Yao is back with yet another great installment of Watercoloring Basics! This is part 4 of 5 of Yao’s amazing Watercolor Tutorial series! If you need to catch up check out Watercolor Tutorial Part 1: Basics & Supplies and Watercolor Tutorial Part 2: Blending, and Watercolor Tutorial Part 3: Mark Making. Now take it away Yao!
I hope you guys have been enjoying these watercolor tutorials, this is really a love of mine and I’m glad to be reaching out and sharing these posts with all of you! So, this week I want to talk with you guys about how you can layer and create richness with watercolor. As I have mentioned before in previous posts, watercolor has this really unique quality of being translucent. Because of how wide this range of translucency to opacity is, I wanted to show you guys this step by step of how I use this quality of watercolor in my work. This painting was inspired by the undulating and foggy hilltops of a beautiful landscape I found.
In the Blending post, we talked about adding saturated colors to wet areas as a way to blend colors. Incorporating these different techniques together with layering will give your artwork more depth and visual interest.
A quick note about taping the edges: I like to use ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape when I would like to go off the edge of my work but still keep that very clean, straight border. This painters tape does wonders every time, just make sure to really press down on the edges to keep pigment from seeping through!
Using a range of values from rich to very light colors is the way to go with layering. Just remember to allow your painting to dry completely between layering to keep the different layers of paint from blending together.
In addition to incorporating blending techniques, dabbing a paper towel on wet surfaces will give you a faded, textured effect. More on using paper towels in the next post!
As you continue to add more and more layers, the complexity and beauty of your painting will start to come through. This is usually the part in the painting process that I know I’m on to something really great and interesting!
Alright folks, this is the best part! Taking off the tape often makes me feel like I’m unwrapping presents at Christmas… When it’s all pulled off, the clean edges frame the rich landscape inside so well!
TIPS & TRICKS
Take a few minutes and really explore hues and saturations. Adding a lot to very little water will give you a wide range of color, and layering these colors together will further enhance the color and brightness. Again, make sure every layer is completely dry before adding a new layer!
Layering can be used on just about anything you can think of! In this case, I’m showing you how it can look with pretty floras.
Dots are also really fun with this technique! The more layers you add to something like this, the fuller and brighter the colors will appear.
I used this same approach with my Colorful Falling Dots print, which you can find here.
That’s all for this week’s watercolor tutorial. As always, I hope you guys have a watercolor-fun week!
‘Till next time folks,
Updated April 2015 – Yao now offers an online tutorial! Check it out!
Thank you so much Yao! I cannot wait to become a watercolor master! Yao has sweetly offered you guys 20% off at her shop or etsy shop using the code THEALISONSHOW !! So be sure to check out her gorgeous work.