10 Watercolor Techniques You Need to Try

Best Watercolor Techniques You Need to Try

Watercolor techniques are an important component of learning how to paint with watercolors. Watercolor painting, also known as aquarelle, has a long history and has spawned a plethora of methods. Watercolor is a wonderful medium and occasionally surprising. Read our guide on buying the best art supplies.

Watercolor painting can be a challenging medium, but it can be a very versatile medium if you know how to approach it. If you want to start with watercolor or enhance your techniques, see our list of tips and essentials. It is one the most important Art product that every artist must try

10 Attractive Watercolor Techniques

  • Watercolor techniques are trickier to master because they are one of the most traditional forms of art that utilize water and emphasize wet-on-dry, light-on-dark contrasts.
  • Watercolor painting methods are well worth learning since they reward the artist with some of the most stunning color and light effects.
  • Watercolors capture the changing light because of their spontaneity and immediate and spontaneous response to the subject matter.
  • Watercolor is a substance with numerous creative possibilities, and all you need to get started is a brush and some pigments.
  • By using common household items in your painting, you can produce work with unique textures and fluid, unfettered colors that highlight the medium’s greatest qualities.
  • Whenever you start adding sophisticated features and textures to your art, you need to grasp a few of the most basic watercolor painting techniques to try.
  • Use them to get started, and then build on them whatever you like.

Watercolor Wash:

There are two ways to lay a watercolor wash

  1. On a wet surface
  2. On a dry one.

One rule of thumb for watercolor washes: Don’t try to correct a mistake in a prior stroke if you see it.

Once the wash has dried, a fresh stroke will stand out more than a little blunder. It’s wise to ignore these pleasant surprises.

Wet-In-Wet Watercolor Techniques:

Wet in Wet Watercolor Techniques
  • It’s possible you’ve previously used wet-in-wet painting without recognizing it.
  • To begin, simply wet your paper with plain water using a brush.
  • Afterward, paint your brush and apply it to the water wash.
  • Like magic, the paint will feather and disperse.

Wet-On-Dry Watercolor Techniques:

Wet on Dry Watercolor Techniques

Wet on wet and wet on dry methods should be part of any watercolorist’s painting vocabulary, no matter their level of experience. Each strategy has unique qualities, resulting in a diverse set of intriguing and rewarding outcomes. 

It is easier for the artist to manage their brush strokes and the amount of paint they use while using wet on dry painting techniques. A wet brush and dry paper allow you to construct a shape with defined borders and a continuous stream of color in the middle. 

Watercolor will not run over the painted form’s dried edge if you don’t add extra paint or water to the mix. The forms you paint on your canvas are completely under your control as a consequence.

Dry-On-Dry Watercolor Techniques:

Dry-On-Dry Watercolor Techniques:

Take a dry brush and dip it into your paint, and that’s exactly what you’re doing. A dry piece of paper should then be used to spread it out over. A much-textured mark will develop, perfect for suggesting fur or hair.

However, you only need a small amount of water to take up a few drops of color. Then, we add the desired details to our painting to make it more appealing.

Watercolor painting is a skill that takes a great deal of effort to master. Moreover, as you continue to paint, your ability to apply colors on paper will improve.

Flat Wash Watercolor Technique:

Flat Wash Watercolor techniques

In watercolor painting, the flat wash is a technique that you will employ almost every time you begin a new piece of work. When you need to cover a wide area of the paper with paint, you utilize this technique.

When using this method, flat wash watercolor results in a flat or even region of color over the paper. The flat wash should be a dark shade of paint, so make sure you have enough paint on your palette to cover the entire piece!

The lighter the hue becomes as you add more water. To make it darker, apply additional color.

Layering Watercolor Techniques:

Layered Watercolor Techniques
  • Layers of watercolor can be applied after one color has dried to provide dimension, texture, and variation of color.
  • It’s important to remember that between washes, the paper must be completely dry to avoid color mixing and getting muddy.
  • Just wait for the first color to dry completely before painting the second color on top of it, and avoid re-wetting the first color by adding too much water to the second color.
  • Using a wet brush, lightly stroke the line that divides the second color.

Gradated Wash Watercolor Technique:

Gradated Wash Watercolor Techniques
  • Ombre, an abbreviation for gradated wash has the value or strength of the color progressively varies as the wash goes on.
  • As soon as that’s done, a thicker layer of watercolor paint is spread over the whole piece.
  • Water is added to the paint mixture to brighten the paint as it is sprayed down the paper.
  • Painters frequently employ a graded wash to paint the sky.
  • If you watch the sky over a landscape, you’ll notice that it grows lighter as it goes closer to the horizon.
  • A graded wash can help you get the same impression as being in the woods or on the beach.

Variegated Wash Watercolor Technique:

Variegated Wash Watercolor Techniques

The variegated wash technique combines two or more colors when applied to wet paper while retaining parts of their distinct colors.

Wet your paper with a sponge or wide brush once more for this. Applying one color to the paper with your brush is one method. This will result in a colorful explosion.

Then, with another color loaded on your brush, touch the moist surface with the brush’s tip. This will result in a second bloom of color, which will bleed into the first color in some areas, resulting in a third color.

