Butterfly with Light and Dark Background

How to Use Color and Value for the Most Pop

Color and value don't have to be hard - just use opposites!

First, you'll see a reference photo with some quick studies - one with the same color as the reference photo and another using the complementary color. Put a complementary color behind your subject and the opposite value and, suddenly, your subject just pops off the paper!

A card size outline page is included for an easy way to try out dark backgrounds. The best colors to use and some common color substitutes are gone over before you start painting, to give you a jump start to success.

You can do as much or as little detail as you like and work at your own pace in this intermediate level painting.



Your Instructor


Deb Watson
Deb Watson

Hi, I'm Deb Watson - a self taught artist and long time watercolor teacher

My story is simple.

I loved drawing from childhood, but was discouraged from art as a waste of time. So, I became a nurse, worked at a lot of hospitals and raised a family. But I kept painting.

Over time, I became better at the realism I loved, and just kept working toward improving through painting and self-study. I've always enjoyed painting scenes from my life and small town community (which I call my Small Town America series).

My paintings are not usually famous or majestic subjects, often they're just everyday stuff I see around. But I see so much beauty there, and show it to the rest of the world by painting it.

Now, my watercolors have been in exhibits and won awards across the nation. Yet, it's when my art connects me to other people that it's really done what I wanted, and teaching certainly does that!

Happy Painting.



Course Curriculum


  Introduction and Student Photos
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days after you enroll
  video
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  Butterfly Handouts
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days after you enroll

Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

Get started now!