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Watercolor Florals

Updated: May 10

Students learn the difference between two very basic watercolor methods.



Extensive practice with watercolors culminated in the creation of a Watercolor Floral.

After learning the important difference between two very basic watercolor methods, the students were able to make an informed choice between the “wet on dry” and the “wet on wet” methods. Each, they understood, would yield very different results; their choice depended on what effect or mood they personally were “going for” in their painting.

The students found it empowering to realize that by choosing either the wet or dry method they were also choosing the amount of control they would have over their painting’s outcome.

They then approached their Watercolor Floral assignment with confidence!

Painting Wet on Dry

This method is used when the artist wants more control and crisp, defined edges on what he or she is painting. Any paint already on the paper must be dry before adding more. Watercolor is known as the “unforgiving” technique because once completely dry, painted shapes stay exactly as they are and cannot be changed. Painting wet on dry requires planning as well as patience and skill!

Painting Wet on Wet

This method produces a fluid, fun, and unpredictable effect!

Adding paint to wet paper or to a wet layer of paint produces a soft, diffused look as the colors mix. The extent to which the colors blend depends on how wet the paper or first paint layer is and how dilute the second color. The end result will be blurred, yet still luminous!

As you can see, the results of this challenge were as varied and wonderful as the young artists themselves!

The artwork featured in this article is by:

Victor R., 7th grade

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