Watercolor Techniques All Painters Need To Know- A Comprehensive Guide

Watercolor Techniques All Painters Need To Know

This is the ultimate blog you are looking for because we are talking about all the watercolor techniques and watercolor basics. The art world is full of surprises, and there are various ways you can utilize the canvas and make your masterpiece stand out. It is truly all about the detail and attention towards each aspect. We are talking about various watercolor styles and techniques that every artist should know because your art speaks of your expertise! 

Some Of Our Favorite Watercolor Painting Techniques:

Flat wash

Flat wash is one of the most common techniques that every artist uses, where you paint the whole canvas with one color to give it a solid color. Depending on the type of art you have in mind, you can either dry it or give it a wet wash. 


Underpainting is a monochrome wash that’s used for the first layer of the painting. You’ll add layers of transparent washes over the underpainting, which gives realistic and luminous effects. Underpainting is an effect often used by professionals to highlight the layers of each painting. 

Color Blending

One of the most commonly used techniques in watercolor painting is blending. Imagine making a custom pet portrait; here, you must create gradients and give your canvas true finesse by mixing different colors. This technique requires a lot of patience and skill because water tends to mix quite soon. 

Dry Brushing

The scratchy and scrapped effect you often see in paintings of grass and sky is usually made with dry brushing. This is when you pick the maximum paint without wetting the brush to give your artwork some depth and texture. 

Back Washing

In the simplest of words, tilting and moving color without giving the paper the texture is known as back washing, which happens when you apply a wet wash of color and tilt the surface a little. This is how the color drifts to one side and is set flat. This way, the water spreads, making a splash effect. 


Stippling is about making the same dotted motion strokes repeatedly. Most artists use the back of their paintbrush to use this technique. All you have to do is tap the pen or brush frequently to give a stippled effect. 


If you have professionally studied art, then scumbling is a lot like stippling on paper, a technique where irregular motions are used to make a line or layer of paint. It’s basically like scribbling with your brush.


This may sound funny, but salting is a real art game. Perfect for showing the depth of the sky or sea, it is one of the techniques that artists swear by. All you have to do is immediately give your canvas a very heavy wet wash and splatter salt on top. Now, wait some time to achieve that texture. The salt will start dissolving leaving a very fine yet natural finish on the canvas. 

Natural Textures

Remember, painting with flower petals and leaves gives your canvas the most incredible texture; that is what we are talking about here. All you have to do is create a drawing that suits your niche of surfaces. You will be surprised at how much material you can use, such as lady fingers, leaves, flower petals, and more. 


Spatter is a technique that can take years to master because you have to be very precise and focused. All the method requires is for you to use a brush and spatter it on the canvas making an undesigned pattern with a rather wild and scattered look. You can use an old toothbrush for finer sprinkles or a bigger brush to spatter over the canvas.


The sponge effect gives you a very light yet subtle look, often used for the water effect in paintings; sponging is about sharing your canvas the elevation through simplicity. Often people use stencils to sponge at the right spots. 

Hatching and cross-hatching

Just like with pen and ink drawings, you can place lines beside each other or layer them perpendicular to each other for a hatching or cross-hatching effect. With just a dash of color, this technique allows you to get dark and crispy lines to form in freedom. 

Color layering

Color layering is an aspect that should be understood by every artist because, ultimately, you have to work with layers. Once the color of the paint has dried, you can add layers of watercolor to create dimension, texture, and color variation. Just know that the paper has to be completely dry in between washes so that the colors don’t blend and get muddy.

Watercolor Blooms

When you apply wet paint on a still-damp wash, the liquid forces the original pigment out, creating irregularly shaped splotches. These are often known as watercolor blooms when wet paint spreads on a dry surface without control. 

 These are just some techniques that every newbie can use, but if you want to know how to make watercolor paint just out of curiosity, then play around with natural elements. You can crush vibrant flowers and pat them in water to get some primary color. The same can be done with leaves; you can also use inks for the blue. 

If you are just someone who wants to start small, it is a fun activity, which is great for kids and their learning. This will allow them to explore nature and its various colors. How you utilize each technique tells a lot about an artist, so you must make the best of your knowledge. 

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