There are different ways to paint with watercolors. I want to share with you a watercolor technique that is thoroughly enjoyable - pouring the watercolor.
It is unpredictable and that is what makes it so much fun.
Follow this step-by-step tutorial and paint five colorful, watercolor koi fish with an exciting background.
The challenge of learning how to paint watercolor is controlling the water and paint.
Challenges are fun that is what makes this watercolor koi painting so enjoyable.
This painting is on an 11x14 Aquabord. The aquabord does not bend. That makes it easy to pick it up and tilt it to move the poured paints where you want them.
This watercolor koi fish painting is done with tube watercolors.
Start the painting with yellow koi who is the focal point of the painting.
We bring attention to a focal point by using warm verses cool colors.
We also use contrasting values.
He is painted with New Gamboge. Add a bit of blue to grey down his fins.
The eyes and mouth are a combination of red and blue that makes a black.
Next is the side-kick of the yellow koi fish. This koi is a bit smaller, so it will look deeper in the water.
Paint yellow on what will be the orange parts of the koi fish.
While it was still wet, drop in some Quinacridone Red. They mingled together to create orange.
Lightly used some yellow to indicated warmth on the white areas of the fish.
That's the beauty of painting koi fish with watercolor. The watercolors flow together so beautifully.
Next is the body guard for the yellow koi fish. He looks tough, don't you think?
Wet the colored areas of the fish with clear water and leave the white areas dry.
the red areas with Winsor Red. Quinacridone Red didn't give a very
bright red. Use whatever red you prefer. The cadmium reds or their
replacement (Winsor Red) give the most saturated red colors.
While the red was still wet, add some black spots. The colors softly mingle together. (Mix the red and blue for the black.)
We can practice pouring watercolor with this koi fish. (How to pour is in the next section.)
Pour yellow on one side.
Then pour red on the opposite side of the fish. Let the two colors to mingle together.
They mingled, but they ran outside of the area of the fish because the mix had too much water.
The dark background will cover the runs outside of the fish's body.
That's part of the challenge of pouring with watercolor.
The major painting is done on the koi fish. Let them dry.
We will detail the koi more after the background is finished.
When the background is done, we will be better able to see the colors and values. Then we can use them to our advantage.
Pouring is a fun part of painting these watercolor koi.
Put about a quarter inch of each color into separate containers. The small cups used for dipping crab in butter work great.
Add about a tablespoon of water.
Stir thoroughly to dissolve all the paint.
Be sure the fish are dry!
I started with the blue in the upper right. Then I put some red on the left. The top edges of the blue and red were spritzed to make them softly move out into the white.
Keep pouring the three colors around the koi. Use your artistic license and choose what looks good to your preferences.
The unpredictable movement of the colors is a joy of pouring watercolors!
The colors between the lower left koi look brown. Oh-oh, I realize what I did. I broke one of my own rules.
I mixed Winsor Red. It is not a transparent color. It doesn't mix well with other colors. So I got brown instead of a purple. But actually it makes a warm background for the warm fish.
The background around the yellow focal fish is cool. The contrast brings attention to the focal koi.
Look over each koi. Make any necessary adjustments that catch our eye.
When I was first learning how to paint watercolors, I made the mistake of removing masking from damp paint.
What a mess! The masking picked up paint. I got paint on my fingers and touched it into areas where it didn't belong. A lesson well learned.