Three Basic Textures For Watercolor Painting

This tutorial shows how to create each of the three basic textures. Using them well provides a visual richness in your paintings.

Three Textures

There are only three textures that can be created with paint and a brush: hard, rough and soft.  Although it seems impossible, these three simple expressions – used skillfully – more than suffice as substitutes for the wide and complex range of texture found in the real world.

Internal and Edge Texture

Nearly every object we see has a defining texture on it’s internal form and along its’ edges. Often, they are the same – think of clouds which usually appear to have a soft texture both on the internal form and along the edge. The same for trees and tree bark.  

Some objects have a different internal form and edge texture. 

Painting and drawing from direct observation is the best way to get to know the textural ‘signature’ in the subjects you like to paint.

Variety In Texture = Professional Look

Hard textures are common in watercolor paintings especially in those works we create when just learning the medium. It is often enough just to be concentrating on learning the tricky fundamentals of this medium, without having to think about different types of edges and textures. 

It is important to get skilled at the rough and soft textures. Their presence creates a visual richness that heightens the sense of realism for the viewer.

What You’ll Need:

  • Medium size round brush
  • Any color or puddle of color from your palette will do
  • Arches 140lb Cold Press or Rough paper

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