Watercolor painting sometimes get a bad rap. “It is hard.” “My paintings are muddy.” “I can’t control the paint.” Things run and go in unexpected areas with colors mingling in seemingly uncontrollable ways. That is why I tell my students to put miles on your brushes. It is all about timing and developing a feel for how much water is in the paint, on the brush, and on the paper. The water on the paper is continually drying as you are painting unless you are adding more and more water. Don’t do that! Try to add less and less water as the paint dries. See what happens!
I want to share with you how I use watercolors in my journals….
1. First draw lightly with a pencil. Draw simple shapes and just the outline of the subject. This is called a contour drawing. You don’t need all small details at this time. And I say draw lightly because the graphite can make your painting muddy!
2. Paint a light colorful wash with several colors. One of my favorite combinations is cobalt blue, permanent rose and new gamboge or a similar yellow. Let this dry.
Hint – if you have trouble getting a beautiful wash and end up with streaks and hard edges you are not using enough water with your paint. Try painting your colorful wash on wet paper – prewet the paper with clear, clean water.
3. Pick areas of your painting that need to be darken. Paint these areas with another layer of paint. Work light to dark in stages and steps.
Check back for more tips!