Watercolor Effects & Tricks

This video shows a wide range of materials, techniques and tools for creating diverse effects in watercolor. You’ll learn how to create many visual effects in watercolor. Like how to achieve various textures, lines, and strokes.

How to use other, unconventional tools. All of these techniques can be used to create a visual language for any style of painting. Demo by Art Prof Clara Lieu.

Video Walkthrough

  • Winsor & Newton watercolor mediums
  • Additives: kosher Salt, alcohol
  • Watercolor cakes vs. tubes
  • Watercolor plein air supplies
  • Wet into wet, bleeds
  • Layering the paint
  • Using a hair dryer to speed up the drying process
  • Painting gradients
  • Types of brushes
  • Spray bottle + Straws
  • Lifting & pressing into the watercolor
  • Scratching into the paper
  • Resist techniques
  • Markers + mater
  • Water based crayons & colored pencil
  • Types of Yupo paper
  • Cold press vs. Hot press paper
  • Dry brushing techniques

Prof Lieu’s Tips

What really helped me with learning to paint was to learn from multiple teachers. (I was really slow learning to paint, some people just pick it up, but it was NOT easy for me and I stumbled around for many years)

When I was in art school I think I studied painting with at least five professors, which was sooooo useful! Even when I had had many years of painting experience, I gained something different from each prof.

Some of it was about fundamentals like color, while other times it was some tool that I hadn’t seen before. Painting is a long haul, it’s a time investment that other media, like drawing simply don’t have.


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