Controlled Wet on Wet Technique

Controlled Wet on Wet Technique

As the paper dries, during the wet on wet technique, it will arrive at a point where it has lost its shine, now if at this stage you run the point of your brush across this damp section of paper you will see an interesting effect as shown in figure two. As the paper is no longer very wet, at this point it will actually have less water on it than is on your brush. Now what happens is that instead of the watercolor paint just running down the paper, some of it is actually sucked up into the dryer section of the paper – so you can get a whole range of soft to furry effects both up and down from the position of your brush stroke.  I use this edge in many places within my watercolor paintings. This is a great edge I use for creating soft connections of a boat’s hull with the water so it looks like it is floating, I use it when creating certain shadow shapes, for quickly creating trees and reflections on a distant lake shore and I also use it in my watercolor landscape paintings to create a tree line on top of a hill. Its uses are almost endless!

Controlled Wet on Wet Watercolor Technique

Figure 2: Controlled Wet on Wet Technique for watercolor painting

Controlled Wet on Wet Technique, with addition water brush stroke

Figure 3: Controlled Wet on Wet technique followed by a stroke of clean water to create a shore line

Waterline of Boat painted with controlled wet on wet technique

Figure 4: Waterline of Boat painted with controlled wet on wet technique

Distant tree line painted with controlled wet on wet brush stroke

Figure 5: Distant tree line painted with controlled wet on wet brush stroke

When painting with watercolor you need to take advantage of this interaction of water,watercolor paint and gavity, to create the effects you would like to produce.

This is one of the most difficult of edges to conquer as so much depends on timing (how wet is your water color painting), how wet is your watercolor mixture in your pallet and brush, the anble of your board as well as how fast it is all drying; environmental conditions greatly affect your painting and you must be aware of them. When painting watercolor landscapes plein air environmental conditions are even more critical!

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