3 Watercolor Techniques You Should Master


Watercolors (paints suspended in a water-based solution) became popular in the nineteenth century and remains a popular medium for artists today. Let’s take a look at five watercolor techniques every artist should have in their arsenal. Once mastered, they can highlight your skills and help you create a masterpiece.

  • Flat Wash
Load a large, flat brush with paint and use broad strokes to cover your canvas or page. Be sure each brush stroke slightly overlaps the previous stroke to create a beautiful background for your work.
  • Splatter 
Start by lightly loading your brush with paint. Use your index finger or thumb to pull back and then release the bristles. This is a great technique for creating stars, raindrops or just an interesting overlay or effect.
  • Pull In 
Using a brush wet with only water (no color or pigment), drag or pull color from a previous brush stroke to create or accentuate a light source or edge. Artists also use this technique to create layered tones.
  • Salt
Salt can season your food between painting sessions. You can also use it to create scraggly rocks, textured tree barks and other interesting effects. While your paint is still wet, sprinkle it with a small amount of salt. When it’s almost dry, blow on the salt to release it from the paint. Easy. Fast. Effective.
  • Edge Softening
Blend sharp edges by dabbing at them with a slightly damp paint brush. You can also try stippling, again with a slightly dampened brush, to create softer edges or creative blends and gradients.

Watercolor has a rich history among artists. Once you master the techniques, you can add your own flair to your work because every artist has their own point of view. Try one or all of these techniques to bring life into your watercolors. Check out our line of watercolor paints and sticks such as Daniel Smith Watercolors, Grumbacher Academy Watercolors, Van Gogh Watercolors to create an impressionist painting you’ll be proud to show off.

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