Halloween watercolor painting : Step by step tutorial
With this Halloween watercolor painting step
by step tutorial, I’m going to show you how to paint a gloomy night scene using two watercolor
beginner techniques. This painting is easy and does not take long, and it’s great practice
so if you ‘re new to watercolor or if you just need to brush up on your skills, don’t
be afraid to try it for yourself ! Hey, this is Françoise and if this is your
first time here, welcome to my channel ! So, we are going to work on a small format
today because it’s enough to have fun with the process and make a great painting in no
time, and I find it much less intimidating than going for a large painting. So what I
did is I cut out my paper to be 5 by 7 to make Halloween watercolor cards but whichever
size or purpose you choose won’t affect this watercolor night scene as long as you stick
to a portrait format. For supplies, I used a limited watercolor
travel set of 24 colors, three paintbrushes, a watercolor paper by Arches that’s 100% cotton,
cold pressed, masking fluid and masking tape, but if you don’t have everything, you can
still paint this and I’ll tell you how as we go. A tip for you is that 100% cotton paper
is more expensive than most watercolor papers, but it will give you great results with your
backgrounds. Just look at the difference between these two backgrounds using the same technique
and the same paints ! Here, the colors are more vibrant and they just melt into each
other so much better. There it doesn’t look as good and my brush strokes even show.
If you need help decide which supplies to buy, I’ll link my beginner watercolor playlist
up here and in the description and I’ll also link the supplies I am using in this video
in the description. First, you’re going to need to tape your paper
on a flat surface with some masking tape. This will keep your sheet steady and it will
help create nice sharp edges. If you don’t have masking tape, you can totally do without,
and if you use something similar, make sure it’s not something that could tear the paper
off as you remove it. Next we will work on the sky using the wet
on wet technique. It’s best to prepare the paint beforehand
since this technique will have you work while the paper is still very wet. It’s what I find
the trickiest with watercolor. And you can check out my watercolor playlist for more
tips on water control. So first, I mix the orange I have with some
naples yellow, which is a kind of yellow ochre only softer, because I find my orange a little
too bright and I want to tone it down. Then, I create purple shades mixing pink to
indigo. I add more or less indigo to make it lighter or darker.
Don’t worry if you have a very limited choice of colors, because mixing primary colors in
certain proportions will help you get similar shades.
Now I’m going to mask the moon before I start painting. If you don’t have masking fluid
you don’t have to do this, you can just go around the moon. But I like to take this extra
step so I can focus on my background and work faster. I also want clean edges for the moon
and this will help me get that. Now I can wet my paper and I like to use my
biggest brush. You need to make sure you wet the paper enough but you don’t want any puddles
on it. My paper has a bit of texture to it so I’m careful to get into all the nooks and
crannies. Now I’m going to start painting with my biggest
brush stilll, and I’m going to use a diluted version of the orange I mixed up before, which
means that I’m getting some paint on my brush, I dip my brush briefly in my water jar and
I squeeze some paint out. The extra water I just added to my brush by doing that makes
my shade lighter. I apply that and I drop a bit of the original mix in there to create
different values. I’m also going to add some concentrated orange in there to increase contrast
even more. At this stage I could keep painting but since
purple and orange are opposite on the color wheel, they mix up into a brownish color.
That’s why I want to wait for my paper to dry and start again with purple. You can use
a hairdrier to speed up the process. Since I was using wet on wet here, there will be
no harsh lines between my orange and purple layers.
Now I wet the paper again, and drop purple everywhere else,and I use the same technique
as before. I use a lighter shade of purple first and then I build up contrast with the
rest of my darker shades. Indigo is pretty dark and it will be the last color I use.
I made sure to layer a bit of purple on top of my orange color unevenly, just to make
my background more interesting. The next step is to create a watercolor galaxy
look by adding some stars. White gouache diluted to water is very effective here and I use
a brush to splatter it all over the sky. I try to make it uneven once again, so it can
look more natural. Make sure your purple layer has completely dried before doing that, otherwise
your gouache will spread around and your stars will look like snow flakes! That’s a mistake
I’ve actually made before. When everything is dry, I can remove the masking
fluid. I prefer to use a cloth to do this, it’s much easier. I rub it on the paper and
the masking fluid comes off. I noticed blue masking fluid leaves blue marks sometimes,
it was the case here on my initial attempt, probably because the paper was wet several
times, so now I prefer using white masking fluid and I’ve had no problem.
To add detail to my watercolor moon, I’m just going to use a very diluted purple like so.
I’m going to leave the edges and other parts white to make that moon pop.
Be careful not to wet the dry paint around the moon or this may show afterwards.
I used a smaller brush for this but you can make do with what you have as long as you’re
careful. Now comes the second part of our painting.
We’re just going to use a very strong black for this, or a neutral tint if you have one.
It’s important to dilute the paint enough so you can paint freely but not add too much
water, so it remains opaque. But worst case scenario, you could still add another layer
later if it’s still not opaque enough. There’s no rush this time, since we’re using
the wet on dry technique. This is really the most creative part and I encourage you to
have fun with it. If you’re not sure how to draw, you can get my downloadable template
down here in the description and transfer it to your background with transfer paper
and a pencil. Otherwise you can also train and draw a few branches and tombs with your
paint on a separate sheet of paper until you like what you come up with.
I start defining the limit for the ground and I paint it. Then I’m adding my watercolor
halloween tree. The branches is where you will have fun experimenting. I overlapped
some branches to the moon a bit to make them stand out but here you can get as creative
as you want. Now I’m adding the bats. And then the fence
and the tombs. I like to make my fence look old and Halloween like by varying the direction
and size of each plank.This and the look of your branches will add to the creepy atmosphere
we want to convey. Last I made a bunch of different tombs and
I used a lighter version of my neutral tint shade whenever I wanted to suggest a tomb
was farther back than the darker ones. This is a common and really easy watercolor technique
that makes things appear like they’re in a distance.
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get everything perfect right from the start, because these
techniques can be mastered pretty fast and small cards are fast to make. You can check
out these videos for help with the common issues of watercolor painting for beginners.
If you liked this Halloween watercolor painting step by step tutorial, let me know in the
comments below, give this video a thumbs up and share it with your friends. Also, don’t
forget to subscribe and hit the notification bell to know of my upcoming watercolor cards.
See you next time !