12 Interesting Textures and Techniques Using Watercolour Paint
Before we begin this post, if you haven't already it is probably best to go back and read our previous articles on choosing and preparing watercolour paper! Link to those posts here -> http://www.artshedonline.com.au/art-shed-art-suppl...
Another thing to remember when working with Watercolours - it is important to remember to work from light to dark, which can
take a lot of planning but the results are worth it. This
means that anything we're keeping white or light in our painting needs to stay
that way for the whole duration of the work. So we are building our values up
layer-by-layer to arrive at the effect we want.
If you are
trying to create a finished artwork, it can be a good idea to lightly sketch
out your composition first before beginning to apply paint to the surface. This
can be achieved with a 2H Graphite pencil or lighter. A yellow colour pencil
can also be used, but be sure that the pencil isn’t water-soluble, or it will
affect the colour of your paints!
Bleeding Wet on Wet
A good way to bleed
colours into one another is through "blooming". Take a good amount of
water to pigment on your brush and apply it to the paper. When the stroke is
still wet, add in another colour with the same amount of water. You can
manipulate the colours to where they need to be at this point. Allow this to
dry and you'll notice that there are subtle gradients throughout the stroke.
Wet through Dry
When you apply a dry, more saturated
stroke of colour to your page, you can pull from that stroke with just water.
Apply a stroke using very little water and more pigment. Before the stroke is
dry, take a moderately wet brush and pull the colour out from the darker
stroke. You can pull the colour quite far depending on how dry that initial
stroke is. This technique is very easy with the Water Brush Pens.
To create a Scumbling effect, add various
amounts of water and pigment onto the page, layering and blending the colours
in soft, indirect layers to create the hue and look you want. It can be easy to
overwork and produce a muddy look, so less is more.
Sometimes you'll need to
"erase" your watercolour. While you can't return the paper to 100%
white, you can lift away colour to correct a mistake or adjust the lighting in
a piece. Once your paint has dried, bush on a swatch of clear water, in the
shape you'd like to lift off. Let it set for a moment, then dab away the water
with a paper towel. You'll see the colour lift out in the shape you painted in.
Thicker paper can allow for a small amount of rubbing to further remove the
pigment from the page, but too much rubbing will result in ‘balling’ of the
Mix your pigment in a small dish or tray,
dip the sponge into the paint and blot onto your paper. You can alter the
wetness of your paint and achieve different effects. A drier look would be
suited for plant life or scaly skin while a wet application might be more
suited for waterscapes or clouds.
Each type of sponge will give you different results, so try all kinds! (Sea
Sponges, Household Sponges, Make-Up Sponges, Car-Wash Sponges.)
Masking Fluid & Masking Tape
You can use tape or Masking Fluid to mask
off areas you'd like to keep clean and white: Masking Tape is good for big bold
areas. Masking Fluid is a latex solution that is flexible and water resistant.
This watercolour technique is useful for hard edges and extreme highlights.
Just lay down the Tape or Fluid where you'd like the paper to stay white. Use a
Tape that won't rip your paper, such as Drafting Tape or Painters' Tape. Paint
over and around the masked area. Once your paint is dry, remove the Tape slowly
and you should have a straight clean line.
To reduce adhesion of the Tape, apply to clothing before applying to the paper.
When using Masking Fluid, allow at least 30 minutes drying time before applying
Watercolour Paint. When the painting is finished, peel or rub off the Masking
Back of brush & Atomizer
To use the Back of
the Brush, apply a large amount of wet watercolour paint to the page. While the
paint is still wet, use the back of the brush to push the paint around as much
Create some fluid pigments on your palette. You can pick up the wash with
suction, and then blow the pigment out onto the watercolour paper.
Alternatively, with a large amount of wet watercolour paint to the page, use
the Atomiser to blow the pigment into random directions.
With a pin, or needle, score or scratch
into the surface of the Watercolour Paper before adding any pigments to the
Salt, Bleach, Coffee & Pepper Sprinkle & Dilute
To use the Salt/Pepper/Coffee first choose one
or two colours and paint the first rectangle (or area) completely. Then, while the
paint is still wet, sprinkle the salt over the top. Let the paint dry
completely and then use your fingernail to flake away the salt.
Note: The wetter your painted area, the more your Salt/Pepper/Coffee
will spread. Try letting the paint dry partially (enough that water won’t run
when you move your paper but still has a sheen) and notice the difference in
texture you create
way to use the Salt or even bleach, is to dilute some into a cup of water
before applying water to the paper. Then while the water is still wet, dab some
semi-wet pigment onto the page using a brush.
The coffee can also be used with just water, to create a nice monotone sepia
painting. The same can be done with Red Wines!
Fill in the area you want textured with a wash
of colours. For best results you’ll want the surface to be wet and saturated
with colour. Crinkle a piece of tissue paper and place it on top of the wet
paint. Being careful to cover the entire area, position the tissue over the
wash and gently press down onto the paper with the palms of your hands. Allow
to dry slightly (but not completely or the tissue could become glued to the watercolour
paper) then carefully lift the tissue from the paper.
Fill in your working area with
a watercolour wash. While the paint is still wet, dip a Q-tip into rubbing
alcohol and drop it onto the wet paint. For best results let the alcohol drip
from the Q-tip (rather than touching the Q-tip to the paper).
Pen & Ink
Using a fine-tip permanent pen, draw your design
onto the paper. Then, fill in colour as you would a colouring book. It may be
helpful to sketch out your design with a light Graphite (2H) or a light
coloured colouring pencil (make sure that the coloured pencil is not
Water-Soluble, or it will affect the colour of your paints.)
Remember to allow the Pen to dry completely before applying water and colour-
even water-proof markers can run a little if not completely dry