Watercolors can create gorgeous translucent effects. But the medium is a bit more difficult to control than acrylic and oil. You can’t hide a mistake with another layer of paint, and you may need to do a little bit more planning: what washes to put first, which areas to leave blank. Here are some tips for beginners that can take the guesswork out of watercolor painting.
Make your preliminary sketch
Make an initial composition, simplifying your subject to basic shapes that will act as your guideline. Don’t place your focal point/center of interest right in the middle of the painting.
And some areas should be more detailed than others (it will help keep your
painting dynamic). Balance out very detailed areas with large, simple washed areas where the eyes can ‘rest.’
Make a thumbnail sketch<
Make a smaller version of your sketch where you can plot your colors. Divide the sketch into four tonal areas. Tonal areas show the contrast between light and dark: black, dark, gray, light gray, and white. Shade buy cialis online without a prescription them in there, experimenting and manipulating with the color scheme so the maximum contrast falls at the center of interest.
Identify your color palette
It’s best to keep your color palette simple, to avoid muddiness and to ensure color harmony in your watercolor painting. You can add a few more intense colors at the end of your painting, but only to highlight.
Go from white to dark
Plan your colors. What areas will be left blank, to let the paper grain show through? Where will you put your lightest washes? Once you’ve figured out your blocks of color, start with the areas with the lightest washes (pale yellows, then working your way to the darkest grays and browns). Also paint the larger areas first. Leave the detail work to the very end.
Fixing color problems
What if you’re halfway through your painting and realize, ‘This purple looks wrong?’ Then add a bit of that color somewhere else. You can also add calligraphic lines with a # 1 liner brush or pen; use just one color and, if you wish, soften the line with a very small spray of water.
Let go of perfection
Painting with watercolor, like any other activity, needs practice. If you’re not happy with the result, then move on and try again. Keep your old paintings so you can see your progress, and to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. For example, you may notice after three or four paintings that your colors get muddy; then read up on how to mix paint colors. Or you may find out that your colors are fantastic, but the composition is static. With analysis and practice, your watercolors will improve.
Photo from juliaswartz.com