Pixel Mountain Studios & Mike Adkins Art

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Watercolor – A strange new media for me.

August 26, 2022

Watercolor I have been told is the hardest media to master. On the surface it would appear that you just add water to the paints, and apply it. Nothing could be further from this. Now I am completely new to watercolor and I am leaning every day. So I hope to pass on some of what I have learned so far.

First, watercolor paints for the most are transparent. What that means is, it is very hard to cover up a mistake. I think of watercolors more as a die or wash. Not like you would think of oil paints or acrylic paint. So knowing this, I have learned about layering. What that is, is applying the paint, letting it dry then applying another coat, and repeat to build up the desired depth of color. But it will never be fully opaque. And mistakes are very hard to fix. If you put to much water on the paper, it will pool or run, and you can dab it with a paper towel or tissue but then there this produces more unwanted effects at times.

Add water, lighten the color, add less water, make the colors more rich, add black, darken the color. And remember, you can always go darker, but you cannot go lighter. White is best achieved by leaving areas not painted.

Don’t buy a set of 24 or 36 colors. This is the mistake I made. Lean to mix your colors and only use a very limited color selection. The primary colors, or some cool and some warm.

So here is my process. I sketch in pencil, then go back over it with a .3 marker. Then I add watercolors, and build up the shadow areas. Finally, after it is completely dry I go back with the marker and do some final details.

I will be posting more on my watercolor journey and what I have leaned.


Welcome to Pixel Mountain Studios.  Here is where I create, write, and teach.  I am a retired IT Specialist so I understand Tech.  I am also a lifelong photographer, artist, and instructor.  I hope you find the information here interesting and informative.

This is Pixel Mountain Studios & Mike Adkins Art

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