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First watercolour painting [Advice asked] by Catiza First watercolour painting [Advice asked] by Catiza
I want to learn how to use watercolour this year. I've already watched some tutorials, but i still would like some advice on some things.
This painting was made with just a kiddie watercolour pad.

What is good watercolour paper?
    The one that i'm using now, Reeves watercoclour pad, doesn't feel good. When i take of a piece of paper the top gets an ugly tearing and when i use tape on it and rip it off
    it takes some of the paper with it. Also even when taped it gets sort of bubbly.

What is good beginner watercolour paint?
    I've some cheap watercolour paint from the dollar store, but the colours aren't bright and i also really dont like tubes. When the paint gets out it dries up really fast and the
    next time i want to use it, it can't get fluid anymore.

What are good subject to start testing with>
    I think i'm gonna start with painting faces and maybe balloons, but what are other good subject to paint for a beginner?

Already thanks for the advice :) If you have some other advice i would love to hear it. But i would like to ask to keep it to the watercolour. I know the mistakes i've made in the
anatomy and i'm going to improve on those this year.
Before answering your specific questions (assuming you still need another advice), I want to point out one thing: it’s important first to get the basic shape of the object right before you give them color. I’ve seen in your gallery you’ve done excellently in digital paintings and pencil sketches but curiously not in this, unless this is just a rough sketch. There’s a few facial features that seem off. Maybe small but if you’re planning to fully color this you’ll need to get everything in the right places.

Now for the questions.

What is good watercolour paper?

From my experience the thicker the paper the better but the surface has to be designed for watercolor works. My thinnest paper is Canson watercolor paper 200 gsm and the thickest is Canson Montval watercolor paper 300 gsm. There’s a catch-22, if you’re still a beginner most people would recommend using the student-grade (a.k.a the cheaper, the thinner) but due to the lack of the paper quality it would feel harder to paint on its surface compared to that of a professional-grade paper. And on the other hand when you’re already a pro you would be able to create a masterpiece in any quality of paper including the lower grades.

So I’d say you need to try both for yourself. Although of course if you’re still doing raw sketches like this it would be a waste of a high quality paper. :)

What is good beginner watercolor paint?

Personally I’ve been using Faber Castell watercolor cakes and Phoenix watercolor tubes, using them since I was still a beginner to (somewhat :D) pro (see my gallery) and I’m quite satisfied with them. I think Faber Castell watercolor cakes have just the right colors for everything, even better than Phoenix watercolor tubes (they don’t dry fast or get stuck in the tubes – but of course most watercolor would dry up once it’s on a palette) which I bought more expensive. I’ll highly recommend Faber Castell for beginners, but the cakes one not tubes (haven’t tried them so can’t tell).

What are good subject to start testing with

I agree with the first commenter, still life or solid-shaped objects would be a good start. But personally when I start doing watercolor I simply followed some Youtube tutorials I like with various subjects and so far it worked. But maybe everyone is different.

So that’s all my tips, hope it helps. :)


PS: I’m here for Critmas 2016 Game with the spirit of constructive critique writing/commenting. This critique will be collected in my journal: Huntress On the Hunt! #1 Critmas 2016. Come visit if you want. ;)
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PoisonSoldat Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2017  Student Digital Artist
I think as of the paper, it's a matter of try and fail ^^ everyone prefers another kind of paper. I do recommend, however, to check out the thickness of your paper (90 mg for example is too thin, try to go to 210 at the least!) You'll need to try it out. For the tape, is it paper tape? Because if it's not, it'll rip any kind of paper haha ^^ There are different kinds of paper tapes as well that are way smoother, so maybe you can look into that.

For the watercolour technique, I think you got the basics down here. I've always been taught that you 'spare' the white/light spaces. You go from light to dark and not the other way (like in acrylics)

For the paint; good watercolours are not cheap. So if you really want to get better at the watercolour technique, I recommend to try the cheap ones first to then invest in the more pricey ones. Tubes are not handy unless you plan to use the paint at the same time as you open it. It usually looks like this.

I see you've used pencil underneath the paint. That's something I usually don't do, because it'll go through the watercolour paint, but that's not mandatory. In the beginning it's always alright to use pencil to help, but after a while, it's good to challenge yourself to start directly with the paint!
You've mixed a multitude of media here; pencil, pen and watercolour. Try to go for only pencil/watercolour. The 'sharpness' you're looking for, can be obtained if you use a little more paint at the edges (don't trace it though, since paint usually sets itself at the edges).

Subjects; try still lifes. Fruits, balloons as you mentioned, anything that has different textures and colours is a great challenge. But start small until you're 100% feeling good about what you're doing :)

I hope this helps you somewhat ^^' please feel free to ask!
Catiza Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Thank you so much for all the advice :D
I checked the paper and mine is 190 but i'll probably buy a new one from 300 soon. (It only had 12 papers in the block anyway). And i'll also try a few tapes.
As for the paint i think i'll buy a small pallet fron what you linked. The tubes feel just horrible to me x3
And you are right at that. I'll use pencils for sketches and probably always will since i like the control, but never again with ink xD i also though my watercolour would be a little more covering the pencil.
PoisonSoldat Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Glad to be of any help ^^
300 sounds lovely! Watch out, for thick paper might be pricey as well, like all the good stuff :')
Haha, well tubes are great to use when you're sure you'll use that colour immediately, so you might keep some o' them if you ever feel like experimenting!
Just try it out :3 I'll be looking forward to see your improvement! Enjoy :) !
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Submitted on
January 2, 2017
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