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Advice from Wet Canvas

Every week, Wet Canvas send out a newsletter promoting their facilities and giving hints and tips to aid the artist with his or her work.  This is the kind of article that they publish and we would encourage you to subscribe to their weekly newsletter.  Email them on []
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The Control of Water in Watercolor

Welcome to your WetCanvas Weekly Tips Newsletter! This week we are talking about controlling the water in your watercolor. WetCanvas member Arnold Lowrey wrote a terrific article about how to do this. You can see the article in it’s entirety by subscribing to the newsletter. Here’s what Arnold suggests:

Most watercolors fail because too much water is used and the results are a wishy- washy mess. So, let’s come to grips with this important subject.

So here are the five most important ways of water control. -Dry on Dry
-Wet on Dry
-Wet on Wet
-Dry on Wet
-The Half-loaded Brush

Dry on Dry[description]

This is where the paper is dry and all the water is squeezed out of your brush, so that when you pick up paint and paint it on the paper, virtually no water is involved and the result is a scumbling mark.

(No water on the paper and virtually no water in the brush.)
Wet on Dry[description]

If you load you brush with wet paint and paint on dry paper, an area is produced which is soft and flowing in the middle but with hard edges.
(No water on the paper and water in the brush)
Wet on Wet[description]
When the paper is wet and the brush is fully loaded with wet paint, the result is two lots of water on the paper. Consequently, the paper can’t handle this amount and the paint pigment flows on the surface. Tipping the paper will allow the pigment to flow around creating a lot of interesting shapes but accurate control is missing. Useful for backgrounds but you are relying on “happy accidents” to produce any meaningful shapes.