9 Watercolour Techniques for beginners
Watercolour is a great medium for sketches, live fast drawing and mostly for sceneries and ‘en plain air’ sessions. This type of medium might be underestimated next to acrylics and oils, and might not be preferred to Most, however here are a few more advanced and interesting Techniques you can incorporate and experiment with to UP your Water-Works.
p.s Keep 2 sets of brushes handy (wide and flat and the other narrow and pointy), a glass of water and your watercolours.
1. Flat and Graded Wash
Starting from the most important step: the flat wash. A flat wash is when the colour gradient of the paper is all of the same exact colour (as shown on the LEFT). Choose any colour you want and mix it with water (either on a palette or on a plate). Dabble your flat brush, in the watercolour mixed with water and create brushstrokes, from left to right while keeping the same pressure.
A small tip is to keep your paper or sketchbook a bit tilted upwards as this will make any extra water drip downwards so you can then remove the excess with the next stroke.
A graded wash is when a colour fades from darker shade into a lighter or vice versa (as shown on the RIGHT).
Start off from one paper end and paint through using only one stroke (linear strokes)… Put more water on your brush and do another stroke.. Do this until the opposite end is totally faded with water.
Using a flash brush, perform a flat wash with one or two colours on your paper. Pour some salt, diluted in water, on the paint while it is still wet (important) and leave it there until it dries. This creates a beautiful crystal like effect. Great idea for creating a crystallized effect to water, night skies etc..
1st create a watercolour base/wash on your paper. While it is still wet, grab a piece of tissue and dab it to create a cloud like effect.
Rubbing alcohol/Spirit has quite an effect on watercolour; it eliminates the colour completely. With a q tip soaked with alcohol, start creating designs. Once the q tip meets the water colour, colour gets soaked. This results in a great colour fade effect.
With a white crayon draw a design. Once you’re ready, with a flat paint brush choose the colour you like and paint a wash on top of the crayon. Notice that colour will not penetrate and get soaked by the paper due to its waterproof resistance, thus you’ll be left with some great nice designs.
6. Wet on wet
This particular technique can come very useful especially when painting flowers and scenery. This type of technique requires a wet paper and 2 watercolours. Once you wet the paper with your flat brush, create a wash with one of your watercolours and WHILE it is still wet, apply the other colour either on the previous colour or next to it. This will create what is called a ‘blending and bleeding’ effect.
7. Dry brushing
This technique is the opposite of the previous one. We won’t be using any water this time. Feather out a dry brush; make sure that its either flat or fluffy. Dab the brush it into a colour (do not add any water) and feather/ seperate the hairs of the brush. Paint in an upward motion. Grand for the ‘grass effect’! (I also used brown and green tones to create a more realistic texture of soil and grass).
Some of us find it hard to draw or paint a tree; with its fine branches and fine details one can say that it requires a lot of time to create a realistic tree. This type of technique may help you resolve this problem and it is VERY easy. Placing a drop of watercolour mixed with water (brown) on your paper, and with a straw start to blow from one end to the other where the drop and you will see that the drop of colour will begin to spread into different directions, mostly upwards just like a tree. Tip: Move your paper around if you want the colour spread into a different direction.
With a needle or a pin, scratch your plain, blank paper. Either you scratch a design or in my case I created vertical lines to create a ‘Wooden Like Effect’. Dabble a flat brush into a colour mixed with water and wash the paper. Only wash the paper once with the colour. You will see that the scratches are darker than the rest of the paper.
Hope you Enjoyed it and found this Interesting! Let me know how it goes…