Watercolor is all about water! Too much, not enough, water on the paper, water in the brush, water in the paint, dirty water – even water in the air! Practice awareness and control of water and your watercolor painting will improve.
- How much water is on your palette? Is your paint dry? Freshly squeezed from a tube? Wet from use?
- How much water is on your brush? Dry? Just dipped in water? Tapped on the edge of your water container? Squeezed? Sponged? Dripping?
- How much water is on your paper? Dry? Just painted on? Slightly damp? A pool of water? Soaked through? A bit shiny?
- How much water is in the air? Are you indoors or out? Humid day? Dry day? Is a fan or wind blowing on you? An evaporative cooler? Dehumidifier? These factors will effect the speed at which your painting dries out – and how quickly you must paint for certain techniques.
- Is your water dirty? If your water is a murky mud color your bright yellow may not pop. The water cannot get cleaner than itself and will transfer – slightly – through your brush to your other colors. Not super sensitive, but keep an eye on this. Frequency of water changes vary with the colors being used. I usually change my water out a couple of times during a painting session. I like to dump it on my plants (if painting with non-toxic paints).