Wet-in-wet technique

How to paint realistic flowers in watercolour


Irises and eucalyptus, watercolour painting

Irises and Eucalyptus, watercolour, 14x101/4in. (36x26cm).



1 To give yourself enough time during the initial wet-in-wet stage, it is important to wet the paper thoroughly. Allow clean water, applied with a large brush, to soak into the paper for half a minute and then gently lay more water over this. The paper will then receive the washes and the colours will mingle and blend softly without the danger of dry areas forming to spoil the effect.

2 Before starting to paint, make sure your colours are laid ready in your palette and in large enough quantities so that you will not run out mid wash. Since you already have water in the paper, the colours need to be a fairly thick single cream consistency when you apply them.

3 Always pick up your board and tilt it to allow the colours to merge and blend. Watching what the paint does at this stage is one of the most exciting moments in watercolour painting. What other medium continues to paint the picture for you even after you have taken your brush off the paper? It would be a shame not to take advantage of this, as effects that occur naturally are always more interesting than the ones we try to create deliberately.

(Above) Here is an example of a background where colours have been dropped in and allowed to blend softly onto the wet paper.

This short extract was taken from an article by Ann Mortimer, Leisure Painter June 2008 issue.