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5 Watercolor Painting Techniques For Beginners

Watercolors are not so popular with beginners simply because they are difficult and messy to use. But, if you look at any watercolor painting gallery, you will find that the most famous watercolor paintings are made by artists who are known to use acrylic or oil paints for their masterpieces. Are you not used to watercolor painting and want to give it a try? We will discuss some watercolor painting techniques that will help you get started with.

Here Are Some Watercolor Painting Techniques for Beginners

There are various watercolor painting techniques for beginners to follow for watercolor paintings. Let us check them out:

Watercolor Painting Equipment Tips

The equipment that you will require for watercolor painting are brush, water, colors, and paper. Also, you will require a lot of ventilation.

There are various kinds of brushes for watercolor painting. You should primarily have a fine tip and round brush around.

Keep plenty of water to wash your brushes.

Colors come as slabs, liquid, tube, and pans. Choose the type according to what you think is the best for you.

You need heavy paper for watercolor painting. A 300 lb weight paper is the thickest. Most popular is the 140 lb weight paper. You can buy this paper in sheets, pad or block.

You will also need a lot of ventilation to dry the color.

Tip  For Mixing of Color and Paint

The most common mistake beginners make is mixing less color. It can be frustrating. Mix a lot of color at one time. Also, make sure you mix only 2 or 3 colors together. Mixing more colors will result in a brown and muddy mess. This is one of the most important watercolor painting techniques or watercolor painting tips.

Painting Types

  • Color Fills: Smaller areas on the canvas can be filled with watercolor.
  • Wash: A wash gives a background and a texture to your painting. A wash can be of 2 types, wet wash and dry wash. For a wet wash, brush plain water over the paper slightly giving it a gloss. Then, apply the color which you like. A dry wash is exactly opposite to a wet wash, where the color is applied directly on dry paper.
  • Gradients: Gradients are gradual color changes in a painting. Gradients are of 2 types, wet gradient and moist gradient. In wet gradient, apply both colors in succession over each other without letting either color dry out. In moist gradient, apply the second color when the first color is about to dry out.
  • Diffuse, Layer, Accent, Texture: Diffusion is the method of grading one color into various shades by using water. Once the paint has dried out, you can add another layer of color to that patch; this is called layering. Accent effect can be achieved when another layer of color is applied to moist base color. A texture can be achieved by lightly flicking off your brush on the paper to create simple patterns.

Use of other materials and solutions

  • Salt: Salt gives crystal texture to watercolors in a painting. Sprinkle salt on wet paint and then remove it off with your fingernail for an amazing effect.
  • Tissue Paper: Want to give a paper finish to your painting? Dab dry tissue on wet paint.
  • Alcohol: It gives the droplet effect. Let alcohol drip from the brush on wet paint.
  • Crayon: It helps to create ‘resist technique’ where the watercolor does not stay.
  • Pen and Pencil: Create defined paintings by using pen or pencil to outline your drawing and then fill it with watercolors.
  • Water Drops : Want a splash texture in a painting? Just let water or paint drop on a wet paint to create a splash.
  • Splatter: Use a toothbrush to create the sprinkling effect. It is messy but the effect is cool.
  • Transparency: Create patterns with a lighter shade of the color. Let it dry and then add a darker shade to overlap the lighter shade.

Practice and Embrace Mistakes

Mistakes are bound to happen. The best part is that with watercolors, mistakes can be reworked to blend in with other patterns. Practice will give you mastery over watercolors and its various techniques.

Do you know any other techniques? Why not share it with the artist community? Leave the techniques in the comments section.

You can buy watercolor paintings online on Showflipper. If other types of paintings interest you, you can visit this online painting gallery as well.