Watercolor painting is a great, rewarding, yet demanding skill. It entails painting different surfaces like paper using color pigments finely hovered in a water-soluble base. The painting is mostly done to capture great natural scenes and amazing images.
This produces beautiful paintings with perfect color patterns having different intensities. This is attributed to the ability to change the color intensity by controlling the amount of water you use. To come up with great portraits, you need to be consistent, be willing to explore more ideas, and then try painting them out.
Whatever you will be painting, you will need quality supplies and some painting tips. You shall learn those in this article. We have evaluated several experiences by famous artists to come up with great insights to choose supplies, and how you can quickly start doing some amazing work.
Some energy to start painting with watercolors
You probably have come across gorgeous watercolor paintings and wondered, "How do I create such paintings?”, then you thought for a moment “But I don’t have the supplies needed for that”. Some months later you still have not painted, because you think you are unskilled for that.
One thing to keep in mind is that everyone starts somewhere, wherein they’re unskilled and clueless. From there, you work your way up learning the basics. A practical way is first to admire watercolor paintings, get painting supplies, start painting and learn the basics, and over time you will become an expert. Therefore, don’t undermine yourself, so gather up some energy and start.
When you start you will feel like giving up, but continue being consistent and learn as much as you can. Get constructive comments from friends and improve yourself. Some comments may not sound friendly, but don't lose your momentum.
Getting the right supplies
You will need some basic supplies for a start. Here are the supplies you should have:
1. Select some watercolors
The watercolors are available in three grades; children's, student's, and artist's collection. The student's collection is a good one for a start and usually has 24 colors. Which means there will be no need to mix colors.
Watercolors are either stored in shallow pans or a tube. With the tube, you can customize the collection the way you want. On the other hand, the pan has pre-selected colors. Invest in quality watercolors that will have better hues, intensity, and tonal value. Avoid cheaper alternatives as they may affect the outcome of your artwork.
2. Choose the Color Pigments you need
You can start by choosing the basic primary colors. These colors are blue, red and yellow. They are the primary colors because they cannot be obtained by mixing any other colors. For that reason, purchase them and mix them to get other colors or you may also purchase other colors to avoid the hassle.
3. Purchase some Brushes
Every artist has different preferences for brushes, but you should look at the quality. It’s preferred to have a handful of sizes to give different effects and results. You also want to ensure they have a good point to hold paint. Furthermore, a larger brush will be useful in applying the base layer and for doing washes. Remember, that your budget will also determine the brush you choose.
4. Get Watercolor papers
If you want some quality paintings, there is no way you can skip this. You need to buy the recommended watercolor paper which is heavy, unlike the normal printer paper. The paper can withstand a substantial amount of paint and water. You, therefore, need to choose thicker and heavier paper to make your work easy.
5. Get other watercolor supplies
You may also need more supplies but, for a start, you can improvise items in your home and use them. This is a good plan to reduce the cost. You can’t miss someone or two items that you rarely use. For a start, this is a good plan, but when you get rooted to the art you can purchase high-quality items (for example, a large plate can work for a palette.)
6. Look for a board
Having simple sturdy cardboard can be a good starting point. If you can purchase, you can go for a form board or Plexiglas board which you can use with the watercolor paper.
7. Get some cleaning supplies
Get water in a container and several paper towels for cleaning your brush. You can also wear an old ragged t-shirt while painting. This becomes easy for you when cleaning the mess.
The General process to get your Painting
Now that you have everything an artist needs. You can now start preparing to color. Proceed as follows;
Set up the Painting space
You should set a comfortable working space. This is particularly to avoid misplacing the supplies and making a mess. Choose a place with natural light, for example, near a window. This will help you to paint accurately.
Place your brushes, paints, and water correctly
Keep your supplies close to your workspace, somewhere they are easily accessible. You don’t want to start looking for them after you’ve begun painting. Don’t pile up the working space with all supplies, take only what you need for that moment. If you are right-handed, the preference will be to place your brush and water on the right, then place the paint at the top left.
Choose the colors to use
This is a necessary step for great results. Ensure you choose the right color that will blend well with your artwork. Then avoid color crushing. This is by using colors that match when used together. You also want to ensure the colors go hand in hand with the main theme. For example, using some green pigments will be great for a painting related to nature.
Understand the use of different colors
Based on the color theory, there are three types of colors. There are primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. These colors also communicate different messages and have different visual effects. This is why you need to carry out a good evaluation to choose great colors. Moreover, according to the color theory, you can choose any color for a painting. This can cause unnecessary perceptions from the intended one.
Load some paint on your brush
Slide the brush lightly over the paint puddle. Then, lift the brush and pass it through your mixing tray. The next step is to move the brush on the watercolor paper several times, depending on the intensity you want.
Easy way to mix colors
Learning to mix colors is a basic skill that makes watercolor painting unique. Why should you buy all the sets of colors when you can just mix ten to get any color of your choice? Simply moisten the colors one by one with some water. Then, place them on a slick surface and mix them. You will be surprised to get a different color.
Here are the common color combinations to use.
- Yellow + red = orange
- Red + blue = purple
- Yellow + blue = green
- Orange + blue = brown
- Yellow + red + blue = black
Hopefully, we have answered all your questions regarding watercolor painting. It is a great activity to occupy your leisure time. If you want to have a hobby that will motivate you, watercolor painting is a great choice. Remember, it takes commitment and determination to become a better artist. With constant practice, you will be doing some great work.