The bliss of summer makes the heart sing the songs of love! And if you are an artist, there is no love more than the love of painting for you. Sitting beside a lake trying to get the beauty of nature on the canvas, you feel the peace of eternity! However, not always, you can get such an environment and yet you want to explore your love of watercolor painting.
Moreover, in the busy schedule of day-to-day life, you seldom get time. So why does that have to mean that you should trivialize your love for art? Just grab on some paints and brushes as we have these Easy and Simple Watercolor Painting Ideas that you can easily do in your spare time to revitalize your energy!
However, before we start with the techniques and samples here is a very basic question that you must have had in your mind! We’d love to answer it!
BEGINNER WATERCOLOR TECHNIQUES
Wet On Dry Painting Technique
For this technique, keep the canvas dry and by dry we mean utter dry. Then mix your watercolor with some amount of water or a medium and paint your painting. And here are Crochet Crafts to Make and Sell that are really amazing!
Here is a beautiful example of wet on dry painting.
Dry On Dry Painting Technique
For this kind of painting, you need to keep the watercolor in the most undiluted form. In addition, the canvas should not be wet in any form. Initially, you will find it difficult to do it. Eventually, you will learn how to do it with ease. With this, Also have a look at these Eggcellent Easter Decoration Ideas and Projects
Here is a beautiful bunch of flowers painting done with this technique.
Dry On Wet Painting Technique
Now, this technique is one of the best if you want to create water effects in your painting. For this, you have to wet your canvas and make sure that it has an efficient amount of water for the dry paint to dilute. Next, dip your brush in the paint and slid it over the wet canvas. And here are Festive Indoor Easter Decoration Ideas and Projects!
Here is a beautiful sea horse that has been made with this technique.
Wet On Wet Painting Technique
For this, your canvas needs to be wet as so does your watercolor be diluted. This technique requires a lot of patience without which it can totally mess up. And here are some Realistic Handmade Wooden Animal Sculptures!
Here is an example of wet on wet watercolor painting.
Graded wash is a gradient made with watercolor. This technique allows you to add a lot of variation and it’s very versatile. You start with one color and gradate it to clear water or mix two different colors together going dark to faint.
To start with graded wash, in a mug of clear water, dip your brush and start painting your canvas. Start with the position where you want the most saturation – top or bottom. Then, break it down, in DOWNWARD direction.
Once the water layer is set, select a pigment mixed with water and paint that first stroke. You will observe that pigment has started to break and spread. Water beneath the paint layer, brings out the softness to it. Paint layer by layer, each layer having fainted shade than above. Use plenty of water with each layer of paint stroke. Another technique of graded wash is to use wet paintbrush on canvas directly.
The step is very tricky, if your brush is not wet, you’ll see streaks throughout your painting. With significant strokes, each layer will break down, water will pull the paint down and result beautifully into a graded wash watercolor painting.
Ratio, tilt and droplet – three crucial things for flat wash watercolor technique. Ratio is the paint to water consistency. Large surface area will require a larger amount of paint. Tilt is the angle of the canvas. If you observe professional painters, they always tape down the canvas and set the tilt. Water color paints are super runny, you need to have control over the running direction of water. Last dominant factor is bead, this refers to the droplet of the paint – water mixture that you’ll be pushing downward. In flat wash water technique, we pull the bead downwards in a left to right motion. TIMING is everything in water color painting. Do not leave your strokes in the middle when you run out of paint. Flat wash water color technique needs control on the droplet – the direction and the paint. PRACTICE will make you perfect!
Lifting Wet Paint
In water color painting, lifting watercolor paint is the most important technique to master. Lifting, basically means to remove paint by putting water on it and then re-wet it to lift the paint out of the painting. Seems complicated, but it is an easy technique. Mostly done, when we are highlighting the painting. Use a paper towel, if the straining factor is high on your paint. Paper towel will lift the extra strains. AVOID PUDDLES, while lifting, this is the only rule to follow. Re-wetting the bed, will create a water puddle, soft it out and pick/lift with a paper towel. How it works – When paint meets water, it gets reactivated and starts flowing. With the help of a brush, we can move around the paint and gather the excess stain and lift using a paper towel. Paper napkin will automatically absorb the paint resulting in clean water color painting.
