Beginning Watercolor Ideas – Our Best Tips 2021

Beginning Watercolor Ideas – An Example of a Basic Watercolour Palette

Table of Contents

Beginning Watercolor Ideas Tip 1 – Make Sure You Have a Decent Watercolour Box Set

Beginning Watercolor Ideas Tip 2 – Make Sure You Have A Good Range of Brushes

Beginning Watercolor Ideas Tip 3 – Be Aware of the Wet-On-Wet Method

Beginning Watercolor Ideas Tip 4 – Be Aware of the Wet-On-Dry Method

Beginning Watercolor Ideas Tip 5 – Have a Paper Towel to Hand

Beginning Watercolor Ideas Tip 6 Make Sure You Master the Flat Wash

Beginning Watercolor Ideas Tip 7 – Have a Paper Towel to Hand – Use Your Brush to ‘Pull In’ To Distinguish Light From Dark

Beginning Watercolor Ideas Tip 8 – Take Care to Mix Your Paints Well

Beginning Watercolor Ideas Tip 9 – Be Aware of Dry-Time

Beginning Watercolor Ideas Tip 10 – Create a Watercolour Painting with Bold Contrasts Between Light and Dark

Beginning Watercolor Ideas Tip 11 – Use the Splatter Technique

dickblick.com

We all have our preferences when it comes to paint choices, and there are some brilliant artists who focus on acrylic and oil painting and never bother with watercolour painting. Watercolour painting can feel very different to using other paint mediums, and so some artists avoid it entirely. 

If you are a beginner and have never used acrylic or oils, watercolour painting may be the right medium for you, especially because it will dry more quickly for you than acrylic paints and particularly oil paints which take longer again. 

Many of us gravitate towards watercolour paints as kids and beginners because there is something so magical and appealing about adding water to your brush and then bringing your watercolour paints to life. Watercolour painting can be so playful, fluid, and rewarding much like the ocean itself.

Thankfully you don’t need an awful lot to get started with watercolour painting. You just need a brush, a few paints, and watercolour paper. And of course some water!

Here are our absolute best tips for watercolour painting for beginners.

Beginning Watercolor Ideas Tip 1 – Make Sure You Have a Decent Watercolour Box Set

In terms of colours you actually don’t need many at all – 6 is enough. A basic palette will involve the 6 primary colours : black, white, green, red, yellow and blue. You can see this in the picture below.

An artist’s palette (a slightly more advanced palette version) can be seen in this picture.

Beginning Watercolor Ideas – Example of An Artist’s Palette

Beginning Watercolor Ideas Tip 2 – Make Sure You Have A Good Range of Brushes

It’s so important to have good paint brushes for watercolour painting. You want to aim for at least 3 brushes – a large one for broad brushstrokes, a medium one, and a more accurate small one that has a pointed tip to help with accurate brushstrokes. For greater flexibility 6 is best overall – see the picture above. It’s a good rule of thumb for painting or drawing that you start with more general broad strokes and then slowly move towards more specific detail.

Beginning Watercolor Ideas – Examples of Brushes

Expensive brushes are usually made of natural hair but for beginners it’s wise to get brushes which have a mix of synthetic and natural hair because these brushes are much more affordable and for the most part just as useful.

Beginning Watercolor Ideas Tip 3 – Be Aware of the Wet-On-Wet Method

There are two basic methods for painting with watercolours: Wet-On-Wet and Wet-On-Dry. Wet-On-Wet is very much like it suggests – it means painting onto a surface that is already wet. This works really well for the first layer of paint for a sky or landscape, making the paint flow in soft washes. All you have to do is dip the brush in plain water and then use it to ‘paint’ in a shape of your choice, a rectangle or a circle with the watery brush. Next paint over it slowly using a colour that suits. Notice how the Wet-On-Wet method works for you, paying close attention to how much colour and water you need to achieve the effects that you want.

As your painting dries it will change considerably, watercolour paints dry differently on different occasions which is part of their mysterious beauty.

Beginning Watercolor Ideas Tip 4 – Be Aware of the Wet-On-Dry Method

Wet-On-Dry is most commonly used to add more detail and accuracy. It means applying wet paint over the dry surface of the watercolour paper. The effect achieved is much more precise than the previous method.

