The recipe for watercolour is very simple. It is a coloured paste made from powdered pigment, and gum Arabic. It does not matter about the consistency of the paste as long as it mixes easily with water. Water, this magical ingredient that plays with light and transparency, the precious ingredient in watercolour painting!
Artists hav been using watercolour since the dawn of time. No wonder then that this painting technique has inspired creatives, and designers to produce and invent materials that perform better for easier practice.
In a studio, it is recommended to have paint in several forms. So I have gathered for you, 9 ways to practice watercolour painting, making it easier to create and be inspired even more.
It’s up to you!
Like any artist, I have my favourite watercolours. I appreciate brands such as Sennelier, Winsor & Newton, Jaxon, Gerstaecker, Van Gogh, Derwent, Faber-Castell
Here you will find the most common brands and forms from the current market!
1/ Watercolour Paint Tubes
Extra-fine paint, concentrated colour, a slightly moist paste texture which is easier to dilute, mixes in a compartment pallette and is used more for larger surfaces.
Watercolour Tubes from: Sennelier, Old Holland, Daniel Smith, Blockx, Lukas, Winsor&Newton, Daler-Rowney, Schmincke Horadam, Mijello,
2/ Watercolour Paint Pans
Dry and hard paint conditioned in pans or half pans (plastic, metal or porcelain), stored in a box pallet and ready to use. Ideal for beginners and artists who work outdoors.
Watercolour Pans are available in extra-fine or fine colour (less easy to dilute). I recommend to use this paint for small surfaces, sketches or details. I prefer whole pans for favourite colours and half pans for less used colours.
When a pan is empty, you can easily replace it by another one (single or in a set) or refilled with watercolour from a tube (same brand same colour). After drying in the pan, simply dilute the paint to work again. Be careful the friction caused by working the tip of the brush in the pan tends to accelerate the aging of the bristles. Mix gently.
Extra fine colour pans from: Sennelier, Daniel Smith, Blockx, Van Gogh, Old Holland, Schmincke, Winsor & Newton, Lukas, Daler-Rowney and in fine colours pans from: Jaxon, Reeves, Gerstaecker, White Nights, Pébéo, Lefranc & Bourgeois, Raphaël, Gansai Kuretake
3/ Watercolour Inks
Presented in a small bottle, the watercolour ink is ready to use and easy to work with. It remains the favourite of students and illustrators who appreciate its light, velvety rendering and its astonishing colour.
We mostly paint wet in wet with inks. You can use thick paper. The watercolour ink can be used pure or diluted with water. Unlike acrylic inks, the dry watercolour ink remains reversible with water.
Watercolour inks in bottles from: Pébéo, Vallejo, Royal Talens
4/ Watercolour Coloured Pencils
The perfect tool for adding details, making sketches, illustrating a travel diary, or for colouring a comic strip. Not messy, you can store it easily in a pencil case.
It’s up to you to choose your favourites: soft tips (easily dilutable) are recommended for washes, hard tips for details and lines. On dry paper, lines remain precise. On wet paper, lines become blurry.
Watercolour coloured pencils from: Caran d’Ache, Derwent, Faber-Castell, Staedtler, Conté, Koh-L-Noor, Royal Langnickel
5/ Watercolour Sticks
A new way to work, watercolour sticks look like oil pastels when they are worked dry, and increase in transparency when diluted. The watercolour stick is perfect for in the studio, outside or for travel.
Each stick contains the equivalent of 3 pans. To avoid sticks getting dirty when they rub together, you can store them in a box with compartments.
Watercolour Sticks from: Daniel Smith, Winsor&Newton,
6/ Watercolour Crayons
Made with high quality wax, pigments and soluble in water, crayons are perfect to try new pictorial experiments. They offer good colour intensity and a pleasant consistency.
On paper, it can be used without water, and can also be diluted with a brush to obtain super watercolour effects.
This versatile paint is suitable for all mixed media: collages, stamping, dripping, spray, on wood or on canvas but also for tinting gesso primer or modeling clay.
Watercolour Crayons from: Jaxon, Neocolor Caran d’Ache, Faber-Castell, Reeves, Derwent
7/ Watercolour Markers
When you combine a brush with a bottle of watercolour ink, you get a watercolour marker!
The watercolour marker looks like a big felt tip. It contains diluted watercolour in its reservoir and a tip at both ends (fine on one side and a flexible brush tip on the other) allowing for control of the gesture and an astonishingly precise line. To achieve beautiful watercolour effects, you can also dilute your drawing with a wet brush.
So practical, you can easily store these markers in pockets or boxes. They can follow us anywhere.
Watercolour markers from: Winsor&Newton
8/ Tailor Shape Water-Soluble
Very original, this water-soluble product looks like a tailor chalk. It has a good grip and you can use it dry for soft, smooth marks, or add water for inky deep or barely there washes. For now, you can find ArtGraf tailor shape water-soluble in only 9 colours (per unit or in box).
Tailor Shape from ArtGraf Viarco
9/ Watercolour Dot Cards
What are dots cards? Dots cards have small samples of watercolour paint that brands offer (for free or for sale) which allow customers to try the colours before buying. It is a simply small dot of dry paint on thick paper.
Personally, I use these cards for paint when I draw out of my studio. I slide my dots cards in a plastic sleeve and put it all in my moleskine. So little bulk and so convenient! You can also make your own dots cards (new topic from an upcoming post).
Watercolour dots cards from: Schmincke, Daniel Smith
These products are currently available at GreatArt Online and can be ordered to collect from their art supply shop in London Shoreditch.
Find all Amylee’s posts published in GreatArt online Magazine by clicking here!
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