Posts in Watercolor
3 Reasons Watercoloring Is More Than Just Learning to Paint

Watercolor, simply put, is water mixed with pigment which is then applied to paper. But painting with watercolors is something entirely different. It can be complex, confusing, and fun at the same time. 

Learning how to paint with watercolors is more than just watercoloring. Those of us who love it and want to keep getting better aren’t in it just to paint pretty pictures. Have you ever asked yourself why you want to learn, why you want to get better, and why it can be so rewarding? I’ve thought about it and here are 3 reasons why I think watercolors are so much more than just learning to paint.

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3 Watercolor Brush Stroke Exercises to Practice Brush Control

I think of watercolors a little like modern calligraphy. It’s loose, there aren’t hard and fast traditional rules because it’s such an expressive and fluid medium. With watercolors, you can paint anything from a very loose abstract image to a super detailed photorealistic painting. No matter which style, however, there are still basic principles and techniques that we need to understand in order to be able to paint with watercolors.

One foundational skill in watercolors is understanding your brush, the strokes it can make, and how to handle it. In this post, I’m going to share 3 brush stroke exercises that you can do with a round tip brush to practice control get really comfortable with the strokes and shapes your brush is capable of

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Which Watercolor Paints and Colors to Buy?

One of the questions that I get asked the most is what type of paints I use. I have to start by saying that the type of watercolor paints you use come down to personal preference at the end of the day - like most things in life. But, what I can do, is share with you what my experiences have been and what my preferences are.

Now, if you’re looking for someone who has tested out a bunch of paints from a bunch of different brands and is here to lay out all the nitty gritty details and comparison notes for you…you probably should stop reading right now.

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Filming with Brit + Co | Watercolor Painting + Digitization Class

When I received an email in my inbox from Sarah back in September 2017 asking if I’d be interested in teaching an online course for Brit+Co, I wasn't sure if it was real at first! I tend to believe that we all have some degree of imposter syndrome and it certainly is bound to kick in when a company like Brit+Co reaches out to you. I definitely had a few thoughts cross my mind like: 'Are they really asking ME?' and 'Can I really do this?' On top of that, anyone that knows me, knows I would much rather be behind the camera than in front of it and don’t prefer being the center of attention. But I gave it some thought and reminded myself that we learn the most when we feel uncomfortable and push our own boundaries - so I agreed. 

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Gradient Watercolor Background Experiments

Hake brushes have been on my mind lately. I’m *this* close to buying one, it’s in my shopping cart on dickblick.com and I just haven’t let myself purchase it yet. If you don’t know what a hake brush is, they are large wash brushes that hold lots of water. In my dreams, I want to use it to prep a big sheet of paper with water so I can paint soft blue watercolor skies with fluffy clouds.

Until that happens I decided I should experiment with some gradient washes because it’s not something that I normally paint. These gradient washes make really nice backgrounds to letter on top of or can be scanned and used as backgrounds for digital designs too.

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5 Types of Watercolor Charts: Overview

I know we can find examples of these color charts as visual images all over the internet but without some sort of explanation to accompany them, I found it pretty confusing! In fact, when I began studying them, what I thought was a basic color chart turned out not to be so basic after all.

Now that we’ve got them all sorted out in a blog series, I’ll summarize them each here with a photo, a name, and a sentence about why you’d want to study and paint them for yourself.

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5 Types of Watercolor Charts - Type 5: Two Color Mixing Chart

If you’ve been reading since the beginning of this watercolor chart series, you may have noticed that each chart type is a little more involved than the last. Each one in the series takes more time to paint and also provides us more insight into our paints.

These last charts are probably the trickiest to paint of the 5 types, but are my favorite because they give you the most information about your color mixes.

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5 Types of Watercolor Charts - Type 4: Color Mixing Chart

I think of color mixing charts as a combination of the basic color chart and a color wheel. You’re taking the paints in your palette (or a selection of them) and mixing them with each other to see what colors they make.

This is when you really witness the magic that is color mixing. With 6 colors, you can make 36 colors. With 12 colors you can make 144 colors. (In fact, you can actually mix MANY more than shown on the color chart, but we’ll take a look at how in the last part of the series.)

What I love most about these color mixing charts is having an organized sheet with a snap shot of colors your palette is capable of producing.

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5 Types of Watercolor Charts - Type 3: Color Wheel

We’re in week 3 of this series, and today is probably one of my favorite (and easily the most photogenic) color chart of the series: the color wheel.

The color wheel is a great starting point to enter into color mixing and color theory - and where I think I first discovered how magical painting was when I was young. There’s nothing like taking two paints and seeing them mix to create a brand new color right before your eyes. It’s really like magic when you’re young. In fact, to be honest, I think I’m still awed by all the different colors I can make with just a few colors even now!

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5 Types of Watercolor Charts - Type 2: Value Scales

Last week, I started a blog post series about 5 different types of watercolor charts beginning with the basic watercolor chart.

Like I mentioned, not all of these will technically be charts - today we're reviewing a type of scale. But whether they are charts or scales, I like to think of them all as part of the same family of exercises that help me understand the colors I'm working with better.

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5 Types of Watercolor Charts - Type 1: Basic Color Chart

There’s a lot of information out there on how to create watercolor charts - the idea behind them all being similar: get to know your paints and learn how colors mix.

The thing is, I noticed when I was first starting that there were charts of all types, in different formats. They seemed to have different purposes and after some research, I figured out what they were all for and why there are helpful.

I’m going to walk you through the 5 Types of watercolor charts that I think are most typical AND useful in a blog post series. Some of them technically aren’t even charts, but we’ll get to that.

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September: Free Monthly Wallpapers

Here we are. Hello, September! August was a blur, did you have a busy month too? I never used to reflect on what happened in the past in order to help continue setting goals for the future, but recently I've been doing more of this. I think it is in part due to this planner that I've been using more lately. It was gifted to my by a friend and it took me the better part of this year to figure out how to make it part of my daily workflow, but now I love it.

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