Does Watercolor Paint Need to be Mixed With Water

Are you a beginner looking to start watercolor painting but don’t know if water is needed in the mixing process or not? Well, you don’t have to worry because this guide will give you an insight into if watercolor paint needs to be mixed with water or not. 

What You Need To Mix Watercolor Paint

To have a successful watercolor painting, it is important that you get the right materials. You will buy watercolour paint. Your success is dependent on getting the right supplies. Listed below are things you’ll need to mix your watercolor. 


Palette is a place for mixing your colors. You can either get the professional plastic palette from stores or improvise using any comfortable flat material for mixing. For instance, you can make use of an old plate. 


Water is an essential material in mixing watercolor. It is needed for bringing the paint to life and to give it consistency for it to be easily mixed. Perhaps you need the color of the paint to be adjusted. You can also use water for this. You can use water to control the lightness and darkness of watercolor paints

The water can be kept in a jar or glass near your palette. It would help if you didn’t fill the water jar or glass to the brim as you will be dipping brushes inside the glass or jar, and you wouldn’t want water to splash on your paintings.


The type of brush to be used depends on you. It depends on the type of effect you are working towards. You can test out different brush types to determine the one that will suit your needs. 

Does Watercolor Paint Need to be Mixed With Water

Work Surface

It would help if you had your work surface set up so that you can start work as soon as your mixed watercolor is ready. 

Scrap Paper

It is often advised that you get a neutral sheet of scrap paper and place it near your mixing area. This is so that you can test the color to see how it looks before painting directly on your workspace. 

You can get a white paper or one designed like your intended workspace. This is so that you can have a clear idea of how the color will be in your original work. 


You’ll need watercolor paints. You will buy watercolor paint. Depending on your preference, you can either get pressed cake forms or those in tubes. You can employ any of the mixing methods in this article to mix your watercolor paint set. 

Does Watercolor Paint Need to be Mixed With Water

Guide in Mixing Watercolor Paint

You may not believe it, but the materials needed for watercolor paint mixing are more demanding than the actual mixing process. 

Stage 1

The first thing is to decide on the watercolor paint set you’ll be needing. Say you want a violet. That means you’ll be mixing red and blue together. 

Stage 2

The next thing is to get your brush dipped in water. After this, dip the brush in one of the colors needed to arrive at your desired color. Some artists prefer to start their mixing with a dominant color, while some don’t care about dominance. Apply the color to your palette. You can add more, depending on the amount of color you need and the size of your mixing area. 

Stage 3

Wash the brush with water to get rid of the first color. Repeat stage three for the second color. You should, however, ensure that you don’t dab the second color directly into the first. Instead, it would help if you placed it beside the second color. This is to ensure you are mixing the right and even quantity of color. 

Stage 4

After stage three, ensure you clean the brush, wet it with water, and then proceed to mix. Ensure you evaluate the color as you mix. You can take a small sample out and apply it to scrap paper to check if the color meets your desired standard. 

If the color doesn’t meet your standard, you can wash the brush and add more paint from any of the colors. If there’s any other thing you need to adjust, you can do that during this stage.

Stage 5

Once you’ve gotten your desired color, you are good to go. All you have to do is to start painting. 

Does Watercolor Paint Need to be Mixed With Water

Tips on Mixing Watercolor Paint

Even though the above method may seem simple and straight, there may be some adjustments as you continue to hone your mixing skills. At times, your mixing process may go beyond just mixing two colors to achieve what you want. You may need to add extra color to achieve the right tone of color you need. For instance, trying to achieve forest or grass green, the difference in the quantity of yellow added might be all it takes to get the right tone of color. Also, the addition of a touch of blue to skin tones can give you the right undertone. 

Can Dried Up Watercolor Be Used? 

There are still a lot of things you can do with dried watercolor paint. Even though it seems dry, you can reactivate the paint by adding water. Once you add water, next is to use your brush to bring the paint back to life. Watercolor is water-soluble even in its dried state. If you are finding it difficult to access the paint, you can cut the tube open.  Click here for more essential watercolor techniques.

