Simple Watercolor Techniques

There are two major factors to consider when painting with watercolors: Wet and Dry. As the name suggests, watercolour is a water-based medium. Darkness and saturation of the pigment depends on how much water is added to the painting. For example, for the background or when trying to paint a background a solid color, you can use wet-on-wet technique so your pigment spreads quicker and blends well with it! 

Wet-on-Wet

 Wet-on-wet, or alla prima (Italian, meaning at first attempt), is a painting technique, used mostly in oil painting, in which layers of wet paint are applied to previously administered layers of wet paint. The background of this painting uses We-on-Wet technique.

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Wet-on-Dry

Your paper is dry. You load your brush with your colors and then apply them on the dry paper. This also creates hard edges and you need to soften them immediately before the washes is completely dry. I use a moist brush and then soften my edges. You also can use this method for mixing colours on your paper. Just apply your colours maybe side by side and let them flower into each other. As long as the wash is wet the colours will flow. This painting uses a good amount of this technique. 

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Dry Brush Technique

Dry brush is a painting technique in which a paint brush that is relatively dry, but still holds paint, is used. Load is applied to a dry support such as paper or primed canvas. The resulting brush strokes have a characteristic scratchy look that lacks the smooth appearance that washes or blended paint commonly have. The two paintings below use this technique. 

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Splatter Technique

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One handy trick to add some action to your watercolour painting, such as water spray or floating dust, is to use a splatter watercolor technique. Hold your paintbrush between your thumb and middle fingers. Using your index finger, pull back on the bristles and let them snap forward. This method is a bit random, but can yield some very fun results, so I’d urge you to give it a try. The picture above has the splatter technique applied to the right side of the painting. 

Run Down Technique 

This technique is usually used on the bottom of watercolor paintings! It is when the bottom of the paper right below the paint that is applied is wet and you tilt the board and putt it in standing position and the paint gets mixed with the water right below it..The painting below is an example of a painting where this technique is applied!

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