Watercolor often is described as the most difficult medium, but it is also the most expressive! What I love most about watercolor is that it has a mind of its own. It will go where it wants to and the best way to manage it is to react to its twists and turns and make them part of the composition. I never try to beat it into submission or over control it, instead I use loose, expressive gestural strokes that convey the movement of the subject.Having confidence in your drawing skills is the best way to get used to the idea of letting watercolor do what it pleases. If you have the ability to suggest forms with a couple of strokes rather than belaboring the process with tightly controlled paint application, you can achieve wonderfully expressive results.
I have a very different approach to using and teaching watercolor. I don’t use pencil first, no masking fluid, and I work mainly from dark to light as I would in oil or acrylic. If you are placing darks NEXT TO lights, it truly does not matter which you place first. By placing the dark values early, you establish depth and ensure that your painting does not end up looking flat or washed out.
For a bolder look in your work, give the above a try. If you’d like a first hand demonstration of the process, sign up for my watercolor workshop at the Visual Arts Center of NJ this Sunday, November 22 from 10 am to 4 pm. All materials are included and the class is definitely running, call the art center at 908-273-9121 for more information and to register.