Hey, guys, for today's 10 minute painting challenge, we're
gonna paint a raccoon.
We're gonna set the timer and see if we can both sketch and
paint it in 10 minutes.
If you want to paint along with me, I'm including a link
to the reference photo in the description below, as well
as a complete list of all the supplies used in this tutorial.
We'll include both the sketch and the painting in that 10
minutes. So it's going to be quite a challenge to try to
fit it all in time.
But there are several ways that you can simplify this for
yourself. You can work small.
I have only a 5 by 7 inch pad of paper here.
You can use minimal colors, and in fact, I'll just be using
two colors today and also limit your brushes.
So I just have a flat wash brush and a detail brush, and that will
make your choices a lot simpler.
The less to think about, the better.
The paper I'm using today is a Winsor & Newton watercolor
pad of paper.
It's 5 by 7 inches.
It is 100% cotton.
And to me, that's one of the most important factors for whether
a painting will turn out or not.
So if you want the same or similar results to what I'm getting
today, definitely go with your high quality cotton watercolor
paper. The cold press surface is just a little bit bumpier.
It has some tooth and texture to it, which will be great
for when we use the wet in wet technique.
The two colors I'm using today are Daniel Smith burnt Sienna
and Ultramarine blue.
Just using these two colors, you can get such a variety of
mixes, which is so great.
And in our raccoon today, we have a lot of blacks and greys,
and so the combo of these two colors is really perfect for
creating those greys.
So I'm gonna squeeze out some fresh burnt sienna on my little
ceramic palette here.
The nice thing about watercolor is that you can reuse it
over and over and over again just by reactivating it with
water. So it takes a long time for me to use up a tube of
paint. And then we'll put the Ultramarine right next to
it, and then make sure you have a little bit of extra room
in your palette for combining the two colors.
So I'll be using the center of the palette for that.
And then for the whiskers on the raccoon, I'm going to be
using my Dr PH Martin's Bleed proof white.
You could also use a white gel pen or a white colored pencil
for white acrylic or white gouache.
Any kind of opaque white that can form fine lines will work
really well for the whiskers on a raccoon. My brushes today are
my Princeton Neptune half inch flat wash brush.
This is what I'll be using for the larger portions of wet
And then for the details, I'm using my Lebenzon small,
stiff white synthetic brush.
This brush is so wonderful.
I love using it for the details.
It's nice and stiff, which I love for the cold press paper
and it holds a lot of paint.
It comes to a really fine point.
Once it's wet and loaded with paint.
The bamboo handle is so comfortable.
My hand never cramps up when I'm using these.
Also make sure you have water jars and paper towel or rag
for blotting and controlling how much water is in your brushes.
Alright, so that's it for my supplies.
All right, I'm ready to set the timer on my iphone.
Let's get started now.
I want to do a quick sketch at the head first, deciding on
where the oval shape of his little head is going to be.
And then his body is really large.
It's quite fluffy in this picture.
So I'm just doing two ovals kind of stacked on top of each
other and then the little muzzle.
Now keep in mind because we're trying to cram this into 10
minutes of time.
The details are going to be somewhat limited.
So this is really forcing me to think about what's the most
important thing to include in this painting.
And I really want to focus on the face.
So I'm getting this little head sketched on with the most
detail first and these little black shapes on his cheeks
that are so unique and distinctive on a raccoon.
And I'm looking at the distance between that and the ear
and then sketching a little ear on.
Now his head rises just a little bit beyond his ear.
So making room for that a little bit of fur along his back
that extends above the ears.
And then we've got this patch of white fur that comes down
and around like that.
And then all of this is going to be super fluffy.
I'm not going to do much detail in the feet or the tail,
really, for that matter.
We won't have a whole lot of time for that anyway.
So focus on what is important.
The main thing is the focal point and this case, it's the
face. So little circle for his nose.
Now the eyes could be easily lost in those black masks
So it's going to be important to leave highlighted areas
in the eyes and that will help them stand out.
Black on black.
And you might be wondering, well, how are we going to create
black with just brown and blue?
Well, when you combine the two in the richest purest pigment,
you can get a nice rich black.
So there we go.
We've got a really easy basic sketch down.
We're ready to start using the wet and wet technique.
I'm taking my large brush and I'm applying clean water all
over the body.
I'm actually going to extend the water even beyond the body
because I want the paint to flow out a little bit beyond
my pencil lines, creating a soft, natural furry edge.
I'm not painting the head just yet.
This is just the body.
And then we're going to mix up some gray.
I'm switching brushes and I'm going to take ultramarine
in the center of my palette and mix in the burnt sienna,
add some water.
So right now I have a really dark brown.
I need a little bit more blue to make it more neutral.
So keep adjusting how much blue and how much burnt sienna you
have in your mix to make it the right amount.
And then in this other palette here, you can see just how
watered down it is.
All right, now we're going to paint that in on the raccoon
and you can see how the paint is just exploding and softening.
I love that about wet and wet.
It just does its thing.
It just explodes, especially here in the chest.
All that dark paint is really spreading out so perfectly,
creating the effect of fur for us without having to do a whole
lot of work.
