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Watercolor Techniques Using Color & Light For Ultra-Dramatic Paintings

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Explore some advanced watercolor techniques with Virgil R. Carter. Here’s how to use color choices and natural light as design tools for dramatic watercolor paintings. Although this tutorial will only cover landscape subjects, the same principles are equally applicable to subjects of all types, from animals to still life paintings to portraits.

Materials used:

  • Set of wooden blocks of different sizes
  • Reference picture of “Spring is Just Around the Corner”, or pictures of landscapes, preferably with buildings included
  • Arches cold-pressed watercolor paper (140lb, size 9″ x 12″)
  • Wooden board (at least size 9″ x 12″)
  • A watercolor notebook or sketchbook
  • Masking tape (1″ width)
  • HB pencil
  • Skip Lawrence palette, or any watercolor palette
  • A container of water
  • A towel or rag to dry off the brushes
  • Tissue or paper towel
  • Watercolor paintbrushes of different shapes and sizes

American Journey Artists’ Watercolor Paints

  • Cadmium Orange
  • Peachy Keen
  • Quinacridone Gold
  • Permanent Rose Quinacridone
  • Cobalt Violet
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Cobalt Blue
  • Andrew’s Turquoise
  • Spring Green
  • Payne’s Gray
  • Da Vinci Watercolors: Hansa Yellow Light
  • Indian Yellow
  • Cadmium Scarlet
  • Naples Yellow
  • Cadmium Orange
  • Quinacridone Burnt Orange
  • Phthalo Blue
  • Manganese Blue (Mixture)
  • Phthalo Green