We, artists often neglect the simple crucial steps when painting. Especially true for beginner artists. These are steps that when implemented and executed correctly will guarantee will take your art to the next level.
Be prepared with all of these steps in advance, so they are ready to be used within reach.
Okay, here comes…
1. Use 2 or 3 clean water in containers. This helps clean your brushes after each use. And so dirty water won’t get on your paper. Brushes dipped in dirty water will interrupt your palette. The result will not as clean color as you expected. If you use 3 large enough containers you won’t need to change water. But you do need to clean brushes 3 times.
2. Lots of water. Layer it with a lot of water and wait for 10 seconds for the water to settle in on the paper. Then drop another layer of color. This will create beautiful paint absorbent on the paper with nice gradation.
3. When painting in layers; wait until it completely dried before you put on another layer. Tempering with half dried paint will create a smudge that won’t look good on your art.
4. Draw the high light of the subject softly with a pencil. This will determine the placement of the high light and to keep it being the lightest all the time.
5. Create about 4 small crumpled soft tissue papers. This will use to dab the high light on the subject each time after layering. As beginner, you often overpainted the highlight areas, the lightest ones. Dabbing the high light area after layering helps to keep that spot being the lightest.
6. Match colors in advance. Matching the color in advance help organize your painting process a lot easier. Keep colors as limited as possible - then bring those color palette closer to your subject to check the accuracy. I often put 3 or 4 based layers until I drop the medium and darker tone. Working from the lightest to the darkest.
7. Do not wait until the paint completely dried to clean edges. Half dried or damp paper is good to start to clean edges because the paint is still workable. Use small flat brush and brush gently.
8. Draw your subject on a piece paper. Make an adjustment if necessary. Then transfer to your watercolor paper. I often forget this part and learned the hard lesson. Erasing pencil on watercolor paper often leaves a smudge that will temper with the watercolor paint later on.