Watercolour for Beginners Back to basics
Follow Matthew Palmer as he introduces the wet-into-wet technique in his second article on watercolour painting for beginners
For successful wet-into-wet painting, first mix the paint, then use your brush to wet the paper with clean water, then apply the paint to the wet paper and enjoy seeing all the colours run and mix together.
Getting ready to paint
Firstly mask off the area that is going to be snow (the snow is the white paper). To do this, simply place a strip of masking tape, about two inches up the paper.
You also need to mix three colours in separate wells as in the painting in my last article.
Tip: when mixing thick colours use more paint than water in your palette.
SAA practice paper 140lb Not surface imperial in size (split into two with masking tape – save one half for a second painting).
|Paints SAA watercolours:|
Once the colours are mixed you can start to wet the paper. This is the most important bit in the wet-into-wet technique. Take your time with this, use a number 12 brush and move the board around so the water on the paper reflects the light, this allows you to see any bits of the paper you have missed.
Be aware that the paper is drying every second so timing is important. Start by painting the lighter colours - the Yellow Ochre, then the Alizarin Crimson and finally at the top of the paper the French Ultramarine.
While the paint is still wet or damp add a line of distant trees, using the dull brown colour and a smaller brush, the number 6. Working along the horizon line (where the tape is) simply paint vertical lines, about one inch tall, but slightly random in height.
The paint will go into the wet area - the sky that you have just painted - and will bleed or spread, giving a distant out of focus effect. Keep working over the tops of the trees as the paper starts to dry, giving some darker and some lighter trees. This now needs to dry.
Tip: watch out for blobs and puddles of paint gathering along the masking tape edge - soak these up with a damp brush by just running it over the puddles.
You can paint the bottom of the painting, the snowy area, as you please. I have painted a basic path, by using a pale shadow colour. First of all, carefully remove the masking tape, across the horizon line, leaving a blank area where you can be creative!
Next, using the shadow colour (pale) and a number 12 brush paint a line across the bottom of the paper about one inch deep. Next clean your brush in water and shake off the excess water, so the brush is just damp not saturated. Then very simply blend the paint upwards towards the trees, and keep doing this until you get a gradient. The shadow colour will blend and turn to white. Leave this to dry.
Using the number 6 brush paint a simple path, to do this, start at the top and paint a wiggly line at a five o’clock angle, also trying to make the line wider at the bottom.
This line needs to blend (like the horizontal line did in step 4). Still with the number 6 brush, clean it in water, wipe the excess water off onto some tissue so the brush is damp and then blend it towards the left. You may need to clean your brush a second time and wipe it again to continue the blend effect.
Now, still using a damp brush, add one or two lines, following the shape of the banking. Just work these lines away from the main path line (to the right). This will help with the contour and give more of a 3d effect.
Tip: this blending effect takes a little practice.
Next, simply repeat this effect on the left side, to create the opposite side of the path. Again, as before, blend this with a damp brush to the left.
To finish off add a few dotty bits - random spots around the edge of the path to give a touch of realism and foreground interest, using the same colour used for the background trees – the dull brown made from a strong mixture of Payne’s Grey and Yellow Ochre.
To see more of Matthew’s work or to find out about his classes, visit www.mattartist.co.uk
For a details of upcoming workshop dates and painting holidays please contact Matthew at any of the above contact details.
From Photograph to Painting with Matthew Palmer
The Italian Job with Malcolm Cudmore
Spring Fervour with David Hyde
Market Day in Brittany with Marilyn Allis
Cromford Canal with Matthew Palmer
Portraits in Pastel Pencils with Heather Jolliffe
A Passion for Watercolour Painting