And then I'm just looking for the dark areas that I see in
the reference photo, such as on the side of the raccoon right
here. And on his back
we're going to darken that a little more, bringing it right
up to his ears.
You can encourage the paint to move in the direction you
want it to.
Although at this stage with this much water on the paper,
it really kind of just does its thing and you just have to
That can be tricky, especially if you tend to want to control
everything. I'm mixing it a little bit more burnt Sienna
and you can see the combo is definitely warmer now, more
reddish brown than gray, adding that in.
And I'm going to use this in the tail. Gonna take that dark
color, put that in the tail as well.
And then in this area I didn't wet.
So you can see the difference when I apply paint to the dry
paper, it's quite a different look.
Oh my goodness.
We already have used up five minutes.
So now we're going to need to just go on and dive right into
I think I'm darkening under the head one more time because
that is a priority getting those dark values, especially
if I want it to look real mixing up some more really dark
paint. And then I'm going to take a super dark paint.
And because this area is going to get covered with the whiskers,
I want to make sure it's dry enough in time to do those at
the very end.
So you'll want to be strategic and paint those areas first
just to allow for enough drying time within your 10 minutes.
And of course, if you run out of time and you have to do
those a little bit after your 10 minute mark, totally
This is all just self imposed pressure, to be honest, just
a fun challenge to really help you hone your skills, focus
on what matters in a painting.
This is especially helpful when you're painting outdoors
and you're trying to make decisions about composition and
you have changing weather conditions, things like that.
Or if you're working from life from a model, the model will
often move and adjust as you're painting him or her.
And so this is such a great practice for just getting down
the main thing as quickly as possible.
You can see I'm using my detailed brush now and I'm moving
my brush in the direction the fur is growing out and away
from the center of the face using my nice dark combo of ultramarine
and burnt sienna.
And now I'm painting the darkest details in the nose.
When you're painting this directly and this quickly, there's
very little time for lots of layers just because we don't
have time to wait for things to dry necessarily.
So we're going to go in with the correct value as quickly
and as directly as possible.
And so now I'm painting the mouth and I'm rinsing or dipping
my brush in the water slightly for just a lighter value for
the center of the face.
But I really am happy with my combination of ultramarine
and burnt sienna for the gray in a raccoon dipping in the
And now for all this fur texture on the top of the head,
I'm moving my brush in short quick brush strokes in the direction
the fur is growing, dipping in the water to get the paint
flowing more for me and always be watching for the direction
the fur is growing.
You can see it sort of changes directions and at the top
of the head it's sticking straight up.
And then as it comes towards the ears, it's moving out to
the right a little bit.
So make those little adjustments alright.
We only have two minutes left, so let's prioritize filling
in the dark portions of the ears, the top of the head with
a flatter wash of water.
You may end up with some blossoms or blooms, but that's okay.
Just embrace the chaos. Dark paint for the center of the ear
I want a lighter color as I come out to the outer edges of
It's almost white.
And then let's take a little bit more burnt sienna in its
Make sure you don't have too much water in your brush and
we're going to use that for the underside of his little mouth
in the reference photo.
It's slightly more yellowish, but we don't really have that
color since we're using a limited palette.
So just use the color you have and then all across the nose,
taking a lighter gray, leaving the little rim of light under
the nostrils, and then scooping out some nice dark paint
once again and slowing down to paint the eyes, but not too
much because we don't want to run out of time.
So just leave those little highlights on center of the eye
and little rims of light around the eye.
They're catching that light.
And then if you want to add some little details at the bottom
so he feels more grounded, you can do that.
Take more specific brush strokes around the outer edges.
Now that this area has dried, your paint will stay put so you
can see we're not going to have enough time to do the whiskers
within our 10 minutes.
But we can certainly do that after our 10 minutes is up.
And that's not a problem.
Alright, so just a few more final details here, and then
I'm going to have to like the ACT test.
Put my pencil down.
Here we go.
So we didn't get to do the whiskers.
Let's go ahead and get those in.
We're going to grab our Dr.
Ph Martin's Bleed proof white using the small detailed brush.
This is still a little wet.
Make sure that it's completely dry before you do this.
This side is dry enough that I can apply the whiskers over
there. So I'm going to take my white paint.
I'm actually going to swirl it around in the palette a little
bit first with some water.
So it's not goopy.
And make sure that your tip of your brush is at a really
nice fine point.
And then paint on as many whiskers as you want.
Since this is a quick illustrator style, I'm not going to
be super realistic with these.
I'm not going to make them exactly like the reference photo.
I'll just maybe do five or 6 on each side like that.
And then if you want to, you can add a few little white hairs
in the center of each ear and a couple of whiskers on the
underside of his head.
And there we go.
There's our finished 10 minute raccoon.
Let me know in the comments if you'd like to see more of
these five or 10 minute painting challenges.
They are so much fun for me to do.
So I'd be happy to make more of these.
I'd love to see your version of this little raccoon.
Just tag me on Instagram @e_olson_art, and I'll check it
out. Check out these other videos all about painting animals
and watercolor, and I'll see you there!