10 tips for nice and fresh watercolors

One of the most recurrent question about watercolor probably is “how can I get a nice fresh loose sketch” (and not a dull, overworked or “a bit too pretty” one)?
I think it could be a good start, for this blog, to review a few tips about it. Please note we will probably go into some of these topics more deeply in upcoming articles. 😉 

Like you might know, I started to sketch – again (we all have been a child one day ☺️) – only two years and a half ago so I am pretty much a beginner! Thus, my goal is only to share what I happened to understand about the use of watercolor during these past two years.

Be sure it’s easier said than done (my own sketches are not always bright and fresh 😓) but I hope these few tips will help you a bit. I guess most of these tips may be obvious and boring for some of you but that’s good news if you are already  at ease with it! Plus, a booster shot is always a good idea! 😉
So, here are my 10 tips for fresh and loose watercolors.


1 – Keep enough white. 😊 Don’t add color everywhere! Always let the paper show in some areas, as highlights and sparkles for your sketches. Your main subject should always have a bit of white in it! When in doubt, essentially put the color in the shadows and let the lighten parts or lighter subjects white. The more white, the more light! (Isn’t it a great mantra?! 😁✌️)  

 The lightest part of each shell is left white and it’s not prevent them to be nice and colorful. ☺️ There are a lot of white sparkles in the background too.

Playing to spot the white areas in the other sketches of this post could be fun to do and a good exercice. 😉 


2 – Use a lot of paint and a lot of water. 

Paint from tubes is better than pans, as you don’t need to dilute it much to use it. This advice, above, doesn’t means just adding more water to your paint (your sketch would be paler). It means using a fully load brush with a lot of paint and water. Make puddles on your page with a lot of pigments floating! Let watercolor flow!! That way, the water will play with the paint and you will get a fresher look. You will be able, too, to create greater watery effects.  Continue reading