Watercolor painting tips for paint enthusiasts

Realistic watercolour paintings provide a distinct set of problems. Understanding this medium’s qualities and creative potential is the greatest method to overcome these obstacles. Learn how to use watercolour to produce realistic paintings with these watercolour paint tips for realistic painting.

Color Test

Watercolour paint is transparent, while other paint media generate an opaque covering. So mixing realistic colours on the palette might be tough. Always have a piece of paper handy to try out colours before committing to the final project.

Smooth Paper 

Watercolour realism requires careful skill. Using a smoother material makes detail work simpler.

Colour Swatches

Make a colour swatch of each choice on a piece of paper. This makes it easy to choose the right colour for the job.

Avoid ‘Straight’ Black

In a realistic watercolour paint, ‘straight’ black seems too sterile and unnatural. Shadows are not ‘straight’ black. Instead, combine it with red, blue, and green to create a warm and chilly tone.

Draw a Plan

Plan your artwork using a design to obtain perspectives and dimensions perfect from the start. No amount of meticulous painting can make up for a mistake here. An ‘underdrawing’ is a preliminary drawing. Click here to read about Watercolor paint techniques to help you paint better.

Don’t Underdraw Too Dark

Any underdrawing markings will detract from the realistic quality of your artwork. The realistic effect might be lost if you finish your work with strong lines around the details. So sketch your underdrawing using a 2H pencil (this is the lightest of pencil weights). Visit https://bondiartsupplies.com to read more about watercolour paint.

Create Colours

Colours in realistic watercolour paintings may need to be built up in a glaze to get the desired tone. This is particularly true for petals, skin tones, and light components.

Don’t mix too much watercolour paint

A similar shade of watercolour paint might be tricky to blend. Mix higher quantities of colours to avoid running out. This will simplify the procedure and eliminate colour variations.

Neutralize the Best Photographic Reference

Painting realistically is capturing what your eyes perceive. Choose a clear and clean picture as a solid point of reference.

Light to Dark Work

When painting with watercolour paint, begin with bright tones and work your way dark. Brighter regions may take less paint as you use the paper’s white to create highlights and lighter colours.

Brushes and Paint

A liquid, tube, or pan of watercolour paint is available. Start with any sort, although pan paint kits are convenient and come in a variety of colours. All paints are bundled in one kit, so you won’t have to purchase them individually.

Watercolour paint brushes contain soft, long hairs suited for working with watery media. The finest brushes are sable or squirrel, although they are rare and costly. High-quality soft synthetic brushes are substantially less expensive. For laying a wash, you simply need one or two bigger flat brushes, and for details, multiple round brushes of varying sizes. One each of Nos. 12, 10, 6, and 6 and two flat 1-inch brushes would be plenty.

Try a cheap student set to experiment with form and size, and a soft house-painting brush to put on a wash. For a first attempt, some brush hairs may fall onto your painting, but this may not worry you. Purchase a set to sample a variety of brushes without having to buy them individually.

Watercolour Paper 

You will need watercolour paper. The heavy paper is thicker. 300 lb. paper is the thickest (like cardboard) and can handle the most water without buckling. The most frequent weight is 140 lb.; however, it may require stretching. Avoid 90 lb. paper, which is too thin for anything except practice. A block offers a firm surface and keeps the paper stretched until the paint is dry.


Beginner painters typically use too little paint at a time, needing to mix more. This is especially annoying when applying a wash to a painted surface. Instead, mix more colour than you need to prevent remixing.

Mixing just two colours: Too many colours might result in a muddy brown mess. It’s also vital to know the colour wheel and blend colours. A glaze is created by layering washes (wet-on-dry) or adding additional colour to a moist surface (wet-into-wet).

Watercolour paint is difficult to judge by its appearance on the palette since it dries lighter than it seems wet. Keep a spare piece of paper accessible to test your colours on before adding them to your painting.

Add water

An amateur painter’s choice for washing brushes between colours is a small pitcher of water The water immediately becomes dark and murky, muddying their colours and making their artwork brown. Keeping your colours pure requires clean water, which remains cleaner longer in a big container. Professional artists utilize two huge pots, one for cleaning and one for wetting the brushes.

After each painting session, rinse your watercolour paint brushes well with running water and soap, then gently squeeze dry with a paper towel or cloth. Avoid splaying and destroying brushes by reshaping the tips with your fingertips.

Create White Spaces

Paint from light to dark with your watercolour paint, leaving the white of the paper as your lightest. So, you need to know where such locations are so you can paint around them. You may either avoid them or shield them with masking fluid. The masking fluid dries to a rubbery substance that may be readily rubbed off. Use painter’s tape to block off areas you wish to keep white.

Lighten Up

Watercolour paint is beautiful because it is transparent. When used properly, watercolour reveals layers of translucent colour. It lets light pass through the paint layers and reflect off the paper. So be gentle. Use less water on your brush for more control but less transparency; use more water for more transparency. Find a balance that suits you.

Accept Your Errors

Many say that watercolour can’t be fixed. False. You may remove watercolour using a moist cloth, sponge, clean damp brush, or even a “magic” cleaning eraser. You may modify the look of one part of your painting by adding another wash to it, or you can wash the entire picture and start again. Watercolour paint may be used for years after completion. Let loose; you can always wash away any errors.