Essential Watercolor Painting Ideas for Every Artist

Essential Watercolor Painting Ideas for Every Artist

Painting with watercolors has long been a popular medium for amateurs and professional artists alike. Watercolor is a material with numerous creative potential, despite the fact that all you need to get started is a brush and some pigments. By using everyday items in your painting, you can create work that has unique textures as well as fluid, carefree colors that display the best attributes of the medium.


Mastering the watercolor technique is an important component of developing your skills in the medium. Though watercoloring can be a difficult medium to master, when done correctly, it can be a versatile and flexible medium that is well worth exploring. The art of using watercolor, also known as aquarelle, has been practised for thousands of years.

Pigments are suspended in a water-soluble medium in watercolor paints. The white of the paper reflects light, which bounces up through the colors, creating a brilliance that may be quite wonderful. These essential watercolour methods can assist you in mastering the art.

Techniques In Painting With Watercolors 

These are the techniques in painting with watercolors:

  1. Buy a range of Brushes: It's crucial to have a variety of brushes. Your options will be determined by how big or little your work is. Experiment with several sizes to find your favorites, but you can select brushes that are smaller than you think you'll need. These will be useful for those last-minute details that you didn't plan for.

  2. Get some good quality paints: It's critical to purchase high-quality watercolors. It will last longer, and it will not decay as quickly. In stores and online, there are a variety of brands and levels to choose from. Purchase a couple colors from several brands to see which you prefer. Start small: a limited palette allows you to experiment with a variety of colors. 

  3. Explore dry versus wet: When painting with watercolors, there are two key considerations: wet and dry. Watercolor is a water-based medium, as the name implies. Depending on how much water you add, you can change the pigment's darkness and saturation. Watercolor painting can be done in a variety of methods, and as you experiment with them, you'll discover which ones work best for you. I've discovered that working from dry to wet helps me achieve my goals.

  4. Work from light to dark: Working from bright to dark is another important watercoloring skill to remember. This means that anything in your artwork that is white or light must stay that way for the length of the project. To get the effect you want, build up your values layer by layer. This will need a significant amount of planning, but the end product will be well worth the effort.

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  5. Stock up on paper towels: When painting with watercolors, a paper towel is an essential tool to have in your bag. For your watercolors, this practically functions as a kneaded eraser. Applying a wash of color and then lifting sections of it up is a terrific method to progressively build layers of detail. Paper towels can also be used to fix mistakes or reroute the paint.

  6. Splatter with your watercolors: A splatter watercolor method is a useful way to add some excitement to your watercolor painting. This can be used to represent water spray or dust floating in the air. Hold your paintbrush between your thumb and middle finger. Pull back on the bristles with your index finger and let them snap forward. This process is a little random, but it can produce some really fascinating effects, so I recommend giving it a try.

  7. Bleed colors into one another: The 'blooming' watercolor method is a fantastic way to bleed colors into one another. Apply the pigment on the paper with a good amount of water in your brush. Add another color with the same amount of water while the stroke is still wet. At this stage, you can modify the colors to get them where you want them. Allow for drying time, and you'll notice subtle gradients throughout the stroke.

  8. Get the textures right: Working with watercolors on a rougher surface has its advantages. One of the most evident is that achieving a great texture does not require a lot of effort. Nonetheless, it's critical to show things and materials with their surfaces intact. This entails the use of wets and drys, as well as lights and darks. 

  9. Pull in color: When you apply a dry, more saturated stroke, all you need is water to pull from it. This watercolor method is excellent for indicating form and light source or edge. Apply a stroke with a small amount of water and a lot of pigment. Take a relatively moist brush and draw the color out of the darker stroke before it dries. Depending on how dry the paint is, you can drag the color very far.

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  10. Layer your colors: Since watercolor is a thin medium, you'll need to layer colors on top of each other. Another benefit of the medium is that it allows you to do some color mixing right on the paper. Place one color on the table. Allow it to dry before going over it again with a different shade. You'll see that where they meet, the pigments mix and you're left with a new color. This is excellent for enhancing flesh tones.

  11. Try Scumbling: Scumbling is a watercoloring method for creating subtle colors of layered pigment and light that is also utilized by many oil artists. To achieve the desired hue and effect, you'll simply layer the color in soft, indirect layers. For watercoloring, simply lay in semi-wet strokes of paint. As you add more color, make sure you continue adding water to ensure the colors stay smooth and blendable. It's easy to overwork and burn out.

  12. Lift Color: Simply lay in semi-wet paint strokes into the watercolor. Make sure to keep adding water as you add more color to keep the colors smooth and blendable.

  13. Use tape to add clean edges: You can mask off areas you want to keep clean and white with tape. For harsh edges seen in some technology or buildings, this watercoloring approach is useful. Simply place the tape where you want the paper to remain white.

    Using tape that won't rip your paper such as drafting or painters' tape is a good idea. Paint over and around the tape.

  14. Use a 2H pencil for your underdrawings: To ensure that your underdrawing will tolerate the water from the medium, use a pencil with 2H lead. Then you may go in with a medium-sized brush and add some faint paint strokes. Since your paint is so thin, it won't discolor the paper immediately.

  15. Explore negative painting: Watercoloring is all about preparation. Before you start painting, consider where you want your whites and lights to go. It's critical to keep your brush under control as you paint around the perimeter of where you want your negative space to start. Fill it halfway with semi-wet color and start painting along the edge of where you want your negative space to start. 

Watercoloring also does a better job of bringing out the texture of the paper and gives you more control over color depth and luminosity. You have a lot of options when it comes to paper, paint types, brushes, and water levels, and you can even use things like watercolor pencils or inks afterwards if you like. 

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