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Watercolour Techniques

  • Art Materials
  • 1-2 hours
  • Intermediate


    Watercolour is a versatile medium that can yield a variety of results and you can ensure every single make will be truly unique. It’s set to be a huge trend this year and because there are a myriad of techniques, we give you the low-down on how to master the basics.

  1. Brushes
    The brushes you use will determine your results. It’s good to have a range in your craft stash. Use the sides of a large brush to sweep colour all over the page to create a subtle background and use the tip of a thin brush to create small details in your work. Remember you can use watercolours in their original dry format if you want a heavy pigmentation.

  2. Salt
    This is a really lovely technique to create texture and depth to your backgrounds. Paint your area and while it is still wet sprinkle some sea salt over the top. Let the paint to completely dry and then brush off the salt. The effect will vary depending on the size of the grains and wetness of the paper but you’ll be left with a lovely, grainy finish.

  3. Crayons
    You can use crayons to create a wax resist technique. First draw your design with a white crayon making sure to press firmly onto the paper. Then apply your watercolour wash. The paint will resist the areas covered with crayon. You can write messages on white card and they can be revealed by simply washing over with some paint.

  4. Splatter
    One handy trick to add some energy to your watercolour painting is to use a splatter technique. Hold your paintbrush between your thumb and middle fingers. Using your index finger, pull back on the bristles and let them snap forward. This method is somewhat messy and unpredictable but can create some very fun results.

  5. Alcohol
    While the paint is still wet, dip a cotton bud into rubbing alcohol and then tap the cotton bud to let the alcohol drip directly onto the paper. As the alcohol splashes it will repel the paint, pushing it away while leaving a lighter tint of the wash exposed.