque. And yet your painting glows with watercolour light. It doesn't look dull at all. How on earth do you do this? :XD:
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Hmmmm... maybe it has to do with the brand? I find that barely any of the colours I use are actually that opaque at all, even if the package says so. But even if they are - I've just had a look at Schmincke's watercolour table, and they offer opaque and transparent (and semi-transparent) paints of *any* colour. In the completely transparent range, I see Chrome Yellow, Pure Yellow, Indian Yellow (one of my favourites), Alizarin reds, May Green...

Can you give me a link to one piece you're unhappy with, and tell me which paints you used? Maybe I can help you then. What paper and what brand of watercolour do you use?

Of course, the other thing that I often have to do is touch the colours up in Photoshop - but only to make them look like they do on the paper again. After scanning, they often look kind of dull. That's usually corrected with just adjusting the contrast a little.
Reply
:iconsigune:
Sigune Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you :D!

This one [link] was particularly problematic. I tweaked it a bit in Photoshop to make it look more shiny, so I'm afraid the scan isn't entirely representative of what the original looks like (namely: dull).

This one [link] suffers a little from it as well - but again the scan looks better than the original because I tweaked it a bit.

The trouble is that I haven't got a fixed method/process/palette yet, and I don't remember exactly what colours I used. In the Snape picture, I think the problem may be that I mixed Payne's Grey with almost everything (that was all I could think of to make my green and blue darker). My skin tones would invariably be a mix of Cadmium Yellow Pale and Alizarin Crimson. The blues are Ultramarine, Ultramarine with some Alizarin Crimson and Ultramarine with Payne's Grey. I *think* the green is Sap Green with Payne's Grey.
The paper is Lana Cold-Pressed - a rather smooth paper even compared to other cold-pressed paper types.

The Gawain picture on Arches Hot-Pressed, which I think must be the smoothest watercolour paper in the world :P. I always go for smooth papers because I want to have smooth line art. But that stuff is not the easiest thing to paint on.

Things mostly go wrong when I try to mix dark colours and greys. It should be possible to mix luminous greys and even blacks, but naw, mine always look dull :(. I have simply started to avoid those colours.

Heh. It will be clear that I'm simply not a very good painter. I have problems mixing colours, as you can tell from the examples I gave you. They are both older paintings, and I like to think that in the meantime, I have improved somewhat... I am using more layers now, and learning to dose the amount of water I use (yay basics! ;)). But I've become terrified of opaque pigments.

My paints are Winsor & Newton with some Cotman. And I entirely agree about Indian Yellow :). I've bought a pan only recently, but it's emptying fast...
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Hmmm... I can rule out the brands, and the colours, as well as your abilities of digital postwork. Looking at the examples you posted, I actually think what your pics are lacking is contrast. The first has very uniform pale purples and greys, and the second very light purples and reds against an equally light sky.

The nightingale sings best if matched against an owl. :D Or in other words, the brightest yellow can't shine if it stands against white.

There are three kinds of contrast that you can get to work for you:

1. Light-Dark. Look at *sandara's "Against the Darkness". [link] The white figure in front would be completely lost without the huge dark shape behind it.

2. Desaturated-Saturated. A bright blue will pop against a dull, grey blue.

3. Complementary colours (yellow <-> purple; orange <-> blue; red <-> green). It's what I did with this one - the yellow shines because of all the purple.

For maximum effect, you can use all three. Sandara does it in her painting. The saturated red glow of the evil dragon's face against the desaturated greenish tint of the white. They're each others' opposites in every respect.

Does that make sense? :)
Reply
:iconsigune:
Sigune Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Absolutely :). I feel so insecure about colour. My first pictures weren't harmonious at all because I just slapped some colours on... Then I was told that my colours wouldn't clash if I mixed them all from the same basis. Well, that's probably not what I was told, but how I interpreted it - and so all my pictures ended up looking almost monochrome :XD:. I'm only just learning to use more contrasting colours again (over a uniform wash, to ensure some harmony). It's funny: for some reason I don't seem to have understood that the colour contrast is really what makes me feel better about my recent paintings.

And I should do colour studies - try out the contrasts you mention.

Thanks VERY MUCH for the tips! :hug:
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
You're very welcome! :)
Reply
:iconneko-and-koy:
Neko-and-Koy Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2011
I love your tutorials, I also love that you take the time to explain what you do to all your fans!
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
That must be the teacher in me. :D Thank you!
Reply
:iconphoenix-tails9:
Phoenix-tails9 Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2011
yesi have made the mistake with trying to add a sun flare AFTER i had already painted the figure. bad idea......
also i have always had trouble with skin tones, they always turn a little bit , orange,. what is your technique?
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I always water down my "base tone" so much it's hardly visible. You can always add layers later. I don't use the Cadmium tones for skin either - my favourite colour for skin is watered down Burnt Sienna.
Reply
:iconphoenix-tails9:
Phoenix-tails9 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2011
well read and heartily taken.
just wondering, ive been reading the silmarillion ten times over now, not to mention learning the full tengwar and doing caligraphy, have you thought about doing any caligraphy? Also, thoughts of thangorodrim have been brewing. Id love to do an art trade and see what yours would look like next to mine (im sure yours would be slightly more skilled ahaha).
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I do calligraphy from time to time, but it's not as satisfying for me as art. I'm sorry to say I don't do art trades right now - way too busy! :(
Reply
:iconphoenix-tails9:
Phoenix-tails9 Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2011
oh thats ok too, i got a new job that will consume my life. but if youd like too anytime!
Reply
:iconnkiru:
nkiru Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2011
Your tutorials are not only very inspirational, but also highly enjoyable to go through! :D
I remember your earlier tutorials being the first ones actually helpful which I came across with. :aww:
So thank you for your awesomeness! :D
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Aw, thank you. Always trying to be helpful. And to entertain. :D
Reply
:iconnkiru:
nkiru Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2011
You totally succeed on that. ;)
Reply
:iconyampuff:
YamPuff Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
'impossible to take a swig out of it'

I love you so much for that.
I did not need to know what watercolors taste like. XD

Nice tut!
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
They're disgusting. Especially if you're expecting coke and get a mix between Sepia and Indigo. :lmao:
Reply
:iconyampuff:
YamPuff Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
And my coffee looks a bit like watercolor water once you've been rinsing in it long enough. Murky brown. XD
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah. Coke and coffee are equally dangerous. :D
Reply
:iconleochi:
Leochi Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011
:D Love your tutorials, they're so neat and beautiful for look at! :D :heart:
Reply
:icongold-seven:
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
^^ Thank you!
Reply
:iconanagrama2:
anagrama2 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011
Wow!
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:iconmaria-degeratu:
maria-degeratu Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011
Thank you so much!
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