Watercolours The Beautiful Medium

Watercolours: As used by the greats


If you want to see watercolours at their very best, look up the works of the masters. Many artists have made a name as watercolour specialists including Van Dyck, Gainsborough and Constable, while England’s most famous landscape painter, Turner, gained renown for his innovation with watercolours. Cezanne became known for overlapping pure colours and Van Gogh was able to create layers of striking colour using watercolours.


Watercolours and you


If you’ve been inspired by the watercolours of the masters and wish to paint your own masterpiece, you’ll be pleased to know that the start-up costs are minimal. Watercolour paint sets, brushes and papers are very affordable in comparison to a medium like oil paints. As a new watercolourist, and the almost inevitable mistakes that any beginner will make, this will save you a lot of money in the long run. At the same time, the pressure to get it right first time around will remove a lot of pressure and make painting fun.



Don’t over mix watercolours


Mixing watercolours to create the right colour can be as much fun as applying the paint itself. Here’s a simple tip to make your mixing even more fun, and effective. Don’t do too much at once. Only mix two colours at a time and when you have the right blend, that’s the time to mix in another colour. Over mixing is something of a lottery and very rarely will you get the right results. Even professional artists, mindful of wasting paint, stick to the ‘two at a time’ policy.


The right surface for your watercolours


You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the right paper for your watercolour. When different manufacturers offer you different shades of white it becomes obvious that there will never be a shortage of materials! If you’re painting using the old-fashioned ‘ white space’ method where blank paper substitutes for the colour white, your choice is a critical one. The thicker the paper, the more paint you can apply, so factor this in if your painting will feature several layers. For a watercolour that stands the test of time, acid-free paper is the best choice as this will not yellow too much as the painting gets older.


Watercolours: Choosing the right brush


And you thought you had quite the choice when it came to paper! Just wait til you see how many brushes are available to you! In a broad sense, and to help you save precious time, look first at natural hair brushes. They may cost a little more than synthetic brushes but the benefits are worth the cost. Natural hair brushes can hold more paint and keep their shape longer than those artificial brushes. A little extra spent now will save you in the future, thanks to a superior, longer-lasting brush.

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