Working with Watercolors

By: Courtney McCreary

Howdy, You Art People!

I know I touched on watercolors in one of my previous posts, but this time I figured I’d go a little more in depth about them. Not gonna lie, watercolors can be pesky to work with, getting the hang of them can be tricky. They’re very different from working with oils or acrylics, where you can rework the paint and manipulate it to your heart’s desire. With watercolors, once you make a brushstroke on the paper, you can’t go back and change it. This is why it’s better to apply your lighter values first, and then add the darker ones as you progress. It’s also helpful to test out your colors on scrap paper before applying them to your actual piece.

IMG_1415
Watercolor with Micron Pen.

This is a watercolor painting from my mixed media class last year. Actually, now that I think about it, it’s probably closer to an illustration because of the inclusion of a Micron pen. I started by drawing out the composition in pencil, using a photo reference of tree roots. Then I used several Micron pens to add outlines and values with small sections of crosshatching, building up the values in layers. The watercolors were applied last. The combination of watercolor and pen (or graphite) makes for a very detailed, illustrative quality, and I actually found this to be a preferred style of painting for me. Hopefully I can practice more with this method in the future.

Paint away, ye bean sprouts~

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