Barbara Tapp

Barbara Tapp: The Barbara Tapp Watercolor Method


Video Length: 3 Hours 30 Minutes
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Discover Barbara Tapp’s Counterintuitive “Reverse” Watercolor Approach to Create Intense Contrast and Drama in Your Paintings


Get ready…

The Barbara Tapp Watercolor Method is Barbara’s signature approach to watercolor painting … and it’s going to turn your watercolor world around.

You’ll discover a non-traditional process that starts with placing your dark shadow shapes first to achieve maximum contrast, as you can see in her work above.

This turns your painting into something so engaging and interesting, viewers will feel like time has completely stopped as they study it!

Barbara’s “Reverse” process also gives you a new and exciting way to analyze a scene, exposing you to new patterns, contrasts, textures, and even ideas to add drama to your paintings!

You may find this approach goes against everything you’ve learned, but it’s guaranteed to make your watercolor painting experience a journey of discovery.


Just a simple tweak to your watercolor approach, and you could:

  • Create paintings that stop viewers in their tracks and pull them in as they get absorbed in studying your work…
  • Discover new patterns and textures in your paintings for even more exciting possibilities…
  • and apply a more impactful range of values in your paintings!


Plus, it’s a GREAT technique to use when you’re painting plein air!

That “simple tweak” is what we call the “Reverse” watercolor approach, and we can’t wait for you to try it.

Here’s why it’s so effective:

First, the framework LOCKS IN the lights and darks — basically helping you “stop time.”

This approach is especially effective for plein air, as it essentially solves the frustrating problem of chasing the ever-changing effects of light!

Second, the dynamism and energy it creates is captured at the beginning of the painting instead of at the end.

This approach gives you BOLDER paintings, and it makes the entire watercolor painting experience so much more fun and rewarding.


She’s also sharing techniques like:

  • How to determine shadow shapes and pinpoint their values…
  • How to run washes and colors over dark areas of pigment…
  • How to identify and preserve your white areas in watercolor at the start…
  • plus a ton of other techniques that will inspire you to paint even more!


Meet Your Instructor, Barbara Tapp!

“I was born an artist with a natural ability to draw in perspective, inherited from my dad and his ancestors. A daydreamer and an observer with an insatiable curiosity about everything.”
— Barbara Tapp, award-winning watercolor artist


Originally from Sydney, Australia, Barbara is passionate about drawing. For 39 years she has worked as a Bay Area architectural illustrator, working freehand and honing her craft. In this time, she has illustrated 14 travel books, worked as an artist for scientists at a zoo, and also applied these skills in the real estate market.

Today, Barbara is primarily a plein air watercolor painter. She loves the transparency of watercolor, as it gives her endless possibilities for achieving depth and form.

“It’s a gentle paint force that flows off the brush. With each expressive stroke or wash, combined with the gravity, paper absorbency, fluidity, and pigment granulation, you’ll get an explosive medium that constantly surprises me. Plus, I enjoy mixing my own colors!”

Barbara continues to paint daily and competes regularly throughout the year in exhibitions and plein air events. She’s a proud Signature Member of California Plein Air Painters and a juried member of Watercolor West.


What You’ll Discover Inside:

  • Discover a NEW “Reverse” watercolor approach that ramps up the energy of your paintings...
  • Barbara’s most effective solution to paint the ever-changing effects of light...
  • Insightful lessons on drawing, values, recording shadows, perspective, editing, composition, design, layout, and more...
  • How to capture big shadow shapes using a variety of styles and materials...
  • The best way to understand perspective using the dot-to-dot process...
  • How to paint shadows within shadows…How to prevent boredom with Barbara’s “Dancing Brush” technique, plus a few more fun ideas…
  • How to draw like an architectural artist… (without all the schooling!)
  • Secrets to making your art “pop”...
  • How to create energy in the design with directional lines…
  • Pro-tip: How to look for shadow shapes that establish the scene...
  • Barbara’s favorite colors for shadows...
  • In-depth lesson about light source and variation in tones...
  • How to create dimension...
  • Detailed lessons on values of shadows, energy of shadow shapes, shadows on an outdoor still life, and shadows on buildings...
  • How to balance the cool shadows by adding warmth and interest...
  • PLUS: A COMPLETE, fully explained step-by-step demonstration of how to capture shadows successfully as you create lively watercolor paintings with ease...
  • ...and a ton more techniques, like how to create energy, how to fix mistakes, how to tie different elements together, and more!

Chapter Breakdown

  • Introduction
  • A Note on Capturing Shadows
  • Sketch Your Plan (Exercises Included)
  • Shadow Shapes & Values (Exercises Included)
  • Barbara’s Signature Painting Process
  • Materials
  • Painting Demonstration: Sketch Your Plan
  • Painting Demonstration: Shadow Washes
  • Painting Demonstration: Adding Warmth
  • Painting Demonstration: Develop Layers
  • Painting Demonstration: Strengthen the Energy
  • Painting Demonstration: Start Making It Pop
  • Painting Demonstration: Final Details & Accents


Extra Bonuses:

  • High Speed View for your painting convenience
  • Exhibit of Works for your creative inspiration
  • Interview with Eric Rhoads for insights and motivation

Read more here >>


Customer Reviews

Based on 17 reviews
Julie Ward
Barbara Tapp: The Barbara Tapp Watercolor Method

I really enjoyed Barbara's teaching method - the instruction on drawing, sketching, and perspective was really helpful. Her approach was easy to follow and she shares about brushes, paint colors, and paper. Highly recommend!

Laura Frisbie
Barbara Tapp: The Barbara Tapp Watercolor Method

HIGHLY RECOMMEND -She offers MUCH more than the final demonstration image. Its also more fun than the value study/color study grind that I tend to skip. I'm excited to focus on shadows and values in a new, dynamic way. She put a lot of thought into creating a cohesive, step by step instruction in still-lifes and landscapes and then an easy to follow demonstration of starting with shadows (rather than at the end when I'm tired, lack courage and risk mucking things up).

Charlene Bushnell
Barbara Tapp: The Barbara Tapp Watercolor Method

Barbara Tapp is an excellent teacher and mentor. I just finished the watercolor method video and can't wait to put the method into practice. I think this method is going to resolve some of the struggles I have had with watercolor. I am new to watercolor, but I also found myself thinking about applications of the method within the acrylic medium which I am more confident. You will find yourself feeling as if you have made a brilliant new friend. This is one video worth the price and my time.

Kristiina Roots
Barbara Tapp: The Barbara Tapp Watercolor Method

Enormously grateful for this course! It's been a revelation, untangling the art of crafting captivating dark shapes from the outset. No longer do I wrestle fatigue while finishing; instead, I wield a fresh, energetic touch. I've seamlessly integrated this intuitive approach, transforming my painting experiences. Thank you, Barbara Tapp!

Sue Messmer
Barbara Tapp: The Barbara Tapp Watercolor Method

Fabulous video. I love Barbara Tapp's method and use of color.