7 Essential Watercolor Techniques for Every Artist

7 Essential Watercolor Techniques for Every Artist

Fluidity and transparency are the two extraordinary features of watercolors loved by both professionals and newbies. Though difficult to work with, watercolors bring out the depth and textures in the paintings as no other painting medium can. It is just the precise method of using these colors to highlight the best version of your art. Learning essential watercolor techniques will help you beautify your work with ease.

Watercolor painting skills require a great deal of effort to be mastered. Here are some essential techniques that would help you create exquisite art-

Wet on Dry: It is the most widely used watercolor technique that uses wet paint on the dry base. You can add more textures to your painting by adding layers of wet paint on top of dried layers. It gives more control to the painter over their brush. The resulting stroke has firm edges and thinner paint in the center. 

Dry on Dry: The painter uses a dry brush for painting on a dry sheet. The paint does not completely cover the surface and leaves unfinished lines, adding more texture to the strokes. This technique is primarily used to give the effect of hair and fur. However, this technique can be a little harsh on your brushes, and it is advised you use brushes with stiff bristles like goat hair. Moreover, use textured papers like cold-pressed and rough watercolor paper for an enhanced effect.

Wet on Wet: This technique involves painting over the wet surface with wet paint. You dampen the sheet with water and then charge the spot with tints. The color spreads by itself, producing soft-edged patterns. This method of painting is also called charging. You can further use different colors to create beautiful designs of bleeding paints.

Flat Wash: It is the method of getting a uniform tone through the sheet. Ensure you take an adequate quantity of color before you begin, or you will get stuck in between. Start making horizontal strokes at the top, moving your way down to create a perfect flat wash. 

Graded and Variegated Wash: They are a more advanced form of a flat wash. The graded wash has tones forming gradients from darker to lighter. In comparison, the variegated wash uses multiple shades blending into each other. 

Glazing: Glazing, also known as layering, adds depth to your art. Watercolors are transparent, which means you can add multiple layers on top of each other, and the layer underneath will still be visible. You should remember to let every layer dry completely before adding a new one, or the paints will combine and produce a different color.

Blending: When painting with watercolors, the edges are usually thicker than the center. Unless you blend them out, the edges are pretty visible. This technique helps you achieve a transition between different tones and adds a three-dimensional effect to your work. It can be done using wet-on-wet and dry-on-wet techniques.

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