Preparing your paints to paint
- place a dab of paint from tube on the upper part of the palette (DO NOT put in the bottom of the paint well). You can add a little or more as you use it. If it dries on the palette, just re-wet it and use it again.
- Take a bit of paint with a brush into paint well when needed
- Wet pan of paint, by either spray of water or wetted brush
- Dip the brush into paint pan to get the desired color
Mixing Paint Thick or Thin
Think about the consistency of your paint as a rough guide to how dark the paint will be for use.*
* This is NOT a hard and fast rule that will work with all paints. It is a GUIDELINE. It is a guideline to help you start mixing paints. It is a starting point to help you figure out how light or dark the paint you are mixing is. Once you get it in the ballpark of how dark you need it, test the paint on your paper and adjust as needed.
All paint testing done by you should be
done with Ultramarine Blue or Burnt Umber.
Characteristics: Tinted water, can see easily the bottom of your well, viscosity (thickness) is like water.
Characteristics: Tinted water, trouble seeing through to the bottom of well, viscosity is like water.
Characteristics: Cannot see through paint, viscosity is like milk.
Characteristics: Cannot see-through, viscosity is like cream. Note, this is one you will use very rarely, less than 5% of the time.
Additionally, suppose you are trying to paint with watercolor that has viscosity/consistency of yogurt or butter. In that case, you need to add water as it’ll be thick to paint like watercolor.
If you like the feel of the paint “better” when it is as thick as yogurt or butter, switch to acrylic paints, that will save you money/frustration.
With a round brush, go from thick to thin in a single stroke. Curve the stroke, do it fast and do it slow.
Feel free to try different strokes!
How wet is your brush?
How much paint/water is in your brush can really change what your brushstrokes look like!
- Dripping – Water is dripping from bristles, and will make a bead on paper.
- Saturated – Brush is full of water, releases a bead on paper.
- Wicked – Before painting, brush pushed against side of well or palette to release excess water/paint. Paints a pretty smooth stroke of paint.
- Thirsty – Brush very wicked and/or dabbed on paper towel. Brush may not make full contact with paper and leave some areas unpainted, leaving a textures.
- Dry – Brush is 100% dry.
Practice drier brushstrokes
Get your brush loaded with a mix of paint, and practice loading your brush to be thirsty and make strokes.
Practice with flat brush
Practice making twists with a loaded flat brush.
Practice making strokes with your flat brush thirsty.
So we can control the following with watercolor
- How light or dark of the paint mix
- How much water/paint was in our brush