Painting with watercolors – how to learn in the comfort of your home?

It takes approx. 4 minutes to read this article

Technically, painting with watercolors is child’s play. All you have to do is dilute the watercolor with water and… run the brush across the paper – that’s all the wisdom! In reality, the matter is a bit more complicated, as we will illustrate to you with a simple example!

Painting with watercolors – golden rules

1. Choose good quality materials. When you learn to paint, the effects of your work appear gradually, but poor quality materials will pierce through the work of even a seasoned painter. It is better not to take risks, but to invest in your future success.

2. Watercolor paint is transparent. Keep this in mind when applying the next layer – it must be transparent and reveal the previous layer of paint.

3. When drawing, do not press hard on the pencil. Sketches are supposed to be barely visible – because of the transparency of watercolor.

4. Always test the color on a palette or a separate sheet of paper to see how it applies. There are colors that look thicker, so you should always dilute them with water.

5. Use water in moderation. When you apply water to the paper, take really little of it so the paper doesn’t get too wet.

6. At the beginning of learning, support yourself with a color wheel, a model that makes it easier to combine colors. This will help you create nice transitions and avoid “mud” on the paper.

Painting lesson

Now we will teach you how to paint with watercolors. Prepare your working tools, i.e. watercolor paints, thicker paper (preferably 300 gsm), several brushes of different shapes, as well as a regular pencil and eraser. Don’t forget a container of water and a palette, too. 

Sketch a drawing with an ordinary pencil

Let’s agree that you are painting a flower. Draw a circle, which will be its center and the petals radiating away from it. Try to make them slightly different sizes. Breathe life into them, allowing that they are not perfectly round. Some should also overlap the center.

Apply the first coat of paint

Take a large flat brush. Get some water and wet your chosen paints, for example, carmine and red. Before you apply the paint, wet with clean water the part of the drawing you will paint, i.e. the petals. Then cover all the petals with paint completely, but not too much. Try not to press on the paper.

Acquire a second color with a brush and apply it to the lower left petal. Then take a smaller brush and collect the excess water from the petals. To do this, press lightly with the brush on the places where the water has collected and squeeze it off with your fingers.

With the same – already dry – brush, press down on the petals the places where you want to mark the highlights. It is best to do this while the paint is still wet, the reflections will then not have sharp contours.

Use a thin brush to refine the flower

Now with a small brush, get a lemon color and mix it on the palette with water. Start painting the stamens in the center of the flower. In the upper part, try to make less intense smears. Then get a dark yellow color with your brush and cover the lower part of the center with stronger brush strokes. Do this vigorously so that the paint does not have time to dry.

Rinse the brush, get a little red and go over the edge of the lower left petal. Again rinse the brush, acquire a carmine color and run it over the edge of the upper right and left and lower right petals. In these areas, make intensive smudges. You can also lighten some brush strokes with a little water. Then some will be sharper and others more subtle. 

main photo: Arterbury

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