Basic Watercolor Painting (Part 1) Art Nebula

Now that we know the different materials available to us, let's take a look at the easiest techniques that artists use in watercolor painting using the simplest materials and tools. Make sure to pause every now and then so that you can paint along.


A wash is an even application of paint on the paper surface. There various ways to create a wash. 

washesWet-On-Dry Wash
This technique is simply painting with a loaded brush on a dry paper surface.
Wet-On-Wet Wash
Before painting with a loaded brush, the paper dampened with clean water using a brush or a sponge.

washes 2
Graded Wash
A graded wash is used for depicting a vivid color that gradually blends to the white of the paper. Do this by starting with a saturated color and blend it out by adding water as you draw the color to a side.
Variegated Wash
A variegated wash is almost the same as a gradated wash but here more than one color is used. In the picture, the two colors blend gradually with each other in the middle. 
drop water
Drop Water
This technique requires an even wash of color/s. A brush with only water touches the wash, letting water go into the wash, pushing away pigments to sides. This creates texture and patterns. 
Dropping Colors
The paper is wetted first with clean water. Then, paint is applied in strokes or spots on the wet surface. This is great for atmospheric backgrounds and blending.

Negative Painting
Drawings may be made prior to painting. This is a technique that avoids certain areas. These areas may be left out as pure white for highlights or it may be combined with the layering technique for different colors to clearly show through.
Glazing / Layering
This technique requires painting with colors on top of each other. Each layer of color needs to be dry before another is added on top. Here, color depth is achieved as all layers add to create a deeper impression of space in a painting.
Dry Brush
A loaded brush may be blotted out with tissue to make it "dry" for this technique. Painting with such causes rough applications, missing parts of the paper. It is good for texture impressions.

This technique is great for foliage and tree painting. Dots or short strokes are used to create impressions to fine details. It is synonymous to pointillism or the use of dots in creating values in drawing or sketching. 
With the use of a pointy object like a palette knife, incisions on the paper help paint create darker lines that are great for detail work. Scratching the paper may be done before and/or after laying down a wash on paper.

This method uses the brush to take out paint from the paper. It helps to use a stiffer brush which is why a synthetic brush is more suitable for this technique. This is a lot like erasing or subtracting paint from the paper.

This method is like the lifting technique but tissue is used. Tissue is great for absorbing paint and water. Softer tissue is better for clean erasure while stiffer paper towels may leave impressions.  

 Resist Technique
 This applies the concept of negative painting with the  use of wax or an oil stick before painting.
 It is a great way to leave out portions of the paper but  make sure you are using white wax or a dermatograph  for the white of the paper to show through. You may also use colored crayons.  Some wax sticks  with a fine point are available for thin lines too. 

Using Rock Salt
This technique is simple and uses rock salt on a wet wash. It produces intricate and interesting textures on washes. See the difference of using rock salt versus table salt.  
Head to the Part 2 of "Basic Watercolor Painting" to know more techniques and tricks to watercolor painting by clicking here:

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