Does Watercolor Paint Need to be Mixed With Water

Does Watercolor Paint Need to be Mixed With Water

Are you a beginner looking to start watercolor painting but don’t know if water is needed in the mixing process or not? Well, you don’t have to worry because this guide will give you an insight into if watercolor paint needs to be mixed with water or not. 

What You Need To Mix Watercolor Paint

To have a successful watercolor painting, it is important that you get the right materials. You will buy watercolour paint. Your success is dependent on getting the right supplies. Listed below are things you’ll need to mix your watercolor. 


Palette is a place for mixing your colors. You can either get the professional plastic palette from stores or improvise using any comfortable flat material for mixing. For instance, you can make use of an old plate. 


Water is an essential material in mixing watercolor. It is needed for bringing the paint to life and to give it consistency for it to be easily mixed. Perhaps you need the color of the paint to be adjusted. You can also use water for this. You can use water to control the lightness and darkness of watercolor paints

The water can be kept in a jar or glass near your palette. It would help if you didn’t fill the water jar or glass to the brim as you will be dipping brushes inside the glass or jar, and you wouldn’t want water to splash on your paintings.


The type of brush to be used depends on you. It depends on the type of effect you are working towards. You can test out different brush types to determine the one that will suit your needs. 

Does Watercolor Paint Need to be Mixed With Water

Work Surface

It would help if you had your work surface set up so that you can start work as soon as your mixed watercolor is ready. 

Scrap Paper

It is often advised that you get a neutral sheet of scrap paper and place it near your mixing area. This is so that you can test the color to see how it looks before painting directly on your workspace. 

You can get a white paper or one designed like your intended workspace. This is so that you can have a clear idea of how the color will be in your original work. 


You’ll need watercolor paints. You will buy watercolor paint. Depending on your preference, you can either get pressed cake forms or those in tubes. You can employ any of the mixing methods in this article to mix your watercolor paint set. 

Does Watercolor Paint Need to be Mixed With Water

Guide in Mixing Watercolor Paint

You may not believe it, but the materials needed for watercolor paint mixing are more demanding than the actual mixing process. 

Stage 1

The first thing is to decide on the watercolor paint set you’ll be needing. Say you want a violet. That means you’ll be mixing red and blue together. 

Stage 2

The next thing is to get your brush dipped in water. After this, dip the brush in one of the colors needed to arrive at your desired color. Some artists prefer to start their mixing with a dominant color, while some don’t care about dominance. Apply the color to your palette. You can add more, depending on the amount of color you need and the size of your mixing area. 

Stage 3

Wash the brush with water to get rid of the first color. Repeat stage three for the second color. You should, however, ensure that you don’t dab the second color directly into the first. Instead, it would help if you placed it beside the second color. This is to ensure you are mixing the right and even quantity of color. 

Stage 4

After stage three, ensure you clean the brush, wet it with water, and then proceed to mix. Ensure you evaluate the color as you mix. You can take a small sample out and apply it to scrap paper to check if the color meets your desired standard. 

If the color doesn’t meet your standard, you can wash the brush and add more paint from any of the colors. If there’s any other thing you need to adjust, you can do that during this stage.

Stage 5

Once you’ve gotten your desired color, you are good to go. All you have to do is to start painting. 

Does Watercolor Paint Need to be Mixed With Water

Tips on Mixing Watercolor Paint

Even though the above method may seem simple and straight, there may be some adjustments as you continue to hone your mixing skills. At times, your mixing process may go beyond just mixing two colors to achieve what you want. You may need to add extra color to achieve the right tone of color you need. For instance, trying to achieve forest or grass green, the difference in the quantity of yellow added might be all it takes to get the right tone of color. Also, the addition of a touch of blue to skin tones can give you the right undertone. 

Can Dried Up Watercolor Be Used? 

There are still a lot of things you can do with dried watercolor paint. Even though it seems dry, you can reactivate the paint by adding water. Once you add water, next is to use your brush to bring the paint back to life. Watercolor is water-soluble even in its dried state. If you are finding it difficult to access the paint, you can cut the tube open.  Click here for more essential watercolor techniques.

Does Watercolor Paint Need to be Mixed With Water

Is Water Needed For Watercolor?

Watercolor paint needs water to work optimally. It needs water for consistency. Aside from using water to adjust the color of the paint, it can also be used to make the color look lighter or darker. 

What is the Quantity of Water Needed For Watercolor?

While water is needed in mixing watercolor, the quantity of water and paint should be even. Meaning the paint mustn’t be too diluted or too concentrated. It would help if you tried to attain a 50/50 ratio. 

Is There A Need to Wet Watercolor Paper Before Painting?

If you don’t want your watercolor paper painting to crinkle after drying up, you should stretch before painting. But if you are in a rush, you should wet the paper some minutes before painting to have an even finish. 

When talking of watercolor, water is more or less the soul of watercolor. It is needed for mixing, color adjustment, and reactivation of watercolor paint. Thus, you always keep a water jar close to you anytime you deal with watercolor. 

Other Articles:

Things Beginners Should Know Before Embarking on Watercolor Painting
Things You Should Consider When Buying Water color Paint
How Do You Paint Watercolor? A Guide For Beginners

Comments are closed.