Keeping it Fresh

Keeping it Fresh
October 29, 2012 Sue

Bottle & Lemon“Bottle & Lemon” © Sue Grilli

I just love that loose, juicy, flowing feel of watercolor. Where the shapes are not always fully formed but you can definitely tell what it is.

But getting that look takes practice and I try to practice as often as I can!

Here are a few tips for getting loose..

First, drink the bottle of wine! ha, just checking to see if you were paying attention!

Very lightly and loosely sketch your subject with a pencil, we’re looking for simple shapes here, no detail

Use a large brush- none of those teeny tiny detail brushes

If your paints have dried in the wells, spray them down and get the paint really juicy

Try to paint each shape in 2-3 strokes and let the colors mix on the paper not on your palette.

Leave some white space in your shape for definition and highlights

You can create a shadow by just dragging some color out from the shape with clear water

Then Stop!!  Don’t Overwork it!

And most important- Enjoy the Creativity!

Comments (13)

  1. Janice 5 years ago

    Sue, I love this. You have such a gift with watercolor. It is one medium that has always intimidated me because I know how easy it is to overwork the piece. You make “keeping it fresh” look effortless. Thanks for sharing these tips!

  2. Dawn Conery 5 years ago

    Awesome painting and tip Sue! Thanks so much! I’m gonna try that today. Would love to see regular tips on your site. I would visit everyday!


    • Author
      Sue 5 years ago

      Wow-if you’ll visit every day Dawn, I’ll think up lots of tips!! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. Janet 5 years ago

    Thank you, Sue, I like these tips!

    • Author
      Sue 5 years ago

      Happy to hear from you Janet!

  4. Kathy Anne 5 years ago

    Sue – I absolutely love this post! This may come natural to you, but those of us who don’t use watercolor much need these simple and easy tips. Keep it up. I love your blog and work. ~kathy

    • Author
      Sue 5 years ago

      Kathy, I’m always happy to hear from you and so glad you enjoyed the suggestions for loosening up!

  5. Suzanne McRae 5 years ago

    Thank you Sue loved your instructions… especially the part about the wine. I’m just starting out pretty much with paints and allowing myself to have fun with it… and like the idea of a glass of wine maybe to loosen me up a little. lol I won’t drink a whole bottle. I don’t think. 🙂

    • Author
      Sue 5 years ago

      Hi Suzanne, no kidding a glass of wine will definitely loosen you up!!

  6. Janine Whitling 5 years ago

    I agree Sue, i love watercolors when they are loose and suggestive. thanks for the tips too.

    • Author
      Sue 5 years ago

      Hi Janine, so glad you were able to stop by and enjoyed the tips!

  7. Michele Bergh 5 years ago

    I love the image you’ve created and your directions are great. My favorite step, of course, is to drink the wine – see, I was paying attention:)

    • Author
      Sue 5 years ago

      Michele, Ah- you are good with directions! And yes the wine does help with getting loose, have fun!!

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