Artist tips for watercolor painting.

Posted in October 14th I have several watercolor techniques listed. I couldn’t get the copy and paste to go. Look that up as well. Tip one: In watercolour painting sometimes you need to use the white shade or bright white color in your painting, but the transparent-ness of the wc white isn’t opaque enough to achieve the solid-ness you need….know that if you use white qouach or even an acrylic white paint that they will change the hue of the shade of the wc! Especially in portraits; the flesh tones will not match the existing watercolor palette you have down already. So, if you need to add a strong white do not mix that paint [other than watercolor] with the watercolor to achieve the flesh color you want. The result will be a solid hue shade and will have flatness to the tone and will look out-of-place. Watercolor realism is layers of transparent paint.

Tip two: Working on a porcelain base I find works the best for watercolor painting. I like Winsor and Newton pan paints. I suggest working from a twelve pan palette when starting out for the simple reason you will learn how to mix color. You will be able to mix any color you would ever need in the future. I was a poor college art student and didn’t have much money for supplies, but the twelve pan palette I had thought me color. I can mix any shade, hue or tone I need, I never made a color chart! Never even bought one! I now just bought a pan set of 45! whoopee! colors there I never heard of!  I suggest looking on the Ebay site UK or in England’s Ebay for Winsor and Newton pan paints. I paid $43. US dollars for my set and here they’re over $200. Winsor and Newton is English.

Tip three: Always give yourself enough paper to work with. Tape your borders which allows you make your edges clean and crisp, but also allows you to remove the artist tape for a larger composition if needed.

Tip four: I use Alpha rag museum board 4ply, truly a solid cotton linen fiber board. No filler, no buckling of the paper, no lifting of the surface from wetting and PH free. I just ordered several sheets. I can not deal with wc paper; I rarely paint on watercolor paper, never found one that I liked nor worked well for me. Even illustration board will Not hold water. Most really good art stores will have it, if not I will link you up where you can buy it. Here’s the link of my art guy:   [610-683-9123]  tell Dave Roxanne sent ya! He will hook you up with the Afga rag museum board you need and he ships too. I know you will never go back to paper again. This is any medium board! trust me!

Tip five: when working realism use one color for the flesh tone; Burnt Umber is a nice base for flesh tone. Watercolor realism is about layers. FOLLOW THE FORM. Paint in the direction of a shape or form.  All the tones so far on the people are a base of Burnt Umber. After the forms are in then I will start to add washes of pinks, crimsons. Paint your people with the base color first. Every layer added even with the same base will add increased color to the form or shape; every layer adds to the depth of color. There are NO LINES on a face; they are creases, hills and vallies. In my old set I don’t have fancy colors, I am trained “Old school”. Make your own shades and colors. “Learn how to paint with less” Mr. Sorrels would say. If you need a richer brown add a bit of Vandyke brown. If your portrait needs more of an olive skin type add a bit Raw Umber; found in Fancy sets. I was taught the less you have in a paint selection the better you will learn to mix color! It is true. Today there are too many colors, shades of color, hues of colors and you don’t learn how to mix colors on your own!  With the 12 pan set or less you learn how to mix any color you may need. I just knew I didn’t have the money as some of my peers in college for art supplies and felt quite poor actually. BUT,,,,I can mix you any shade or color you need from my tiny 12 pan set which I still have. So, who benefited? I can afford the 45 pan set now and it really doesn’t impress me as I thought it would. Still nice to have and use, but I find myself mixing what I need. I think it teaches you to “SEE” color and what the shade is made of and this skill is nice to have. I recommend starting out with a 12 pan wc set, learning to mix and then work your way up into a larger set. Learn foundationals first.

Tip six: I should have made this tip one….better late than never. These watercolours I came across on Ebay and couldn’t have been a better buy. They were made in the 40’s and 50’s in England. They’re called Page of London watercolours. The tin they come in is a lithograph meaning the printing process was applied one color at a time, not like today when the picture is stamped on. The tins are worth a pretty penny. If you find the tin with the paints you struck Gold! The paints are so transparent and just wonderful to work with. Give it a go and you will be delighted. Here  are two pictures to view.  Awesome colors in these tiny thin cakes. Sweet!

4 thoughts on “Artist tips for watercolor painting.

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