Home » 7 Must-Know, Widely Used Watercolor Techniques For Beginners

7 Must-Know, Widely Used Watercolor Techniques For Beginners

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Step 5: Flat Wash Watercolor Technique


Change your paper, then proceed to the first of the different wash techniques. A wash is a thin, diluted layer of paint applied over a large area, often used in underpainting or to lay in the basic colors in a painting. This first one is called a flat wash, where you wet the rectangular box with clean water, then put wet paint on – almost exactly the same as the wet-on-wet technique, but here, you want a smooth, even layer of color. Use your largest flat brush to help, and paint in one direction to get the best results. You can also tilt the board around to help even the paint out. Kelly uses Permanent Green Light paint for this, but any one color is fine, too. Try to keep the consistency of the paint you mix the same too, or to avoid having to mix it several times, prepare a bigger batch of the color you want to use before applying it to paper. And remember, whenever you’re finished with a wash, leave it alone to dry, as going back to change it or taking too long will cause the wash to become uneven.