Color, Contrast, and Drawling


Color has isn’t importance, but it’s not as important as you might think.  If your color is close enough and everything else is done right, you’re painting is going to be just fine.  However, if the contrast isn’t high enough, you’ll up with a flat painting.  Contrast is also even more important in paintings that aren’t realistic since you’re not relying on details to tell you about your subject.

If you’re having trouble with contrast, do some black and white pieces in either pencil or charcoal.  That will give a better understanding of light and dark.  Drawling will be more important in realism than other styles, but if something’s drawn in first place, you’re painting will be off.  So don’t be so quick to blame the poor color when it’s likely not it’s fault.

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Mixed vs Layered

Mixed paint is just taking colors and mixing them on them on the pallet before putting them on the canvas.  Layered paint is putting down one color.  Letting it dry and then putting another over top of it.  This gives your painting more depth in the color as the light reflects through each layer.  This is much better seen in person than through video or picture.

I would recommend a combination of mixing and layering.  I always layer my colors.  Some of the layers are mixed.  Some of them are not, but this allows for your painting to not look as flat. If you’ve never tried layering, you should try it out.  You may find that you enjoy it.  Below is a picture showing the difference between mixed and layered paint.


Other Topics That Might Interest You:

Right Side vs Wrong Side Of the Paper

5 Beginning Watercolor Mistakes

Is Realistic Watercolor Possible?

Varnishing Watercolor Paper

3 Things Not To Do With Your Brushes

Staining vs Non-Staining Colors

Are You Using the Right Watercolor Paper?