Most Important Watercolor Painting Tips


Watercolor paintings are distinct and unique. It can be layered with strokes that put the focus on the subject rather than the whole story.

It is a challenging painting medium and one of the most common is to control the colors.

Tips for Watercolor Paintings –

  1. Quality of the watercolor paints –

Unlike other mediums where one can check out cheap qualities and then set on better mediums. It is not the case of watercolor paints.

Watercolors have a wide spectrum of quality.

Low-quality watercolors can lead to bad results.

  1. Watercolor paintings need the right type of surface paper –

For effective watercolor paintings, the surface paper is the most important. The paper should be able to absorb layers of paint without turning mush.

Hence a heavy paper is a must for watercolor paintings. The heavy paper implies the actual weight of the paper.

The paper used for watercolor paintings usually have a nomenclature of the process by which they are produced –

  • Cold Press means paper pressed on cold rolling cylinders. They have a well-defined texture.
  • Hot Press means paper pressed hot rolling cylinders. They have a smooth texture.
  • Rough means paper pressed without cylinders. These are the strongest in textures.
  1. Stretching of the paper –

Soaking your watercolor paper and then drying them using tapes to keep them crumbling. This process shrinks the paper that helps to better absorb layers of watercolors.

  1. Gentle and light hand drawing –

Creating light strokes to outline the subject of the watercolor painting is a must because once the watercolor is applied, the graphite marks of the pencil cannot be removed.

  1. Usage of right brushes for watercolor paintings –

Various brushes can be used for watercolor paintings.

Soft brushes are the ideal for such paintings. Brushes of the synthetic type are good as they are economical compared to natural hair brushes.

Stiff brushes can be used to add textures.

  1. Let the watercolor work its magic –

Let the watercolors do their magic. This adds an added texture giving new meaning to the painting.

  1. Fewer colors and more effect –

Simplicity is the key to high impact watercolor paintings. Less color on the paintings gives a visual harmony.

  1. Layers of watercolors –

To achieve a layered effect of dark and light shades, watercolors can be applied over one another when the former color dries out. This helps to achieve complex shades.

  1. How to use masking fluids –

This fluid is used to stop certain areas from getting influenced by the watercolors applied. This fluid is latex based and should be applied using old brushes.

This fluid is easy to remove by just rubbing with the hand or an eraser.

  1. How to create full range value –

The value in watercolor paintings is the quality of the range of darkness and lightness of the color and its spectrum.

  1. Putting stops to the process –

For watercolor painters, this is the most difficult part of the process – when to stop working on the watercolor painting?

The key here to know when to stop is when one asks oneself – What more can be done?

  1. Practice makes you perfect –

Watercolor paintings are not easy to master.

Practice helps build confidence.

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