“A bluebell wood” quick watercolour demonstration


“The Bird of Paradise Flower” Watercolour Painting Tutorial

Click here for Tutorial 👇🎬

Behind the scenes

Working on practical demonstrations, explaining essential watercolour techniques, using “Zen Art Supplies” brushes.

Hope to share with you soon the results of these challenging for me (especially from technical point of view), but exiting experiments.

See you soon!

Anna G.

The Importance of using Heavy Weight Quality Paper in Watercolor

Working in Watercolor involves using a lot of water. If you put a fair amount of water on a light weight (less than 140 lb/ 300 gsm) sheet of paper, you will see it start to curl.

Heavy paper can absorb more water and doesn’t need stretching.

Heavy paper can be very expensive, but in my opinion is always preferable.

After experiencing different types of paper, I stopped my choice on Arches Watercolor Paper.

Arches Aquarelle: the paper chosen by professional artists since 1492. This heavy weight paper (I’m using 650 gsm weight) is made of pure cotton according to the ancient technique and characterised by a natural grain. This process makes paper more stable, which deforms very little when wet, thanks to a better distribution of the long cotton fibers.

This paper is also great because of very high resistance to scraping and an exceptional color rendering.

I’m using large wooden board (several inches larger than the paper) and fix the paper on the board using the paper scotch tape.

Some artists are used to staples, but I’d avoid destroying painting surface with holes.

When the painting is finished and it’s completely dry, I remove the tape, leaving nice white boarders.

Hope to be helpful!

Anna G.

You’re welcome to visit my Etsy gallery to take a look on the finished artworks results https://etsy.com/shop/AnnaGArte

Interesting Dry Brush Details on John Singer Sargent’s Watercolors

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) worked in watercolor throughout his career, but it wasn’t until he was in his forties, already famous painter, that his interests in the medium accelerated.

Exploring here the use of Dry Brush technique to express almost any subject on paper.

The term dry brush is actually a misnomer, as the paint on the brush is really damp.

With dry brush you use just a small amount of paint on the brush, working on dry or damp textured paper and dragging the brush across it to create broken areas of color or interesting textural brushstrokes.

By holding the handle low so that it is almost parallel to the paper, you will achieve the best results.

The technique is especially good for painting things like the bark of a tree, a course beard, hair, water and so on….

Here some great examples from Sargent’s masterful watercolors.

Venice: Under the Rialto Bridge – 1909 / Water
Simplon Pass: Avalanche Track – about 1909-11/ rock retails
Bedouins – 1905-6 / head scarves (kaffiyeh)
The Garden Wall – 1910 / The texture of the wall
The Garden Wall – 1910 / Textured description
Simplon Pass: the tease – about 1911 / the lawn’s suggestion
Simplon Pass: the green parasol – about 1911
Fabric details
Greenery details


The first component to all pure Watercolor painting is the wash.

A wash is a Color laid into an area too big to be accomplished by a single brushstroke.

The wash can be done on either wet or dry paper with different outcomes.

If the paper is wet, the wash will flow faster and smoothly (imagine painting smooth texture of sky).

A wash on Wet paper

Laying a wash on wet paper will leave no visible brushstrokes.

Cover the surface with Clean water using a Large brush.

Mix a Large puddle of color on your palette.

Always mix more color than you think you’ll need, since stopping halfway may cause patches and uneven results.

Maintain the same tilt of the board while applying the wash.

When making a large wash, paint a stroke, then attach another stroke beneath it.

Before the first brushstroke has time to dry.

Quickly reload the brush and paint the next horizontal stroke, touching the bead edge of the previous stroke.

It is important to work quickly and with the same speed, always reloading the brush with the same amount of paint and water.

A wash on Dry paper

A wash that is laid on dry paper will have controlled edges.

If you want your wash to maintain a specific shape, apply it on paper that is completely dry.

Make sure that the board is always on a tilt and that you always start the wash at the top, using horizontal brushstrokes.

Always use the Big Brush, making sure to put enough paint on it and work quickly.

You can combine different colors, creating marvellous Variegated Washes with different colours mingling together.