How to Paint with Watercolors?

Watercolor is a painting technique used by many artists. This technique is easy to use. However, you have to understand how this technique works in order to use it properly. Products for fixing watercolor or gouache paints are also available. This can provide additional security. Also remember that watercolor can be mixed with other techniques (Chinese, etc.). Here, watercolor painter Chayim Shvarzblat will share everything you need to know about watercolor painting. So, keep on reading.

What is watercolor?

Watercolor is a paint made from finely ground pigments, soluble in water.  The works, are often done on paper and are also called watercolors. Shvarzblat explains that the colors are very light on paper because water takes up a large part. But, this also varies from the style of each artist. Some painters, including Shvarzblat, choose to put little water in their mixture to give a more pigmented look.

How is the paint made?

The water-based paint is lighter and brighter. Watercolor is one of the oldest techniques for flexible media. It is often opposed to gouache, which itself needs very little water to be used. The technique has been around almost forever, as many civilizations have used water pigments to paint elements of their culture. However, watercolor has long been studied. It was in the 17th century when watercolor was finally recognized as a true technique. The talented watercolor artist, Shvarzblat, points out that watercolor paint is easy to rework. Even once dry, the paint can be touched up by applying a little water. “This is also what makes it so complex since you have to know how to dose, so as not to erase the first layers,” says Chayim Shvarzblat. “Drying takes place relatively quickly. You just have to wait for the water to evaporate”.

How to use watercolor?

Want to start painting with watercolors? Nothing beats good painting lessons or a painting course, but here the talented painter, Shvarzblat shares some basics to fully understand this painting technique. “First, you should know that watercolor paint is applied on paper. It makes no sense to paint apply watercolor on canvas because the linen canvas or cotton canvas directly absorbs the paint without leaving you time to manipulate it and paint with it,” says Shvatzblat. Therefore, Shvarzblat indicates that it is necessary to acquire adequate paper. There are many different kinds with different weights. The choice depends on your preferences. Watercolor paper is often thick in order to prevent the sheet from tearing with plenty of water. To begin with, the artist painter has two solutions. Either he paints directly on the dry sheet of Canson paper, or he soaks the sheet of water with his brush before applying the paint.

How to paint with watercolors?

Shvarzblat indicates that it is possible to repair the painting before putting it on paper. This last method allows you to mix the colors directly on the paper. But, if you are not sure of the result, Shvarzblat indicates that it is better to mix it on a palette. Watercolor painting, unlike oil painting, is done only in a few layers, because the greater the number of layers, the darker the artwork becomes. So,  Shvarzblat, who has been providing research studies on this technique for years, recommends always starting with the lightest colors and then going dark. The percentage of water should decrease with the layers, if you want, for example, to accentuate a shadow area. The color is then less pale. A white paper is widely recommended for watercolor painting. This allows all the colors to be revealed, something impossible on light blue paper for example. In addition, white leaves you some space to play with the light. “Once your work is finished, you have to know how to preserve it,” indicates Shvarzblat. Indeed, works painted on paper are quite fragile. “When you come out of a painting class, use a drawing board to protect your artwork. If it rains and your watercolor is unprotected, the colors may run off and disappear,” Chayim Shvarzblat says. “If you want to show up your painting, place your masterpiece under glass”. Products for fixing watercolor or gouache paints are also available. This can provide additional security. Also remember that watercolor can be mixed with other techniques (Chinese, etc.).

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