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How to stretch watercolor paper

What does it mean to stretch watercolor paper? Why and how would you do it?

The main reason people stretch their watercolor paper, is because when it gets wet, as you paint, it expands creating cockles or wrinkles. These can make painting difficult for some people. By stretching your paper, the cockles are greatly reduced or removed completely. Whether or not you stretch your paper depends a lot on your skill level. Also, the type of painting you are doing may determine whether to stretch or not. Continue reading “How to stretch watercolor paper”

San Giorgio Dei Greci free video watercolor demonstration

A few years ago I produced a video watercolor painting demonstration of a Venetian canal scene.

In the spirit of Christmas I have now decided to make it free, which you can see in its entirety on YouTube. I hope you find it of benefit in your watercolor journey. Continue reading “San Giorgio Dei Greci free video watercolor demonstration”

Watercolors Step By Step

Front cover of Watercolors Step By Step by Joe Cartwright

Thanks to overwhelmingly positive responses to the demonstrations in my first book “Mastering Watercolors – a practical guide,” I’ve created this new book as a collection of additional how-to demos. Here you’ll find twelve step-by-step paintings with reference photos and plenty of images to guide you through each piece. I’ve also included a section on watercolor basics, materials, and what to consider when working from photographs. Continue reading “Watercolors Step By Step”

Under-painting in watercolor, its importance

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 ground should be obvious. In this way, all I need to then do is add the objects that sit on the ground. Continue reading “Under-painting in watercolor, its importance”

How to mix greens using watercolors

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 a little of a second or third primary (red, yellow or blue) color, there is a tremendous range of pigments which can be used, in combination, to produce a green. I think this may be one of the reason artists can have trouble mixing it. Continue reading “How to mix greens using watercolors”