The flowing colors, the unpredictable pigment, the spectrum of saturation — watercolors are both beautiful and intimidating. But watercolor newbies, don't let a little uncertainty scare you away. These 10 tips were designed to beat your fear and get a brush in your hand.
New paint, who dis? Anyone who's ever tried watercolor has quickly learned that watercolor shades can look a lot different in the package than on the paper. That's why swatching your go-to colors is like the equivalent of adding friends to your contact list ... when you need 'em, you can quickly call 'em up. Here's how to get started creating your palette:
There's something so satisfying when I get to see one of my students have a “lightbulb moment” about their watercolor practice. These little epiphanies have been scattered along my own creative path too, and I love sharing them with anybody who will listen. When we try to build a new skill, there are so many things to learn — rules, tips, techniques — that it can feel really daunting. But there are a few things that stand out as the most helpful “a-ha moments” I wish I had known about sooner.
Everything you need to start painting with watercolors. We're on a mission to turn you into a painter! Learn everything you need to know to get started with watercolors, and even create your first masterpiece!
Explore the various aspects of paper and the formats it comes in, from pads and blocks to giant tearable sheets. Kateri helps you choose the right kind of paper for your project, then shows you how to stretch it to avoid warping and bubbling.
Explore a number of mark-making techniques with two types of brushes: flat and round. Kateri demonstrates how to lift pigment, create sharp edges and make a variety of lines, including twisting, flat, thick-to-thin and more.
Explore the two primary watercolor methods: wet-in-wet and wet-on-dry. See how to drop in and lift out color, use masking fluid or salt to create unique effects, and explore a dry-brush technique to create hard and soft edges.
Ahh, summer...full of late sunsets, flickering fireflies and backyard barbecues, where slices of watermelon are fresh and juicy. To freeze time, if only just a tiny little bit, create a watermelon painting. Whether you're a novice painter or a pro with a palette, this four-step process is actually no sweat, and nearly as sweet as the real thing.
Watercolor painting and embroidery. Both great art forms. But have you considered a mash-up? (Bear with us here!) Hey, it works for the most unlikely musician pairings, and it will work here. In fact, adding thread to a watercolor work will definitely add a robust new dimension to your work — a unique sculptural effect that will draw admirers.
Finish your rose painting with the addition of a dark background, discovering ways to prevent your light and dark colors from mixing in the process, and adding bold focal points that pop on the page. Nan also shares tips for glazing and scrubbing the rose's leaves, as well as adding texture with a fun and surprisingly easy method. You'll finish the class with two frame-ready watercolors, and inspiration to start painting all the other flowers that you love!
See how value influences the colors you choose as you add paint to your initial contour sketches. Then, stop to evaluate your progress and decide what makes good subject matter for a landscape. Finally, create a fun, quick gesture sketch with expressive, loose strokes. Along the way, pick up tips and tricks for handling your brush and working with watercolor.