Home Art and Lifestyle 5 essential things one must keep in mind while painting using watercolour

5 essential things one must keep in mind while painting using watercolour

by Angel Cyril

You’ve been experimenting with the watercolour for quite some time now.


“Have you ever felt that you are missing out somewhere to get the actual out?”

Even I felt the same and I was very eager to find what that thing I’m missing out. From my mistakes, I learnt a few things and I’m really excited to share that with you all.

When I initially started painting using watercolours without any knowledge of it nor read anything regarding it, I made a lot of mistakes and wasted huge materials. I really got frustrated but then after reading and most importantly practising constantly now I could do some justice.

So here are some essential things one must need to know while using watercolour.

1.Materials used

The first mistake which ruined my initial works are due to papers which I used. I used very less gsm papers which made the paper warp, destroy the paper and the artwork will not be good as expected. So always use paper which is meant for watercolours. Preferably above 150 gsm.

The next important things are the quality of paint and brush. Initially in this lockdown days I could not buy paints, so I was searching for my old painting materials and found one. I was incredibly happy but the out which I got using the paint is not as good as I expected. The colours lost their vibrant look. Quality of the paint is directly proportional to the quality of the art. So, it’s important to use good quality colours or the art might become crinkly.


The wetness of the paper and brush determines the control inflow of paints. If the paper is too wet, the colours will flow easily but you will lose control over colour. I made this mistake when I was practising the wet-on-wet technique where the colours were flowing and mixed up with other colours.

Also keep in mind to use the right amount of water to wet because if the paper is too dry there won’t be smooth flow or spread of colours.

I known you are confused in deciding on the right amount of water, the only advice I can give is to do a lot of practice. Keep practise and try different techniques so at the point of time you will definitely master it.

3.Colour Usage

Always begin with a lighter colour and then proceed to dark colour. We do that because the paints are very thin and using light colour over dark may not give the actual effect.

This is done because it is hard to undo or lighten the dark colours. The light colours may not be visible or shown if laid on dark colours.

The next mistake what I did is “overdoing”. Initially, during my practise days I used to overdo a lot. Like applying colour again and again, even before it dries which made the art dirty.

4.Lite pencil sketch

Always try to keep the pencil sketches very lite. As watercolours are more transparent and thin dark pencil marks will be visible even after applying colours. Even if you sketch it dark erase it. Make sure you do not damage the paper while erasing and also don’t try to erase the mark after painting. It will lead to severe damage of paper. The paper might even get torn when you erase the wet paper.

If you try erasing after drying of colours the colours will also get erased. So, make sure your pencil sketches are lite before starting to paint it.

5.Drying of colours

Always allow layers to dry before applying the next layer. When you apply colours over and over before drying it will mess up the painting and the paper, which in turn spoil the overall out of the art. Be patient and make sure the initial layers are dry. This will avoid spoiling of shapes and damaging of edges.

By following all these essential you will definitely get the out as you expected because I believe by correcting many small mistakes will actually improve the overall out.

So finally, I would like to conclude with this phrase “Practise makes a man perfect”. Yeah! that is totally true especially in painting and creating artworks. By following all the essentials and by practising regularly with patience, one day we will be able to paint anything without any major mistakes and we can get an awesome satisfying out.

Also let me know the struggles you faced while painting using watercolours in the comment box. Happy Painting!!!


1 comment

Anonymous September 13, 2020 - 1:38 pm

Great learning for new beginners


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