Water Color Control
Here are some hacks for beginners to learn how to control water color while painting. Always paint in natural light. This will help you determine when you need to lay the paint down. Examine the water sources – you need to have control over the amount of water used while painting. If your palette, brush and paper all are loaded with water, the painting will probably be out of control due to excessive water. While painting, watch out the liquidity amount coming from canvas, palette, brush and water container. Realize, EVERYTHING CANNOT BE CONTROLLED, work through the unexpected hiccups that come. Keep cotton ear buds, paper towels handy to pick, erase and remove excessive paint or water.
Wash Painting Technique
In this technique, you create a background for your painting using the neutral shade for your painting, then draw, and paint on it. With this, here are DIY Easter Crafts Ideas for Kids and Adults!
The wash painting looks beautiful in this example.
Gradient Wash Painting Technique
The gradient wash is used to add effects to your painting. It is a wash technique that displays a subtle fade either in increasing or decreasing form. In addition, here are Things to do with an Empty Frame!
Here is a beautiful example of a gradient wash
Variegated Wash Painting Technique
This is like the wet on wet technique; however, it involves using two colors. You have to create a wash effect with the two colors. Enjoy yourself while doing this because it usually creates a beautiful unpredictable blend of colors. And here are Next-Level Easter Eggs Decoration Ideas and Projects!
Here is a mesmerizing example of a painting done by this technique.
INTERMEDIATE WATERCOLOR TECHNIQUES
Watercolor lets you make beautifully artistic calligraphy writing with unlimited color combinations. Prepare the paint with warm water, so that colors are more vibrant for the calligraphy. Fill the palette with desired hue, twist the brush and load the paint evenly on the entire brush. Ensure controlled action while painting, when you run out of paint, reload the brush. It will blend seamlessly. For advanced technique, you can pick 2 or more colors that are close and paint alternatively with a single brush. To prevent warping, tape down the canvas or paper with tape. Calligraphy looks best when it has faded effects, to achieve that, start painting and don’t reload brush with paint, use water instead.
Salt Watercolor Painting Technique
Water color painting using salt is often used to define textures, it is widely used for painting galaxies, milky way, ocean, sky. To start, apply a generous layer of water on your canvas or heavy paper till you get that glossy look. Next, load up the brush with water and begin to paint as you would normally do. Avoid using a lot of water to ease down the blending. Whereas, for excess paint, use a dry brush and lift the paint. Once, your painting is ready and wet, sprinkle table salt on top in diagonal direction and let it dry. If painting has gradient effect, sprinkle the salt in a gradient manner. Once the painting is dry, carefully remove the salt using fingers. Salt will create more depth and transform your painting.
Splatter Painting Technique
Have you ever tried brush painting? Will this technique is similar to that. For this, you have to take diluted watercolor on your brush and splatter it with your fingers. With this, here are Easy and Creative DIY Popsicle Stick Crafts Ideas
Look at this gorgeous painting done with splatter.
Layering Painting Technique
As the name suggests, this technique uses layering of colors. Initially, you put one color then let it dry. Then you put a layer of another color and let it dry. Repeat this until your heart desires. With this, here are Pretty Nail Art Designs for Summers!
Here is an example of the layering technique.
Sponge Painting Technique
For this technique, you need the watercolors in undiluted form. Dip your sponge in it and texture it upon the canvas. Also, here are Trending Fall Nail Designs and Colors!
You can definitely try this one for your watercolor painting ideas
PRO WATERCOLOR TECHNIQUES
Plastic Wrap Technique
Plastic wrap water color painting is frequently used with wet on wet technique. All you want to do is wet your paper generously with water, then drop some color. The paint will start running all over. To understand this technique, we will use an example of painting flowers. Drop some red paint for the roses and fill the background with choice of your hue. To stand out the flower, drop some paint at the center of the flower, take regular plastic wrap, using your finger, point the wrap to the center. Start whirling around the plastic wrap and then mash it down into the wet wash painting. Cover the entire painting with plastic wrap and mash it down gently with fingers. Let it dry for 30 minutes. When it’s dry, it will easily pull off. Plastic wrap gives some textures and depth to your painting.
