Quick Tips for Watercolor
Mud? Easy to get. Just mix complementary colors in equal volume. To avoid
mud, let one color clearly dominate.
Wet paper requires more paint. The water carries the pigment into the paper.
Negative shapes are not painted. They are defined by painting around them.
Analogous colors are harmonious in behavior and are close to each other on
the color wheel.
Colors appear brighter when applied as initial wash. Also colors look
brighter next to while paper than against other bright colors.
When painting portraits, use diluted opaque pigments to dominate flesh
Permanence? Keep in mind that fugitive colors are fugitive. They will not be
around for the long haul even if mixed with permanent colors.
Charge. While a strong dark wash is still wet, paint into it with a lighter
equally wet color. The new color will replace the first one by taking over some
or all of its initial territory. It is essential that both washes be
Heavy Hues—Sedimentary pigments settle instantly in a wet wash and show
texture in a mix. The wetter the wash, the more texture will appear. Also be
sure to keep the wash puddle on your palette well mixed as the heavy color will
When using a strong staining color, change your mixing water often to avoid
polluting your washes.
©Willa McNeill and the Estate of Zoltan Szabo
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