Project 2—Marbles in the Sun

Supplies You Will Need:

  • supplies listed in the Required Materials list for Watercolor Jumpstart set up and ready to paint
  • pencil and kneaded eraser
  • woodless pencil or graphite stick (optional, but handy) or a regular pencil
  • a 1/16th (approx. 5 1/2 x 7 1/2″, 14 x 19 cm) sheet of watercolor paper for the project, taped to your support board
  • at least five 1/16th approx. 5 1/2 x 7 1/2″, 14 x 19 cm) sheets of watercolor paper for the project lessons
  • several scrap pieces of watercolor paper for testing and practicing colors and brushstrokes (if you are just starting out you may not have any such “scraps” yet; but as you go along save all your exercise and practice sheets and use the backs as your “test sheets”)

Note: Set your printer to “no scaling” or “print actual size” instead of “fill page” to print the templates at the correct size for your watercolor paper.

Project Prerequisites:

  • all lessons in the Preliminaries section
  • How to Transfer a Drawing lesson from the Spring Chickadee Project
  • Mechanics of Mixing lesson from the Spring Chickadee Project

Project Lessons

Before we begin the project, the two videos below will give us an introduction to the new skills we will need:

Achieving Soft Edges in Watercolor

Introduction to Shadows and Highlights in Watercolor

Note: Set your printer to “no scaling” or “print actual size” instead of “fill page” to print the templates at the correct size for your watercolor paper.

Marbles in the Sun Project Video

Some Additional Ideas for Inspiration

Now try it with different colors, or use some marbles or other simple glass objects of your own. Glass has a reputation for being hard to paint, but what can make it challenging is complicated reflections and refractions. Don’t start off with Grandma’s cut-glass vase! Choose simple shapes, like marbles, smooth paperweights or very simple tumblers and work your way up to more complicated objects.