Good morning! Today we continue on from the last instalment of Watercolour Walkthrough with a tutorial on all of the basic techniques you’ll need to learn before you get started on your grand painting adventures ^_^
One thing to keep in mind before you start is that it’s a great idea to spend a day just painting splotches and practising techniques before you try to paint anything useful. It seems like a waste of materials and time but it’s important to have a feel for things before you get into anything complicated!
First off let’s talk about the combinations of paint and water. There are many ways to paint and the difference between all of them is the amount of water and where it is put. You can paint with a wet brush or a dry brush. You can paint with paper pre-wet or on dry paper and the results are all different.
Below is a photo of each option where I have dipped the brush in my paint and continued wiggling the brush down the page until I ran out of paint.
The bottom two of the options involve sprinkling salt on the wet paper/paint and allowing it to dry. It sucks up water and moves the paint around making really interesting shapes:
Each of the colours you have will react different to the water so make sure you give each one a try and experiment.
So from this point on, assume that I’m doing everything with dry paper and a wet brush unless I say otherwise. It’s the most common way to paint ^_^
So let’s look at mixing colours together now. If you’re starting out, you probably don’t have many colours in your kit yet. It’s actually good to start out with only a few colours because it teaches you to mix your own! Even some established artists prefer to have a limited palette and mix their own colours.
So here is a basic colour mixing chart. The primary colours are in the middle: blue, red and yellow. The secondary colours are between them: purple, green and orange.
Use this as a basic chart eg. blue+red=purple.
Of course, mixing colours changes depending on how you do it. For example, below I painted a circle of blue in the middle, on the left I painted a circle of red after the blue had dried and on the right I did it when it was wet. When the first colour is still wet they mix easily. When the first colour is dry you can see both the mix and the distinct outline of the two colours.
As a guide it’s a really great idea to put together a colour mixing grid. Sketch out a grid which is as wide and as high as however many colours you have + 1. For example, I had 16 colours so my grid was 17×17 squares.
Number them like a multiplication grid.
Now give each number a colour up and across.
Then paint into each of them mixing the colour from the top and side colour co-ordinates. A lot of them will be pretty terrible but it’s a great guide to see what colours you have available to you!
Ok now let’s have a look at using a LOT of water. This is pretty much my all time favourite technique!
This technique involves dripping a large amount of water onto the paper and then adding various colours. It creates amazing effects but you need a really sturdy paper to be able to cope with this much water.
Use as much water as your paper can hold and draw designs with plain water.
Load your brush with colour and gently dip it into the water on the paper, this will leave behind colour swirls.
You can watch the pigment interact with the water from the side.
Now add another colour so the pigments mix.
Now allow it to dry completely. As it dries, the pigment will be pulled to the edges of the shape and make awesome patterns.
You can play with this even more if you are adventurous! Try painting a spot of colour then when it’s half dry, put a few drops of water in the middle and watch the pigment move around.
Below you can see how that turns out as well as how layering water with more paint in it works.
These kinds of tiny details just look awesome!
Layering is really important in watercolour because the pigments are transparent.
So there are some of the basic techniques you will need to start painting! I hope you guys found that helpful, let me know if you have any questions that I can help with and we’ll move on to some more techniques and full paintings soon! Next we’ll be learning about shading, so excited for that one!