Painting Your Canvas with Watercolours: Cheap, Fast and Easy

Painting Your Canvas with Watercolours: Cheap, Fast and Easy

Okay, with enough time and proper effort, most of us could manage to conjure up at least somewhat tolerable artwork. However, hardly anyone these days has the time; therefore, a couple of creative compromises are inevitable. In this article, we’ll take a look at how your 30 minute creative experimentation on a Sunday afternoon can actually provide you with an exposition-worthy canvas print! Let’s dive in!

First, take a close look at this artwork!

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Good…and now forget about it!

Assuming that it’s genuinely the first time you will be holding the brush in your hands for the purpose of painting, it’s safe to say that nothing like this image will be even remotely possible, with the exception of intentionally plagiarizing the given example. However, that does not mean that a simple, cleverly stylised mishmash of colors will have any less appeal or impact! In fact, forget about the oil, acrylic, or gouache paint completely. The keyword for us beginners and those about to break new ground is…

…Watercolors

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Consider this our goal artwork.

One could wonder how come? Well, for the reason of being more simple to operate with, for the reason that the main solvent is water, and for the reason that the watercolor aesthetic is the aesthetic that’s been heavily trending for the last couple of years (see example). Also, watercolors are significantly cheaper than any other type of paint, they are easier to clean up, and they’re usually sold in neat, portable casings. All things considered, it’s the perfect beginner’s medium!

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Now, there are a couple of basic requirements to keep in mind, though. First off, painting with watercolors requires keeping the canvas on a horizontal surface so that the paint can’t drip and create irrevocable damage. With that said, you can actually try to make it drip intentionally as this also often produces some visually impressive results.  Secondly, make sure to equip yourself with quality brushes, quality watercolors, and, most importantly, high-quality canvas with properly stretched fabric! If any of the attributes mentioned are of a low quality, it will instantly be apparent on the finished product.

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In addition, keep in mind that watercolors dry out very quickly, making all the hues lighter in the process! However, they can also become wet again just as fast! This phenomenon is sometimes utilized for artistic purposes (adding new layers or intentionally going for an all-around wet approach), yet, in our case, it would be advisable to keep it down to earth and control the situation as much as possible. If the envisioned composition involves a lot of intricate details, it’s better to lightly sketch them with a pen prior to actually applying the colour. The material basis, broadly speaking, is not that important. Although watercolors are usually applied to a special watercolor paper, your creativity knows no limits. Therefore, apart from the regular canvas, it can be whatever paper-based surface you see fit. Keep in mind, though, that the better stretched the surface, the better it will absorb the water. Here it’s worth noting that stretcher bars from our store will surely provide you with this feature!

The Creative Part

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If you feel that none of the more complicated compositions or anything featuring something similar to perspective will be on par with your level of expertise, don’t worry! You can easily get through with a seemingly simple, colorful abstraction!

See this? It doesn’t look that bad, does it?

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The best part about watercolours, most definitely, is their transparent nature. This, in turn, provides ethereal, dream-like imagery where every unintentional mark adds to the effect. Even some of the more detailed watercolor artworks are very subtle, implying form more than establishing it completely. The whole idea of looseness provides a lot of room for experimentation and, to be frank, simply makes the whole thing easier for us! You can paint your stretched canvas with multiple layers, employing bold strokes without any focus on light/shadow relationships or details. Here it’s all about the boldness of color and the emotional impact this rush of color evokes! Utilising the advantage provided by the current artistic climate, we can go with a somewhat straightforward, but nevertheless appealing, composition! Remember, watercolor paintings are great platforms for mixing a variety of mediums! Everything from graphite, ink, and color pencils down to colorful paper cutouts will do!

We hope this little piece ignited your inner flame of creativity! Give it a try, as it takes very limited resources and will almost certainly provide you with workable results!