Watercolor Painting Tutorial:
Watercolor paintings have the high reputation of being quite demanding; It is more accurate to say that watercolor painting techniques are unique to watercolor. Unlike oil and acrylic painting, where the paints essentially stay where they are put and dry more or less in the form they are applied previously, water is an active and complex partner in the watercolor painting process, changing both the absorbency and shape of the paper when it is wet and the outlines and appearance of the paint as it dries. The difficulty in watercolor painting is almost in learning how to anticipate and leverage the behavior of water, rather than attempting to control or dominate it while creating.
Many difficulties occur because watercolor paints do not have high hiding power, so previous efforts cannot simply be painted over; and the paper support is both absorbent and delicate, so the paints cannot simply be scraped off, like oil paint on a canvas, but must be laboriously lifted by rewetting and blotting. This often induces in student painters a pronounced and inhibiting anxiety about making an irreversible mistake. Watercolor has a longstanding association with drawing or engraving, and the common procedure to curtail such mistake is to make a precise, faint outline drawing in pencil of the subject to be painted, to use small brushes, and to paint limited areas of the painting only after all adjacent paint areas have totally dried. (Watercolor Painting Tutorial)
Washes and glazes:
Basic watercolor techniques includes washes and glazes. In watercolors, a wash is the application of diluted paint in a manner that disguises or effaces individual brush strokes to produce a unified area of color. Typically,
this might be a light blue wash for the sky. There are many techniques to produce an acceptable wash, but the student method is to tilt the paper surface so that the top of the wash area is higher than the bottom, then to apply the paint in a series of even, horizontal brush strokes in a downward sequence, each stroke just overlapping the stroke above to pull downward the excess paint or water (the "bead"), and finally wicking up the excess paint from the last stroke using a paper towel or the tip of a moist brush. This produces an airy, translucent color effect unique to watercolor, especially when a granulating or flocculating pigment (such as viridian or ultramarine blue) is used. Washes can be "graded" or "graduated" by adding more prediluted paint or water to the mixture used in successive brush strokes, which darkens or lightens the wash from the start to finish. "Variegated" washes, which blend two or more paint colours, can also be used, for example as a wash with areas of blue and perhaps some red or orange for a sky at sunrise or sunset.
A glaze is the application of one paint colour over a previous paint layer, with the new paint layer at a dilution sufficient to allow the first color to show through. Glazes are used to mix two or more colours, to adjust a colour (to darken it or change its hue or chroma), or to produce an extremely homogenous, smooth colour surface or a controlled but delicate colour transition (light to dark, or one hue to another). The last technique requires the first layer to be a highly diluted consistency of paint; this paint layer dissolves the surface sizing of the paper and loosens the cellulose tufts in the pulp. Subsequent layers are applied at increasingly heavier concentrations, always using a small round brush, only after the previous paint application has totally dried. Each new layer is used to refine the color transitions or to efface visible irregularities in the existing color. Painters who use this technique may apply 100 glazes or more to finish creating a single painting. At present, this method is very popular for painting high contrast, intricate subjects, in particular colourful blossoms in crystal vases brightly illuminated by direct sunlight. The glazing method also works exceptionally well in watercolor portraiture, allowing the artist to depict complex flesh tones effectively.
Wet in wet:
For the general watercolor painting tutorial, see wet-on-wet.
Wet in wet includes any application of paint or water to an area of the painting that is already wet with either paint or water. Generally speaking, wet in wet is one of the most distinctive features of watercolor painting and the technique that produces a remarkable painterly effect.
The essential idea is to wet the entire sheet of paper, lay flat, until the surface no longer wicks up water but lets it sit on the surface, then to plunge in with a large brush saturated with paint. This is normally done to define the large area of the painting with irregularly defined colour, which is then sharpened and refined with more controlled painting as the paper dries.
Wet in wet actually comprises a variety of specific painting effects, each produced through different procedures. Among the most common and characteristic:
Backruns (also called blossoms, blooms, oozles, watermarks). Because the hydrophilic and closely spaced cellulose fibers of the paper provide traction for capillary action, water and wet paint have a strong tendency to migrate from wetter to drier surfaces of the painting. As the wetter area pushes into the dryer, it plows up pigment along its edge, leaving a lighter coloured area behind it and a darker band of pigment along an irregular, serrated edge. Backruns can be subtle or pronounced, depending on the consistency of the paint in the two areas and the amount of moisture imbalance. Backruns can be induced by adding more paint or water to a paint area as it dries, or by blotting a specific area of the painting, causing the wetter surrounding areas to creep into it. Backruns are often used to symbolize a flare of light or the lighting contour on an object, or simply for decorative effect.
Paint Diffusion. Because of osmotic imbalance, concentrated paint applied to a prewetted paper has a tendency to diffuse or expand into the pure water surrounding it, especially if the paint has been milled using a dispersant. This produces a characteristic feathery, delicate border around the color area, which can be enhanced or partially shaped by tilting the paper surface before the water dries, shaping the diffusion with surface water flow.
Pouring Color. Some artists pour large quantities of slightly diluted paint onto separate areas of the painting surface, and then by using a brush, spray bottle of water and/or judicious tilting of the painting support, cause the wet areas to gently merge and mix. After the color has been mixed and allowed to set for a few minutes, the painting is tipped vertically to sheet off all excess moisture (the lighter colours across the darker ones), leaving behind a paper stained with random, delicate color variations, which can be further shaped with a wet brush or added paint while the paper is still wet. A popular variation uses separate areas of red, yellow and blue paint, which when mingled and drained produce a striking effect of light in darkness; areas of white are reserved by first covering them with plastic film, masking tape or a liquid latex resist.
Dropping In Colour. In this technique a colour area is first precisely defined with diluted paint or clear water, then more concentrated paint is dropped into it by touching the wet area with a brush charged with paint. The further added paint can be shaped by tilting or stroking; backruns can be induced by adding pure water or concentrated paint, or the color can be lightened by wicking up paint with a moist brush. A remarkable, tesselated effect is produced when many precisely defined and interlocking areas are separately coloured by this randomly diffusing technique.
Salt Texture. Grains of coarse salt, sprinkled into moist paint, produce small, snowflake like imperfections in the colour. This is especially effective when the colour area is a wash that displays the texture more clearly. It should be remembered while using salt that salt will rot the paper eventually. A similar effect can be created by spraying a moist paint area with water, using a spray bottle held two or three feet above the painting surface, or by sprinkling a wet paint with coarse sand or sawdust.
Cling-film technique. The use of kitchen cling-film to create special effects in watercolor painting. A wash of watercolor is applied to paper and cling-film is laid over the wet pigment. The cling-film is then manipulated manually using fingers to form a series of ridges that resemble ripples in water or long grasses. Once the pigment is totally dry, the cling-film is removed and the texture is revealed in greater clarity.
Watercolor painters also learn to apply paint to paper and then, when the paint has dried to the right point, brush along the edge of the paint with a flat, mop or sky brush charged with a moderate amount of clear water. This new area of water pulls the wet paint outward in a diffusion fan that is controlled by judging the wetness of the paint and the amount of water applied; if excessive water is used, this brushing produces both an outward diffusion and a backrun into the drying paint. This method is useful to create transitions in value or colour within narrow bands, for example, the locks of hair in a portrait head.
Edited by Kevin from Xiamen Romandy Art Limited.
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Refer to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watercolor_painting#Techniques
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