Best seller

Expressive Watercolor Painting: Create Compelling Illustrations

A course by Reha Sakar
Visual Artist. Vancouver, Canada.
Joined March 2020
, Visual Artist

Learn watercolor techniques to capture the mood and atmosphere of a scene in both black and white and in color

  • Best seller
  • 97% positive reviews (60)
  • 3240 students
  • Audio: English
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch

Learn watercolor techniques to capture the mood and atmosphere of a scene in both black and white and in color

  • 97% positive reviews (60)
  • 3240 students
  • 13 lessons (1h 44m)
  • 18 additional resources (4 files)
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Available on the app
  • Audio: English
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch
  • Level: Beginner
  • Unlimited access forever

Art is all about interpretation. By playing with contrast and effects, you can create pieces that tell a story and immerse the viewer in the mood of a scene— a skill that visual artist Reha Sakar has mastered through experience. After developing concept art for renowned companies such as Warner Bros. and Paramount, he rounded out his creative practice when he discovered watercolor, veering away from realism and embracing the looseness of this medium to create expressive depictions full of depth and artful splashes of paint.

In this online course, Reha teaches you how to use watercolor to capture an atmosphere in evocative watercolor paintings. Explore the basics of values, layers, and composition to create a black-and-white piece that evokes the essence of a scene and then let your creativity run wild as you paint another work of art in color, incorporating splatters and abstract elements for maximum expressiveness.

If you want to explore Reha’s digital art techniques, check out his other Domestika course, Matte Painting of Imaginary Worlds in Photoshop. "

What will you learn in this online course?

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Getting Started
  • U3
    U3. Painting in Monochrome
  • U4
    U4. A Sunset Scene
  • FP
    FP Final project
View details

Start by getting to know visual artist Reha as he reveals how he started painting and how his creative career evolved. Tap into his sources of inspiration by exploring the artists that have influenced his work.

After going over the materials you need, delve into the fundamentals of visual language. Reha explains his approach to watercolor and takes you through some examples of compositions. Then try your hand at various splashing and scratching techniques with hands-on exercises.

With the basics in mind, it’s time to paint! Start your monochromatic piece by building up the linework, focusing on rendering shapes accurately. Apply a couple of light washes to create a hazy background and then incorporate the midtones as you work towards the foreground. Finish up with the details in the focal points, adding highlights, shadows, and lines to bring everything together.

Move on to your second piece: a sunset scene in color. Discover the importance of working on value studies and sketches before applying the first washes to block in the lightest values and midtones. Paint the darkest details in the foreground and some highlights to create a sense of depth. Top it off with some splatters, achieving an evocative watercolor painting that reflects your own style."

What is this course's project?

Create two expressive watercolor paintings: a monochromatic one and another one in color.

Projects by course students

Who is this online course for?

Anyone who wants to create compelling illustrations that capture a mood and tell a story.

Requirements and materials

"Basic knowledge of watercolor is helpful but not required.

As for materials, you need watercolors, brushes, and high-quality cotton paper."


3240 Students
60 Reviews
97% Positive ratings
  • More reviews

Reha Sakar

A course by Reha Sakar

Teacher Plus
Visual Artist

Reha Sakar is a Turkish artist based in Vancouver, Canada. He first began painting as a young child with his mother and fellow artist. After studying astronomy at university and working as an insurance broker during the holidays, he soon realized that art was his true passion. From there, he took a course in Photoshop and discovered his talent for 3D art, which kick-started his creative career.

Since then, Reha has worked in digital media for more than 10 years. He has created promotional material for Call of Duty, Diablo III, The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Marvel’s Avengers, World War Z, Rango, Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, and more. He has also written articles on matte painting and worked with sports leagues including the NHL.


  • U1


    • About Me
    • Influences
  • U2

    Getting Started

    • The Materials
    • Art Fundamentals and Visual Language
    • Watercolor Techniques
  • U3

    Painting in Monochrome

    • The Sketch
    • First and Second Wash
    • The Midtones
    • The Fisherman and Final Details
  • U4

    A Sunset Scene

    • Value Studies and Line Work
    • First Wash and Buildings
    • The Electric Poles
    • The Wires and Final Touches
  • FP

    Final project

    • Expressive Watercolor Painting: Create Compelling Illustrations

What to expect from a Domestika course

  • Learn at your own pace

    Enjoy learning from home without a set schedule and with an easy-to-follow method. You set your own pace.

  • Learn from the best professionals

    Learn valuable methods and techniques explained by top experts in the creative sector.

  • Meet expert teachers

    Each expert teaches what they do best, with clear guidelines, true passion, and professional insight in every lesson.

  • Certificates

    If you're a Plus member, get a custom certificate signed by your teacher for every course. Share it on your portfolio, social media, or wherever you like.

  • Get front-row seats

    Videos of the highest quality, so you don't miss a single detail. With unlimited access, you can watch them as many times as you need to perfect your technique.

  • Share knowledge and ideas

    Ask questions, request feedback, or offer solutions. Share your learning experience with other students in the community who are as passionate about creativity as you are.

  • Connect with a global creative community

    The community is home to millions of people from around the world who are curious and passionate about exploring and expressing their creativity.

  • Watch professionally produced courses

    Domestika curates its teacher roster and produces every course in-house to ensure a high-quality online learning experience.


Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need to complete a specific project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the teacher and with other students, creating a dynamic course community.

All courses are 100% online, so once they're published, courses start and finish whenever you want. You set the pace of the class. You can go back to review what interests you most and skip what you already know, ask questions, answer questions, share your projects, and more.

The courses are divided into different units. Each one includes lessons, informational text, tasks, and practice exercises to help you carry out your project step by step, with additional complementary resources and downloads. You'll also have access to an exclusive forum where you can interact with the teacher and with other students, as well as share your work and your course project, creating a community around the course.

You can redeem the course you received by accessing the redeeming page and entering your gift code.

If you're a Plus member, when you complete a course you've purchased, you'll instantly get your personalized certificate. You can see all your certificates in the Certificates section of your profile. You can download your certificates as PDFs and share the link online. Learn more about certificates.
Expressive Watercolor Painting: Create Compelling Illustrations. Illustration course by Reha Sakar Best seller

Expressive Watercolor Painting: Create Compelling Illustrations

A course by Reha Sakar
Visual Artist. Vancouver, Canada.
Joined March 2020
  • 97% positive reviews (60)
  • 3240 students