Techniques often refer to a particular manner of carrying out a specific action, mostly involving the performance of a scientific or artistic pattern of doing things. When you hear the word "technique," you may think of something sophisticated, for example, a fighting style like judo or karate or a refined method of doing something cool like a surgery or cooking a high-class meal.

Don't get it wrong, any of this is most definitely correct too. As we advance, techniques signify a skilled manner of carrying out functions. In our daily lives, learning techniques of various things are always beneficial. Of course, you won't need to learn karate or to read medicine and perform surgery for watercolor painting.

Watercolor painting has always been one of the best-loved artistic expression methods among painters and art enthusiasts alike. It is a painting technique with numerous creative possibilities.

It is a method of painting with colored pigments soluble in water. Of all types of painting, watercolor painting is known for its intricacy and fragility. This is because it is mainly about using thin washes and transparent coloring, making it more difficult to control when using the watercolor medium.

watercolor painting
Creativity with the right technique produces excellent results. Source: Unsplash

Though watercolor might be a sensitive medium, it can be very versatile and flexible and are worth going through the trouble of learning when handled correctly. When on white paper, watercolor is transparent and offers a translucent feeling of light that shines through. This gives it a unique and makes it produce effects that no other medium can compete with.

When beginner artists first learn how to paint, the paint medium's fluid nature is always problematic because it is volatile. professionals know how to combine these techniques to achieve their desired results and create reactions, leading fewer mistakes and even turn the little mistakes into actual purposeful parts of the painting. This sometimes makes these artworks unique and stunning.

Though watercolor painting may seem a daunting task, it has a lot of advantages like:

Easy cleanup: Watercolor paints leave no lasting impact on your brushes and can be so easily cleaned up.

No harsh chemicals: Watercolors consist of pigments, additives, gum, and preservatives that are either gotten from nature or made from chemicals that aren't dangerous or harmful. They are fundamentally odorless, mostly non-toxic, and they don’t have fumes as well.

No wasted paint: If you bring out too much color from the tube, you don't have to worry about it wasting because it can quickly dry, and water could be applied to it for later use.

It's cheap: They don't require a lot of expensive supplies or tools to start painting. With little money, you can get excellent and outstanding results.

It's transparent: From a visual perspective, watercolor paint has a transparent color that gives it an innate shining brilliance that other paints do not possess. This is because watercolor is transparent. Other types of painting lack the property that makes the water-colored painting look as though it is glowing from the inside.

As a beginner before commencing watercolor painting, you need a few painting tools like watercolor paints, brushes, masking fluid, masking tape, sea sponges, and quality grade watercolor paper.

Watercolor painting
Watercolor painting is uniquely transparent even in the dark. Source: Unsplash

Knowing all these about watercolors, we will show you some of the basic beginner-friendly watercolor techniques employed in watercolor painting. You can use these to get started and then build-up on any ones you have mastered however you like:

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Good Paint Control and Building Techniques

Firstly you must learn how to control the watercolor paint you are using. That said, here are the most common techniques for water coloring.  

  • Wet-on-Wet

Watercolor can be intimidating for beginners, so there are several basic methods to paint with watercolor. This technique produces a radiant look that can be used in different manner according to the desired expression of the artist. So it is mainly adding wet paint to an already wet surface. a technique that is very easy for most beginners learning how to paint using watercolors.

You begin by wetting your brush with clear water and use it to paint. You won't be able to see it because it's plain water unless you tilt your head a little. Then pick up the wet paint from your palette and add color to the original parts of the wet surface you painted with only water. Then watch as your paint begins to dry and see the different look it gives you.

  • Wet-on-Dry

This is used to achieve a more defined outlook in painting. You start with dry paper, unlike before. Then pick up some paint with a wet brush, then begin to paint slowly. The thickness of the paint will determine the amount of water you mix in. Now the paint is completely dry, notice how the colors become dull and fade away, which gives it a completely different look.

  • Dry-on-Dry

This is utilizing a dry brush to put pigment on dry paper, and it enables you to build compositions and tone variations. You will want to use a firmer brush for this technique, as it will harm the brush. Then you place the "dry" pigment on your former brush and apply strokes on a dry paper, maintaining your brush as horizontal and similar to the paper as possible.

Develop variations and then changes in tonality values across different grades of pressure and alter each stroke angle. An excellent example of this is when dry-on-dry techniques are used to create the rocks' composition and associate the darkest areas of a landscape or mountain painting.

  • Building up color

This will help you practice building up color bases from plain water to a wet color mixture of paintings. This helps create a smooth reaction normally referred to as 'hombre.' You start with dry paper, put a little water into your color palette, and paint a little with it. Use a bit of water with your brush and paint on your paper, add a tiny pigment to the water and work your way up slowly.

Repeat the process by painting with just water then adding pigments periodically. Remember always to rinse your brush thoroughly. Always rinse your brush with just water to avoid scratching the surface. By the time you are done, the painting should look as thick and opaque as possible.

Watercolor painting
You must master the various techniques to produce different results. Source: Unsplash

Mastering Washing Techniques

Washing refers to stroking a wide area of the paper with a foundation of a part the exact color, which normally acts as a background or usually part of the painting. There are several types of washing techniques.

  • Flat Wash

flat wash has a uniform color tone all over. It's called flat because there's no variation in color. Flat washes can be painted mostly on wet-on-wet and wet-on-dry techniques.

  • Graded Wash

A graded wash corrects the color tone from dark to light. It's the type of wash mostly used for painting backgrounds in landscapes. It can be challenging to determine the shift precisely the way you want, but as with flat washes, the more you practice, the closer you get to perfection! Graded wash and can be used on both wet on dry and wet on wet methods.

  • Variegated Wash

A variegated wash is a smooth combination of two or more colors. This is an example of wash transitions in color or tone across its exterior. This can be painted utilizing a wet on dry or wet on wet method, but the wet on a damp technique is safer because it enables the various colors to blend. When you're practicing this aspect of a wash for the first time, we recommend you stick to only two colors.

Learning Color Combinations

Knowing the right colors to mix and incorporating them would significantly contribute to your success in watercolor painting. The more you mix your paints with water, the lighter and less thick in texture and appearance they become. You should also have basic knowledge of the primary colors and the correct combinations to create other colors of lighter or more opaque variations.

Moving From Light to Dark Color

Another powerful watercolor technique to know is working from light to dark. This implies that you're maintaining white or light in your painting all through the entire work span. Build your values up, coating by coating, to achieve or arrive at the outcome you want. This requires a lot of planning, but the results will be worth it.

Other Helpful Watercolor Painting Tips for Beginners

Finally, to conclude, here are some other useful tips we think you should know as a beginner:

  • Don't add too much water: Avoid adding too much water to your color palette.
  • Ensure your paper does not fold on its edges. You can prevent this by holding your piece in place with tape.
  • Use the sides of your brush to paint always.
  • Most times, you may exceed your estimated paint usage.

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See these resources for learning watercolor painting.

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Marvis

Marvis Osarhenrhen is a freelance SEO writer that is focused on helping businesses reach their target audience, get leads and drive revenue through optimised content.