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Watercolour wonder tips just for you!

Watercolour does need water, but it needs colour just as much, so start by droping a little water on each colour in your pallette to soften them a bit.

Using my brush, I may dampen parts of my paper, (not all of it); some large patches and some small, with clean water.

Time to load up that brush - I like to really work the blob with my brush to get lots of paint on it before I spread it on the paper. Make sure you have piles of rich colour on that brush and sloosh it over part of the dry paper just touching parts of the damp. It will bleed into the dampened parts and you can lift and tip the paper to encourage it in if you like; even add a spot of clear water to the paint to help it on its way, or direct it with your finger nail. If your brush seems dry, use it that way for a "dotty" effect.

A touch of strong colour on the edge of a damp section will bloom. Experiment with how much water you want there; do you want a big blossom or a little one? Do you want to add one colour or two? Think about hot and cold colours, it's nice to have both in your image. Draw in the paint with the hard end of your brush. Make sure you really use that beautiful white paper leaving some of it pristine and fresh. Perhaps leave as much as a third or even a half of the paper completely blank.

When dry, turn the paper around to decide which way you like it best. Probably you will end up liking the "heavier" side (in colour) at the base so it has something to "sit" on. Or you may like it to your left with the lighter part of the painting heading towards the right (the way we write). You can take a fine black pen then and draw whatever is around you on top of the painting, or part of it anyway. It may be incomplete as well. Such is the beauty of art!

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