Does Watercolor Paint Need to be Mixed With Water

Is Water Needed For Watercolor?

Watercolor paint needs water to work optimally. It needs water for consistency. Aside from using water to adjust the color of the paint, it can also be used to make the color look lighter or darker. 

What is the Quantity of Water Needed For Watercolor?

While water is needed in mixing watercolor, the quantity of water and paint should be even. Meaning the paint mustn’t be too diluted or too concentrated. It would help if you tried to attain a 50/50 ratio. 

Is There A Need to Wet Watercolor Paper Before Painting?

If you don’t want your watercolor paper painting to crinkle after drying up, you should stretch before painting. But if you are in a rush, you should wet the paper some minutes before painting to have an even finish. 

When talking of watercolor, water is more or less the soul of watercolor. It is needed for mixing, color adjustment, and reactivation of watercolor paint. Thus, you always keep a water jar close to you anytime you deal with watercolor. 

Other Articles:

Things Beginners Should Know Before Embarking on Watercolor Painting
Things You Should Consider When Buying Water color Paint
How Do You Paint Watercolor? A Guide For Beginners

Essential Watercolor Techniques for Every Artist

Watercolor painting has been in existence for thousands of years. As a result, several techniques have emerged, and knowing some of these techniques is the only way you can master watercolor painting. This article plans to look at essential watercolor techniques for every artist. 

Get Good Quality Paints

If you want to enjoy your watercolor painting journey, you should consider getting good-quality watercolor paints. This can make the difference between remaining at your current level and moving to the next face. Paint with good quality also lasts longer when compared to those with less quality and does not degrade quickly. 

You should check different online stores and in-stores for brands that sell quality paints when you want to buy watercolour paint. If you are starting, you should test different brands to know the one that will work best for you and understand how watercolor paint works. When shopping for paint, you don’t need to buy every color you lay your hands on, but instead, buy the basic primary watercolor paint set as you can always mix them to get any other color you desire. 

Essential Watercolor Techniques for Every Artist

Practice color Bleeding

Bleeding colors into one another is another great watercolor paint technique. You can achieve this via the blooming technique. You can start by first adding water to pigment on your brush and applying it to the paper. While the stroke is still wet, add another color using the same quantity of water. At this point, you can manipulate the color to where they need to be. Wait for this to dry out, and you will notice subtle gradients all over the stroke.

Color Layering 

The nature of watercolor paints is that they are thin and water-based. Due to this, the building up of the color is a gradual process. This color building serves as an advantage such that you can mix different colors directly on the paper. 

To start with, apply one of the colors on your palette, wait till it dries and apply another shade of the color after you’ll see where the colors overlap, a mixture of the pigment, and finally observe a different color. If you’re looking for a technique to make fresh tones, this is your go-to technique. 

Essential Watercolor Techniques for Every Artist

Color Splattering

An excellent trick for adding energy to your watercolor paintings is the splatter work technique. It can be used to suggest water spray or floating dust. 

This technique is straightforward. All you have to do is place your brush between your thumb and middle finger. With your index finger, pull back the bristles and let them snap forward. It is an unpredictable method, but the outcome can be funny at times, so it is worth trying.

Work From Light to Dark

Another outstanding technique you need to master in watercolor painting is working from light to dark. This means that whatever is white or light in your watercolor painting must remain the same from the beginning until the end of your painting. It would be best if you constructed your values layer by layer till you achieve what you want. This can require a lot of time and planning from your end, but it’s always worth it. 

Get Your Textures Right

If you’re observant, you’ll notice that using watercolor paint on rougher paper has advantages. An obvious one is not having to stress yourself before achieving a nice texture. Having understood that, you must represent objects and materials, putting their texture into play, which means using wets and drys and lights and darks.  

