Home » Painting Water 101: Watercolor Techniques For Seas, Oceans & Seascapes

Painting Water 101: Watercolor Techniques For Seas, Oceans & Seascapes

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Step 2: Painting The Cliff Using The Wet-In-Wet Technique


With your composition ready to go, take the Neef rigger brush (no. 12), wet it, then prep Yellow Ochre on your palette so that it’s slightly diluted. Using a technique called “wet-on-dry“, brush the Yellow Ochre throughout the vertical section of the cliff for its base layer of paint. Next, mix Olive Green with a touch of Permanent Violet on the palette, and apply on top of the upper part of yellow (called the “wet-in-wet” technique).

While this layer is still wet, drop in other colors such as Cobalt Violet Light, Cobalt Green, and Cerulean Blue into the same cliff area to break up the monotony of colors, allowing the wet paint to naturally blend on the paper instead of on the palette. Make sure to paint from light to dark, and allow the different colors to show on the cliff. This adds to the level of detail, and prevents your colors from becoming too muddy.

As you put wet paint on top of wet paper, colors will run a little due to the wet-in-wet technique, which is fine as it adds character to your painting while creating a randomness that’s found in nature. Any mistakes you might have made can be lifted out by tapping a small rag or paper towel over still-wet areas. You can also use it to dry your brush if it gets too wet. When you’re done, leave the cliff section to dry.