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By: Kevin Xu
Personal Passion Project
Table of contents
History of Watercolor
Water Color Pigments
Brushes and Paper
Phrase One: Building Basic Still
Phrase Two: Painting Simple Landscapes & Animals
Phrase Three :Representing Colors & Shapes in Layers
Phrase Four :Applying Skills
Art Work Display (on Project Board)
Brief Intro of Watercolor
A watercolor painting is made by combining
pigments and water.
All colors are produced by mixing
pigments and water;
Stroking brushes on the paper creates a
water color painting.
It can be traced back to prehistory when
our ancestors painted on caves by using
What you see on the left is a watercolor painting .
Water color painting shows the traces of water on
History of Watercolor
Watercolor is a expressive style of art. It could trace back to the
Paleolithic age, when people were painting in caves using natural
pigments. By the first century AD, watercolor spread across Asia and
Egypt. Chinese has developed their own watercolor style around
40,000B.C., known as the ink and brush style. Watercolor was soon
Introduced to Europeans in the 15th and 16th century. However, the
modification to the modern style of watercolor developed during
1720—1809 led by a artist named Paul Standby, adding modernism to
the classic style.
Pigments are the heart of all paintings. For watercolor,
What is It Made of ?
The modern water color pigments are made with gum Arabic, which is a color bending
material made out of Asian shrubs. In order to make the pigment, gum Arabic is combined
with natural color and ink.
Pigments for Beginners
The pigments for beginners I suggests is Cotman. It is affordable and high quality. It is the
perfect choice for beginners. This brand has rich color while easy to mix. The colors that I
suggest to begin with are crimson red, ultramarine , cobalt blue, cadmium yellow and
Hooker's dark Green. These colors are the essential colors in the color circle and they can be
combined in to variable other colors.
Brushes and paper
Brushes and paper are basic elements to create watercolor paintings.
Watercolor brushes are traditionally made of the red sable hair that comes from the critters
of fur coat fame. However, the finest watercolor brushes are made of the hair found on the tips of the
Russian male Kolinsky red sable's winter coat.
There are three different types of watercolor paper, hot pressed, cold pressed, not
pressed, and rough pressed by the textures and treatments.
Hot pressed paper has a polished surface that takes color smoothly. It is pressured while drying. Cold
pressed paper has a medium rough texture. It is preferred by wet-in-wet techniques
because its teeth allow for slight irregular graining in washes.
Rough pressed paper has a coarse rough texture. It is idea for adding layers or pigments on it. This
surface allows for maximum graining of washes, highlights and texture.
Phrase One : Basic Skills and Exercises
During week one, I completed color and stroke exercises that
focusing on the control of water and pigments. I practiced simple
lines using grade wash technique, which is a painting technique that
mixes more water with hue on every layer in order to create a dark to
I also draw apple and leaf with graded wash, trying to separate grade
of colors from light to dark.
As you can see my control of the mixing and the shape of the pictures
are still vague during week one.
Works Showed on Project Board
Phrase Two: Intermediate Techniques and
Simple Landscape Paintings
On Phrase two: I worked on an image of a park using wet-in-wet and
dry-wash techniques. I sprayed the paper with water evenly and
painted the background with light blue. The tree is painted using dry
wash. Dry wash is a method to apply strokes on your painting on a
dry surface. From the look of the tree I drew, it is not perfect, but I
improved the density of the mixture from week one.
Art Work Showed on Project Board
Phrase Three : Painting Animals and Representing
Colors in Layers
Now , I can draw more complicated subjects. I painted a Rottweiler
puppy with sketches as the base of the drawing, my control of the lines
and the shape of the subject has been improved. As you can see the
layers of leaves I drew is much more complex than I did during week
Phrase Four: Putting Skills in Combat
I painted a picture of a harbor with ships parked around it. The sky I
drew on the fourth week is brighter and well moisturized. The sea is
layered with different blue. The ships are outlined and colored perfectly.
The greatest improvement I accomplished is that I could mix and control
the density of my color almost freely.
START PRACTICING WATERCOLOR NOW
FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO WWW.WATERCOLORPAINTING.COM
Wet in wet technique:
A technique where the artist sprays a thin layer of water and then adds color to it in
Dry wash technique:
A technique when the artist mixes a tiny bit of water with the pigment and preforms
several layers of coloring.