Watercolor help?

Forums Art Art Critique Watercolor help?

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  • #70940
    Grace
    @h-jones

      Hey all! So, I’ve been looking up tutorials (or a tutorial… already ran into a problem, haha xDD) on watercolor, and there’s a lot of stuff I’m curious about. Idk if this would really go into art critique or art discussions, but I put it up here cause it features stuff I did.

      So, without further adieu…

      Little watercolor experiments I did, and haha well, didn’t turn out quite like I expected. I watched this (click) video on the “wet on wet” watercolor technique, and a few things stood out to me as I did so.

      a) The tape I used for the border ripped the paper. xDD Do any of y’all have experience in using tape? What kind do you use?

      b) Well… the paper like, got really grainy as I painted on it. I didn’t even stroke but once or twice and little pieces of page came rolling off. I used cold-pressed watercolor paper like she said, BUT it’s the Hobby Lobby brand and I was wondering if that had anything to do with it. Or, perhaps, if it had to do with the brush, OR if I just needed to know what exactly to do with my brush to keep this from happening. ? Any thoughts?

      And if you could see anything that needs improving in general, I’d love to hear it!! (: Infactpleasedoireallyneedtolearn xDD

      Tagging @the-fledgling-artist and @lin because they use watercolors. If you’d like for me to stop tagging you in my charades, please let me know. (:

      Secretly Hedgehog Jones. Don’t tell anyone.

      #70943
      The Fledgling Artist
      @the-fledgling-artist

      You can tag me for as many charades as you’d like!! As for the whole tape thing, I think it works really well in theory, but I too have never had it come back up without a little paper going with it. I usually use washi tape or painters tape, as they are a little gentler then normal office tape, but even those tear the paper a little. I’ve heard that if you heat the tape with a hair dryer/heat gun before lifting it, it will break the adhesive and come up without tearing. I’ve never tried that though since I don’t have either of those things.

      As for the paper, I’m kind of shocked that anything calling itself watercolor paper would do that. That is not supposed to happen. xD There is a slight chance that you simply used the wrong side.. but I think most likely Hobby Lobby just needs to up their paper game. If you find any Canson XL (XL is part of the brand, not the size btw. 🙂 )paper I think they’re pretty reliable, and fairly low priced. Also, I see their stuff all over the place, so I don’t think they’re hard to find. 🙂

      Those look great though!! =D

      "Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."

      #70945
      Sink
      @sarah-inkdragon

      @h-jones

      I’m gonna pop in, because I’ve done watercolor for quite a while know and I’ve noticed some things that just make life a whole lot easier when it comes to messing with paints. XD

      1. Use good paper. Hobby Lobby is…. not the best paper. I’d recommend getting a mixed media Strathmore sketchbook, or a watercolor specific sketchbook. It may not sound like it’s worth it, but believe me, it makes painting sooooo much easier. I prefer cold pressed, just because it looks better to me artistically and it also seems to hold up better. Hot press…. I don’t like hot press very much. It’s not very absorbent, so washes don’t turn out very well. It does look nice and bright though.

      2. Brush work. Honestly, I’ve never bought watercolor-specific brushes before, and I’ve never really seen the need to. They probably help some, but I think brush technique is what makes up the most part. Watercolor is… tricky. Once you get the hang of it though, it’s surprisingly easy to control, despite common belief. I’d recommend just messing around with it some. Paint sunsets, paint characters, paint still life–just experiment some. Watercolor only goes where you put the water. The biggest thing I can say to keep it from bleeding and spreading is to simply be patient, and let it dry. There’s no hack or tip to change this–you just have to be patient and let things dry, otherwise it’s going to bleed like nuts. By drawing a variety of things, you’ll figure out how to use the brushes to your best advantage.

      Also, don’t be afraid to get that paper wet–it’s made to withstand a puddle. If you get a little too much water on your paper, use your brush to soak it up or a paper towel even if it’s just a wash.

      3. Paints. I only have one thing to say about this–don’t use Crazy Artz. Or Crayola. Get a decent case of watercolor, and you’ll see an insane difference in the quality of your art and how well you can apply techniques. I have both liquid and tray watercolors, and honestly I don’t see much of a difference in them. The liquids are a little easier to mix, but that’s all I’ve noticed so far. Personally, I prefer a decent set of tray watercolors simply because I can take them places easier and they often come with a built in palette on the lid or such.

