5 TIPS on painting watercolor HORSE (how to) – WATERCOLOR TUTORIAL

5 TIPS on painting watercolor HORSE (how to) – WATERCOLOR TUTORIAL

Hello everyone, I’m Jane and in today’s
video I will talk about five tips on how to paint a watercolor horse. Before I jump
into the first step, I just want to quickly remind you of a giveaway that
is still going on on my channel. To win your own watercolor studio kit by Home
Hobby, just watch my last week’s video and enter by the end of September. Okay,
so back to today’s topic. My first tip is to always use appropriate sketching
tools. You can sketch with a regular graphite pencil of course, it’s easy to
erase, but graphite more often than not shines through the painting and the
result might not appear as clean. Watercolor pencil, on the other hand,
dissolves when you start to paint, leaving your painting clean of any lines,
but you won’t be able to see your lines during painting process for guidance.
What works the best for me is a color pencil in a neutral color, which won’t
disturb my final painting and I won’t lose my lines during painting process. My
second tip is to start from the least important areas and build your painting
towards the most important areas, in other words from the back to the front.
This painting is a portrait, so my focus is the horse’s face and this will be the
most important area. The neck will be a transition area, I want some definition
there but transitioning towards the blurry background. With this in mind,
start by wetting your paper and let the first layer of paints bleed into one
another. You can allow them to do whatever they want at this point, as long
as you keep them away from the face. I only used light colors and very
limited amounts of water for the area of the horse’s face.
However, the background is dark, you can go a little more crazy in the background
area with colors and also you can let the pools of water just sit on top of
your paper and dry, and this will create very nice splatters, effects and this
will enrich your painting visually. The third tip is to try and use a variety of
brushes of different shapes and sizes. Different brushes have different
purposes and using them will lead to different results. Use soft large round
brushes to fill in the background and larger areas in your painting, because
trying to cover these areas with a small or stiff brush will lead to smudges and
unexpected messes. Flat brushes will have a very precise stroke and I chose a
wider flat brush for the body of the horse and it really helped me greatly to
paint some sharper angles around his head and his neck. Synthetic brush like
this doesn’t hold a large amount of water, which is much better suited for
areas where I want to have more control. Lastly, for details use small round
synthetic brushes that are stiffer and sharper than soft natural brushes. These
are great to even lift the pigment of the paper if you need to lighten a
specific area. My fourth tip is to work on whole
painting at once. I find it much easier to finish painting without mistakes, if
in the early stages I don’t focus on a specific area, but rather on the painting
as a whole. By putting down all the colors as soon as possible,
you will see the finish line clearly before your eyes even when the painting
still misses details and this vision of a painting will then guide you to a
successful finish much better then putting it together as a puzzle, piece by
piece. For example, the background color is dark
and it influences the darkness of the shadows that appear on horse’s neck, and
if I painted the horse first and added the background later, I would probably
need to adjust and correct the intensity of the shadows, which would force me to
spend more time as well as risk overworking my paper. And while working
on the final details of this painting, I present my fifth and last tip and that
is to know when to stop, This problem occurs often when painting details, maybe
because this part of the process is less scary and more fun. At this point you
will no longer use large amounts of water but rather tiny brushes with more
pigment on them and it’s really easy to get lost in the process and paint
details everywhere, which has a few downsides. First of all you might lose
clear focus of your painting, in my case it’s the horse’s eye and I don’t really
want you to look much anywhere else when you see this painting,
the other risk is to overwork the paper and cover up some nice and
loose splatters that watercolor created in the first layer. I will typically
spend some time in the end of the painting process to find imperfections
and either cover them up or tune them in to better suit the painting, but I won’t
really insist in having the perfect result anywhere else but the main focus
area of my painting. So, those were my five tips, did you learn something new?
Let me know in the comments, your feedback really helps me improve my
explanations. And if you want to study some more, there is a real-time video of
this horse painting on my Patreon, there is only one tier on my patron right now
and you can access all my tutorials there by pledging a single dollar. And
before I say goodbye, I would love to thank my current patrons Gloria,
Jane, Marcela, Maritza, Patrik and Beata. Thank you so much and I will see you in
my next video next Thursday. Bye bye!


  • Jane-Beata says:

    To sum up my 5 TIPS – (1) use appropriate tools for sketching, (2) work from the back to the front, (3) use variety of brushes to best suit the painting, (4) work on the entire painting before segmenting it into pieces and (5) know when to stop putting in more and more details 🙂

    Your feedback is MUCH APPRECIATED, leave your thoughts and comments below 🙂

  • Christina Todd says:

    #5 is the killer. Knowing when to stop is hugely important and so hard to determine! I’ve ruined countless paintings by overworking. I try to remind myself that in watercolor (generally speaking) LESS IS MORE!

  • LuPh says:

    Last tip is the most important…. 😅 thanks Jani for great tips 😊

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