Wet Into Wet Watercolor Painting Lesson

The Wet-Into-Wet Technique is the most basic skill to learn. Watercolor is made to look best when floated along in wet washes that leave behind a fluid, glowing, transparent layer of paint. It is really imperative to learn this technique and get used to working with very wet washes.
The good news is that it is really easy and you’ll be pleased with the results. This lesson shows you how.

The Nature Of Watercolor Paint

Transparent watercolor is unique. The paint is formulated to be transparent  when used properly with its medium – which is water.  Individual pigment particles move around in fluid washes until finally settling onto, and into the fibers of the paper once the water has evaporated away. With gum arabic as the binder, the resulting layer of dry pigment becomes transparent, allowing rays of light to pass through the layer of pigment, be reflected off the paper, back through the layer of pigment to our eyes.

The combination of the action of the water and the resulting transparency is what gives this medium its unique beauty and character.  And – is what makes the wet-into-wet watercolor technique is the single most fundamental skill in watercolor painting.

Wet Into Wet Watercolor Painting Technique

In this lesson, you’ll learn two different ways to create wet-into-wet washes. Each relies on a liberal use of water to apply paint to paper.  Both will result in beautiful, transparent, flowing passages that bring out the best in watercolor painting.

Although this technique is appropriate in all parts of your painting, you’ll find that the subtle gradations that work really well for skies in your landscape paintings.

Learning the wet-in-wet technique will:

  • Help you gain confidence in managing the water along with the color
  • Is the single way to create those loose, flowing, mingling washes that everyone loves
  • Is the best way to create and maintain transparency – that unique property of watercolor
  • Will lay the foundation for gaining expertise in all other areas of watercolor painting

What you’ll need to follow this video

Related Lessons

Basic Watercolor Painting Techniques