      Take note that when I say get a good brand of paper or a good case of watercolors, I don’t mean you need to go all out and buy insanely expensive art supplies. You can get pretty good paper, watercolors, and brushes all for less than $30 at Walmart. (In fact, that’s where I buy most of my art supplies unless I’m looking for something specific, like alcohol based markers or something. Then I’m off to Michael’s. XD)

      As for tape…. I don’t really like using tape so I don’t have a ton of experience with it. I’d say just don’t press it down as hard? Or maybe try a different kind of tape, like masking tape that’s made to come off easily?

      If you have any questions, please ask! I’m always happy to chat art stuff. 😉

       

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Sink.

      *vader vibes*

      #70991
      Lin
      @lin

      @h-jones I don’t mind you tagging me! I like babbling about art haha. Also, I think your experiment looks really good!

      You’ve gotten some great advice already! If you want to invest in watercolor, the best thing you can do is buy good paper. You’ll see a major difference! Like @the-fledgling-artist I also recommend canson watercolor paper. I’ve used them for my first year of watercolor paper and never had any trouble with it. It might buckle a bit if the paper gets too wet, but nothing that you can’t fix with painters tape. There is better paper out there, my favourite is Arches. But It’s just really expensive and when starting out I would always be afraid of ruining it because it was that special. However I’m lucky enough to have a store nearby that sells them for less. I’m not sure if you have Hahnemuhle paper in the US. But that’s really good paper too!

      How hard are the brushes you use? When using watercolor you want to have brushes that can take in a lot of water. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive. Brushes with a long stick (is that even how it’s called? haha) are for acrylics and oils, when a brush has a shorter stick it’s probably a watercolor brush. I usually use simple round brushes that are soft. I don’t know what kind of brush you use but if it’s a bit rough it can tear up the paper, once again if the paper isn’t strong enough.

      When it comes to paint there are a lot of good brands out there and it once again doesn’t have to be expensive. I’ve used Winsor and Newton paints since the beginning and I still love them! I don’t think that there’s a big difference between pans or tubes, it’s just prefence.

      “I've loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”

      #71213
      Grace
      @h-jones

        @the-fledgling-artist @sarah-inkdragon @lin Ahh, thank you all so much!! Haha I took all of this advice into consideration and decided to go on an art shopping spree 😂😂 Hobby Lobby had some good Canson XL watercolor paper and I’m pleased to announce the paper didn’t do the weird thingy it did with the other paper. Yay! 😀

        Here is the fruit of my labor… another little experiment. But I liked it and wanted to share. c:

        For the tape, I just didn’t press down as hard and it worked out pretty okay. (: I think I’ve been using masking tape.

        Secretly Hedgehog Jones. Don’t tell anyone.

        #71331
        Sink
        @sarah-inkdragon

        @h-jones

        Wow, that’s amazing! I love it! <3

        *vader vibes*

        #71333
        Lin
        @lin

        @h-jones Looks great! I like the tree (:

        “I've loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”

        #71336
        The Fledgling Artist
        @the-fledgling-artist

        @h-jones Yay!! Success!! 😀 😀

        "Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."

        #71848
        Grace
        @h-jones

          @sarah-inkdragon @lin @the-fledgling-artist <3333 Thanks so much guys, your encouragement means the world!!

          Okay so. More questions. xDD

          How often would y’all recommend painting? Once a week? Once a day? Should I share my work regularly…? Get feedback regularly?

          And what are y’alls favorite techniques? Do you prefer wet-on-wet (that’s the only one I currently know so far xDD) or wet-on-dry?

          Secretly Hedgehog Jones. Don’t tell anyone.

          #71861
          Lin
          @lin

          @h-jones Yay! I’m happy you are so motivated! <3

          It all depends on you really. There are no rules for it. However the more you paint the quicker you will see improvement. So try to paint whenever you can and feel like it. Don’t force yourself too much, keep it fun! I myself draw everyday but I don’t beat myself up when I skip a day. I don’t have a schedule. But drawing is also my job now, so it may be a bit different for you.  I do recommend that when painting you mix up practicing with trying out things for yourself. Don’t make it all work and no play. But do try to really practice things every now and then. Search up youtube tutorials about techniques that are hard for you or things that you struggle with.

          When it comes to sharing your work, that’s also completely up to you! I’d love to give feedback so feel free to do it whenever you want.

          I don’t really have a favorite technique. I use almost all techniques in one painting haha. Though I think I use wet on dry the most. But when I do a large painting I’ll paint the first layers wet in wet and the details wet on dry. (:

          “I've loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”

          #71870
          The Fledgling Artist
          @the-fledgling-artist

          @h-jones I think Lin put it very well. I agree with her!

