Let’s paint loose and splashy watercolors!

This week I’ve been focussing on loose and splashy watercolors, and trying lots of techniques for achieving a random, carefree and loose effect in various subjects – from flowers to galaxies!

Here I’ve collected together the paintings I’ve done this week, with their tutorial videos on YouTube so that you can try out some of these methods for yourself.

Here is a wet in wet night sky with a galaxy effect and pine trees in the foreground.

These flower baskets were painted wet in wet and finished with wet on dry details.

These red anemones were painted entirely wet on wet with a large brush.

Method

When you are painting loosely you do need to be prepared. At least as prepared as you are for painting a more structured watercolor. You will want to think carefully about your paper. Should you have it stretched to avoid buckling? Or will you buy heavier, 300lb paper to paint on because that won’t buckle even if it is unstretched? Or will you use a block of paper, where all the sheets are glued down all round and this helps to prevent buckling. Or are you willing to work with some buckling, which you know will make the work harder if you have a very wet sheet of paper.

You also need to decide ahead which colors you are going to use, and i suggest separating them from the bulk of your paints and preparing some quantity of washes. You will still need access to fresh paint though, when you come to the second stage and want to add details with thicker paint.

Then your brushes – loose painting always works better with a relatively large brush, and you will want to choose a brush that is large in relation to the size of your paper. For example, a piece of paper 10 x 12 inches would be too small for a size 22 mop brush, but a size 14 round would be a generous size.

So, let’s paint loose and splashy watercolors! Here are the videos for the loose paintings I’ve done this week!

So, let’s paint loose and splashy watercolors! Here are the videos for the loose paintings I’ve done this week!

Blast from the past!

Here’s a super loose poppy painting, one of the first I put up on Youtube.