Roll With It

A wet-in-wet underpainting is a good starting point for any watercolor painting. But your initial washes can be made even more exciting with—of all things—toilet tissue.

You can begin in the usual way by covering your surface with water and laying down several areas of rich, wet color. Then, with two fingers tucked inside a tube of toilet tissue, roll off some of the paint, allowing the tissue to randomly blot up areas of color and create an abstract light pattern. Let the shapes that emerge dictate the subject of your painting, and try a few other textural techniques to finish off your work.

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