Have Enough Stock of Paper Towels

An essential kit that must be part of your watercolor paint set is paper towels. They are more like kneaded erasers for your watercolor. An excellent way to add layers of details to your painting is to lay down a wash of color and lift part of it. You can also use paper towels to correct mistakes and redirect painting. 

Practice Color Pulling

Color pulling is another excellent technique in watercolor painting. It can show form, display light source, or edge. When a dry and more saturated stroke is used in watercolor painting, you can pull the stroke using only water. 

The technique is simple, and here is how you can get it done.

  • Apply a stroke with less amount of water
  • Use a not-too-wet brush to pull the color from the darker end of the stroke. 
  • Depending on the dryness of the initial stroke, pull the color as far as possible. 
Essential Watercolor Techniques for Every Artist

Get a Different Range of Brushes

It is always good to buy watercolor paint brushes of various types. The type of brush you’ll opt for will depend on the type and size of the piece you are comfortable working with. For instance, if you are the type that works with smaller art, then you are likely to work with brushes ranging from size 000 to six. 

While getting a specific size is good, it is often advised that you test out different sizes before deciding on which is your favorite. You should also test out smaller brushes than what you usually use. They might come in useful when trying to add details to your painting.

Explore Dry Against Wet

The two significant factors to consider when working with watercolor paint are wetness and dryness. Just as the name implies, watercolor paint is a water-based medium. Thus, you can manipulate the pigment saturation and the darkness depending on the amount of water added. There are several ways you can employ watercolor painting. The more you try, the more you’ll know the best method for you. To control your painting, you should practice working from dry to wet. 

There are several techniques in watercolor painting but mastering the techniques mentioned above puts you on an excellent pedestal to becoming a professional in the use of watercolor paint. 

How Do You Paint Watercolor? A Guide For Beginners

How Do You Paint Watercolor? A Guide For Beginners

Watercolor paint is a unique and versatile water-based medium. Despite its uniqueness and how simple water painting looks, it scares some beginners. Well, this may be normal because with every new step and adventure people are about to take, it looks scary at the start, but with time, it becomes more comfortable. 

If you’re a beginner in watercolor painting, and you’re scared of watercolor painting, or you are afraid of making mistakes. Well, you don’t need to because this article will give you an insight on how to paint watercolor as a beginner, materials you’ll need for watercolor painting, watercolour paint set, how to create your painting space, mapping out color references, practicing and how to select a project to work with. Sit back and have an excellent read.

Step by Step Guide To Watercolor Painting

Although watercolor painting might seem straightforward, there is some digging you have to do. Listed below are steps that will prepare you ahead and make your journey into the watercolor world successful and seamless. 

Step 1: Materials You’ll Need for Watercolor Painting

One beautiful thing about learning to use watercolor paint is that you don’t need many materials. Aside from ordinary water, listed below are other materials you will be needing. 

Watercolor Paint: There are several brands and styles of watercolor paint you can buy from.  When you want to buy watercolor paint as a beginner, you can get them in sets or as individual paints. While this is possible, it is often advised that you buy watercolor paint with a comprehensive set. As time goes on and your skill improves, you can construct your palette.

Watercolor Brushes: Watercolor brushes are distinct in nature in that each type of brush creates its own distinct effect. As a beginner, you don’t need an elaborate collection. The basic set is enough for you. However, you can decide to expand your watercolor paint set as you become more proficient with watercolor painting. This will help your art of creativity. 

Watercolor Paint Paper: Due to the wet nature of watercolor paint, the painting requires a specialized type of paper referred to as watercolor paper. As a beginner, you can start with the basic watercolor paper, but as you proceed, you can opt for the paper stretching to aid the cohesive adoption of your watercolor paints to the painting surface. 

Tape and Board: While these two materials are suitable, they are not compulsory. Some artists love to attach their watercolor paper to a board using masking tape. It would help if you noted that the board doesn’t have to be something extraordinary. It can simply be a flat surface. You can either use the professional painter’s tape or the standard masking tape to keep the watercolor paper fixed to the board. 

