Watercolor pictures and Watercolor painting by Martin Missfeldt

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Watercolor Painting Tutorial - How to paint watercolor pictures

Watercolor painting
Watercolor painting

(Detail River Source)

Watercolor paintings

On this page three sections on the subject of "Watercolor" are presented. First, a small introduction to watercolor painting shows the possibilities offered by watercolor. Second, different watercolor painting techniques are introduced. They show, how the motive can be emphasized by the purposeful employment of the watercolor technique. Thirdly, I present exemplary some watercolor pictures and paintings of me in the text. More on the subject: What is a watercolor painting?

History of Watercolor Painting

The watercolor painting has a great advantage: it quickly leads to the final images. Unlike many other artistic techniques is the "startup costs low. In addition, the Trockungsprozess very short. Therefore, many painters, sketches and watercolors for studies. A selected artists, the history of watercolor painting influenced:

Of course, this only very few example from the history of art. They show how diverse the watercolor technique could be used.

Watercolor Colors - Features and characteristics

Aquarell Licht
Aquarell Licht
Farben der Sonne

Watercolor paints are like all the colors of pigments and binders. As a binder for watercolor paint is usually used gum arabic. It is soluble in water and practically transparent. Unlike gouache watercolors, the color is not mixed with extenders. The color is thus practically "pure" before. Therefore, watercolors a tremendous luminosity and color purity have. Not without reason many watercolor images convey a sunny, light and airy atmosphere.


("Giraffe im Quadrat")

A major difference from all other painting is that there is no color "white" there. White or light colored areas are by the color is omitted. White is created so by "omission". One color is not paint, but by omitting to be created, it is also called negative technique. This change requires planning and some practice.

The water-in watercolor painting is of particular importance. The main features of the painting watercolor painting created by the specific use of the water. One could also watercolor painting called "Painting with water added to mix colors denote. The solvent for the watercolor paint does not necessarily "just" water. One can for example experiment with soaps, so the paint dries slower. Bubbles can be interesting structures. Even pure alcohol as a solvent (together with water) capable. He is in contrast to water much more quickly fleeting. This watercolor paints dry faster, sometimes seconds after the ink. Thus, much "harder" to create structures.

Watercolor Techniques - Washes and glazes

Watercolor painting is actually "water painting". Two particular painting watercolors bring the color especially for application: LASI and Lavieren. Both techniques work with the properties of the water. One needs some time to dry. Thus, approximately one to three minutes to wet-on-wet paint (Lavieren). Other hand, it dries so quickly that you have already dried paint on paint (glaze). In general, both methods at the watercolor paint to use.

Watercolor glaze

Aquarell lasieren

When glaze is a quick drying of water play a role. Under glaze is the paint, where the underlying paint, or the basic picture remains to be seen. The watercolor paint gets a special radiance (color), when they semi-transparent image on a white ground promiseth. By overprinting Create multiple layers of light-dark shades or Mischfarbwerte. Due to the volatility of water watercolor paint dries relatively quickly. After a short time, so new 'watercolor glazes "over the underlying surfaces are gamalt. It is important that the underlying layers are well durchgetrocknet. In addition, the varnish will be painted quickly. Otherwise, the lower ink anlösen. Controlled layering of color is an essential feature of watercolor paintings.

Watercolor washes

Aquarell lavieren

The Washes is based on the property that the water-diluted watercolor paint for some time flüsssig and remains moist. In this time with a different color in that area are hineingemalt. This process will also wet-on-wet painting called. The runny and blur the colors. Basically, the colors do not melt, but the water that the colors in your pocket. It tries to be as evenly distributed. Areas with more fluid flow in the direction of more angetrockneten surfaces. It transgresses the water but not the "wet-limit". It dissolves only in the area previously targeted by the brush was wet. As a result of color and color in which the different (or same) watercolor paints "melt". It is the process of Lavierens by different "tool" influence. For example, through the use of a "straw" or steam pipe, the color in a certain direction is pressed. This can also by broad subjects brushes. The most well-known wet-in-wet Aquarellist, Emil Nolde.

Aquarell Häuser
Watercolor Detail 1

Besides the Washes with multiple colors can be only one color from transparent after covering lost. This technique ( "art history") has crafted quite demanding. The difficulty is that the watercolor paint is not evenly distributed, but mostly in small pools of water collects. Helpful here is the area first with pure water and then isolate the watercolor paint on one side and are provided with a fan brush to the other side to consider. With a paper towel (kitchen roll), the watercolor paint to edge "absaugt" are.

Which brushes for Watercoloring?

