How to Paint Using Different Watercolor Techniques

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This post is part of Tutorial Tuesday, a series hosted by “The Admission Insider” and PortPrep owner Karen Kesteloot. Tutorial Tuesday aims to help students improve the artworks in their college art portfolio by teaching various hand drawing techniques.

watercolor techniques

Watercolor scares off artists because, aside from the technical difficulties of using pigments, it takes advanced skills to create beautiful paintings that you’ll include in your art portfolio. However, knowing the basic watercolor techniques as featured in this post will give you ideas on the skills you need to work and practice on!

In order to do watercolor properly, you need to know the proper watercolor techniques. When done correctly, watercolor can evoke a wide range of expression despite its seeming unpredictability as an artistic medium. But just like any other medium, it takes practice and perseverance for a person to paint masterpieces using watercolor.

Basic watercolor techniques

If you want to learn how to paint using watercolor, then you need to know the watercolor techniques that are primarily used in this type of medium.

Creating washes

There are three types watercolor washes – flat, graded, and blended. To achieve this effect, you need to mix the pigment with a certain amount of water for the desired hue. Dip your brush onto the mixture and spread it horizontally and in one direction across the damp canvas. For a more detailed instruction on how to do this, head on to WikiHow and read “How to Paint a Watercolor Wash.”

Knowing color theory

Developed by Swiss painter and Bauhaus member Johannes Itten in the early 20th century, color theory is used up to this day to provide artists a basis for coming up with rich and dynamic color combinations for their painting. Below is an infographic that explains the types of relationships of colors in the wheel.


Color-Theory-Infographic (Photo credit: Social Media Max)

For a more comprehensive explanation and history of color theory, read “Beginners: An Introduction to Color Theory” by artist daily.

Masking techniques

When painting using watercolor, there will be small areas in the canvas that will be difficult to keep from getting colored due to the size of the brush. This is where masking fluid comes in handy. Applying them on the small areas will keep them colorless even when spreading your brush on them. For the best way on how to use masking fluid, read Craftsy‘s article titled “12 Tips for Using Masking Fluid in Watercolor Painting.”

Now that you know about these watercolor techniques, it’s time to try it out on your painting with the help of “The Admission Insider” Karen Kesteloot!

Karen had taught the Water Colour Class as part of the Adult Education program at the Guelph School of Arts years ago. Below is a video sample of how she helped out semi-retired people who have had success in different professional fields but returned to pursue their original passion in the arts.

If you want to improve your watercolor techniques, don’t hesitate to get Karen’s help to not only make your art portfolio for college better, but to also bring make the arts more fun and enjoyable! Click here or on the banner below to find out how Karen can help you.

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