Isnin, 9 Julai 2018

World of Arts: Watercolour Painting

Great Exhibition - watercolour painting by LOUIS HAGHE (1806-85), by the time photography is still under development. - Photo by: 

It’s taking a while for me to work on my London visit’s articles and delay many other posts (for V&A and British Museum). Anyway, before I post the next article about Victoria & Albert Museum, I would like to come out with this article first - the watercolour paintings.

Many thoughts that watercolour painting not as good or as pricey as many other paintings especially oils or acrylic paintings. Not to mention about the watercolour techniques that highlighted, mostly showing that watercolour paintings unable to produce photo realistic effect (instead just an illusion of the subjects). In fact, watercolour paintings has been used to record many discoveries/events since long time ago, and I think it’s time again to bring back the watercolour painting to its glory.

Watercolour whether on its own, or use together with other media can really come out with better results. In some cases mixed media were chosen for a few reasons; to speed up the process, to bring out certain effect that cannot be achieved by using only watercolours. There’s no wrong in using the mixed media as long as it’s not ruining the result – or the painting still can last longer for future storage.

Great Exhibition – watercolour and gouache over pencil on paper, John Absolon (1815-95). – Photo by:

Botanical painting helps the identification of plant species, and also beautiful. Painted by Julia Trickey - Photo by:

By using the right watercolour techniques, it’s still possible to show every detail in watercolour painting, especially on how important it is in recording information. Here we will see some samples of watercolour paintings that used to record botanical species of plants and also a painting to record an important event.

Types of watercolour paintings.

Watercolour has various techniques that allow it to produce different results. However, before we get more details on the watercolour techniques, we also need to know there are many types of watercolours. There are few types of watercolour itself (from student grades to artist grades). Other than that, beginner also might get confuse watercolour with gouache and also poster colour. One thing to remember is that watercolour has transparent quality that make it different from any other colouring media.

The good quality watercolour has better transparency and the same time have brighter colour from the colour pigments. Some artist grade watercolour can be very costly - so take your time to practice to make sure before investing on higher price watercolour.

These are some popular watercolour techniques to learn;

  • The wash
  • Wet on wet
  • Wet on dry
  • Dry brush
  • Glazing
  • Lifting off
  • Pigment saturation, pigment desaturation
  • Gloss
  • Mixed media

* Check this link for more watercolour techniques.

You will keep listening these techniques being mentioned when you learn the watercolour techniques through video tutorials. It’s easy to understand, but you need to try it by yourself to master the techniques. Usually one or few of the techniques used together to produce on paintings. We will see that in the next section.

Learn to use watercolour.

As many people think that watercolour is one of the hardest media to use for paintings, so we need to have proper training in mastering the watercolour techniques. Luckily, with the availability of YouTube, many watercolour artists share their techniques through video tutorials that make it easier for us to learn. So here, I will share few watercolour artists that I found through YouTube where we can learn so many things from them.

Before we go any further, all we need to remember is, there’s no limitation on the techniques that we should use with watercolour. So we need to explore as much as we can to know which one is suitable with our drawing styles.

Anna Mason

Anna Mason’s painting of apple blossom. Photo by: Anna Mason

Anna Mason from AnnaMasonArt is one of the best examples of watercolour painter. She wonderfully transforms watercolour painting back to how it was used to be. Anna, successfully producing photorealistic paintings with watercolour. Even though mostly focusing on nature, her paintings are so beautiful and lively – make her customers very proud to have her paintings (prints and the originals).

The best thing about Anna is, she also provided free video tutorials through her website;, and it’s available to everyone. With Anna’s techniques, it is suitable if you like to paint the nature subjects. This is very important for natural and history paintings.

Mateusz Urbanowicz

Anime style watercolour painting by Mateusz Urbanowicz. - Photo by: Mateusz Urbanowicz

Mateusz is a comic painter located in Japan. He uses lots of watercolours in his paintings. Influenced by Studio Ghibli’s styles of paintings, Mateusz also paints backgrounds for animations, books and magazines. With his styles, we learn different techniques that using watercolours, mixed with black ink pen. You can watch most of his videos from his channel MateuszUrbanowicz on YouTube.

This type of paintings suitable if you want to produce comic style paintings, but it’s still nice for landscape and informational brochures. Mateusz also produced a book that illustrated of storefronts in Tokyo with his techniques – that’s I find amazing.


Digital anime styles using watercolour by Laovaan. - Photo by: Laovaan

Laovaan is a stylist watercolour painter. He uses mixed media with contemporary subjects. You will see his painting with bright colours because he used ink watercolours mixed, and sometimes also colour pencils and marker pens. He is popular with his digital style watercolour paintings with manga character styles – this is so popular with manga lovers. You can follow his videos through YouTube channel; Laovaan. He also has his own patreon channel if you want to follow his styles seriously.

Stan Miller

Landscape by Stan Miller using egg tempera technique. – Photo by: Stan Miller

Stan Miller is one of the popular painters in watercolour and egg tempera medium. Instead of just doing a painting he also conducted classes throughout US and sometimes overseas. His art not focusing on to be photo-realistic, but truly amazing to watch. To know more about his techniques you can visit his YouTube channel; Stan Miller, visit his website; or search his name on the YouTube – because there are videos about his work on different channels too.

There are many other amazing watercolour painters out there where we can learn. Learning from different painters will allow us to explore as many possibilities as we can, to come out with styles that suits us. Even though we want to create the best art with our works, don’t forget the most important elements doing it - enjoy it! Sharing your works and your thoughts on the comment section below or send it to my email using the contact form (available on web version view).

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