Introduction to Watercolour

Introducing the art of watercolours

Olimpia by Louisa TebbuttPaintings in Hospitals

What can I say about watercolours.... panic …. then regroup! Watercolours can create a luminosity by using a method of layering translucent pigments on a bright white surface. Using thin overlapping strokes, carefully preserving the underlayers. The careful stacking of colour achieves subtlety and also builds intense depth. It is this that creates the luminosity.

Hope (2020) by Rachael AyersPaintings in Hospitals

Your paper needs to be stretched prior to beginning to paint to stop buckling when water and paint is subsequently added to the surface.  

After lightly sketching out your subject, redefine lines with lightly pigmented water, establishing the most basic contours. 

Layer thin sections of value, gently building depth to the form of the piece. Once the form of the painting starts to take shape, begin to develop brighter tones in the areas of reflected light. You can then comb over every detail, adding soft layers to blend all parts together for continuity and harmony.

Ruth Keel senior Nurse and Team Leader (2020) by Paula DayPaintings in Hospitals

Don’t panic about mistakes as with watercolour it is very workable and it is very easy to make corrections as you go.

Dr Thorrold (2020) by Katie NicePaintings in Hospitals

All of the colours I use are mixed first on the palette before applying them to the surface. Working with thinner washes and allowing each layer to dry prevents the paint from lifting when applying subsequent layers.

NHS Super Hero (2020) by Aly LloydPaintings in Hospitals

The best advice I have for an artist just starting out in watercolour is to remember that it takes time to build up your skills.  Play with different surfaces, paints, and tools. Don’t limit yourself with perfectionist thinking that there is a “right” or “wrong” way to paint. 

Olimpia by Louisa TebbuttPaintings in Hospitals

Remember that you are on a journey. Don’t look at your paintings as individual masterpieces, putting that kind of pressure on yourself is creative suicide.  You never “arrive”. You grow and change, your art will grow and change. Jump right in and figure it out as you go!

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