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Graded Wash, A Foundational Watercolor Technique

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Step 1 for painting a graded wash

Preparing to wash

Here’s a simple way to practice (and master) this watercolor technique. Draw a square or rectangle on your paper.

Select a darker hue for your wash (it’s easier to see) and mix a liberal amount of medium intensity (30-50% value) paint your brush. In a clean part of your palette mix another puddle at about half the intensity of the original mixture.

MATERIALS USED: I’m using a 1 ½” (381mm) Winsor & Newton Series 965 flat wash brush and Winsor & Newton Cobalt Blue watercolor paint for this lesson. The paper is Arches #140 cold press.

Charge your brush with paint from the darker mix, and starting in the upper left corner touch your brush to the paper and gently pull a straight line of paint to the upper right corner.