How Do You Paint Watercolor? A Guide For Beginners

Step 2: Create Your Painting Space 

Since you now have all your materials set, you need to create your painting area such that you’ll have all your materials right on the spot. You can get them anytime you need them. The water needed to mix your watercolor paints should also be there. 

If you are the type that doesn’t use a board, you should consider laying old newspapers or paper towels beneath your work area to protect surfaces. 

Step 3: Map Out Your color References

An excellent way to develop your watercolor paint theory and sharpen your mixing skills and brush technique is to develop color swatches. You can rely on this chart when you need watercolor ideas, or you are working on a new project. 

Creating a simple watercolor chart is easy. The first step is to get water, a small piece of watercolor paper, and your palette. Starting on the vertical end of the paper, enumerate all the colors in the palette. Rewrite the color list on the lower end of the paper in a horizontal direction moving from left to right. After this, using your watercolor paint and brushes, fill the grid, matching the colors and mixing them based on your labels. 

Step 4: Get Ready to Practice

The next thing is to get yourself warmed up with exercises to improve your painting skills. Your exercise can be anything from sketching, mixing, painting, or testing out your brush techniques. 

When it comes to practice, there’s no right or wrong way to go about it. So far, all you are doing will help you feel creative and connected to your learning process. 

Step 5: Select A Project to Work With

Now the fun time is over. It’s time to pick a real-time project to work on. Even if you’re a beginner, you should pick a project to work on. When choosing a project, you should identify a project that aligns with you or identifies with you as an artist. You can also go for an area of strength you would love to work on. 

How Do You Paint Watercolor? A Guide For Beginners

Tips For Watercolor Painting

Watercolor painting is an enjoyable and creative process, although it can be challenging. If you are looking to make your painting experience fun, here are some tips for you. 

  1. Create Time For Watercolor Painting: The first thing to do in honing your skill is to create time to practice. You can fix a painting session into your schedule or sign up for a painting class to make yourself accountable. Regular practice is an excellent way to hone skills. 
  1. Check Your Progress: Aside from creating time to practice, you should also create time to review your program. After each completed project, you should review your work to see how you improve. Review is essential in meeting your goals. 
  1. Take Your Time: An essential attribute in learning is patience. It would help if you took your time while learning. Learning can take time, so you should be patient with your learning process 

In all, watercolor painting might seem not to be too straightforward. However, sticking to the above tips is an excellent way to make things easy. Learning can take time. Thus it would help if you were patient with yourself. With regular practice, things will become easy for you. 

Things You Should Consider When Buying Water color Paint

Things You Should Consider When Buying Water color Paint

Watercolor paint comes in different varieties, so if you are not sure of what to buy, you need not worry because this article will tell you everything you need to know and consider when buying watercolor paint. 


There are several colors to select from, and their features vary from brand to brand. While you can produce any color by mixing the primary color(red, blue, and yellow), you should keep in mind that mixed colors are usually dull and lifeless. Single pigmented colors are more vibrant and intense. 

Understandably, most people can’t afford to buy a lot of water colour paints, so there’s a lot to consider when you are thinking of building a versatile color palette. You don’t have to worry much about this. There’s no right way to do this because choosing a color type is all about personal preference. Some artists can have up to 50 colors in the palette, while some can have just 10 colors. 

Things You Should Consider When Buying Water color Paint

If you are starting out, you only need basic colors in your palette, and as you gain more experience, you can add more colors and determine what works for you. 

It would help if you also considered getting an artist or student quality, depending on your budget. If you are buying your first set of watercolor paints, buying from a good brand is good for your starter color palette. You can add more as time goes on. 


The quality and properties of water colour paint differs from one brand to another but it doesn’t mean you can’t mix or match. You should note that no brand can be tagged the best. It all depends on individual preferences. Some manufacturers that are good at producing some colors aren’t that excellent with others. It is often advised that you try several colors from different brands and see the ones that align well with you. Once you have decided on the colors and brand you like, then you can start saving up to buy them in large quantities. 


