Watercolor Basics: 3 Key Brush Stroke Techniques
If you are new to watercolor then make sure you know these 3 key watercolor brush stroke techniques as they will improve your paintings dramatically.
In this video, artist Paul Jackson discusses 3 basic watercolor brush stroke techniques that every artist should perfect. This video is from the Artists’s Network Youtube Channel. Click here for more of their instructional content.
The first and the most basic brush stroke is called “The Flat Wash”. The idea behind the flat wash is to make an area of your painting smooth and even in tone and to give the appearance that no paint brush was even used to create said wash. This brush stroke does take some practice. You will first need to mix up a good amount of paint, enough to cover the desired area. As you lay down the wash, be sure to pick up any puddles of paint and evenly distribute the wash. If you do it correctly, the wash area will dry absolutely flat.
The second watercolor brush stroke technique is known as the gradated wash and is probably the most important. The gradated wash is a bit different than the flat wash. With the gradated wash you will need to first load up your brush with the darkest version of the color you are using. You want a dark and highly pigmented first stroke. Then with each subsequent pass, you will be eliminating some paint and adding a bit more water untill the very last stroke when you will be using clear water. This is a tricky technique to get the hang of. Only with practice will it become easier, so don’t get discouraged if you aren’t able to do it right away. This technique is used quite often as a way to guide the viewers eye to a focal point in a painting. Master it!
Wet in Wet Technique
This third technique known as “wet in wet” or “wet on wet” is very popular and used quite often by professional artists. The good news is that this is the easiest of these three watercolor brush stroke techniques. Essentially you are first adding clear or colored water onto the paper and then adding colors into the wet area and allowing the colors to mix and mingle. Some very exiting and interesting effect can arise from this technique so have fun artist!