These techniques are great for backgrounds, textures, and other special effects, but they require some experience.

Lifting Watercolor Techniques:

Lifting Watercolor Techniques

To remove the color from your painting, in certain situations, you’ll have to scrape it off the canvas.

For example, you may use it to erase an error or to add white space to your art.

You may lift color from a wet or dried watercolor by utilizing a variety of techniques.

Lifting Technique from Wet Watercolors:

  • When your paint is still wet, removing pigment is simple.
  • To remove the paint off the paper, blot it well with a clean brush and peel it off with your fingertip.
  • The secret is to use a moist yet blotted brush because it collects more water than it releases, allowing you to swiftly pick up wet color from your painting.
  • To remove the pigment, you may also use a paper towel or tissue.
  • You should use these techniques if you want a more abstract, uncontrolled white space.
  • When painting with a brush, you have more control over the outcome.

Lifting Technique Dry Watercolor:

  • Even if the paint is dry, you can still peel the pigment off the sheet, although it will be more difficult.
  • You’d be surprised at how well an eraser works for this.
  • After dampening the area with water, use a stiff brush or a paper towel to remove excess pigment.

How to Become a Master in Watercolor Painting Techniques:

  • Aquarelle painting and illustration may be accomplished in a variety of methods.
  • It’s important to prepare ahead since water affects the absorbency and form of the paper when it’s wet, as well as the contours and look of the paint when it’s dried.
  • Normally, a pencil drawing is used to generate the outlines that guide the painters, although writers occasionally prefer to work impromptu and without any preparatory sketches.
  • It’s critical to think ahead and decide ahead of time which parts of the paper will be painted and which will be left unpainted.
  • Because watercolors don’t have a white pigment, any white or light portions of the painting must remain that way until the finish.
  • Usually, the lightest areas of the painting are the color of the paper itself.
  • Masking tape can also be used to conceal parts that need to remain visible.
  • Once the picture is complete and the tape has been removed from the sheet, the white will be retained, but sharp edges or crisp lines can be added to create contrast.
  • When using watercolor paints start with the lighter colors and work your way up to the darker ones.
  • Try to recall your color wheel to keep things simple.
  • Working from light to dark, the quantity of water we use affects the darkness and color saturation.
  • The lighter the hue becomes as we use more water.
  • Before putting your washed brush back into the paint, make sure to blot it on a dry cloth or paper towel.
  • If you prefer to use a lot of paint, you should use thicker paper so it doesn’t buckle.
  • Watercolor painting requires a lot of planning and preparation.
  • If you mix too many colors together, you’ll create “mud.”
  • Color is a matter. Lay the paper flat and start painting with clean water to practice a more spontaneous multi-colored wash.
  • Color must be built up gradually in watercolor because of this, and the ideal technique for achieving a soft look is known as scrambling.
  • When painting with watercolor, painters might add salt to a wet layer of paint to enhance texture.
  • Wash or blow away the salt once it has dried to reveal a natural-looking surface like rock or tree bark.
  • Painters can blot paint on paper with a variety of sponges to produce a variety of effects.
  • You may get the look of drifting dust by using the splatter watercolor techniques, which creates random dots on the paper.
  • The paint splashes on the paper simply by pulling and letting go of the wet paintbrush’s tip.
  • In most cases, painters like to work on dry paper; however, there are others who prefer to wet the paper completely before beginning their artwork.
  • This will have some magical effects, such as huge patches of color.

Essential Watercolor Supplies to Get Started:

The process will be much easier if you accomplish the work to prepare for painting before you begin.

  • It’s important to note that not all paper is equal! Use true watercolor paper if you’re intending to paint with watercolors.
  • There are two types of watercolor paint: tubes and pans. In either case, it’s up to you which one you like, but make sure to select reputable brands.
  • You don’t need a tonne of brushes to get started, but a few key types will come in handy as you experiment with different techniques. It’s a good idea to start with small, medium, and large round brushes, as well as flat brushes and mop, brushes to get the job done right away.
  • Keep lots of paper towels on hand. Your brushes will be cleaned and dabbed while you work with it.
  • A watercolor palette is necessary for mixing colors, adding water, and getting the proper combination before applying paint to your paper.
  • Before moving on to your final piece, use scratch paper to test your shades and water-to-paint ratio.
  • Taping off your borders and making clean margins to frame your painting with masking or painter tape is a terrific technique to employ.
  • To make the process go more smoothly, gather all of your supplies and put them out.


  • When using watercolor paints start with the lighter colors and work your way up to the darker ones. Try to recall your color wheel to keep things simple.
  • You should know different mesmerizing watercolor painting ideas, that help these techniques to invest in.
  • Before putting your washed brush back into the paint, make sure to blot it on a dry cloth or paper towel.
  • If you prefer to use a lot of paint, you should use thicker paper so it doesn’t buckle.
  • Watercolor painting requires a lot of planning and preparation. If you mix too many colors together, you’ll create “mud.” Color is a matter.
  • Lay the paper flat and start painting with clean water to practice a more spontaneous multi-colored wash.

Checkout few best-quality watercolor painting supplies for your reference

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest