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Absolute beginner series for Watercolors: Blending

Watercolor painting is an expressive and creative art form that can be enjoyed by people of all skill levels. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced artist, there are always new techniques to learn and master. In this article, we will focus on two important watercolor painting techniques: blending and painting reflections on water.

The Importance of Blending in Watercolor Painting

Blending is one of the most crucial techniques for creating beautiful watercolor paintings. Blending involves merging two or more colors together to create a smooth and seamless transition between them. The result is a painting that looks harmonious and pleasing to the eye. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to master the art of blending.

Preparing Your Paints and Tools

Before you start blending, you'll need to prepare your paints and tools. For this tutorial, we will use French Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Alizarin Crimson, and Cadmium Orange. You'll also need a watercolor brush and a palette.

Load the Brush with Paint

Start by loading your brush with water and shaking off the excess. Then, load the brush with the paint and mix it in your palette. The pigment consistency should be creamy, so you can add more water to it.

Create a Gradient Paint

To create a gradient paint, start from the top and paint downwards without lifting the brush. This technique creates a nice gradient effect. It may look off for the first time you try it, but don't be discouraged.

Add Some More Paint

To add more pigment consistency, add some more paint to the top. Then, add more water to the bottom to make it even lighter. This technique gives a good transition.

Mix Different Colors

Now, let's mix different colors using the blending technique. Load your brush with Cobalt Blue and use it to create a gradient. Then, add Winsor Violet and Cadmium Orange to create more color variations in the blending.

Implement What You Have Learned

Practice four or five of these blending techniques to create some beautiful paintings. Let's implement what we have learned so far and create an overcast painting. Most of the colors should be saturated and gray. Start by loading your brush with Cobalt Blue and Neutral Tint. Then, add a little bit of water until you are happy with the mix.

Build Up Your Painting

Start from the top and keep adding water as you go. Make sure that you have more pigment at the top than at the bottom to give the illusion of atmospheric perspective. Build up the wash to at least 60 percent.

Add Warm Colors

To add some warm colors, add Cadmium Orange to your wash. Since the wash is already wet, the colors will blend by themselves. Keep building up the Cadmium Orange until you are happy with the result.

Create the Foreground

Use the leftover Cobalt Blue in your palette to create the foreground. Keep building up the pigment, but make sure the wash is weak at this point. When you reach the foreground, introduce different colors to