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13 Easy Watercolor Techniques, Tips, & Tricks

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Step 3: Soft Blends With The Wet-On-Wet Technique

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For the second rectangle, switch to the ½” cat’s tongue brush, then paint a layer of clean water. If you lose track of where it’s already wet, tilt your paper around, which will help you see the sheen. Next, change back to the Raphaël round brush and paint the same red and purple gradient on top, allowing gravity to help pull the top paint down to mix with the bottom color. If the paper gets too wet, you can lift out the excess by touching the tip of a dry brush to unwanted puddles. 

You’ll notice that because of the wet surface, paint mixes much more easily than the previous gradient bar. It also dries slower compared to the wet-on-dry method, which means you have more time to work on it. This also gives it a flexibility that the wet-on-dry technique doesn’t have. 

This easy watercolor technique is called “wet-on-wet“, where wet pigment is placed on a wet surface. Unlike the wet-on-dry rectangle, the edges are softer and fade out towards the sides. The colors tend to be a little more diluted as well. This is ideal for painting things that require soft blends, such as clouds or oceans. As such, the wet-on-wet technique is often used for the base layer of a painting. Trying to do this on top of an already painted area can over-saturate the paper, or ruin the underlying layer as rewetting the paper will cause the colors to shift.