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10 Tips to Instantly Get Better at Water Coloring

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Water coloring is difficult, and you need great practice, but follow this article for some easy tips to get better at it.

Water coloring is a form of art that uses paints made from color pigments
that are mixed in a water-based solution. Many artists believe that water coloring is the most difficult form of painting because the colors are sensitive and there are huge possibilities for error.

Even so, watercolor paintings are remarkable. If you are a beginner, it is natural to make a mistake. To help you out, here are some tips and tricks to use in getting better at water coloring.

  1. Know About the Types of Paper
    Not all paper can handle watercolor. Paper may look all the same, but they have distinct features. The printer paper used to write or print, cannot absorb the water. If you use watercolor on it, it will not absorb.
    Crafting papers, which are usually used in origami, cannot absorb pigments also. There are papers specifically made for water coloring that can utilize the pigments properly. You should only use those papers.
  2. Different Color Pallets
    The number of colors you can make is limitless. But mixing different color pallets should be a concern for professional watercolor artists who have used this medium for years. If you are a beginner, you do not have to think about multiple color pallets. The basic pallets that every beginner should have are Cadmium Yellow Pale, Cerulean Blue, Cadmium Yellow, Viridian, Winsor Red, Hooker’s Green, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, French Ultramarine, and Vandyke Brown. This pallet has a perfect mix of warm and cool colors. Once you have gained enough experience, experiment with other colors and make your pallet. You can check out this watercolor paint guide at acrylgiessen.com to learn more about different palettes.
  3. Choose the Right Type of Brush
    The bristle and the materials used to make the bristle is very important.
    Some bristles are made with natural ingredients, while others are made with synthetic materials. Synthetic brushes can retain their original shape for a long time. So are much easier for beginners to use.

The different brushes you need to have at your disposal are spotter, round,
flat, mop, liner, and fan brushes. You can easily buy them from your local
shop. Some watercolors also come in a set with these brushes.

  1. Tube vs Pans
    Watercolors come in two types; Pan Watercolors and Tube Watercolors. Pan watercolors come in a box with a dedicated spot for each type of color. Tube watercolors also come in a box, but they are tightly packed in a tube. Since pan watercolors come in a box, they are easy to carry around and are perfect for painting outdoors when you need to move around. Tube watercolors, on the other hand, are not as mobile. You need a separate plate for squeezing out the color from the tube, besides, you also need to mix it with water. But tubes offer a wider range of colors, perfect for large indoor projects.
  2. Water to Paint Ratio
    This is where most beginners make their first mistake. You need to mix the color and the water at the correct ratio to get the perfect color.
    Generally, it depends on how deep you want the color to be. Slowly add
    drops of water and stir. When you get the color you want, stop adding any more water. Adding more will make the color lighter and brighter. So do not pour water at once. You need to gently add small portions of water to the color. This takes a little practice. So, do not get disheartened on your first try.
  3. Learn Different Painting techniques

There are mainly two methods you have to learn for using watercolors. Wet
on dry method and wet on wet method. The wet on dry method means to use wet watercolors on dry paper. This allows you to add more details to your art, and the art will be crisp. However, there will be no smoky effects.

The wet on wet method means using wet watercolors on wet watercolor
paper. Since the paper is wet, the colors spread around and create a smoky
effect. The spreading of the color is difficult to control, that is why only
experienced painters use it.

  1. Time Needed to Dry
    Touching the color before it completely dries can ruin the whole painting. If you are using a single layer of paint, then you need to wait for five minutes. But if you are using multiple layers, you need to wait for about 15 minutes before adding each layer.
  2. Sketch It
    It is advised that beginners draw what they are going to paint before using any color. Most professional artists do not need to draw with a pencil, they directly start with the colors. Beginners are not that precise and their colors can get messy or the shapes may not turn out perfect unless they draw the picture beforehand. It will allow them to improve their focus and if the pencil sketch is light, they will be able to visualize the whole picture.
  3. Learn How to Mix Multiple Colors
    When mixing multiple colors, always use more colors than needed. Many
    people fail to do this and when they add water after mixing, the color
    becomes much lighter than expected. Mixing more color solves the issue. You can lighten your color just by adding water. But you cannot darken it simply by adding colors later.
  1. Clean the Brush between Every Use
    This should come to you as no surprise that you need to wash and clean
    your brush before you apply another layer of color. If you do not, then the two colors will get mixed up and ruin your whole picture.

Final thoughts
You have to go through a big learning curve to master using watercolors, but the results are truly magnificent. With all these different types of papers, brushes, colors, and palettes, it is easy to get overwhelmed.

It is best to start with the basics and slowly learn different techniques. Take your time and consider the simple yet effective tips we mentioned here to get better at water coloring.

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