          For me I draw almost every day too, though that’s just because I usually have time for it. If I don’t have time, I don’t worry about it. 🙂
          I usually use wet on wet for my backgrounds and other large spaces. Then wet on dry for shading, because I like hard lines when I shade. I generally use wet on wet when I want to marble the colors together, and wet on dry when I want hard lines.

          "Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."

          #71884
          Sink
          @sarah-inkdragon

          @h-jones

          I usually try and draw one good, finished piece in my nice sketchbook a week, but I’m also looking to pursue a career in art and animation in 2 years, so don’t by any means feel obligated to do what I do. XD Other than that, I really just draw whenever I feel like it. At 2AM, during school, while I’m listening to music or at a school game…. whenever and wherever. XD I also like looking at art on pinterest, because it helps me get ideas and gather inspiration when I’m not feeling up to drawing really. Plus, there’s tons of gorgeous art and amazing references on there. 😉

          For watercolor, I don’t really have a specific technique…. I guess you could say wet on wet, because that’s something I always seem to use some in my art, but usually I’m painting big, colorful landscapes/cloudscapes and I really just….. do whatever makes it look good. Wet-on-wet is probably the most useful one I’ve come across so far though. XD Outside of watercolor, I really like traditional inking and markers, like comic book artists use and such. They’re fun. Colored pencils are great to, I’ve got a set of prismacolors my parents got me for my birthday one year and I love them. XD So…. I don’t think I really have one favorite technique or style… I really just do whatever I feel like or what I think would look good on a piece.

          *vader vibes*

          #71901
          Ariel Ashira
          @ashira

          @h-jones LOVE your new profile picture!!

          "No matter how much it hurts, how dark it gets, or how hard you fall, you are never out of the fight."

          #72089
          Grace
          @h-jones

            @lin Awesome! Okay, so maybe I should make a goal, like @sarah-inkdragon said, to make a completed piece of artwork every week and make a habit of at least drawing every day, because I would like to improve. (: Also, how did you make art your career? Do you illustrate children’s books for a living (because if so that is amazing!)? For someone who may want to pursue a career in art, what advice would you give? (And duly noted. Practice some, but don’t wear yourself out and keep yourself from doing stuff you actually like. Gotcha. :D)


            @the-fledgling-artist
            Ahhh nice!! Okay, I was actually wondering about how different techniques would have different results. Interesting. 😀


            @sarah-inkdragon
            Ah! Pinterest! Genius plan. xD Okay, and just kind of combine whatever techniques will give you what results you want. That makes sense! 😀


            @ashira
            Thank you!!! @the-fledgling-artist actually did it for me as a commission ’cause she’s just the absolute awesomest 😀

             

            Okay sorry I promise I’ll be done with the questions after this (hopefully hhhh) xDD

            But um, where do y’all go for inspiration? And would any of you be open to critiquing whatever piece I paint weekly? I can just kind of open a thread, and obviously you don’t have to critique every one, but ya know. Whatever y’all would like to do. 😀

            You guys are just the best peoples xD <333

            Secretly Hedgehog Jones. Don’t tell anyone.

            #72121
            Lin
            @lin

            @h-jones I think making one completed piece per week would be a great idea! And I would love to critique them whenever you like (:

            Well it’s kind of a long story. I haven’t been able to go to school since I was 16 years old because of chronic illness (I’m 21 now). I was perfectly healthy before. This really was a time the Lord called me to Him. I started drawing a lot and over the years I could see my drawings improve more and more. I decided that I wanted to become a childrens book illustrator, or writer, or maybe even both! A man from our church gave me the newspaper where they had a drawing contest. The contest had an inspiration day you could go to and where you could show your work to publishers. I dedided to go and was super nervous but after showing my work a publisher contacted me the day after, asking me to illustrate a series of childrens books about animals.

            This all happened around the summer last year and thus far I have illustrated one book. It’s called Klaartje De Cavia (Dutch for Clara the guinea pig). But the second one is coming soon! This ofcourse is not enough to live from yet. Things like that take time and I’ll probably have to send my work to even more publishers. Besides that I also started a little shop with my sister where we sell handmade prints for kids rooms and cards. But this is all very new for me too. So I’m hoping that in time I will be able to make a living off of it.

            Well this was a long answer haha. But if you want to become an illustrator you’re gonna need a portfolio. Just pick you best pieces of work and send them to publishers. Visit days where you can show your work to them. If you want to practice illustrating you could take your own story and draw scenes from it. Just to see if you like doing it.

            Pinterest is one of my favorite places for finding inspiration. But I also get inspiration from nature, music, books, movies and just little things that catch my eye. (:

            “I've loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”

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