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Painting with watercolours

Discussion in 'Personal' started by cosmos, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. On a whim I bought a cheap set of paints, a pad and brushes today. I have absolutely no idea what to do with them! Where do I start? Please can someone give me a push in the right direction.....
  2. On a whim I bought a cheap set of paints, a pad and brushes today. I have absolutely no idea what to do with them! Where do I start? Please can someone give me a push in the right direction.....
  3. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    take a piece out of the pad of paper and if possible tape it to a piece of card or similar.
    wet the paints and if you like, wet the paper and just play with the colours
    it does not have to be a picture
  4. Watercolours are fun. If the paper is wet you can add colour and move it gently around to make misty type effects and to let the colours blend. Just play with the effect of colour and water.
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I always hated water colours and found their wishy washiness very unsatisfying. I much prefer acrylics - as well as the actual paints there are all those fancy effects you can add. I gave mine to my son but I quite fancy getting more...maybe I should wait until next year when I retire!
  6. http://www.channel4.com/programmes/watercolour-challenge
  7. Watercolour Challenge was ace.

    Cosmos - invest in some (non soluble) black fine liner pens, and perhaps some masking fluid. I find water clour by it's nature can go very blurry and some sharpness of drawing can be lost - plus I love the look of black pen teamed with watercolour. Masking fluid can keep areas free of watery paint - good for keeping white areas white. Don't use the white watercolour block! Cheap sets often include a white block of paint, but really, it shouldn't be there as it's opaque. Watercolour 'should' always be very clean and transparent.
  8. Not that I'm implying you bought a cheap set!
  9. Dear coffeekid, I understand each individual word but, put together......I have no idea what you are talking about! I am a total, complete, absolute beginner. So far I have succeeded in taking the tops off the tubes and can hold the brush the right way round.
    Drawing? Do I have to draw as well? Hmmm, this may well prove to be a short-lived hobby! No matter, I shall play with it tomorrow and see what happens.
    Thank you all for your advice
  10. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    basically with water colours you need to lay deeper colour over the lighter...but give time for each layer of colour to dry..you can use a hair dryer to do this,,,but be gentle and experiment to make sure you dont burn the paper.
    Many folks use a wash of watery paint over the whole canvas or paper in say white..and then leave this to dry. This tends to seal the surfac e and stop the paints running more
    When dry you start to apply paints to please your self. remember being water colours they wil tend to run into each other unless they dry irst....so mix the colours in a spare scaucer of mixing pallette befor applying......you can buy books which tell you which cours added together make which colour.
    You can if you wish draw on the paper to give yourself a shape oor scene and then you apply the paint to the paper to cover the shape/
    there are many you tube videos on how to do it...and if you search the net probabaly a lot more sensible information
  11. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    On holiday in the South of France one year, my sweetheart dragged me into a craft shop to get something or other to occupy her time. I saw they had some moulded papier mache items ready to decorate so I bought a couple and a box of cheap watercolours.
    One was a sun, the other a moon, both fashioned into faces. It kept me amused during those hours between returning to the the apartment and waiting for her to get dolled up for wherever we were going to eat that evening.
    It took a while to get used to the medium, but once I'd re-painted them several times I felt I was getting somewhere, and was actually rather proud of my handywork.
    I can't tell you what became of the moon. I think I'd thought about blue moons and went on to imagine what a blue moon would feel like. He had bags under his eyes, something of a scowl, possibly something sinister about him. On reflection, it's probably unsuprising he's somehow disappeared.
    The sun on the other hand has a much more jolly demeanour. Bright blue shining eyes, rosy cheeks and lips you'd want to kiss amid the the flaming yellows that surround them. This one survived and remains part of the decoration of our kitchen.
    Perhaps you could experiment with something along these lines before attacking a blank canvas?
  12. The frustrating thing about watercolours is the fact that you can't manipulate them as you can with acrylics or oils. I would recommend some masking fluid, for starters, so that you can mark out the lighter areas or places you want to leave white.
  13. I love them - though I'm no painter.
    Water colour paper is lush particularly a heavy weight one ....... 200 gsm.....?
    Some nice brushes ..........
    Doodle about making bookmarks. Cut the paper into strips. Just play. Abstract shapes or flowers - anything.
    Practise with the depth of colour etc.
    Good soothing calm fun.
  14. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter

    I agree, especially if you don't feel confident drawing 'outlines'.

    Or try simple shapes like this:-
    (Paul Klee)
  15. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Damn...I thought it was my grandson's painting!
  16. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    You tape the paper to a board (use masking tape) to prevent it from going wavy when wet. The proper thing to do is to soak the paper completely, shake off the water and then tape to a board and let it dry, but as you are experimenting with the paint first, just tape it to a piece of hardboard, thin wood etc. The paper will still go wavy when painting but will dry back to its original flat shape/size because it is secured all around.
    Do a basic sketch - I suggest a sky with an horizon line about two thirds of the way down and then some detail in the foreground (building, fence and fields etc).
    Prepare two or three paint colours. You could use an old cookery bun tin or a few old saucers/plates. Add water to paint and get enough paint made up for the sky. Start with the strongest colour dilution that you want, then transfer some of that to another receptacle and dilute to a weaker colour. You could have a different colour made up as well to give the sky a pinky hue, for example or a golden glow, or a pirple haze, but won't need as much of that colour.
    Have a small sponge, bunched up tissues or cotton wool to hand.
    With clean water and a largish brush , wet the entire sky area down to the horizon with the weaker dilution of your main colour. When you then add the coloured paint it will spread through the wet area and the dry areas of the paper will remain intact (unless you hold the paper upright too soon and the paint drips downwards (just mop it up and use a wet brush to dilute the unwanted colour).
    Whilst the paint is still wet, add in some of the darker dilution and allow it to spread, tilting the paper to make it run where you want. Do the same with the alternative colour if using one.
    The, if you want clouds, whilst it's all still wet, use mini sponge, tisues or cotton wool to dab out colour from the sky in selected areas. If doing a dark sky at night, use a coin wrapped in tissue or a piece of cloth to create a full moon.
    When the sky is dry (you can use a hairdryer to speed things up) tackle the next area, wetting the parts you want in the next colour with clean water first, using a smaller brush for intricate areas.
    If you don't like an area of paint you can lift it off by diluting it with water and using a dry brush to soak up the paint.
    If you mess up the paper but don't want to waste it, remove from the board and submerge it in water for long enough for the paint to weaken a run off. Then tape the clean paper to a board and allow to dry. This assumes that you are using watercolour paper.
  17. I am beginning to get the idea! I'm feeling quite excited now.
    I shall get all the boring chores out of the way shortly and then sit down to play. I can see that I am going to need a bigger brush and masking tape but that is easy enough.
    Many thanks all. Perhaps there has been an inner artist all these years just waiting to be unleashed........or not, we'll see.
  18. Honestly, watch the programme I linked to. It shows all sorts of people painting with watercolours and you get an idea of what it's supposed to do. Plus, althoughg they are all good amateur painters, some of them are worse than others and you don't feel too inadequate watching them.
  19. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter

    Seriously, it reminds me of a time when someone entered their young child's painting into the RA Summer Show...........and it was accepted. Much mirth ensued......but I actually liked the painting anyway!

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