Category Archives: Beginners Guide to Watercolor Painting

This Beginners Guide to Watercolor Painting category is for articles especially written for new watercolor artists.

Under-painting in watercolor, its importance

Finished watercolor painting with under-painting left as highlights

When painting with watercolors, in my style, the under-painting (initial wash), is very important as it holds a painting together. The under-painting must be tonally correct or the painting will never look quite right. When I am painting a landscape, at the under-painting stage, the scene should already look like a landscape. The sky and Continue Reading …»

How to mix greens using watercolors

Watercolor painting by Joe Cartwright, titled North Richmond Farmland.

One of the questions I am most frequently asked by my students has to do with how to mix greens. No other color generates as much confusion regarding how it is mixed. Green is produced when you mix blue with yellow. However, as most blue and yellow pigments are not pure colors i.e. they contain Continue Reading …»

Plein air painting lesson – Changing light

Autumn Poplars watercolor painting by Joe Cartwright

I recently went on a 5-day plein air painting trip to the town of Tumut in NSW. The weather was perfect, with the main challenge being the changing light. Unlike most other places in New South Wales, where evergreen trees predominate, around the Tumut region, there are plenty of deciduous trees which add lots of Continue Reading …»

How to use photos for painting

Watercolor painting Coffs Harbour Sunset, by Joe Cartwright

Most artists use photos for painting at some point in their career. For some, they are the only reference they use, while for others they are rarely used. If you are going to be working from photos, there are a few things you need to be aware of if you want your artworks to succeed. Distortion in a Continue Reading …»

Plein air watercolor painting

plein air watercolor painting title Misty morning Yarramundi by Joe Cartwright

Plein air watercolor painting has many challenges however its benefits make any effort you make well worth it. Not only has my work improved dramatically through painting outdoors but I also find the experience very relaxing and beneficial mentally. Only working from photos, especially those you did not take yourself, can be very limiting as Continue Reading …»

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