Arts & Crafts Magazine

Watercolor Tutorials Overview

By Nancymccarroll
Betty, this one's for you.  Over at the WoodFairy blog, Betty got me back into painting on silk. She had asked for a tutorial on watercolor techniques, so I will gladly oblige.  This may be a bit tedious, so we shall see how it goes.
Not only will there be one, but there will also be several tutorials focusing on using watercolor paints on 140 lb. watercolor paper.  I will add each lesson on the sidebar as they progress and time allows.
Watercolor Tutorials Overview
Watercolor Tutorials OverviewWatercolor Tutorials Overview
Tutorial Outline
  • Materials needed: watercolors, at least 140 lb. watercolor paper, brushes, water, ruler, palette knives, miskit, cloth or paper rags to start.  Paint tubes of watercolors are available in hundred of colors.  They will last years and it takes just a dab of color on a palette.  When the paint dries, just add a wet brush and the lively shades reappear on the brush.  Sable brushes are best, but brush prices vary, so just be sure you have a half dozen brushes in various sizes that are dedicated to watercolors and have no oil or acrylic residue left in the hairs.
Watercolor Tutorials OverviewBut I am getting carried away.  (an entire lesson on just materials to follow)
  • 2.  Material preparation, including soaking of water, wet on wet, wet on dry, etc.  (another lesson)
  • 3.  Choosing your subject  ... the less lines the better as we start off.  Perhaps you might choose a coloring book picture to replicate.
  • 4.  Drawing in the subject you will be painting in pencil...pencil marks will be erased after color is applied. (another lesson on using the grid method for ease in replication of drawing in a picture if you are not painting from a still life)  And using the internet to check accuracy of completing subjects drawn ( ...i.e., porcine feet)
  • 5.  Using miskit barriers (another lesson)
  • 6.  Choosing your palette colors.  Look to the great artists and determine the colors they use in a painting that you are particularly drawn to.  An example below highlights colors I like with pinks, purples, yellows, whites, greens, and blues.  How many shades of just green can you count?
Watercolor Tutorials Overviewsource (Frederick Frieseke (1874-1939)The Garden in June 1911) ...and then creating your own palette from the colors you have acquired (another lesson)
Watercolor Tutorials Overview(the palette I made and use)
  • 7.  Finishing techniques
There are probably more parts that will be added later.  Stay tuned!  And if you would care to view a few of my watercolors, they are displayed here.

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