Watercolor Techniques


  • Paper
    • Pads, blocks, or single sheets- pads are sketchbooks of sheets, blocks are high-quality pads that are less likely to warp
    • Tooth (texture)- more textured paper can hold more paint- hot press is smoothest, rough has most “tooth,” cold press (recommended) is in the middle
    • Deckle edge- uneven and frayed edge on paper, natural edge when paper is made
  • Brushes
    • Natural- softer, hold more liquid
    • Synthetic- don’t hold as much liquid, cheaper, easier to find

Getting started:

  • Add a couple drops of water to paints
  • For lighter shades, wet brush and only use a little paint
  • For darker shades, use less water and more paint
  • To blend, use wet brush with no paint on it against the colors on the paper


  • Wet on wet- lightly wet paper and use wet brush, good for covering large areas or a first layer of paint, after painting tilt paper around to blend
  • Wet on dry- wet brush on dry paper, doesn’t fade or blend as much as wet on wet
  • Drybrush- use little amount of water picking up paint with brush then dry it on paper towel, creates rough look, no fading or bleeding
  • Dry on wet- lightly wet paper or apply layer of wet paint, then use drybrush technique on top, creates fuzzy look
  • Flat wash- same as wet on wet technique, but instead of blending colors, make even layer of one color
  • Gradated wash- wet paper and hold it at an angle, paint lines starting from top and let it bleed to the bottom
  • Variegated wash- wet on wet technique with multiple colors, allow them to bleed together (not too much or they’ll get muddy)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *