How to paint with watercolor – watercolor painting technique

Watercolor Rose Painting
© Susan Harrison-Tustain

Watercolor is a fantastic medium because it can be used to create any subject at all. I love that is immediate, clean to use and my brushes wash in water. But most of all I love the expressiveness of watercolor.

So how to paint with watercolor? Where to begin? I begin using my Priming Method to create a yellow underwash. This is like a map of my painting. Imagine a black and white photograph but instead of black white and grey – I use yellow.

Yellow gives me substance and glowing hues.

I then use my other colors and color mixes to create luminous transparent hues with the methods and painting techniques described in my previous post: my Priming Method, wet in wet, wet on dry and drybrush. I also use a new method I have recently created which I call blushing. Once again you can see these methods in action in my DVDs and you can also read about them in the free watercolor lessons on my website.

Fine tuning is always left to very last. This is the icing on the cake. This is where I pull a painting together, soften edges, adjust hues, saturation, tonal value and describe my finest details. I love this stage and it is this final stage that gives a painting life.

Take a look at my Rose painting ‘Innocence’. This watercolor painting was created using all of the methods I have mentioned above but it also has a great deal of fine tuning which gives a true sense of reality.

Painting in watercolor is no where near as difficult as we first imagine. Once you have given it some time and learned my methods and painting technique you will find painting in watercolor is very fulfilling and rewarding.

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