Washing Away Assumptions
I am rolling my eyes with embarrassment when I tell you that when I first saw watercolor paintings with wide expanses of color I assumed these were applied and then wiped out and smoothed over after they were laid down.
I had no idea that there were techniques you could use to get beautiful watercolor washes with a stroke of the brush (and a lot of practice). Mea culpa — I’m a novice!
After I found that out, I did my watercolor research and found several great tips for laying washes that are soft, diffuse and flowing. And now I am going to share these tips with you. Enjoy!
3 Tips for Mastering Watercolor Washes
No stinginess. I’m always trying to hoard paint and that is a big mistake. To lay a wash, you’ve got to do it in one go. And, to be on the safe side, mix more pigment than you think you will need.
Go off-kilter. Angling your surface forces a wash to flow downward and there won’t be any drips. If you want to stop or reverse the direction that the paint flows, hold the surface so you can quickly reverse the angle.
Don’t turn back. This is the hardest one for me! You can’t fix a wash by going back into it. In fact, it usually becomes more of a mess. Because of this, I keep scratch paper nearby to do a few practice strokes before I lay down the wash that I hope will be “the one.”
Level Up Your Watercolor Techniques!
If you want to see more incredible washes — plus luscious color and light effects tips — from expert watercolor artist Soon Warren, check out the Vibrant Watercolor Painting Techniques Digital Toolkit. “If you apply just one color, then you have just one color and it will be very flat. But when you apply in layers, other colors start [emerging], and it creates very interesting, deep color,” says Warren.
In the bundle, you will find a master watercolorist’s toolkit with ways to paint reflections, vibrant colors and even the brushes you need for a successful start. Get ready to achieve more dynamic watercolor paintings. Enjoy!