Hello again, dearest virtual audience.
Today I want to ‘talk’ to you about watercolour, since it’s autumn now and aquarelle techniques are great for painting leaves which are still green but slightly turning brown; maybe with a touch of yellow and with a reddish undertone. This medium shines with its ability to easily blend colours seamlessly and its transparency, which gives endless possibilities for layering without losing what’s underneath.
So, first of all, make sure you purchase aquarelles. Paints labelled ‘opaque watercolour’ have a white base and are NOT the same, NOT transparent, and will act more like gouache.
Before sharing today’s fall tutorial, I’ll share a little background knowledge about watercolours, brushes, paper and techniques that you should know if you want to take your drawing to the next level. If you feel pro already, please feel free to skip to the tutorial by scrolling down! 🙂
Then, there are also different quality grades. If you can, skip the dollar store and the kids stuff. You’ll now have to chose between student grade and professional artist quality. Student grade watercolour usually contains the same pigment but more fillers and thus costs less, though some labels opt for a similar to (almost) identical but (for various reasons) cheaper pigment instead. However, they also tend to come in a smaller range of colours.
Some brands replace the original pigment in their cheaper student line with hues, which are usually just as pretty to look at but harder to mix as they already consist of more than one pigment. Some of them will simply turn everything muddy.
The professional paints do cost more but they also contain more pigment, meaning you need less to cover the same surface, so you’ll be the judge of whether or not one does truly safe any money there.
Right, once you’ve decided which watercolours to get, you pay your local or closest art shop a visit. You might already know how watercolour retails or maybe you’re like me when I started out and were to this exact moment completely oblivious to the fact that these paints are not only sold in half and full pans, but also in tubes and even as sticks. Personally, I found it easiest to purchase pans and later refill them with paint from tubes, (which are cheaper per millilitre) once they were empty. I have yet to buy watercolour sticks or even come across them (in Luxembourg), for that matter. These can be cut to serve as refills too.
Of course, you can also use the paint straight from the tubes without letting them dry. The sticks can be used to paint directly on paper and then be blended out with a wet brush.