A fresh coat of learning

Updated: Jul 29, 2020, 10:43 IST | Dalreen Ramos | Mumbai

It's World Watercolour Month. We invited an artist to share hacks on working with the medium so you can give it a go

Seascapes painted with a flatter brush; (right) round brushes used to achieve a delicate finish
Seascapes painted with a flatter brush; (right) round brushes used to achieve a delicate finish

We've all had childhood memories of paint-stained hands and school uniforms. Watercolours are often the first medium of painting we're initiated into. To celebrate and recognise it, the month of July has been designated as World Watercolour Month. It was founded in 2016 by Charlie O'Shields, American artist and creator of Doodlewash, who has made it his mission to also connect watercolour artists from over the world.

For illustrator Kripa Bhatia who has closely mapped the city with the medium, there is no such thing as a wrong stroke. The only key to getting a hand of it is to practise. To elucidate, she revisits an instance from art school, "My professor kept an egg on the table and asked us to paint an egg without using the colour white; true artists will know that white isn't necessary." Bhatia outlines the following tips for beginners:

Kripa Bhatia
Kripa Bhatia

. Watercolour is suitable on any kind of paper. But your choice of brush on the surface will vary,. For instance, landscapes and seascapes require washes with a flat brush where a paper thickness of over 250 gsm is ideal or else the sheet will turn soggy. But if you have a thinner sheet, round brushes can be used to render finer

. Beginners can opt for cake colours as they are subtler than tube colours. But the latter is more luminous. It's great for adding details such as the froth of the sea.

. For portraiture, a sketch before painting helps. The pressure and the way you hold the brush will also determine the stroke — round brushes can be held like a pencil while the flatter ones can be tilted.

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