Watercolor painting is a captivating art form that allows you to express your creativity and capture the beauty of the world around you. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced artist, these six steps will help you achieve success in your watercolor paintings. In this blog post, I will guide you through each stage, providing valuable tips and insights along the way. So, let's dive in and unlock your watercolor potential!
I spent a lot of time painting this delicious array of juicy slices and I want to show you the process of planning I do when I paint!
Before you start painting, take some time to reflect on your chosen subject. Whether it's a still life, a landscape, or a portrait, understanding the layers of your subject is crucial in watercolor painting. Analyze your reference and visualize how you can translate it into a series of layers, starting from light to dark. Consider how to preserve whites and plan your underpainting accordingly.
I pull out my color swatches and pick out the colors I am going to use for my project, take into consideration if the colors are transparent or semi-opaque this is very important when it comes to glazing. For instance, when painting lemons, opt for transparent yellows to allow the layers to shine through. Experiment with different color combinations and observe how they interact with each other.
Here is a video I did on color swatching:
Plan your layers
Watercolor painting is all about building layers gradually. Plan your painting by determining the order in which you'll apply the layers. It's crucial to work from light to dark, gradually building up the intensity. By layering step by step, you can preserve the luminosity of the lighter areas, giving your painting a sense of depth and realism. Additionally, consider the techniques you'll employ to create interesting textures and incorporate them into your plan.
Texture can add a captivating dimension to your watercolor paintings. Before diving into your main artwork, take some time to practice the techniques you intend to use. Grab a scrap piece of watercolor paper and experiment with various brushstrokes, washes, and effects. This way, you can refine your approach and ensure that your chosen techniques will yield the desired results.
To mimic the texture of the citrus I made random squiggly lines varying my colors as I painted the different slices.
Drawing serves as the foundation for any successful watercolor painting. A well-executed drawing sets the stage for your artwork, capturing the essence and proportions accurately.If your drawing looks off to you it will not be fixed by adding paint to it. I suggest you spend ample time perfecting your drawing on regular paper, making adjustments and corrections as needed. Once satisfied, transfer your perfected drawing onto your watercolor paper using tracing paper. This ensures a clean, undamaged surface to work on.If you are amazing at drawing proportions and rarely erase then go for it straight off from the start if you wish :)
Now that your master plan is in place you can start painting!! Dip your brush into the vibrant world of watercolors and start applying your carefully planned layers. Embrace the fluidity and transparency of the medium, allowing the colors to blend and interact harmoniously. Be patient, take your time, and let each layer dry before proceeding to the next. Enjoy the process and let your creativity shine through!
Watercolor painting is an incredible journey of self-expression and artistic exploration. By following these six steps, you're equipped with the knowledge and techniques to create stunning watercolor artworks. Remember to reflect on your subject, plan your layers, practice techniques, and master the art of drawing. With careful preparation and a willingness to experiment, you'll unleash your watercolor potential and create breathtaking paintings. So, grab your brushes, let the colors flow, and embark on your watercolor adventure!
Supplies I use:
Holbein Watercolor Kits:
12 5 ml tubes: https://amzn.to/3Frc31L
18 5 ml tubes: https://amzn.to/3qlUY32
24 5 ml tubes: https://amzn.to/3Eqfy7t
Princeton Black Velvet series brushes: https://amzn.to/33MzDbk
Water container I use: https://amzn.to/3Enrfvv
If you would like to try painting these juicy slices I have made a tutorial on YouTube: