View Full Version : Applying pigment to paper

06-11-2001, 04:56 PM
Hello gang,

I'm fairly new to watercolor and I'm having trouble with getting robust juicy color down.

I'm using tubed watercolor and usually apply it in one of two ways:

1. I wet my brush, and then wipe it on a sponge so it is just damp, then get a load of paint and apply it directly to either wet, damp, or dry paper (depending on the effect I'm after).

2. I load my brush and put some paint on the palette. I then get some clean water and dilute the pigment a bit and then either carry this to the paper, or mix in another color.

What I'm after is what I see referred to as "juicy, rich" color. How is this achieved?
Method 1 above is usually too intense, while method 2 above gives weak wimpy results.

I've recently seen some videos by Skip Lawrence on applying paint directly to paper (only water used is to get the paint to flow from his brush) and use color as value. His end results looks like watercolor, mine do not.

Question: Has anyone put their paint into a palette well and added just enough water to make a pool of super-stong color? Sort of like mega-ink?

Bottom line is HELP!

Many thanks.

06-11-2001, 05:30 PM
A Tasmanian artist, Tony Smibert, does a great couple of videos called The Watercolour Apprentice( There is a book as well). He shows you exactly what you are looking for.
Have fun and Paint like a Millionaire.
Billyg http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

06-11-2001, 05:31 PM
I too am new into watercolour. So, fr what it is worth, I wet the area I am going to paint and then I use very intense colour and apply it to the wet area moving it around where I want it then I let it dry. I have put a link to a picture I posted in a project. The sky was done the way I described it. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/Projects/lib/3/completed/olika/driving_into_a_storm.jpg I am not sure if this helps or not..maybe it will spark something in you http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

Why do I make it so hard?

06-11-2001, 10:52 PM
Mix your desired strengh on the palette by vary the amount of water you use, if the colour is to strong use more water, or too weak use less water and more paint. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

Every child is an artist, The problem is to remain an artist when he grows up,----Pablo Ruizy Picasso.

06-11-2001, 11:40 PM
I spray water into my wells as I work to keep the paint super moist. I dip the brush into the water...take away some of the water by touching to a paper towel or a damp sponge, then dip into the well and pick up the color. If I've wet the paper this will dilute somewhat on the paper, but it will still be very intense in color. If the paper is dry, the color will be very intense and I may need to add clear water along the edge for it to flow into other areas.

I read that the real key to having rich intense color is to not put your brush back into your water after you begin painting. This will dilute all the strength!

"Everything is not art and Art is not everything, but it comes close."....carly

06-12-2001, 04:57 AM
What brand of paint do you use? With students qualities it's much harder to get strong juices, because there is less pigment.



06-12-2001, 06:47 AM
Weak color normally means too much water - but it can vary with brands and quality of paint too. If your paper is quite absorbent it will fade out some color - hot press absorbs less, but I personally use cold press more.
There are no hard and fast rules for you..just keep practicing and find what works best for you to get where you want to go with your color http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif Good luck .. hope to see some of your work here ..


06-12-2001, 07:34 AM
Too have the strong juicy colors as I do (Iam very strong in my colors) I have screw top jars or the plastic screw top food storage containers about 4" wide and 3" high I have a dz of these wouldn't be with out them,I mix up my colours fairly strong with alot of water, and if you think they are too weak add more paint,also if I want to mix a colour I want to make I pour some into an empty jar and pour another what ever into it say you want a purple (pour ultramarine blue in it then crimson Red into it mix more to it till you get what you are after) This way you dont waste any paint also I use winsor & newton they are a top brand I'd say.I hope this helps Fay http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

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