Watercolor Painting Techniques



Watercolor painting can be scary and discouraging. But like anything else, it becomes easy once you know the proper techniques. In this article I will cover several techniques to make you more comfortable and more confident while watercolor painting.


The first technique is flat wash. This is the most basic watercolor technique. This is achieved by painting overlapping horizontal bands of pigment from top to bottom. A variation of the flat brush is the graded wash. This is done by diluting the paint a little for each band. This way the wash fades out gradually and evenly.


A similar technique to washes glazing. The difference is that glazing uses thin, transparent paints. These are applied over the washed washes. The reason for this is to adjust the tone and color of the exiting washes. Just make sure that each layer is dry before applying the next layer.

Wet in Wet

This is just the process of applying paint to wet paper. Depending on how wet the surface is, the results will vary from soft, undefined shapes to slightly blurred shapes. This watercolor painting technique can be used over washes as long as they are completely dry. Just use a large brush to wet the paper then paint onto the dampness.

Dry Brush

Dry brush is a watercolor painting technique that is almost of the wet in wet technique. In this technique the brush is loaded with paint and not too much water. It is then dragged across the dry paper. This will produce sharp, crisp marks that will seem to come forward in your painting. Therefore, it is better to use this technique around your center of interest.

Lifting Off

This watercolor painting technique is simple- you just wet the area you want to remove with a brush and clean water. Then, blot the paint away with a paper towel. Try using strips of paper to mask off areas of paint, this will produce interesting hard lines and shapes.

Dropping Color

This is a very simple technique. It is simply the process of applying paint to the wet area and allowing it to bleed, feather and blend without interference. The results can be unpredictable, but it produces vibrant and interesting colors that you can not achieve on your palette.

Hopefully this article was helpful. Happy painting!



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