Advance Watercolor Texture Techniques
There are a lot of additions to watercolor painting for adding texture to painting. You can use various supplies like gauze, rice, salt, baking sheet for adding textures. The common idea behind these techniques are either using wet on wet technique or dry on dry painting technique. Then carefully placing the additions like gauze on top of the painting. TIMING plays a huge role here, do not place when it’s too dry, then the paint would not respond and build texture whereas do not place when it’s too wet, then the hues would not mix. The water should not be runny and hues should not be dry. Once you start playing around and pass the intermediate stage, becoming an expert and pro will take no time.
EXERCISES FOR MASTERING BRUSH CONTROL
Mastering brush control comes with practice. Here are few exercises to learn and practice control –
Straight Lines Across– Draw straight lines across the paper with brush barely touching the paper. When you drag your hand, you end up with very consistent straight lines. Start with thin, press it hard to get thick. This is a very great first exercise you can try to learn brush control.
Pressure Strokes – Difference between pressure strokes is the second best exercise you can master. Vary the pressure as you drag the paint, beginning with light pressure to paint thin lines. Brush across and press down for full pressure stroke, lift carefully for thin strokes. Tip – Glide your hand without lifting as you move.
Brush Strokes – Hold your brush firmly and simply drag your hand up and down. Let the tip of your brush paint thin straight strokes. It is okay to mess things up in the start. With practice, we learn more control over hand movement, pressure on brush. Try out strokes using different brushes, each brush size will show different results.
Loose Effect Strokes – If you’re painting a background like the sky with loose effects or clouds with fluffy texture, this brush control exercise will help you. Pick a mop effect to give a slurry effect. The grip of your hand should be very loose.
Moreover, there are endless exercises you can practice for mastering brush control. Pick different brushes, move horizontally, vertically with varying pressure and observe how they appear. With some TIME & PRACTICE, you would develop an intuition to understand for which stroke, the amount of pressure, the size of brush, amount of paint to pick.
BASIC COLOR THEORY POINTS
The better you understand the science behind color wheels, the easier it gets to mix them. It might sound all technical and boring. Watercolor mixing is easy if you grasp basic color theory. There will be times when you feel like abandoning the painting because the colors don’t mix up.
Primary Colors – red, yellow and blue are called primary colors. Other colors can’t be mixed together to create primary colors, so they stand alone.
Secondary Colors – Secondary colors are the colors which are achieved by mixing the primary colors like orange, purple, green
Tertiary Colors – Colors between primary and secondary bring up the tertiary colors. These three-color divisions make the color wheel.
Saturation – Bright colors have high intensity/saturation, whereas dull colors have lower intensity. The exciting part of watercolor paints is you can control intensity of paints, add more water to reduce saturation, add primary colors to increase saturation.
Color Harmony – Plan the color scheme of your painting at the start. Experiment mixing color and water to create shades on a spare paper, have a wide range of shades. There should be only one dominating color and stick to the scheme. Most artists fail because they end up creating multiple shades of the same paint.
SOME FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is acrylic painting easier than watercolor?
Perhaps the answer to this question is yes! Now you think why? Because watercolors being themselves are transparent and one shade shows off the other. On the other hand, acrylic paints create more of an opaque texture thus, it becomes easy to camouflage any mistakes that you have done on the canvas. Moreover, it is the hardest of all the techniques like oil painting and acrylic painting to master. Hence, we say that acrylic painting is easier than watercolor painting. With this, here are Adorable DIY Mother’s Day Crafts To Express Gratitude!
How do you mix watercolors on the palette?
The mixing of the watercolor should not be a sudden task but one, which you do with utter patience.
- Initially dip your brush in the water and take a little amount of it.
- Next, you need to have the first color that you want to mix on the palette.
- Then take the next color and put it on a little distance from the first one.
- Now gradually mix them together in small amounts until you get the desired color.
Do watercolors fade?
Sadly they do. whatercolors are already diluted in water so when they are textured on the canvas they are not the whole of what they were. when sunlight, or for that instance, any light falls on the watercolor painting, it tends to lose color. hence it is always advised that watercolor paintings are not to be exposed to direct sunligh for long period of time.
We hope you found your inspiration from these Easy and Simple Watercolor Painting Ideas! We are glad to help you. For unique paintings initially, get your hands on the basics and then try out mixing and matching them to have some of your own. Happy painting! In addition, do check out these Pretty Fall Nail Art Ideas to Try!