Essential Watercolor Techniques for Every Artist

Essential Watercolor Techniques for Every Artist

Watercolor painting has been in existence for thousands of years. As a result, several techniques have emerged, and knowing some of these techniques is the only way you can master watercolor painting. This article plans to look at essential watercolor techniques for every artist. 

Get Good Quality Paints

If you want to enjoy your watercolor painting journey, you should consider getting good-quality watercolor paints. This can make the difference between remaining at your current level and moving to the next face. Paint with good quality also lasts longer when compared to those with less quality and does not degrade quickly. 

You should check different online stores and in-stores for brands that sell quality paints when you want to buy watercolour paint. If you are starting, you should test different brands to know the one that will work best for you and understand how watercolor paint works. When shopping for paint, you don’t need to buy every color you lay your hands on, but instead, buy the basic primary watercolor paint set as you can always mix them to get any other color you desire. 

Essential Watercolor Techniques for Every Artist

Practice color Bleeding

Bleeding colors into one another is another great watercolor paint technique. You can achieve this via the blooming technique. You can start by first adding water to pigment on your brush and applying it to the paper. While the stroke is still wet, add another color using the same quantity of water. At this point, you can manipulate the color to where they need to be. Wait for this to dry out, and you will notice subtle gradients all over the stroke.

Color Layering 

The nature of watercolor paints is that they are thin and water-based. Due to this, the building up of the color is a gradual process. This color building serves as an advantage such that you can mix different colors directly on the paper. 

To start with, apply one of the colors on your palette, wait till it dries and apply another shade of the color after you’ll see where the colors overlap, a mixture of the pigment, and finally observe a different color. If you’re looking for a technique to make fresh tones, this is your go-to technique. 

Essential Watercolor Techniques for Every Artist

Color Splattering

An excellent trick for adding energy to your watercolor paintings is the splatter work technique. It can be used to suggest water spray or floating dust. 

This technique is straightforward. All you have to do is place your brush between your thumb and middle finger. With your index finger, pull back the bristles and let them snap forward. It is an unpredictable method, but the outcome can be funny at times, so it is worth trying.

Work From Light to Dark

Another outstanding technique you need to master in watercolor painting is working from light to dark. This means that whatever is white or light in your watercolor painting must remain the same from the beginning until the end of your painting. It would be best if you constructed your values layer by layer till you achieve what you want. This can require a lot of time and planning from your end, but it’s always worth it. 

Get Your Textures Right

If you’re observant, you’ll notice that using watercolor paint on rougher paper has advantages. An obvious one is not having to stress yourself before achieving a nice texture. Having understood that, you must represent objects and materials, putting their texture into play, which means using wets and drys and lights and darks.  

Have Enough Stock of Paper Towels

An essential kit that must be part of your watercolor paint set is paper towels. They are more like kneaded erasers for your watercolor. An excellent way to add layers of details to your painting is to lay down a wash of color and lift part of it. You can also use paper towels to correct mistakes and redirect painting. 

Practice Color Pulling

Color pulling is another excellent technique in watercolor painting. It can show form, display light source, or edge. When a dry and more saturated stroke is used in watercolor painting, you can pull the stroke using only water. 

The technique is simple, and here is how you can get it done.

  • Apply a stroke with less amount of water
  • Use a not-too-wet brush to pull the color from the darker end of the stroke. 
  • Depending on the dryness of the initial stroke, pull the color as far as possible. 
Essential Watercolor Techniques for Every Artist

Get a Different Range of Brushes

It is always good to buy watercolor paint brushes of various types. The type of brush you’ll opt for will depend on the type and size of the piece you are comfortable working with. For instance, if you are the type that works with smaller art, then you are likely to work with brushes ranging from size 000 to six. 

While getting a specific size is good, it is often advised that you test out different sizes before deciding on which is your favorite. You should also test out smaller brushes than what you usually use. They might come in useful when trying to add details to your painting.

Explore Dry Against Wet

The two significant factors to consider when working with watercolor paint are wetness and dryness. Just as the name implies, watercolor paint is a water-based medium. Thus, you can manipulate the pigment saturation and the darkness depending on the amount of water added. There are several ways you can employ watercolor painting. The more you try, the more you’ll know the best method for you. To control your painting, you should practice working from dry to wet. 

There are several techniques in watercolor painting but mastering the techniques mentioned above puts you on an excellent pedestal to becoming a professional in the use of watercolor paint. 

Jordan Halliday

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