EPISODE 1 - WATERCOLOUR for Beginners - 'Creating a dilution chart'

EPISODE 1 - WATERCOLOUR for Beginners - 'Creating a dilution chart'

  1. EPISODE 1 - Creating a dilution chart
  2. EPISODE 2 - Creating a Colour Chart
  3. EPISODE 3 - Round Brush Techniques
  4. EPISODE 4  - Flat & Fan Brush Techniques
  5. EPISODE 5 - Glazing Techniques
  6. EPISODE 6 - Masking & Resist Techniques
  7. EPISODE 7 - Creating Watercolour Textures
  8. EPISODE 8 - Creating a Landscape painting in Watercolour

Are you a beginner or an artist looking for a new medium?

Our mini masterclass begins with the basics. Each week Ellie will work through  preparation, tools and techniques, using Artdiscount products to guide you through to creating your own wonderful piece of watercolour artwork.

To create a gradient watercolour chart we have used ART essentials Studio Quality Watercolour Painting Set, ARTdiscount Artists Value Profile Brushes round and Goldline Watercolour Studio Pad.

Episode 1 'Creating a Dilution Chart'

Why is this is an important exercise to do as a beginner? 

Water is integral to watercolour painting, mastering water dilution and how it effects the pigment and colour produced is one of the major difficulties in watercolour painting, especially for the beginner! There are hundreds of variations of wetness and dilution techniques to master; from dry brush through to a fully saturated Wash or Mop brush that will hold a lot of water and deposit large amounts of water onto your paper; understanding and controlling the dilution of your paint will save you time and provide you with the right intensity of colour you're looking for.

Watercolour painting is like the ebb and flow of the tide, adding more water to create washes or glazes or taking water away to create finer details and deposit more pigment for a more vibrant colour fix. 

By creating a dilution scale you will experience and practise adding water to your pigment, understand how the pigment and colour will lighten and become more translucent or how it may or may not granulate on the paper.  Having a dilution scale/chart will also help you when planning a painting; it will remind you how a certain pigment may shift when dry, either become lighter or darker, or become warmer or cooler, or become more opaque or more translucent. All pigments react differently, so monitoring the outcome by creating a dilution chart is like having a catalogue to turn to for reference.

Creating your Dilution scale/chart.
Before you start you can lightly mist your half pans with water to keep them moist. Have some kitchen paper at hand, this is to take excess water off your brush. With a damp but not wet brush load your pigment up directly from your half pan; stroke your brush over the pigment a few times. Paint your first box at the top of your paper with the strongest load of pigment. Dab this pigment onto a palette so now you can incrementally add water by dipping your brush into the water pot and then onto the palette. Every time you add more water, paint out your square. The more water - pigment ratio, the lighter the paint will become.

Aim to keep your brush not too wet or else the water will just flood over the
paper, one dip into the water, then dip your brush onto the palette and pigment, then paint one square. Use the edge of the palette to take off excess water or blot onto kitchen paper before you paint. You can blot the tip of your brush lightly, so as not to take off too much pigment, or you can blot the top of your ferule to soak up the excess water.

Aim to work down the paper until the water ratio is more than the pigment, resulting in a very light colour. Let your chart dry. 

Watercolour Dilution Chart

Value refers to the level of lightness or darkness in a colour, one way of achieving this is to alter the dilution of water as stated above.  The more you dilute a colour, the more transparent it becomes, allowing the luminosity of the white paper to show through. To darken your colour you can wait until it is dry and over paint it with the same colour, or glaze with a slightly darker colour, or mix two colours in the palette. 

It is important to create a chart for each of your colours, providing you with a catalogue of colours and values for future reference.  

Products used:

ARTdiscount Watercolour Sets

ARTdiscount artists value brushes-Round

ARTdiscount Artists Value Brushes-Flat

ARTdiscount Bristle Brushes- Fan

ARTdiscount Watercolour Paper

ARTdiscount Masking Fluid 

In episode 2, we explore 'Colour Charts'

Ellie Jakeman
Ellie Jakeman

I have had a strong interest in the visual and creative arts since a very early age. I completed with great success ‘A’ level Fine Art, Textile and Embroidery City and Guilds, Foundation Diploma in Fine Art, (BA hons) Degree in Embroidery and Textiles from Manchester Metropolitan University and a PGCE from the University of Huddersfield. I have taught Art and Design, Fashion and Textiles, Textile design and Fine Art print and Illustration for over 20 years. Before teaching I was a freelance artist and illustrator and decided 4 years ago I would return to freelance and commissioned work. I have created many domestic and commercial murals for hospitals and hospices. I work part time for ARTdiscount as a content creator and product tester.

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