A Few Facts About Watercolour


These are some of the amazing benefits of painting in watercolour:

  • One of the most delicate and sensitive of all painting mediums.
  • Beautifully fresh and translucent when not overworked.
  • Unpredictable and best left to dry and do its “own thing”  Only then does the picture speak to you.
  • Watercolour painting works best when the artist is comfortable with ambiguity.
  • Chance marks and happy accidents are part of the process and can add sparkle and spontaneity to your work.
  • A beautiful delicate translucency comes from the white of the paper.
  • Paint dries quickly or slowly according to the amount of humidity in the air.
  • Colours dry paler than when first put down.
  • Allowing a layer to dry and placing another one over it can create beautiful unusual colours.
  • Working quickly in what is called, “wet-in-wet” is another method which will add interesting and mysterious effects.
  • Watercolours cannot be scraped off or painted over like other mediums.
  • Can be used to build lovely transparent layers of paint. This can only be done if each layer is left to dry completely.
  • Watercolours are non-toxic, portable, easy to clean up, tap ready with a long shelf life.
  • Good quality watercolour pigments do not fade.  I highly recommend Schminke watercolours on good quality cotton rag paper.
  • Watercolours can be used to create texture by using a dry brush, sponge or spattering with a toothbrush. They lend themselves to a variety of techniques
  • Watercolour can be used on Gesso primed board and other non-absorbent surfaces to create unusual and beautiful results (see below*)   This link gives information on how to prime a painting canvas
  • There is no need for an easel, just tape the paper to a board and place it flat on a table with the top raised a little higher .
  • Watercolour painting requires a knowledge and consideration of the paper and to this end, I have placed a link below.


Mar 2012-3 003

My watercolour work above has lots of what I used to call “cauliflower” marks as a distinctive part of the work.  I often discarded paintings with these watery marks until my teacher at art school told me to welcome them.  She called these marks “blooms” and said they are very beautiful and spontaneous.  These marks usually form when working wet with a lot of water and a small amount of pigment.

The works below are some of my watercolours on paper.


*Yes it is possible to use watercolour on a Gesso primed canvas. and here is one below.



In my next post I will write about the first place to start with watercolour, choosing the paper.


4 thoughts on “A Few Facts About Watercolour

  1. Pingback: Choosing Watercolour Paper | Zen School for Creative People

  2. Pingback: A Paint to Music Exercise after Wasilly Kandisnky | Zen School for Creative People

  3. Pingback: A Few Facts About Watercolour | Romer Interiors

  4. Pingback: Gift Like an Artist | Zen School for Creative People

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