Review: Simple & Stunning Watercolor Techniques with Mary Murphy (Craftsy)

Simple & Stunning Watercolor Techniques is a video tutorial course on creating watercolour textures. The instructor is Mary Murphy from New York.

These are the lessons in the 149-min course:

  1. Underpainting - 18 min
  2. Size & Composition - 21 min
  3. Creating Texture - 23 min
  4. Exploring Water Media - 13 min
  5. Brushes & Paper - 27 min
  6. Pigments - 18 min
  7. Rescuing Techniques - 29 min

To create the unusual textures, you'll need additional materials in addition to watercolour. That would be things like masking fluid, watercolour ground, gouache, acrylic, salt and masking film. This course reminds me of a book I featured before called Watercolor Tricks & Techniques: 75 New and Classic Painting Secrets. The topics covered are quite similar except Murphy's course is in video format. However, the book has more content.

Actually only half the course talks about creating textures, if you look at the last three lessons, two talks about watercolour supplies and the last is a demonstration on fixing watercolour mistakes. If you're new the watercolour, you can learn about the differences between different types of watercolour brushes and the effects they can make.

The last lesson was not particularly effective because as the amount of work done to the painting didn't really improve it. There was a hint of that happening when she said anything could happen. The original artwork feels like it's beyond rescue anyway as it was overworked.

If you're into experimental techniques or want to try new ways to play with watercolour, then you may find this course interesting. There are tips like how you can create textures with splatter, a cut up credit card, how to use masking film to create wrinkle effects and more.

The more interesting that caught my attention was when she used those watercolour ground and painted on top of it. The watercolour ground was able to create a very rough surface and in her painting of some waves it really felt like the waves are coming out of the painting.

Overall, the course is suitable for beginners with no knowledge. If you know the basics, lessons on brush and paper is not going to be as useful. I would actually recommend the book that I mentioned earlier. If you do feel that you learn better through watching then this course is more suitable.

Enroll in the course or check out more reviews on Craftsy.

Check out other video courses from Craftsy that I've featured at

Disclosure: This course was provided to me by Craftsy for review purposes. You can support Parka Blogs by using the affiliate links as I get a little commission from each sale. :-)


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