HOW TO PAINT WITH WATERCOLOR

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ABOUT THE PAINT

 WATERCOLOR


 Watercolor paint is one of the most beautiful mediums for painting and extremely popular in the homeland.  It is also a medium that many fail to master.


One of the reasons is because from a very early age we all use paints that are opaque and  watercolor is translucent. Getting over our early training with opaque mediums is a stumbling block for most people.  As we age we also seem to build an inner aqua-phobia.  
 

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ANOTHER STUMBLING BLOCK

What do you do when you are painting and make a mistake?  You paint over it if you are using oil or acrylic.  Because this paint is translucent you cannot do that.  

It takes great confidence to paint with watercolor and building that confidence takes time.  With fear and trepidation I have seen many a student hover over a pristine white piece of paper afraid to put down the paint.  

     
 

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WHERE DO YOU START?

 Very few people take the time to master the art of watercolor and it is often because they feel it is too complicated and they have no idea where to start.  


What they would really like is to just have fun painting a picture that they love when they are finished.  


For the same reason people do not take up playing the piano as an adult.  They do not want to spend hours learning to read music and memorizing scales.  They want to play and sing along to their favorite tunes.


As adults we also lose that ability to play without worrying what other people think.  We get too serious and inhibited.  


You start by just wanting to have fun!  
 

BEFORE YOU START

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GATHER YOUR SUPPLIES

 You do not need hundreds of dollars of materials, just a few that are not very expensive and then you can add a little more at a time.  THINK SMALL.


You will need one tube of paint, watercolor paper, a few brushes.  


The other things you probably already own.
 

ART SUPPLIES

 THE PAPER

Watercolor paper is a special paper produced to use with watercolor paint.


You do not want to use normal paper as you will end up with a wrinkly mess.  There are many nuances regarding paper but at this point they will just bore you. 


You should buy a 9x12 pad of 140lb paper.  Make sure it is 140lb.   


 THE PAINT


To start you just need one tube of paint. 

 I know, you want one of those HUGE sets of pretty colors.  Why?  Because they look pretty.  

What on earth are you going to do with them all?  You will just look at them and pet them and have no idea what to do with them.


You need one color for the first painting.  Payne’s Gray is a lovely color to start.

   You will need one tube of “Cotman” Winsor and Newton watercolor paint.  


This is a student quality watercolor but a really good one.  Now, I am not biased because I am a Brit but Winsor and Newton produces a top notch product that many professionals use even though it is considered a student quality paint.  


Do not buy any other brand at the moment.  These are not expensive and very easily acquired.  A small tube is under $10 and will last a very long time.  You can do literally hundreds of paintings with one tube.  


Those huge cheap sets of student colors might look enticing but there is very little pigment in each tube and you will use lots of paint and be disappointed with the results. Trust me!  I have seen stubborn students refuse to buy one little tube of paint and then wonder why their colors do not look like mine and they get upset.


THE BRUSHES


Many years ago when I was at art school we had to buy pure sable brushes.  These cost an arm and a leg.  They were insanely expensive and had to be treated very carefully.

  They were very high maintenance brushes.  I do not like high maintenance and I do not like to spend huge amounts of money to do a painting.  Brushes have come a long way since I was at school.  

For about 10-20 dollars you can now buy a set of brushes that are enjoyable to use and do not make you cringe at the price. 


A set of 12 will give you all the sizes and shapes you need.


THINGS YOU PROBABLY DO NOT NEED TO BUY BUT WILL NEED

A 12 x 14 piece of cardboard.  Cut up an old cardboard box.


masking or packing tape


paper towel.  ( I like Bounty)


A china dinner plate ( to use as a palette)


YOU ARE READY TO HAVE FUN