Basic Watercolor Techniques

A watercolor painting consists of applying semi-transparent layers, until achieving more intense colors. There are different techniques for applying watercolors. Here, watercolor painter Chayim Shvarzblat will share some of them. Gradual Layers: One of the most common techniques of watercolor is “wet on wet.”  Shvarzblat indicates that the humidity of the base is what will allow the colors to fuse. This technique is used in areas that do not require definition or detail, such as clouds, landscapes, and sunsets. Overlays: Also known as “wet on dry,” where each coat must dry before painting the next. In this technique, it is very common to use a hairdryer to speed up drying. Shvarzblat specifies that this technique does not allow the creation of textures. Blots: According to Shvarzblat, this technique is very useful to create a little clearer space than the color layer that we have applied. For example, reflections in calm water. It is done with a piece of absorbent paper on the layer when it is not yet dry. Shvarzblat suggests being careful with the force used because you can gnaw the paper when doing it. Also, you can remove all the watercolor, if you do not like the result, by adding water and paint again. Masker: It is applied on the dry paper and it is allowed to dry completely before applying the paint on top. Shvarzblat indicates that this technique is used to maintain the white of the paper so that it can be painted freely without destroying the white. The color of the masker helps to identify it and to remove it when finished. Splashing: Chayim Shvarzblat shares that this technique can be done in several ways: – with a toothbrush, dipped in paint, and with your thumb, scrape over the bristles to get splashes of color. – with a sprayer, with paint and water, to create slightly more controlled splashes than with the brush. These are just some of the techniques for working with watercolor. As you progress in your learning, it is also important to inquire about how other artists work with watercolor, not to copy them, but to expand your knowledge. Practice will help you to master this technique and knowledge will make the journey easier.

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