Watercolour Tutorials by Jacky Pearson

Jacky Pearson, international award winning artist, has been a member of Watercolour New Zealand, since 1995 and has exhibited at all SPLASH exhibitions. Jacky is an experienced art tutor and currently holds regular lessons through Watercolour NZ, the Hutt Art Society and workshops around New Zealand and internationally.




Types of Watercolour Washes

Flat Wash: Evenly applied in one pigment strength. You will therefore end up with a single tone over that painted area. Best achieved on a nearly horizontal board.

Graduated Wash: Dense pigment to much diluted pigment. This is probably the most useful wash to master.

Floated Wash: Wet paper first then add colour to an existing wash (wet into wet) letting gravity move the paint around by tipping the board.

Variegated Wash: Merging two colours side by side ie. a sky that starts with a wash of cerulean blue at the top of the paper but becomes orange towards the horizon.

Granulated Wash: Settling of the pigment in tooth of paper. A rough paper will give you the best effect. Certain pigments granulate more easily than others due to their particle weight. Artists use granulation to give certain parts of their painting a textured effect.

Two methods to achieve this:

1) Lay your washes with granulating paint and plenty of water onto a horizontal surface. If you put too much angle on your board/paper the pigment will run smoothly over the tooth and distribute evenly and you won’t get the desired pooling into the tooth.

2) paint a flat wash and when nearly dry i.e. the shine has nearly gone, paint again with water or the same wash and this will disturb the underlying wash enough to settle the granules and you will obtain a lovely glow and texture.



Suggested colours:
• Cerulean Blue
• Light Red
• Cadmium Red / Yellow / Orange
• Yellow Ochre
• Ultramarine (mixed with Burnt Umber gives texture in hills)

Glazing: Successive thin washes put on dry or wet on wet before the painting is started of carefully on top of the completed painting. Either way this provides an atmosphere to your painting. If using a wet into wet glaze only certain papers such as Arches with a gelatine base will take several washes, other papers such as Saunders may go streaky if too many washes are applied wet into wet because the paper is more absorbent and delicate. All papers will take wet on to dry, thin washes-you can put as many as you like-even 30 would be alright. As long as you use thin washes you will build up a lovely transparent depth; although it is time consuming it is worth the effort.

Colour Mixing Terminology

Hue - colour

Tone – lightness and darkness of a colour– achieved with dilution pigment with water.

Intensity (also called chroma or saturation) – the brightness or dullness of a colour

Primary Colours - red, yellow and blue

Secondary Colours – two primaries mixed together-orange, green and voilet

Tertiary Colours – all three primaries mixed together but on adjacent parts of the colour wheel– grays, browns and blacks ie mixing a primary and an adjacent secondary.

Complimentary Colours - mixture of any two colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel. Placed side by side they will enhance the intensity of each other. Mixing together will produce less intense but vibrant grays.

Mixing a Black:

• Ultramarine Blue 70%
• Earth Colour (eg. Burnt Sienna)10%
• Crimson Alizarin (or any cool red)20%

Mixing a Green:

A suggestion: base your greens on two colours: Cerulean Blue and/or Viridian Green. Then mix a yellow with either. The yellow you decide upon greatly affects the temperature and the intensity of the green. For instance mix Cerulean and Lemon Yellow and you will have an intense/bright and cool green. Mix with Raw sienna and the green will be warmer.

Make your own chart on a piece of watercolour paper and separate into cool and warm greens.

A vibrant Grey:

• Cerulean Blue
• Crimson Alizarin

A Beautiful orange:

• Crimson Alizarin
• Raw Sienna

Please check our CALENDAR or contact Jacky if you are interested in joining Jacky Pearson's watercolour workshop.



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