ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

DIY watercolor tips for beginners. Become a self taught artist painter. Landscapes.

Updated on February 8, 2018

Vibrant watercolor

Source

The medium of Watercolor.

Watercolor is one of the most difficult mediums to use in painting because it involves putting large amounts of wet paint onto paper and the paint moves in the water. Getting your painting right the first time is important as it's really hard to correct without losing freshness. We will concentrate on landscapes for this article to help you become a self taught artist.

Like most things, the secret is in the preparation and particularly in the design. With watercolor you can lift paint off your paper but, once you have started, you can't change your design successfully. There are lots of checklists available on selecting your brushes, choosing colors etc but here are some things you might not have thought about.

A checklist to help your painting be a success.

1. Have one small straight line somewhere in the distance. If you have overlooked this don't forget to create one as this gives your painting stability.


2. Eliminate symmetrical shapes such as squares, triangles and circles. If they appear in your painting, change them to be much more irregular as nature rarely gives us perfect shapes.


3. Avoid worm shapes (parallel lines that are similar and end up looking like a worm). Even though they may not be exactly parallel, from as distance they will look like it. Change one or both lines to create variety.

Which paint medium do you prefer to use?

Which paint medium do you prefer to use?

See results

4.Watch for shapes that line up or are clones of each other, e.g. trees, hill tops etc., and change them. Change the shape, change the color, change the way they overlap.

5.No 'kissing' in the painting. This is where shapes touch. Overlap them instead. Overlapping gives a sense of distance - something in front and something further behind.


6. Angle shapes into the painting otherwise the eye will follow the shapes right out of the frame.

7. Check that you have 3 planes - foreground, middle ground and background. Keep most of your information in the middle ground and leave the foreground uncluttered. This encourages the eye of the viewer to travel into the painting rather than get stuck at the front.

8. If you crop a shape such as a tree or building, don't crop it down the middle. Crop 1/3 or 2/3.

9. Each painting should be about one main thing only (the 'center of interest'). Don't overdo your painting with trying to squeeze in too many things all vying for attention. This creates a cluttered mess for the viewer to try and figure out. Here is a simple but helpful technique to help you sort this out. When you have decided what that 'thing' is, describe it in 3 words. If you need more than 3 words, you are planning to put too much into your painting. Emphasize the center of interest and play down the rest.


10.Check for repeated concave or convex shapes and change them to more of an uneven mix as seen below. This helps your painting to look more realistic.

© 2013 Frangipanni

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Frangipanni profile imageAUTHOR

      Frangipanni 

      5 years ago

      Thanks so much, glad it could help.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      5 years ago from USA

      Your tips are so helpful for beginning watercolorists, as well as a good reminder for those with more experience or those who wish to teach watercolor painting. Great job on writing and illustrating your points! Voted up and useful!

    • Frangipanni profile imageAUTHOR

      Frangipanni 

      5 years ago

      Thanks blossom!

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      A very interesting and useful hub. I love your examples, too.

    • Frangipanni profile imageAUTHOR

      Frangipanni 

      5 years ago

      Thank you for your kind words RTalloni

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      5 years ago from the short journey

      A super look at some watercolor tips that would be easy to miss. Good basic stuff to think about!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)