Before getting started with the painting today – I filmed a little clip of how I fold/cut/tear a full sheet of watercolor paper! I did that for Instagram recently, and even Arches asked if they could repost it, so, yeah – let’s do that here. I didn’t realize it was something folks didn’t know how to do.
Step 1: fold the sheet in half. Over and over. And over. You don’t need a bone folder or anything, the paper WILL tear easily once you get a good score going.
Then tear it – sideways, not upwards! That’ll give you the best deckled edge without the possibility of tearing into the paintable area. Do that again for each half and you end up with four quarter sheets! I’ll be painting in this lesson on an eighth of a sheet, so I folded one more time.
Tutorial: Watercoloring a peach rose (layering tips)
And now for the painting! This is part 1 of a 2 part series on layering vs glazing….and you can watch the layers develop. See photos below.
Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!
The first wash is a light one – very very wet! The lighter you want areas of your painting to remain, the lighter the wash. It’s ok to dab up excess color as needed. It’s even ok if there’s no white left. Here you can see the lightness of the first pass while adding the next one:
Adding the next-to-the lightest colors happens in pass 2; below you see that work after it dries, with a few strokes of pass 3 for comparison:
Third (+fourth!) pass
When I’m adding the darker colors, I like to work in some extra-darks while the third pass is still wet. It gives the ability to blend nicely.
Since I find contrast irresistable….I had to add some deeper darks with just a tidge the darkest shadows. Can you see the difference it makes in creating depth?
And voilá! All done. Layers are your friend – and can really make a painting stronger and more vibrant, as well as have a lot more depth and dimension!
What questions do you have about layering?
I know that was one of the things I watched closely when going to in-person classes….how different artists apply color into wet paint or over dry. What would you like to know?