Aquarell Detail
Watercolor Detail 2

As a brush for the watercolor-paint-brush Rotmarder are very suitable. You can use lots of water (and water color) record. Moreover, they are very form-stable and retain long unausgefranste brush. And they give the very controlled color and evenly again. Mißfeldt uses for his watercolors in addition Rotmarder-Kolinski brushes also brush with synthetic hair. The brush strengths go from 0 to 24 Even a sponge and absorbent paper towels are part of the craft. There is also nothing on the other hand, every now and then with your fingers to paint. Below are even more brush and tools listed.

Which paper is suitable for watercolor painting?

abstraktes Aquarell
abstract watercolor
("fire tower")

As already stated, the watercolor paintings based on water. This may all his strength only if it is in the image-makers "really works". Usually painted watercolors on paper. It has a significant influence on the result. Conventional paper (80 - 100 gr / sqm) have the disadvantage that they are wavy. Moreover, the surface is smoothed, so that the watercolor paint is little eingesogen. Even a little water and then on the sheet. For watercolor painting pictures is a handmade paper from 200 to 600 gr / sqm best suited. Heavier handmade papers and handmade paper often have the disadvantage that the watercolor paint in the grooves of the paper fibers into running. This affect the edges of these watercolor images often "frayed". What paper is used, also depends on the "preference" of the painting from. Heavier paper sucks more - it is therefore recommended to the glaze. The lighter paper sucks not as strong, watercolor paints stay wet longer - ideal for Lavieren. In general, the best results on acid-free papers made from 100% Hadern achieved. When good players are here and Hahnemühle Canson ones. In addition to the production and the weight are different in their Handmade watercolor surface properties. The main differences are with the terms rough, dull and smooth described.

Wherer to buy Watercolor colors - Manufacturer

Aquarell Garten auf Capri
("Garten auf Capri")

Mißfeldt uses for years the Schmincke watercolor colors. The quality of the pigments is high, he has no bad experiences have to do. Also of Schmincke watercolor box in which the "Farbnäpfe" with watercolor paint fixed, it is very convenient. For smaller sizes can be the lid of the paintbox for good mixing of the colors used. Recommended are the water colors of Winsor & Newton. A few years ago Mißfeldt "Russian watercolor paints tested, but was especially with the luminosity is not satisfied. Apparently are (or were these colors stretched, making the sometimes significantly lower price can be justified. Other providers of watercolor paints are Luke, or van Gogh. For some time, offers Lascaux "Water Colors", which does not gum arabic, but acrylic binders have a . An interesting variant, but here shows that the boundaries between watercolor and acrylic paint to the industrial production are fluid (lavierend ;-).

The basic colors red, yellow, blue

Aquarell Rot, Gelb, Blau

("red yellow blue")

The primary colors red, yellow and blue Aquarellieren comes in a special importance. The partially transparent paint mix overdose Successive layers of new colors. It is therefore unnecessary, particularly in the many shades watercolor box to have. Mißfeldts box is essentially Farbnäpfen filled with the following: 2 x Yellow, 2 x Red, 2 x blue. Added to Chromdioxidgrün (fiery), Umbra, and black (see below: Tips for beginners).

In the literature - especially in the paint in watercolor "right" and "wrong" einteilt - there are some "rules" that you can follow or not. They are therefore mentioned here only because their knowledge in certain situations can be quite helpful. A rule stating that one should Watercolors "from light to dark" paint.

Painting Watercolors "from light to dark"

This means that the first light, watery areas with a few paint pigments, and then more and more color in the watercolor brush mixes and layers on top of each other by painting several layers of color applied, the opaque watercolor paint, it is therefore darker. In fact, the name "Hell after dark" is misleading - it should actually read: "of water under cover." In a figurative sense motive, one could also say: "From the light shade." Hell yes means "light" and entsprecht Dark Shadows. "

Some "experts" are still of the opinion that it makes sense, even if the color is a light-dark schedule of: Thus will be brightest yellow color is applied first, then green, ocher, red, through purple to the blue. However, it is absolute nonsense, blue for the darkest color to hold. Thus, a rich yellow (for example, a sunflower) is significantly darker than the blue of the sky.

Sketching allowed in watercolor?

Aquarell Giraffenkopf

Another absurd "rule" is that when a watercolor vorzeichnen may not. Why not? Just be aware that the lines may be due to the transparent color in the finished watercolor image are visible. At least in pencil Vorzeichnungen is so. Instead of a pencil can, however, a water-soluble crayon use, for example, a yellow. This can give the security that you need to begin a watercolor.

Mißfeldt has many of his watercolors with rough pencil sketches before he began to paint. The pencil traces are visible on closer inspection, and not interfere in the slightest. Even an artist like August Macke has previously outlined his watercolors.

Watercolor tips for beginners and hobby painter

How to watercolor painting begin? What colors to buy? What paper? For a beginner watercolor painting seems to be the first to be a risk: the cost for individual watercolor box or Farbtöpfe seem quite high. For a well-equipped start you should probably around 80 - 150 EUR schedule. Mißfeldt recommends the following initial configuration:

Aquarell Urlaub am Meer
("Urlaub am Meer")


Use a work surface that is large enough to watercolor well to rotate times. It is often helpful to the image while working to turn the page or head over to paint. Sense, the watercolor on a wood panel to paint that you can unilaterally lift. The water then runs into a certain direction.

