How to Paint with Watercolours 3
Well this is my 3rd blog post on How to Paint with Watercolours. As I have said before I’m not really trying to teach anyone. I’m far too new/bad myself to do that. This is more a sharing of my experience trying to learn.
Since my last blog post I’ve bought a new book. Watercolour Painting for Dummies. It seemed appropriate. I bought it because I have used Dummies guides before for several thing, from computer coding to “Paper Engineering and Pop-Ups”. I’ve always found them quite useful. It’s early days with the book for me but it’s looking promising. I’ll let you know how I get on.
I got my copy from Amazon but don’t forget you may get a cheap second hand copy on Ebay or even find it in your local Library ( and if you do go to the library why not look out any other books they have on watercolour painting). I believe you can also by electronic versions of the book for Kindles, E-readers, Tablets etc. I mention that for those of you who use such things. Must admit I prefer having a book in my hand to do proper reading!
I’ve also been having a look around YouTube. The “Art Tutor Channel” seems pretty good so I’ve spent a little time watching that one. There are lots of other Watercolour Painting videos, perhaps so many that it gets a bit confusing. I shall stick to this one channel for now. That together with the lessons I am still doing on Watercolour TV and the new book should be plenty of instruction for now.
Shading and Shadow.
In my last post I mentioned how important details seemed to be to the picture. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve come to realise it is the same with shadow and shading. Together with the strength of colour they are the things which give a picture depth and life. In fact I would say they are the things which make the difference between a childish picture and and adult one. Paint a sail in a block of colour and it just looks flat. Add shading and you can see it filling with wind. Add shading and shadow to a mountain and a viewer can start looking into the picture. They get a sense of some points being closer than others.
I honestly used to think that once you had committed paint to papers that “that was it”, and if you made an errors you would have to start again. But that really isn’t the case with watercolour painting. As long as you do it carefully you can wet and lift off mistakes, over paint and make all sorts of corrections. Obviously this is no reason to be haphazard about your work, it’s always better to get in right the first time but don’t think a error is the end of a painting.
Whist we’re talking about the subject another thing I heard which turned out to be true. These seem to come a time during each painting when you think “nope, this is rubbish I need to start again”. I happens to me everytime. Yet if I persevere and finish the picture more often than not I end up with something I am relatively happy with. The best thing I have found when I feel like that is to walk away (obviously NOT if you are in the middle of adding a wash or something), have a cup of coffee and then come back to it.
If you look at the images above you can see when I first “finished” the painting in image one. Looking at it I really didn’t like the way the big sail filled out (the spinnaker ?). However I was able to correct this by lifting some of the paint out and putting in new lines.
Well next I want to concentrate more on my own paintings, rather than strictly following lessons. This obviously takes more planning. You need to work out which part of the images to do in what order. Which techniques to use where and of course, colour choices. All a little scary but I am looking forward to it. I’ll let you know how I get on.