The watercolor process and my favorite Winsor & Newton

Watercolor paintings are watercolor paintings, but not all watercolor paintings are watercolors. What distinguishes a watercolor from a watercolor painting is the property of the pigment, a binder that gives opaque or transparent colors.
There are a thousand different ways to paint watercolor, nothing is more real than the other. Most watercolor strips strive for transparency between different colors and denominations, the underlying paper provides the light for the painting.

The paper, the water and the paint build the watercolor expression. Color and water belong together and give a variety of exciting effects both together and individually. Different papers react differently to different degrees of moisture, and also differently to different pigments. This is an eternal search to find out how this works in relation to their own way of working.

The properties of the pigments differ, there are the colors that are good at spreading and flowing out, there are the colors that bite and bloom in a beautiful way. Other colors lie flat. My favorites are definitely Paynes Gray by Winsor & Newton and Quinacridone Gold. You often see these two in my watercolors, something happens by itself and I like that.

Watercolor paint is available in many different makes and qualities. The colors are also available in different packages – it is available both as a tube and cake color. There are also watercolor pens and crayons if you like to draw a motif and then apply water to dissolve the color. There is also concentrated watercolor paint in liquid form in small ink bottles. I use both cake paint that is in cups and colors on a tube that I print out in empty color cups. It is easier to quickly get large amounts of paint when I use liquid paint in a tube. Another favorite is “large pan” (Winsor & Newton), it is a large cake color, unfortunately only large pan is available in a limited number of colors.

Different brands often use the same name for a color, but it can differ very much in the shade and it depends on their manufacturing method and the quality of the pigment. It is important to choose color-resistant pigments, it usually says on the packaging.

In watercolor painting, there may seem a lot to think about, but a lot lives its own life and that is what art is to understand.
There are also different ways to apply the pigment or color to the paper. To use different amounts of water or paint in the brush. Techniques “wet in wet”, Twilight, dry brush, fencing, etc. There are a lot of different combinations to test. Wet brush on dry paper and dry brush on wet paper. I myself use a lot of water that is sprayed on with a water spray bottle. The way of painting is individual, hence one way is not better than the other.

Painting watercolor is a coherent process, all steps are crucial for the result and are connected in a special time sequence. From preparing the paper, bringing the colors to life, choosing the size of the brush and producing many water changes. Unlike oil painting, you can sit and work with the same details for an eternity and it fits perfectly in, for example, model painting. In watercolor, the opposite is true. Some steps in the painting require a perfect “timing”. It can be seconds that decide when to perform a brushstroke or add more water. It is the drying process that causes the watercolor to close. In the painting process, you build up the painting. Sometimes I start from the back and paint forwards, ie I paint first the background and last the foreground. Another time I paint from lighter denominations and build up with darker ones. Usually I start fluently and leave the painting free from the beginning and end with small details.

The best advice I can give you is to let go of all demands on what it should look like and just play, discover the joy of testing color and shape. With a playful mind, you give technology space and that is the whole art of creating and being in this state of mind – free from demands!

More to explore

Paint for heath and soul

what makes a watercolor interesting

Vedic art, what is it?


What is creativity? “everyone can paint”

What acrylic paint should you buy? The quality of the colors