Uncommon watercolour paint tips to ease your painting

Uncommon watercolour paint tips to ease your painting

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Numerous factors contribute to watercolour paint’s popularity and adoration as a medium. Its exquisite transparency, blending and layering capabilities, and affordability make it a great colouring medium for artists of all skill levels.

However, if you’re new to watercolours, the medium’s fluidity might be intimidating–especially in comparison to dry media such as coloured pencils and pastels. To assist you in beginning your watercolour painting adventure, we’ve compiled a list of fundamental watercolour tips. They can advise you on materials, procedures, and project planning.

Select the appropriate paper

Watercolour painting is accomplished by combining dry watercolour paint pans or tubes with specific quantities of water. As a result, you’ll need a special sort of paper that can handle a wet watercolour paint application without warping. The majority of them are designated as watercolour paint paper and are much thicker than their dry medium equivalents. This thickness enables the watercolour washes to sink into the paper without bending or curling. In general, you’ll want to use at least 140 lb (or 300 gsm) watercolour paper for your painting, such as Canson XL Watercolour Pads.

Apart from the thickness, you’ll want to consider the paper’s texture. While the smooth, firm surface of hot-press paper makes it suitable for fine detail work, it is sometimes criticized for being slippery and difficult to manage. Cold-press paper has a semi-rough surface that is good for detail work and washes, although part of the roughness is visible. Rough paper is just what it sounds like—it has a stiff texture. As a result, it’s ideal if you adore producing colour washes. The texture provides more drying time for the pigment.

Enhance the hue

Occasionally, you will want to ‘erase’ your watercolours. While you cannot completely whiten the paper, you may remove colour to remedy an error or modify the lighting in a work. Working with a dry swatch of watercolour paint, paint the form you want to pull out with clear water. Allow it to sit for a minute before dabbing away the excess water with a paper towel. You’ll see that the colour begins to rise out of the form you painted. Click here to read about If you are starting out as a watercolour painter.

Utilize salt to provide texture

The art of watercolour painting is all about layering and texture. Salt may easily provide an unusual texture to colour by absorbing the water and leaving a distinctive pattern in the pigment. This watercolour method is excellent for incorporating texture into natural surfaces such as rocks or tree bark. Begin by putting down a swatch of watercolour paint and then sprinkle over salt while the watercolour paint is still wet. Allow it to dry completely before wiping or blowing away the salt.

Utilize a sponge to apply watercolour paint.

A sponge is another helpful household item that may be used in a watercolour approach. Simply combine the pigment and water on a small dish or tray, dip the sponge into the watercolour paint, and blot onto your paper. You may adjust the wetness of your watercolour paint to create a variety of effects — a dry appearance is appropriate for plant life or scaly skin, whilst a wet application is appropriate for waterscapes or clouds.

Investigate negative painting.

Watercolour painting needs forethought. Before you begin painting, consider where you want your whites and lights to go. It is critical to maintaining control of your brush as you paint around the perimeter of your desired negative space. Fill it halfway with semi-wet colour and paint around the perimeter of your desired negative area. Then, draw the colour away from the stroke’s edge to fill in any areas that need pigment. For further suggestions, see our guide to watercolour negative painting.

Utilize tape to create neat edges.

You may cover off sections that you want to keep clean and white using tape. This watercolour paint method is ideal for highlighting rough edges such as those seen in machinery or architecture. Simply place the tape where you want the paper to remain white. Using a tape that will not tear your paper, such as drafting tape or painters’ tape, is recommended. Over and around the tape, paint. Once the watercolour paint is dry, softly remove the tape to reveal a straight, clean line.

Make your underdrawings using a 2H pencil

The picture above shows a pencil with a 2H lead being used to guarantee the guide drawing can resist the water used during painting. You may then go in with a medium-sized brush and add some subtle paint strokes. If the watercolour paint is extremely watery, it will not immediately stain the paper.

Keep the deepest darks for fine detail

Refrain from using your deepest darks till the conclusion of your painting. Because watercolour paint is a transparent medium, you’ll want to keep your lights bright and your darks and details reserved for the finish.

Choose the appropriate brushes… and then look after them

While it is not required to have a huge range of watercolour paint brushes, it is important to choose the ones that are appropriate for the task at hand. For instance, a round brush has a rounded tip that is appropriate for working with smaller or more intricate media. Filbert brushes, on the other hand, have a broad flat tip that is ideal for mixing paint pigments.

Additionally, after you’ve accumulated a collection of brushes, it’s critical to maintain them. Fortunately, watercolour brushes need less upkeep in comparison to oil-based mediums. Simply wash the brushes with mild soap and warm water until all watercolour paint has been removed and the water runs clean. After that, gently mould the tip of the brush back into place with your fingertips and let it dry.

Maintain a supply of paper towels

As is the case with the majority of creative arts, watercolour painting may be messy. That is why it is always prudent to be prepared for the possibility of an accident. Paper towels are a very useful item to have on hand in case of accidents or to wipe excess water that has spread on the paper. Additionally, a standard Q-tip might assist you in cleaning up some of the finer details of your painting.

Experiment with different water amounts

Understanding the proper quantity of water to combine with your paints takes repetition and practice. Like you continue to paint, you’ll see that adding too much water dilutes the pigments and causes the watercolour paint to spread more on the paper, but adding too little water results in thick, pasty colours that don’t flow as watercolours should. The optimal quantity falls midway in the centre, preserving the colour’s brilliant transparency.