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How to paint with water colours

Updated on August 7, 2013

I am still learning!

I am not an artist, I have not knowledge enough to give courses but what little I know I want to share here

Water colour painting is the last medium I tried in my life. Before this, I painted with wood colour on baskets and cutting boards and so on. Then I tried Acryl because the brushes can be cleaned with water. But it was a teknique that was quite easy in a way. With Acryl you start and paint layer after layer. If it turn out bad you can just remove the paint with a knife and paint something else. Or just paint over it. The same is with oil painting. The brushes, palette and yourself have to be cleaned with therpentine or paint remover.

Then in my old days, a friend that is an artist started to patiently teach me about water colour painting - aquarell painting. And now every thing was upside down for me. Now you MUST think about the top layer first and allow the motif to grow inwards. There are many ways to compose a painting and many trix you can use. I am not that skilled so I only can teach you the basics.

First of all you need a specially prepared water colour paper. A paper that suck water. When you want to paint lets say a sky, you wet only the top of the paper but stop at the treetops. When you apply the colours and tilt the paper a little bit, the rinning paint will stop at the treetops with a darker line. The darkness brightens up when it dries. Scroll down to the video just under this text!

The roses to the right are one of my earliests paintings on my own. Look how I allowed the red paint to rinn down and make the petals darker on one side. When I paint I use my fingers and rugs and cotton tips and what ever I feel a need for. To experiment is really recommended! Have fun and remember that you can always throw the paper away and start again =)

Have you painted with water color?

I prefer:

See results

The paper is wet on the over part and tilted

Art Alternatives Pocket Watercolor Set of 18 Half Pans of Brilliant Transparent Paint and 1 Round Brush
Art Alternatives Pocket Watercolor Set of 18 Half Pans of Brilliant Transparent Paint and 1 Round Brush

Art Alternatives Pocket Watercolor Set This line of Pocket Kits makes art on the go a breeze! Each kit comes in a reusable aluminum tin that snaps closed. The Watercolor Set comes with 18 half pans of high quality pigmented watercolor and a round watercolor brush.


A girl coming alive

I dont care if I mix paint and pens

Who said you MUST use ony water colours? I dont care, I can gladly mix pens, crayons and different colours to recieve the goal in my painting. The praying girl here I even used a ball pen to fill in the small edges of the lilacs around her. May be there is a more sofisticated way, but this is what I did.

I also wet the paper before I started. Wet everything except her face and hands. Then I used what ever colours that happened to be on the palette from last time I used it. And the result became a wonderful mix of surprices and smooth edges. Some water colour paint do react so funny with other nyances. Again - experiment and let the surprices amaze you!

At last I painted lilacs around her like she is sitting in a room of scents.

Roses with a little help of a pen

You can say that you must avoid to paint....know what surfaces to keep dry and wet the others. I am still a pupil but I love to try different methods. Since I love flowers, they are mostly motif.

Here is a link to my paintings

After I painted these wild roses, I took one of the water colour pens and filled in the edges a little here and there. You can see it clearly on the roses and some leaves.

The pens are called supracolour (you find them in the amazon list here) and I use them in different ways. Once you have painted with them you can take a wet brush and smooth the edges out as much as you like.

I also use these pens when I want to paint something really small like a hair or a line of a sail.

You donĀ“t need so much white water colour. THe reason is that you just add more whater to delute the colour. But if you look at my white roses (scroll down) I have to tell you that I added some of the white at the petals with acrylic colours. Straight from the tube acually =D

Water color painting

Painting Watercolors (First Steps)
Painting Watercolors (First Steps)

First Steps Painting Series Book on Watercolors makes even a beginners first strokes fun and rewarding. Instructions on specific mediums are clear simple and encouraging.


My white roses

Look carefully on the painting above. First I wet the paper everywhere except where the leaves and the roses were. It is a detail work indeed. So in order to in time make the back ground red, I soaked one half at the time.

The red colour is the water that I cooked redbeats in. I cooked them peeled a long time to make the colour stronger. I did not mix it with anything. I painted more or less of it in the wet paper. Then I took some que tips and paper towel pieces and removed sthe red on some areas.

When the background was absolutely dry, I painted the leaves and the roses.

Landscape painting

Please ask questions or just comment!

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    • healthmunsta profile image

      healthmunsta 4 years ago

      Wow, you are a talented artist! Really good paintings and great tutorial, too!

    • Little Light profile image

      Lilly May Rose 6 years ago from Australia

      Your artworks are beautiful. You should be very proud.

    • starstream profile image

      Dreamer at heart 6 years ago from Northern California

      You are an artist! Your red roses are lovely. Thanks for the hub.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Watercolor are my favorite paints too. The delicateness of your roses are just perfect and so are your leaves.

      great hub, thanks for sharing

      kindest regards Zsuzsy

    • TINA V profile image

      TINA V 7 years ago

      I am not an artist, but this is awesome! You do have great talent in painting. Your art work are beautiful. I like your two red roses. You are amazing to share your experience and techniques, too. Thumbs up!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I really enjoyed this and like how you experiment with different mediums and are not afraid to try different techniques. Your students must love you! I have only tried watercolors a few times and have thrown the paper out after trying. Might just try it again with what you have done in mind. Thanks!

    • waynet profile image

      Wayne Tully 7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Great paintings and knowledge to share, you certainly are an amazing artist with watercolors...keep up the excellent work.

    • mulberry1 profile image

      mulberry1 7 years ago

      I stopped in at your Zazzle gallery, what a lovely collection! If I had one single, itsy bitsy bit of artistic ability I am certain this hub would have helped me tremendously. Unfortunately however, I am completely I will just have to continue enjoying your paintings rather then doing my own.