Basics of watercolor painting





Before you take a lesson in painting, I strongly recommend to take a drawing lessons.. You can conduct training in parallel, but do not start painting lessons without knowledge of the basics of drawing. And also, it is necessary to take a lesson in color science. Remember to sketch every day. Then you will be prepared to study the following material. We begin the lessons of watercolor painting. Now, basics watercolor painting lessons.

Drawing for watercolor

Lesson 1 on watercolor painting - drawing for watercolor:

Drawing for watercolor: put a still life, for a start not complicated. It should contain two or three objects and drapery without pattern. A tablet must be used. We talked about paper here.

a) Make a drawing. To do this, take a H-HB pencil (so as not to leave excess graphite on the paper), folded like this, because: it is very important when working on a watercolor drawing not to damage the top layer of paper and have a complete overview of the work. The pencil must be fastened carefully and subtly, but when, as usual, under the drawing, then too visible or wide strokes are obtained, which crash into the paper. For watercolors this is not permissible. Moreover, a pencil sharpened by watercolor holds in your hand at a small angle relative to the plane of the paper, at about 5-10 degrees, no more (because the tree is also stacked strongly), so that you work with a point very carefully, touching only with its edge . This is ideal.

In general, it is not necessary to draw for watercolor every time. There is nothing to put an unnecessary layer of graphite under the watercolor paint every time. When it will not be difficult for you to visually notice all future tonal transitions, it will be enough to only slightly outline objects. But when you enter the university, at the exam, it’s just good to show your knowledge and boast the ability to draw a picture in watercolor. So, lightly, without pressing on the paper, you begin to draw.

b) Find the boundaries of the still life in the sheet.

c)Find the place of each item in the sheet. Without pressure, barely noticeable, draw the outline of objects with construction elements. All construction lines should be barely visible. You must be extremely careful not to damage the top layer of paper. The watercolor drawing differs from the usual drawing.

d) Using a light stroke, you need to separate the light from the shadow, putting a stroke on the form. Start hatching with a break in the shape where the light goes into a semitone and continue hatching in the direction of the shadows. It is important to determine the place of light and shadow, and to capture the distribution of halftones in shape. And you already know what role light and shadow from our color science lessons play in painting. The drawing for watercolor should be like this:



It will look closer like this:

Watercolor painting lesson 2

Lesson 2 - workspace organization:

After the watercolor drawing is ready, we will decide on the organization of the workspace.

a) There should be nothing on the floor so as not to stain with paint.

b) Brushes are ready (round), paints too, paints are best professional art watercolor.

c) You should have enough work space.

d) We also stocked up water, let's talk about the palette. The palette is a small piece of paper with a smooth surface, for example, a quarter sheet of a regular postcard. It is better not to use any plastic, glass palettes. The fact is that on the plastic surface, the mixed paint will slide into a drop, so it will be difficult to determine the color of the batch. A palette with a surface like a postcard has other properties. At the same time, in the process of work you will hold it constantly in your hand, you will be able to determine the color of each batch.

With the workspace we decided, the next step would be a color sketch.

Color sketch:

Lesson 3 - color sketch:

Use round brushes. With large numbers, you can fill in large areas, with smaller numbers, you can work out details. Universal number - three, four. We take a quarter of the album sheet, attach to the easel and get to work.

We outline the location of objects in a still life. In this sketch, we will determine the color scheme of our composition. There are objects in it, one of them will be dominant. You choose it yourself, either by size, or by active color, or by spot size. Let's call him "general." All other objects (spots) will be built according to the dominant rank, from which we will start. We knead the color of our item, while I note that the color of light, local color, gamma color must be present in this batch. And fill our dominant.

After that, in the same batch, add (by rank) the color of the next item (spot). Thus, the color of the second spot will contain the color of light, the color of the gamma, the local color, and the color of the dominant spot. Found a color on the palette and fill the second spot. There will be a connection between them. They will already be part of one composition. Then, in the same batch on the palette (you can merge the extra batch, brush it off, leave as much as you need), knead the color of the third spot and fill in all the spots by analogy. In the very last spot, for example, in the background, all the colors of the composition will be present.

The next step is to solve the shadows in the composition. Knead the shadow of our general, fill his shadow, and by analogy fill all the other shadows, kneading the color on one palette.
Note: if the palette is saturated with paint, then we take a clean leaf, transfer part of the batch to it and continue to work.

Here are two examples of the sketch color scheme:

When the light is warm and the shadows are cold:



When the light is cold and the shadows are warm:

Watercolor painting lessons- completion

Lesson 4 - completion:

After we have decided on the color scheme of the composition, we fix the finished sketch in the upper corner of the easel and put the tablet with the prepared drawing. Getting started on the tablet, take a wet sponge or washcloth and carefully wash off the tablet. This is done in order to wash off the grease residues from the paper - the paint will not roll. Wait until it dries and continue on.

We defined our actions in the sketch, now we can do the same on the tablet. We fill in the light, shadows, we work out the basic halftones according to the drawing, where we determined a place for each of them.

Note: watercolor painting requires caution, in one place there should be no more than three strokes, otherwise the paper will not shine through (which is the beauty of the watercolor itself). As a result of repeated application of color spots, dirt will be obtained. Such a statement, like - more dirt, more communication will not suit us. Be careful.

As in the drawing we are working on the form of a stroke, so in painting we are working on the form of strokes, color. The brush serves as a pencil. When doing the work, you must remember the motto: I don’t see, but I know! And I do as I know !

To learn the material, you will need to write more than one still life - the easiest, where you can apply your knowledge. More difficult will go with a portrait, figure, landscape. But the laws remain the same, and never change. Only at first glance it seems complicated, but when you start working you will see that it is excitingly interesting.

Here is an example of a watercolor. Try to do better. You will succeed! Watercolor should be painted exclusively in daylight. At first, do not try to finish the work, if the limit for applying smears has been exhausted, leave everything as it is, do not do any dirt. Not finished clean work is better than worn and dirty finished.



Look now at the next work done by watercolor.



In order not to be unfounded, note that the work is written using all the laws that we studied in the lesson of color science. Watch the cold light play on the helmet, highlighting the material of which it is made. And as the artist decided, the shadows are velvet, warm. Look at the red drapery - in the foreground it has a cold tint, but moving away - it gets warmer, fades in color, acquiring brownish hues, and in the shadow its color lights up. The light of the helmet is decided in cold colors, and the light of the shield (behind the helmet) has warm notes, although it is made of the same material. The dominant spot is the helmet, followed by red drapery, and then the other spots in descending order. Try to find objects made of wood, ceramics, metal, fabric at home and write, trying to convey the material. Do not try to write very carefully, let the paint flow, spread out. Let the work be "juicy." Such accuracy as in this work is not achieved immediately, but by the result of a long period of painstaking work.