And most important, for beginners, hobby painters and all others: Experiment and try out. Enjoy the wonderful qualities of color and explore the possibilities, with the water to work. One should try to have no scruples. Remove from the idea of a good outcome to achieve, but can you drive with the color. One should in no case be afraid (just before the final image or the material consumed).

Try not subjects in the pictures to torture, but you paint with red, yellow and blue areas (Lavieren and glaze). If you are looking for approximately 10-20 attempts a first feeling for the watercolor paints and watercolor paintings have won, you are going to remember in which direction you want to paint, whether more representational (floral watercolors, landscape watercolors, portrait painting with watercolor, animal watercolors ) or rather abstract. And do not forget: watercolors are much too pretty, so "only" the reality of wanting to play.

Have fun and success!

Weblinks zum Thema Aquarelle

Watercolor paintings by Martin Missfeldt

More tips and suggestions

The following helpful tips and suggestions, the watercolor painter Frank Koebsch budget. Thank you for that.

There are tools to the knockout of small white structures. The best known is the application of Maskierflüssigkeit. This Maskierflüssigkeit there is already inked in bottles with small needles, which allow relatively delicate structures of color out of register. If this fluid is dry, use the paint in Aquarellieren started. Is the painting is finished and dry, the Maskierfüssigkeit with the fingertip of watercolor picture abgerubbelt be. Hence the old term - Scratch crepe. To auszusparen white, you can candle wax on the surface of a rough go of paper. From the small structures waxed drips watercolor color.

When watercolor painting is an oversupply of dark colors with a bright color or white is in contrast to other techniques are not possible. Sure you can "cheat" and with white acrylic or opaque image editing. But this is "real" Aquarellisten frowned upon. [... then it would be in the strict sense Aquarell no more, but a gouache. Note Mißfeldt] Individual reflections can post by scraping with a blade to the paper structures. When watercolor painting wet surfaces provide a lot of possibilities:

An alleged evils of Aquarellieren is that the land for the painter always quick to dry. There are essentially two ways to get help. At the beginning of the work is the paper with a large brush or sponge completely or partially wetted. Puddles are in any case be avoided. This has the advantage that the paper surface to ink any water cut, but the color only by evaporative drying.

Depending on the technique must now be the right time for the paint to be found. Despite all the dry land too quickly, the watercolor medium a spray bottle with water will be. But beware: too many drops of water or a high velocity of water can lead to unintended effects.

Watercolor Brushes

Depending on the painting can also be useful with flat brushes to work. Often with flat brushes straight edges and thin structures better. This is especially true when structures in various areas will erode again. Interesting effects can also be achieved if a range of colors anmischt when a corner of the flat brush in one color and the other corner in a second color emerges.

Another possibility in order to thin watercolor, possibly irregular lines to produce, has a brush names tug. He has a bulbous Reserve and a thin core with longer hair brush. But even a sponge and absorbent paper towels are part of the craft of paint. With a natural sponge is the foliage of trees good shape. This is a dry sponge placed in the watercolor paint and then without much pressure in the range of the spotted leaves. Again, with the bright colors and dark colors on the preparatory work. Another possibility for the generation of structures is the "squeezing" of the brush. Take the brush abdomen on the top with your thumb, pointing and middle fingers and press until a peak instead of three or more peaks arise. Thus by dots, for example, leaves or Kiesstrukturen arise. Through careful painting with multiple peaks can also be sent grass or shrubs are presented.

Watercolor Paper

Do not even high-quality watercolor paper up to 650 gr / sqm try. If you have such a Archery dann mal "vermalt have, dare you look at the color off. From under the faucet or the shower. They will jam if you go to work cautiously, remain essential structures of your images in a nebulous, kind and gentle way. If the image is dry, you can use it again "complement". A master in this way was William Turner, of this wonderful luminous images created. In addition to painting on paper, there are more and more artists on canvas with watercolor work. In general, all the screens, the fat-free with a Gresso are primed, painted with watercolor paints. The structure of the tissue causes a different course of conduct and also the brightness is different.

The main difference to watercolor-paper is that the individual is less liable than ink on paper. This glaze must be respected and a watercolor on canvas should be replaced after Durchtrocknen with a Fixierspray be fixed. People who want to save some money and a lot of watercolor paints, tubes should buy merchandise. This can be re-filled bowls. At the same time for a large order watercolor paint on a palette angemischt be better. To Vorzeichnen instead of a pencil can also be used water-soluble crayon. The industry offers special pencils to watercolor. At the same time, these images with watercolor pencils supplemented.