Arts

How Watercolor Works: 4 Quick Tips for Beginners

Watercolor has always been perceived as a very unforgiving medium that offers very little control,” says O’Connor. “This can cause a lot of frustration. But the effects and luminous washes possible with watercolor are unrivaled. In order to take advantage of the way watercolor works, there are some basic things you need to know.”

In addition to gesso, you can consider applying an all-over tone to your to instantly set a mood in your painting. For instance, a bright white might not be conducive to a moody, stormy painting, but a coat of a light bluish-gray can give you a more moody surface for creating your desired look.

Certain brushes are better for painting than others. For instance, your delicate watercolor brushes will get eaten alive on the sturdy surface: they’re too soft and delicate to apply paint assertively. In general, specifically designed acrylic or oil paint brushes will be a better choice, with longer handles and stiff bristles which both hold and spread the thicker paint better on .

Find the Proper Materials

Using brushes that are too small or a poor grade of paper are paths to frustration.

Think Backward

Instead of beginning with the darks and then adding the lighter colors, begin with the lighter areas and then move toward the darker colors.ven small can prove unwieldy when wet. Be sure before you even start painting that you have a safe spot for the to dry. Be very mindful if setting it to dry on newsprint or paper, as even the slightest touch to the paint can cause sticking and messy cleanup. A non-stick surface is great, if possible.

Simplify

As a self-taught artist with years of experience, I have found that it is most important to simplify. I have tried to convey this through my articles, books and DVDs. You’ll get a feel for my techniques with the very simple step-by-step demonstrations included in Watercolor in Motion.

 Use Enough Water

Once you have an understanding of how to really use water and color to your advantage, the rest is up to you.While oil paints will dry about the same color as they look when applied, acrylic paint will dry slightly darker than it looks while you’re painting. Adjust your color mixes accordingly so that the finished piece isn’t darker than you want it to be. You can test the end result before you take paint to by painting a little bit of a color a piece of scrap paper and seeing how dark the swatch dries.

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