Friday, October 14, 2011
Watercolor Effects Tutorial
When I was in art school, I concentrated on creating
with watercolors. The look of watercolors is what
really had me hooked from the very beginning,
building-up layer upon layer of thin paint to achieve
the intense presence of color, yet with that light-as-
feather, ethereal essence.
Acrylic paint was something I did not begin exploring
until I decided to paint on fabric. At the time there
was no way to use watercolor paints to achieve any
sort of color that would last on fabric... so off I went
in a different art medium direction.
Today, acrylics are my paint of choice and I have learned
how to achieve the same watercolor-esque feel that I
love so much. I thought I would share my simple techniques
for creating this watercolor look using acrylics.
Before you begin applying paint, break the subject
down into several main colors. Start by painting those
large color blocks using a dry brush which is a
technique using a paint brush that is relatively
dry and dipped in paint straight from the package
or no water added.
Once dry, select accent colors to use as details. Details
help define and give the subject a three dimensional look.
These details can be achieved using a wash which
is a painting technique where small amounts of water are
In the image above, one drop of water from the paint brush
was added to brown. Two drops of water were added to the
teal blue and four drops of water added to the lime green.
The more water added to paint the more soupy or runny it
will become and the more transparent it will dry.
Once a wash of color is applied and dry, you might
find the results are barely noticeable. In this instance
multiple layers of the paint wash, one on top of another,
help strengthen the intensity of the color.
Always allow each layer of paint to dry before
adding more of the same color wash or perhaps
a new/different color wash.
Because the washes of color are semi-transparent,
this allows multiple layers, even the first dry brushed
color to be seen creating depth and dimension in your