DOs & DON’Ts: Watercolor Struggles / Mistakes & How to Avoid them for Beginners!

DOs & DON’Ts: Watercolor Struggles / Mistakes & How to Avoid them for Beginners!


(soft music) – In art, there are no mistakes, only opportunities for creativity. By playing around and by experimenting, you can actually use those mistakes intentionally to create your masterpiece. In this video I’m going to talk about the most common struggles that you guys told me that you have so I can help you to avoid them, but also to help you to actually know how to use them intentionally in your artwork. Printing or an old paper is great for rough sketches and planning out your next art pieces. But if you want to create an
actual watercolor painting, you will most likely struggle
with this type of paper. Printing paper can’t handle
watercolors that well. It means it will just quickly
absorb the paint and the water which will result in curling
and streaky washes of paint. And the curled paper will not
only create pools of water that will make the
paper even more fragile, but it will also lead into wearing down and breaking of the paper. And as you can see the
colors also look rather pale even though in the beginning
they looked really saturated. Watercolor paper on the other hand is made especially for watercolors. It means it is thicker, more durable, and it can also absorb but hold the water really well which will not only help you to create a nice flat wash of paint, but it will also give you time to properly work on your painting. Here you can choose between cold and hot press paper which differs in the surface and in the time that the
paint has before it dries. I would recommend watercolor paper with the weight of at
least 100 to 140 lbs. Here you can clearly see the difference. I use the same watercolors, just different type of paper. Paper that is made
especially for watercolors will not only give you time
to paint and to experiment, but it will also make the whole painting experience even better. Why making painting harder
than it has to be, right? Cheap dollar store watercolor paint is great to play around with if you have zero expectations and just want to have fun. But if you are frustrated and wondering why you don’t get the same results as others demonstrate in their videos, the wrong watercolors can
be pretty much the case. Cheap paints are not as
pigmented as high quality paint. Some of them you can’t
actually call watercolors because there are way
too many fillers inside. The cheap paints that look similar to this are not only chalky which
will not only result in crumbling paint once
your artwork has dried, but it will also absorb
all the water immediately which will give you a hard
time blending the paint. So what might happen is that when you try to blend the paint to create a nice gradient effect with the wet and wet technique, the first layer of paint will just immediately start drying, and then when you start adding another layer of paint on top, it will just sit there
without blending in. And you might even start lifting up some of the paint underneath which will result in
even more frustration. While I’m trying to create a galaxy with this dollar store watercolors, you can clearly see that the paint doesn’t want to cooperate at all. What you can do is
investing a little bit more and get a higher quality
set of watercolors. It doesn’t have to be super expensive. I’ve been using this small set of Winsor & Newton watercolor set for a long time and was just around $10, and I’m more than happy
with its performance for such an affordable set of paint. But there are a ton of other sets that are under 10 or $20. Let me know in the comments if you would like me to review some of the most popular paints within a different price range. It doesn’t mean you have to have expensive art supplies to be a good artist, but if you love painting, investing a little bit
more in your art supplies is pretty much investing in yourself. It will not only help
you improve your art, but it will also bring
you so much more joy when being creative. Are you struggling to
find a balance between how much and how little
water you should use when it comes to wet and wet technique? Painting with watercolors
is not only about how to use the paint, but also about how to use water. Remember the more water
you add to your paint, the lighter the color will get. But using too much water can not only cause the paper to get way filled to create puddles, but it can also make the paint run around and create weird patterns
you might not like. But what is the right amount of water? If you struggle with streaky
lines and with harsh edges, you most likely don’t use enough water. The paint will just sit
there without doing anything. If the surface is pretty much dry, the paint will start drying more quickly. So whenever you add more
paint onto your painting, the new layer of paint
will be a lot more wet which will result in
the cauliflower effect because the wet paint will just float into the drier layer of paint. If you use too much water on your paper, you will most likely notice
it if you see a little dome or a thick layer of water
forming on your paper. A wet surface is great for
the wet and wet technique, but since you will now add
more and more wet paint on top, you will just add more and
more water to the mixture and making the paint just float around. You will notice the right amount of water when you see a really nice glossy finish. You want the layer to
look glossy and not wet. This will give you a lot of time to add more and more paint while keeping the paint evenly wet until you are done with
your first layer of paint. Now you figured out the right amount of water you should use, and you still get something like this, this is called color bleeding. Remember watercolor will always go to areas that are wet and won’t go where there is no water. So let the paint dry first before you add more
paint close to the area unless you want to create this effect which by the way it looks
really nice in my opinion. If you want to perfectly color areas, and you don’t want the paint
to go to a certain area, you should just wait
until the paint has dried before you paint the area next to it. You can paint other areas first that are further away and let the paint dry. Sometimes I’m a little impatient and think the paper is dry enough, but I still get color bleeding because it’s not fully dry. So be patient and wait rather longer than too little before applying the paint. That being said if you want to create a really nice gradient effect, or a smooth wash of paint, make sure the paper is either completely dry or completely wet. Even if you apply enough
water to the paper, if you spend too much
time applying the paint and take a break in between, the paint will start drying. And if you add more paint on top, you will get the cauliflower effect again because the wet paint will just float into the drier layer of paint as I talked about it and demonstrated with the galaxy painting earlier. But if you want to
create this type of art, then totally go for it. This video is all about figuring out about what is going on to either avoid it or to intentionally
use it in your artwork. So if you want to create
an even wash of paint, apply a thin coat of water, and then distribute the paint in one go from the top area to the bottom. Now if you want to intensify the colors or add another color on top, wait for it to dry first because most likely the paint has already started to dry. When the paint is fully dry, you can go ahead and apply
another layer of paint. I wouldn’t recommend to use a hairdryer to speed the drying process if you see any puddles on your painting. If you try to dry them, the cauliflower will strike again. Remember that wet paint will run into the damp paint that already started to dry. The wet paint will automatically run into the drier area creating cauliflower
effect with dark edges that you can also call backgrounds. These effects are great if you actually want to achieve them for clouds or just some
interesting texture. But if you want to avoid that, be patient and wait until
everything has dried. You can also premix your paints
before you start painting. This way you have enough
paint to start with, and your paint won’t start drying while you spend so much time mixing it during the process. And if one of your struggles is dealing with muddy colors, and you have no idea why it happens, don’t worry, I have a whole video about it where I talk about how this
happens and how to avoid it. You can check it out by clicking on the info card right here or on the link at the end of the video. A huge shout-out to Layla Kademi. Thank you so much for watching my videos. Let me know in the Comments below what other struggles you have so I can help you out. And don’t forget to check out the video about muddy colors and how
to avoid them right here. I really hope you enjoyed this
video and found it helpful. If you did, be sure to
give this video a thumbs up to support this channel. I would really appreciate that. Thank you so much for watching guys. Have a wonderful day
and I will see you soon. Bye. (soft music)

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