5 Tips for Better Water Color Painting

There are various techniques to make better water color paintings. Here are 5 tips that often come very handy while painting, especially landscapes with broad skies and vast lands.

Lighter To Darker
Once water color dries it becomes lighter. So water color painting is best done in 3 stages or tones. First put the basic colors on all the objects in your painting. It is most advisable to put a base color in the sky and the land. The shading effect is added in the second tone. Add dark colors to bring out shadows (not necessarily black). Keep in mind that if it is scenery of the daytime then all the light should come from one direction and all the shade should be in the other direction. The third tone is for final touch and detailing, like bringing out the grass blades or individual leaves of trees or folds in the fabric of a cloth. Use most color and least water for this stage. Once the paint dries off it would seem lighter so don’t be afraid to use bold amount of colors. Color also depends on perspective. The nearer the object is to the viewer’s eyes, the lighter the color of the object.

Paper for Water Color Painting
If we go by texture, there are basically three types of paper for water colors. Hot press or smooth paper, cold press or relative rough paper and rough press paper. Hot press paper is used for detailed work like using pen and ink. Cold press and rough press papers are most useful for water color painting and are recommended for beginners as they are more absorbent and the rough texture adds to the beauty of the painting.

Covering Mistakes in Water Color Painting
If there a mistake while painting with water color the first thing to keep in mind is to act immediately but not to panic and rub the paint. This would only push the paint into the paper and damage the paper. The best way is to hold a clean dry cloth or the tip of a dry brush where the mistake has occurred and the color will be automatically absorbed and removed. However it will leave a light stain.
If the paint has dried off then the easiest way of removing it is by using a slightly wet brush and then using paper towels to lift it off.

If you have a set of different types and sizes of brushes, that would help. A flat brush and a round brush are essential. A flat brush helps in putting lots of color onto the paper at a time. It is also useful in drawing thin lines. Round brushes can be used to put color anywhere and painting dots.

Painting Reflections
The first thing to remember is that the water is not blue. It reflects the sky. But that does not mean it will be a mirror. It also depends on what is under the water. Stream water is clearer and mossy water is green. If it is calm water it will reflect everything almost to perfection whereas in moving water reflection should be wavy. If an object is too much inland it will not have a reflection in the water at all. While painting any water body, colors should be well blended and not as sharply distinctive as the original objects. The water is also to be made brighter than the sky.

Painting the Sky
The sky is a very important part of any landscape. The best and the fastest way to do the sky, is to first wet the part of the paper where the sky is supposed to be. Then add a load of color across the uppermost limit of the sky. Since the paper is wet the color will spread by itself. Wash off the color from the brush and lightly and with quick brush strokes distribute the color over the entire area. If you want to add colors like violet, red etc. to the sky, do it while the paper is still wet. Perfecting this technique may require some amount of practice.

Remember, the best paintings are only made by practice and by personally learnt techniques.



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