Category Archives: A Short Primer On Watercolor

A Short Primer On Watercolor


A Short Primer On Watercolor

There is a myth going around that of all the drawing arts, watercolor is the hardest to master. That assessment is far from the truth, according to the many watercolor artists, famous and otherwise.

In fact, they assert that learning how to paint with watercolor is totally fun and easy, especially so if you are artistically-inclined. Another good thing going for it is that it is low-cost and is much easier to master than, say oil painting.


From the creative point of view, watercolor painting offers just as much artistic possibilities for self-expression as all the others. The satisfaction of finishing your art work is just as priceless as any.

From a practical point of view, watercolor equipment’s (and materials) are lightweight and easy to transport. The materials (paper, paints, pencil, etc.) are not expensive and easy to purchase.

Watercolors use water to thin it whenever it is used and are non-toxic at all. The paints are cleaned easily from the brushes with water and soap and are not smelly.

For people on the go, the painting kit for watercolors does not take up much room in your bags. Because it is portable and its ease of use, watercolors are preferred by artists in doing their sketches or studies.

Artists usually do their warm up art exercises on watercolor – still life, landscapes, or some abstract portraits to trigger their creative juices.  Some experienced artists use it to make small-scale studies for some big murals they intend to do in the future.

Materials and media

For mixed media pieces, watercolor blends well with colored pencils, watercolor pencils, graphite and ink. Where before watercolor traditionally use paper as their medium, there is now a special watercolor canvas manufactured specially for watercolor use.

Some creative people paint on antique book pages and on other vintage materials like old postcards and stationeries.


Watercolor paint usually has that translucent, ethereal quality that usually comes out in the finished art work. Some talented watercolor artists layer images and other artistic strokes in such a way that what’s underneath shows through. Some of these works are simply breath-taking.

However, the downside is that it is difficult to cover mistakes in a watercolor art work simply because it shows through. (Usually, these professional artists avoid these by pre-planning what they are going to work on, and how to work it out, including those masterful layering strokes.)


Like most other artists in other fields, watercolor artists usually sketch in their art composition very lightly with a pencil before applying the watercolor. Most often, watercolor art works usually dries up fast after work.

Also, the total color scheme of the piece is usually lighter than what it appeared to the viewers when it was still wet. Of course, there are other watercolor techniques that are done that makes the work really wet.

Painting techniques

Techniques such as wet-on-wet (very wet brush and wet paper) or wet-on-dry (wet brush on dry paper) are just two of the techniques. Other effects are created with splattering, using salt and others.

However, dried watercolor paint rewets easily and can be “reactivated”. Once finished, watercolor paintings are sealed with a protective spray. This seals in the colors and protects the surface.  Are you interested?

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