There are a number of basic skills that, as a watercolor painter, you
will need to learn. This article is going to briefly cover just a few of
them. For more information, please check my signature.
The very first thing you will need to learn how to do is draw a flat
wash. You will start by mixing a generous amount of medium intensity
paint on your palette. You want to use a flat brush. A Winsor and Newton
965 will do fine. You then want to saturate your brush and paint a thick
straight line from left to right on your canvas. Four to six inches in
length is fine.
After drawing the line, you want to repeat the procedure making sure that
you start at the bottom of the first stroke. The flood of the first
stroke should evenly flow into the second stroke. You then want to repeat
this for a third, fourth and fifth stroke and so on. After you are done
and the canvas dries, you should end up with an even toned square of color
as if the whole thing were painted with one stroke. Like I said, it takes
practice but is very important to master this.
Similar to the flat wash is the graded wash. The procedure is almost the
same except for each line that you draw, you’re going to use a slightly
lighter mixture of paint. So on your palette, you’re going to have to
include several mixtures in order to get the right effect. When you’re
done, the top of the square should be the darkest, the bottom of the
square the lightest and as you go from top to bottom, the color gets
lighter and lighter. Again, this takes some practice but is important to be able to master.
Finally, for this article, there is the glazed wash. This is where you
overlap colors to make interesting designs. Get a palette with different
shades of yellow, red, green and blue.
Pick any of the colors and draw, using a 1 inch flat sable brush, a
straight line about 6 to 8 inches wide. Then rinse off the brush and
choose another color. The color itself isn’t important. What you want to
do is draw another design slightly overlapping the first one. You will
notice how the second color slightly modifies the first one. Keep
repeating the process using different designs and overlaps.
For more great tips, check out my signature below.