View Full Version : Watercolor paint in tube

04-28-1999, 05:42 PM
I am starting out with water color and I have a question which I can't seem to find in any book.

I am using the watercolor in the Tubes and was wondering how you use this type of paint. Do you mix a lot of the paste with water? Do you squeeze out the paint and let it dry, using it by mixing with water (as in cake form)? Can anyone please help me understand how to use the watercolor paint in tubes as I am very confused.

Thank you.

Roger E
04-29-1999, 09:59 AM
As an old oil painter I much prefer watercolours in the tube form. (makes me feel at home) Watercolour is a transparent medium. Meaning that it is intended to have lots of water. Squeeze out a small amount of the paint from your tube and dilute it with water. I prefer to keep a "spritz" bottle on hand. (an empty Windex bottle works nicely) This will allow you to keep you paints moist. Also, you may wish to purchase a "wet palette". These are palettes designed to keep you watercolours moist for longer periods of time. Using your colors in a paste form would move you in the direction of "Gouache". A method that is bona fide but probably should be put off until you are more familiar with your medium. A little work with your paints and you will soon learn just how much water you need to add to arrive at the look you desire. Good Luck.

07-31-1999, 03:02 AM
Use a plastic palette with separate wells for each colour. Sqeeze out a small amount into each well. Paints will dry in time but if you squeeze some fresh paint ontop of each well every time you start a new painting your paint will always be fresh with no wastage. If paints are not going to be used for a while then add a few drops of water to each well,this will keep them moist.

10-23-2003, 03:22 PM
In addition to Rod's suggestion also try gum water to keep them wet and honey.

Tammy Marie
10-24-2003, 02:40 PM
I just let mine dry out on the palette and brush off as much color as I need to get the value of mixture I want. Some people always use fresh moist paint from the tube. Any of these ways works. If I need to mix a large amount of pain I squeeze out color from the tube.

But to answer your question, you usually mix the paint (in whatever form) with water. This is how I do it:

1. Put the amount of water that you guess you will need to cover the amount of paper you need to cover with the color you want in a palette flat, or palette well, or container, preferably a white-colored palette or container. Now I add that much water again because I usually run out of paint before I complete a wash and then the edge dries while I try to mix more paint or I don't get the color exact again, or the value, and I hate it when that happens.

2. Moisten your brush with water and drag it across the pigment pile (dry or wet) and stir the pigment that is now in your brush into the water from step one. Look at the color. If it is too dark, add a little water and stir again. If it is too light you will need to add more pigment. If you need more pigment drag it across again without dipping it back in your water first - no need to. Keep doing this until you achieve the value (darkness) you think you want want.

3. Paint a little bit on a scrap or on the very edge where it will be matted anyway and let it dry.

4. Look at the dry color and adjust as needed.

It's really easy and soon will be second nature to you. Oh, you might want to remember to use no more than the lower half of the brush hairs when stirring to make your brushes easier to clean and to last longer. And some pigments need to be stirred frequently while painting - the heavy ones like cerulen blue.