How To: Paint with watercolors

Paint with watercolors

Have some spare time and looking to pick up a new skill? Learn how to paint with watercolors in this tutorial. Watercolor painting is a great medium for all skill levels.

You Will Need:
• Watercolor paints
• Paper
• Tape
• Pencils
• A water cup
• A number 10 or 12 brush
• A palette
• A plastic cup of water
• A clean cotton rag
• Some tissue paper
• A hair dryer (optional)

Step 1: Pick out paints
Pick out non-staining watercolor paints, which do not fade in short durations. Check the "Lightfast" indicator on the tube.

Step 2: Soak and dry paper
Soak a rough 140-pound or thicker stock paper with "tooth" – dips and grooves – which will be less likely to wrinkle when wet. Dry it and tape it to a board inclined about 15 degrees, and smooth it out.

Step 3: Sketch an image
Sketch a simple box image on the paper in pencil, rinse a number 10 or 12 brush in the water cup and blot it dry. Load it with color from the palette and touch it to the paper.

Step 4: Paint first line
Paint a uniform line and lift your brush. If a narrow bead didn't form, you pressed too hard, so try again, releasing the bead as you lift.

Step 5: Continue filling
Continue filling the area, tilting the brush handle up to maintain a light touch, and letting the watercolor bead paint the wash for you. (Tip: Use a hair dryer to work faster, but be careful: you can accidentally make colors bleed or run.)

Step 6: Absorb excess paint
Absorb excess paint with a tissue to blot the brush, instead of rinsing. Touch the dried brush into the paint to draw the excess off the painting's surface.

Step 7: Continue experimenting
Continue experimenting with color and textures on different paper surfaces, using an array of brushes and color mixes. Read and study to develop your technique over time.

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