I have an issue with using too much water with my watercolor paints. I know I’ve said it before, but I wanted to mention it again for the purpose of this blog post.
I ran across a YouTube video from one of a few artists I follow. I enjoyed watching Jenna talk about how much water to use with watercolor paints. It was a game changer to see what I’ve been doing wrong for several years. What is the right mixture of water and paint color? What technique is the right one to use? Dry on wet? Wet on Wet?
I watched the video all the way to the end. That was hard for me as I wanted to jump in and create my own paint samples. I had to stop myself and breathe and watch/learn without doing.
As I watched the video for the second time, I was actually following along. Yes, I had to stop the video several times so I could “catch up” and paint along.
In the top row, I painted my circles using a dry-on-wet technique. My tea sample is what I would typically paint for my base color. Also, this shows I have the tendency to use too much water when I’m painting and mixing my colors. I have to remind myself to dab my brush on my towel before applying my brush to the paint or paper. By the time I get to the butter consistency sample, this is basically lots of paint and very little water. You can see my brush strokes around the edges.
In the second row I used the wet-on-wet technique and my butter consistency had less dispersion in the water and the color is a bit more controlled. The color is also quite saturated and bold. The tea/coffee consistency produced the most dispersion and ends up being a lighter color.
This was a wonderful exercise for me to go through and I learned a lot about water control. I think I was afraid to use the initial bold watercolor washes for my first layers. I sometimes forget that my watercolor sketches will dry lighter. I just have to remind myself not to overthink what I’m doing and just put paint to paper and let it go.
I’ve included the link below of the YouTube video that has been a huge help in my watercolor journey.
Paint: Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolor – Prussian Blue
Paint Brush: Cheap Joe’s Golden Fleece Travel Brush #8
Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha 7.5″x7.5″ softcover