Permanence is also an important factor to consider. It is defined as the ability of the paint to withstand exposure to light and humidity without fading, darkening or shifting colours. It is also called light fastness. If you’re going to make an art that lasts for generations, then you should take good note of this feature when buying your water color paint.

When buying, you should look out for ASTM rating on the packaging and go for nothing below “Excellent” or “Very Good” light fastness. 

Things You Should Consider When Buying Water color Paint

Staining Vs Non-Staining

There are some watercolor paints that penetrate the fiber of the paper on top which they are used—staining while others do not. 

If you want to buy watercolor paint for practice sake, you may not need to worry about this, but if you plan to use layering or “lift off” techniques, then you might need to consider having a good mixture of staining and non-staining paints

While these two properties are important, they are difficult to determine as all pigments fall between the continuum. What artists do to know what they have bought is. to first paint on a separate sheet of paper before the actual painting is done. To be on safer side, some employ the use of masking fluid.


Another factor to consider is transparency. An intriguing feature that watercolor paint is valued for is transparency. 

Simply put, transparency is the ability of light to pass through a paint and be able to reflect back off the white surface of a paper and give a great luminescent effect.

Watercolor paint can also be purchased as opaque watercolor. While these two properties are important, you might not need to worry about them if you’re just starting out. Some artists don’t believe in using opaque watercolour paint while some use it. As you grow in your painting experience, you’ll get to know if you need opaque watercolor paint or not. 

To know if a watercolor paint set is transparent or not, you should check the tube or the pan containing the paint. Another way to determine opaqueness and transparency is by doing a transparency test. 

A transparency test is simple. All you have to do is to use a permanent marker to draw a wide black line across a piece of paper. Stroke each of the colors bought across the line. After drying, the transparent color will seem to disappear while the opaque one will be visible or seem to leave a sediment behind.  


One of the most important things to consider when you want to buy watercolor paint is quality. Depending on what you want, you can get watercolor paint artists quality or in students quality. 

Artists watercolor paint sets contain high concentration of finely ground pigment with high performance rating. On the other hand, student’s quality watercolor paint can have cheaper pigments with more fillers and extenders. 

The choice to opt for is dependent on the artistic quality you are trying to achieve. Although you should keep in mind that artists quality watercolor paint is expensive, even at that, you’ll get value for your money as regards performance, superiority in transparency and intensity.

Suppose you are a beginner experimenting with new media, then you should consider starting with student quality. With time, you can incorporate the artistic quality into your work. You should however, note that if you’re ever going to create a painting that will last for generations, you will need an artist’s watercolor paint quality

Getting the right water colour paint while setting out might be a bit challenging but by putting into consideration the above mentioned points will make your buying journey easier. 

Things Beginners Should Know Before Embarking on Watercolor Painting

Things Beginners Should Know Before Embarking on Watercolor Painting

Have you considered embarking on watercolor painting, and have you been discouraged by people’s comments about watercolor paint? Or Have you watched YouTube videos, and the whole process looks simple, only to start, and everything seems frustrating? If you are in this position, you don’t need to worry because this article will give an insight into what you should know before embarking on watercolor painting. 

Plan Your Watercolor Paints Before You Start Painting

As a beginner, this might look stressful for you, but truth be told, it is always better to plan before you start painting with your watercolor paint. Planning may require you buy watercolour paint ahead.  If you don’t do this, your anxiousness about starting your painting as soon as possible can ruin a beautiful drawing that you could have achieved. 

You should remember that if your art is effective, it must depict harmony, unity, and coherence. To achieve this, you must ensure that all the elements and composition of the painting relate well and complement each other, including the watercolor paint used.

To avoid the clumsiness and unnecessary use of your watercolor paint set, you can start with a palette with a limited number of colors. Color planning is an excellent way to achieve a professional outcome.  

