Kelly McKernan's Process and Technique in Watercolor

Kelly McKernan
2 ratings

Fine artist and freelance illustrator Kelly McKernan presents a look into her creative process, including easy to follow tutorials on many of the watercolor techniques used in creating her artwork.

This two hour and 45 minute production includes:

  •  A 30-minute tour of Kelly's home studio, beautifully shot by Cassie Meder, with insight into how Kelly organizes her supplies, keeps inspiration close, manages her deadlines and projects, and a visit with a stored portfolio of older artwork that lead to her working style today.
  • A 20-minute introduction to the materials most commonly used with watercolor, with information on Kelly's preferred materials and why she chooses them.
  • 40 minutes of tutorials on foundation watercolor skills, starting with the basics and culminating in several examples of how to combine those techniques to achieve interesting textures and rich visual ambiance.
  • 25 minutes of extended information including how to stretch watercolor paper like canvas, how to mount paper to a panel, and creating a watercolor mixing chart.
  • A 50-minute time-lapse of the creation of Kelly's painting "Delirium."
  • A brilliant soundtrack by artists including Lullatone,, Pajama Zombie, and many tracks from Places, including a few created specifically for this project. 

Your download consists of:

  • A beautiful hi-res video in 720p HD, compatible with any device or software which plays MP4 files, complete with chapter breaks for each section and tutorial. Available for download or streaming online and through the Gumroad app.
  • An optional lower-res 1GB (standard definition) version for the convenience of anyone who wishes to keep the video on a hard drive but doesn't want the full 11GB+ hi-res version.
  • A hi-res scan of the completed "Delirium" painting so that you can reference the completed time-lapsed painting in detail.*
  • A full list of the materials mentioned in the video.

This video was made possible by the very gracious donors of Kelly McKernan's 2014 Indiegogo Studio Campaign, with additional thanks to Cassie Meder and Reed Cavanah for their assistance in filming and editing, as well as all the musicians who contributed to making this project great.

Do you want to purchase this as a gift? Head here!

----- REVIEWS -----

Something to watch over and over

Considering all the youtube "how to's" out there I was unsure whether to spend even a dollar on any painting tutorial but my curiosity about Kelly's specific technique got the better of me. Her video takes you through her studio space, some of her past work that built up to her current style, her inspirations, art material, watercolor techniques, how to mount watercolor paper, and finally DELIRIUM! I was always a fan of Kelly's work but after watching her go through the work of building up that wonderful piece I absolutely fell in love with her, her work style, and that gorgeous masterpiece. I went from amused fan to inspired amateur painter as I tried out some techniques myself. I salted, bloomed, ordered some new paints, sketched faces, eyes, and loopy hair swirls, and really want to try out hot pressed watercolor paper and teeny tiny paint brushes for impressive detailing. You can watch this video many times over and learn new things as well as be inspired to try it out yourself. The quality of the video is crisp and pleasant to watch, the background music is soothing, and the generous length of the video is packed with tons of information. Thanks Kelly! I would love to see another video in the future! - Jessica H. Lee

Great for both beginners and more advanced painters 

I found Kelly's video immensely interesting, and everything was done in a neat and precise manner. Beginners will easily learn a lot of new and varied techniques from this video, as it is always beneficial to see demonstrations. As a more advanced painter I was very inspired and learned of some new cool tools! - Ellen Wilberg
Wouldn't Change A Thing!
Overall this was a great video. I've taken all of the watercolor classes at my local university, and really wanted something that I could go back to as a reference as well as a resource for new techniques and ways of framing that I was previously unfamiliar with. I really enjoyed the lengthy descriptions and reasoning behind materials and methods. The speed painting part was particularly awesome to behold! It was a great motivational tool. It would be great to see more of those speed painting videos in the future. Thanks for making this! :) - Danielle Morgan

Great For Every Skill Level!

Kelly unabashedly invites us into her studio and artistic life. She teaches us simple techniques with graceful honesty in an approachable manner. I am neither new to painting nor new to watercolours and yet I found myself learning a lot from Kelly. This is hands down one of the best resources and investments that I have made in my art this year. From a look at how things are organised to seeing unedited mistakes and how she fixes them, Kelly is not only a master artist but a phenomenal teacher to boot! Thank you! - Kiki Dee

Deliriously Inspired

Artist Kelly McKernan’s instructional video package begins with a tour of her simple, clean and bright studio. The peek into her paints, brushes, art bookshelf and the art on her walls—her work, and the work of others that she finds inspirational—is candy for the eyes.

After the tour, McKernan explains her specific paints and tools choices in more depth, and she runs through a series of watercolor technique demonstrations. From the most basic to the more advanced, all of the techniques are very do-able and fun to try (I did so, along with her, on a second viewing of that section of the video.) The tutorials continued with demos of preparing paper for painting and creating painted color mixing charts (an exercise I’ve previously poo-poo-ed, but can now see value in.)

The major portion of the presentation is her time-lapse creation of “Delirium.” My main takeaway from viewing the whole process: Take Your Time. Before the first drop of paint hits the prepared paper, McKernan has explored her theme with thumbnail sketches and made a very detailed, full-sized drawing on paper. Once transferred to the watercolor paper, she spends much time refining the drawing—many erasures and lots of re-drawing—until she is satisfied. I was transfixed watching her paint, in layer upon layer, again demonstrating that it takes time and attention to detail to make a stunning painting.

On the whole, this nearly three hours of instruction was inspirational, a kick-in-the-pants for me to get into the studio, clean it out and simplify my surroundings, and GET TO WORK! - Susan Frisbee


Technical Specifications:

All videos are in M4V format, encoded at 30fps using H264 video and 128kbps AAC audio, including chapter breaks. Recommended players include VLC Media Player or MPC-HCIn the event that your player cannot playback the M4V format, try changing the file extension from .M4V to .MP4 (note that this may disable chapter breaks).
HD Version: 720p (1280x720), 11.5GB
SD Version: 480p (854x480), 1.0GB

*Please Note: Your download of the hi-resolution file "Delirium" does not grant you copyright of the image. Reproduction or redistribution of the image (whether physical, digital, or otherwise) without written consent from Kelly McKernan is prohibited by law.

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Kelly McKernan's Process and Technique in Watercolor

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