Is there really an easy way to paint watercolors? Yes, if you go straight to painting and don’t spend time laboriously drawing the image first. I learned the technique described here from San Diego watercolor artist Diane Palley McDonald.
- Select a photo that inspires you.
- Print the photo on 8-1/2 by 11 paper.
- Put the photo on a light table or against a sunny window, and tape a piece of watercolor paper over it.
- Using a pencil, lightly trace the photo’s main lines onto the watercolor paper.
- Tape the edges of the watercolor paper to a thick rectangle of cardboard.
- Mask any bright white lines. (optional)
- Have fun painting!
This technique is a bit like painting a coloring book page. The worst that can happen is you’ll have to start over, but the hard part of any painting is the drawing, so you can skip that part. I sometimes do two or three paintings of a subject before I’m satisfied.
Here’s why I prefer watercolors to any other art medium, except possibly photography: When you dilute watercolor paint with liquid light (clear water), you can create an image that’s translucent. Because the white of the paper shines through, the result suggests a sunlit moment.
Go to “Debra’s Art Supplies” to find out which watercolor paints and brushes I prefer.
Also enjoy this YouTube video in which I share my painting method.