Get Paper Meant For Watercolor Painting

You may be frustrated if you are having difficulty with your watercolor paint supply. Thus it is important for you to get the right materials needed to get the job done. 

Buying the paper meant for watercolor painting will save you a lot of stress. It would be best if you got papers meant for water-soluble medium. 

If you are keen on improving the quality of your work, then you should avoid painting on cardboard or normal paper. 

It is often advised that you carry out detailed research to determine a watercolor paper brand that is of high quality. The more you grow in watercolor painting, the better you’ll be at deciding the best type of paper for you. You will decide if you like to work with hot press, cold press, rough, thick, or thinner watercolor paper. 

Things Beginners Should Know Before Embarking on Watercolor Painting

Start Painting Lightly and Transparently

As a beginner, you have to be conscious of your watercolor paint set application. It is always best to start painting your watercolor paint from light to dark. Meaning, your paint transparency shouldn’t be too thick and should be watery at the beginning of your painting. 

Once you start lightly, you can work your way up, adding layers upon layers and allowing each to dry before adding more layers. Doing this as a beginner will give you more control over your painting. 

You should also follow your picture reference to date. This you can do by placing the darker color on your painting exactly where they are on the picture reference. While doing this, you need to be more careful to avoid having a flat painting. Don’t forget that the details of your painting are what give it depth. 

Take Care of The Whites

You may find this a bit difficult to do if you are starting, but with time, you’ll get comfortable with it. Remember, it was mentioned earlier that watercolor painting is all about playing. 

Right from the beginning of your painting, you should identify where the lightest areas will be and desire to protect them throughout your painting. 

Use Light Pencil Sketches When Dealing With Watercolor Paints

Due to the lightness in layers of watercolor paint, you have to be careful when drawing your sketches so that they don’t show in your final piece. 

You should apply your pencil lightly while sketching. After sketching, you can partially erase them using a soft and clean eraser. 

Using water-soluble gray colored pencils is also a great option. This pencil will automatically dissolve with your painting. You may not find this effective if your sense of observation isn’t that sharp. 

Things Beginners Should Know Before Embarking on Watercolor Painting

Avoid Using More Than Three Colors In A Mixture

In all types of painting, you need to understand how color works. The same also applies to watercolor painting. This is needed when you need to buy watercolor paint. You should clearly understand the color wheel and the result you’ll obtain when different colors are mixed. As a beginner, you should keep it simple by not using more than three colors. 

You can also make things easier by mixing your colors and testing them out on a separate sheet before applying them to your paintings. This will give you a picture of what to expect. 

Clean Brushes At Intervals

When painting, you shouldn’t take for granted that watercolor painting can be easily washed off the brushes you are using. You should ensure you remove the previous color before dipping your brush into another color. 

If you use the same paintbrush for multiple colors, you can wash your brush in water and clean it with a rag to ensure the initial watercolor paint has been completely removed. You would like muddiness in your painting outcome such that it will affect your painting. 

Things Beginners Should Know Before Embarking on Watercolor Painting

Change Your Water Frequently

When it comes to watercolor painting, you shouldn’t be lazy. Once you see your water is getting murky, you should know it’s time for you to change your water. 

Some artists are comfortable using multiple glasses or jars of water. With time, you’ll find what works best for you. But make sure you don’t ruin great paintings with things you can easily avoid. 

Allow Your Layers To Dry

With watercolor paint, you need to be very patient. If you want your painting to come out nice, you must ensure you allow each layer to dry before adding another. Without doing this, you might end up messing up colors repeatedly.

Suppose you are the impatient type. You may consider working on two watercolor painting pieces at the same time. This will be of great help because while working on one, the other paint gets dried up. With this method, you can easily switch between the two paintings. 

Having a clear understanding of the rudiments of watercolor paint techniques and how to go about them will make your learning experience easier and fun-filled. You should apply the tips mentioned in this article when starting your watercolor painting journey anytime soon. 

other article to read: How to get awesome dream incubation results