Basic Watercolor Techniques For Beginners

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Diving into watercolors

Its flowing brushstrokes and textured surface set it apart from other forms of art. A way to express yourself that is accessible for everyone; watercolor paints are great for kids as well as practicing artists. Watercolors are a great choice for beginners because of their versatility and ease of cleaning up. But the luminous quality they can achieve also makes them a popular choice for professional portraits and children’s books.

You can mix watercolors easily and create transparent washes that are perfect for layering when using them on paper. There’s a delicate dance going on between the subtlety of watercolor washes and the harsh lines that come from overlapping layers. The versatility of this medium allows artists to create both subtle and bold effects.

Wet-on-wet watercolor painting

It’s not easy to achieve those effects. Painting wet-on-wet, or using wet brushes on wet watercolor paper, can produce very different results from dry brush painting on a dry surface, and mastering these types of effects takes practice and patience. Artists can control the flow or movement of water with masking tape and masking fluid, or by using a paper towel if too much water becomes a problem. Watercolors can be unpredictable regardless of which level you are at, so it is not recommended for beginners or professionals alike. In this case, digital watercolors are useful.

Start to explore digital watercolor painting

It is possible to achieve the aesthetics and control of traditional watercolor paintings on a digital medium. Take advantage of what digital watercolors can do. They possess qualities that are both intriguing and beautiful. You can achieve a traditional watercolor look using apps such as Procreate.

Analyze digital watercolor’s advantages and challenges

For professional artists, digital watercolor painting provides a lot of flexibility. It takes a lot of time and effort to edit an illustration created in traditional watercolors for a client. It was really helpful to have a digital platform for revisions.

A well-defined color palette is important before diving into a digital painting, as some beginners use too many colors in their work. (Learning color theory will make it easier for you to select complementary colors.) With traditional watercolors, it’s easy to over blend and overmixes colors. Digital painting does not pose either of these issues. Changing the hues of your digital colors will fix muddy colors.

Additionally, creating natural, artistic brushstrokes is essential to digital watercoloring. It is not always possible to apply one brushstroke to a digital image. You need to work hard to create the texture that can be done more quickly with traditional media. Try layering different brushes and erasing individual lines multiple times. Watercolors and digital painting both take time and practice to become proficient, so you need to choose a process that suits you.

Discover more watercolor painting techniques

Finding the perfect paintbrush

Understanding your digital brushes and adjusting them is crucial. You may need a different brush for painting flowers than for painting landscapes. With custom brushes or specialized brushes, you can create any style you want. Among the brushes in the Procreate watercolor brushes set, you will find wet on dry watercolor brushes, dry on wet watercolor brushes, blender wash brushes, and more. 

Learning from your painting peers

You can find an abundance of tips, tutorials, and how-to articles online about watercolor. Discovering how other artists worked on similar projects can inspire you or help you overcome obstacles.

Combining your mediums

There is no need to confine yourself to only analog or only digital – use traditional watercolors to mark your paper, and then use those marks to create a custom digital brush. It is possible to enhance digital paintings with unique and interesting textures that capture the natural movement of water. Using photos as the starting point of your painting is another option.

Watercolors are always a great option, but taking your skills to the next level can enhance your creative vision. Create something new with watercolors, either on paper or on a screen, by learning how to harness their stunning power now.

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