I can spend hours at a time on YouTube. I watch a variety of channels, from beauty gurus, daily bloggers, booktubers to artists. I follow a lot of art channels on YouTube and one thing that most of them have in common is that most of them use watercolors in their pieces. After spending numerous hours enjoying and admiring so many artists making such beautiful artwork using watercolors, when the time came for me to select a medium to paint in I decided to work with watercolors.
When I was in school, I used to use poster colors for my drawings. That was the only medium I had worked with and I did not enjoy it very much. Poster colors are oil based and so it was always difficult for me to work very well with them. They do not go easily on paper if they don’t have enough water mixed into them or they get too watery. So when the time came for me to draw again I wanted to work with something different and watercolors seemed like a good choice.
The first drawing I ever colored with watercolors is this of Cherry (a character by Paris Christou from ToonboxStudio on YouTube), being a witch playing quidditch. And I loved how the colors turned out. They were vibrant and went on the paper like magic. I was in love. And since then I have worked on all my art with watercolors only.
Watercolors I found were very forgiving. Even if I made a mess I could add some water to the area and clean the color off the paper. They are transparent and so buildable. This lets you mix colors on paper and if you don’t like a certain color you have laid down you can add another color on top of it and create a different color on your artwork. It is not a pain to clean out your palletes and brushes after you are done. Although I don’t tend to clean my pallete as the dry pigments can be reactivated with water the next time you paint, this means that a little amount of color goes a long way.
But as it is with every good thing, I also have certain issues with them. Watercolors as the name suggests are water based. This means you end up using a lot of water when working with them and this is not good for your paper. You have to use watercolor paper, which is a high gsm paper, when working with them as this paper can take the water you put on it without breaking apart. The problem here is that watercolor paper is costly and so it puts pressure on you when using it to not mess up your piece. Also a piece takes a long time to complete as you have to wait for every layer to dry before applying the next layer of color.
But eventually I found way to work around these problems. A cheaper alternative to watercolor paper is Indian handmade paper and I use a blow dryer between layers at times to help the drying.
There are many different techniques that can be used with watercolors to get different textures. I haven’t tried them all. I tend to use only two of them. The first-being wet on dry, where you apply color to your paper directly. And the second is wet on wet. Here you apply a layer of water to the area you want to color and then add color to it. The water helps the color to spread and it spreads in the area where you have laid down water.
Some time ago, I also discovered brushpens. These genius device lets you use watercolors outside. Basically, it is a pen with a barrel to fill water in and a brush tip. If you squeeze the barrel water comes out through the brush tip which allows you to paint with watercolors without the hassle of carrying water containers separately and finding an even surface to rest them on.
Overall, I love this medium and I find myself finding different ways to make them work for me over time. I am also getting better at controlling them and that is superb.