Use a large brush with a little paint on it at first, until you get a sense of how much paint you will need. It’s best to use paint that is a dry as possible, and apply it onto the dry paper. The paint will be more or less ‘see through,’ depending on how much water you use.

Again as you watch it dry you will see a real change in the paint.

Beginning Watercolor Ideas Tip 5 – Have a Paper Towel to Hand

This is probably the most inexpensive tip after the water! A paper towel is extremely useful for erasing any mistakes and keeping things precise and neat in general. Think of it as the equivalent of having a rubber for your pencil drawings. You will probably find some of your layers don’t go exactly to plan. Use your paper towel to lighten the wash a little of to erase it enough to paint over

completely. Paper towels are also a great way to add layers slowly and carefully in order to help you paint more accurately.

Beginning Watercolor Ideas Tip 6 Make Sure You Master the Flat Wash

A flat wash is a very simple thing to master but so useful for improving watercolour painting. It is an even wash across the page without any variations, and as such it is so useful for adding beginning layers to your watercolour painting. You can use a flat wash on either dry or wet watercolour paper, but for beginners it’s best to practise on dry paper. Try to use a 50:50 ratio of paint and water for the best outcome.

Beginning Watercolor Ideas Tip 7 – Use Your Brush to ‘Pull In’ To Distinguish Light From Dark

This is a really useful technique, and it is best used to show where the light source and the shadows are in your painting.

Dip your brush in the paint of your choice and paint a long dark line (for example the side of the trunk of a tree using brown). From this line you want to ‘pull in’ with less paint on your brush and more water to make gradually lighter brown lines which are moving in from the bolder outline of the tree’s trunk you started with. The outline of the tree’s trunk will be darker in this example because it is further away from the light source (mostly likely the sun) and the rest of the trunk will be lighter in shade because it will be closer to the light source.

Beginning Watercolor Ideas Tip 8 – Take Care to Mix Your Paints Well

In order to make sure that you don’t run out of a particular colour always make sure you mix more paint than you think you are going to need. Think the opposite of what you should do with your dinner plate where your eyes are often bigger than your belly!

The reason you need to do this is because if you run out of paint for your watercolour painting, it’s going to be very difficult to get the exact colour again if you have to start again. In this case at least bigger is better.

Beginning Watercolor Ideas Tip 9 – Be Aware of Dry-Time

Depending on what you are trying to achieve you are going to have to consider your dry-time. If you are happy to have your colours bleed and eventually blend into one another that you can apply your layers on top of paint that is still wet.

If you are aiming to add completely new layers and colour washes over the top of paint, you will need to let it dry first. You can of course use a hair dryer on a low setting (so you don’t make a complete mess!) but you will also have to be a little patient. If you don’t do this the layers will simply run into each other, and your shapes will not come out as clearly as you would like.

Beginning Watercolor Ideas Tip 10 Create a Watercolour Painting with Bold Contrasts Between Light and Dark

If you want a really dynamic painting that will stand out with powerful colours try to paint strong dark areas contrasting with strong light areas. Light and shadow is so important in any painting but it is particularly important when using the medium of watercolour. It will really create a powerful impression on whoever is viewing your painting.

Beginning Watercolor Ideas Tip 11 – Use the Splatter Technique

A really interesting and fun way to make your watercolour painting stand out is to use the splatter technique. Pull back the bristles on your brush with your finger and release the splatter onto your watercolour paper. This takes a little practice but when used correctly it is well worth the effort. This will give you a lovely effect for water spray, stars in the sky, flowers or grass in a field. If you don’t get it right first time you can erase the splatter with your towel and try again.

If you enjoyed this blogpost please check out our other tutorials:

Or our tutorial on how to make brown paint:

https://artworldblog.com/2021/06/26/how-to-make-brown-with-primary-colours/

If you are looking for another excellent watercolor article try this one:

31 Easy Watercolor Art Ideas for Beginners

dickblick.com

Awfully beautiful

Create your online store and start selling. Try it today at Weebly.com!

Published by artworldblogspot

This is a lifestyle blog about Art, Photography, How to Draw and Paint Tutorials, and advice for artists.

One thought on “Beginning Watercolor Ideas – Our Best Tips 2021

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: