Paint Effects

Tips and Techniques

This companion page has been set up to allow easier navigation to the Tips and Techniques videos/posts available to Patreon Members. Simply click on the thumbnail you are interested in.

If you would like to become a member of my Patreon community click here 
I look forward to seeing you there!

How to soften hard edges
We all get those time when a hard waterline of colour has formed and dried. This is how I soften those edges especially with the paper staining colours.
The paints I use
These are Winsor & Newton Artist quality half pan paints with a few Winsor & Newton Cotmans thrown into the mix.  Affiliate links below.
Winsor & Newton Professional 18 Watercolour Pans 
Winsor & Newton Student Cotman 12 pans  
Protecting your paper
How to avoid natural oils from your hands transferring to your paper.  The oils act like a wax resist rendering areas of your paper unable to adhere to the paint.
Watercolour white
I’m often asked about my use of watercolour white, here is a short video where I explain my technique whilst continuing my work on this stunning horse portrait.
How I use watercolour white
A short video on how I use watercolour white within my painting.
Holding your brush
I explain my way of holding a brush and why I think this aspect of my painting technique is important.
Do you add a date to your painting?
Let me explain my thoughts behind this and the reasons why I don’t date paintings.  What do you do? (Can you spot the deliberate mistake in the thumbnail?!!)
Watercolour Q&A
12 minutes of video content answering the watercolour questions put to me by my followers on Facebook.
Signing your work
Once I sign a painting it is finished, no more fiddling with it afterwards.  However, there are other reasons for signing my work, I share them in this little video. 
Behind the scenes!
Would you like to see how things work in my little painting area and the setup for the films I produce? You will be surprised at how basic it is! 🙂     Affiliate link below:
My Photo/Video Camera
Correcting mistakes…..
We all make little mistakes as we paint, this is how we learn after all.  Let me show you how I remove part of a branch using this method.
An old crimped brush for detail
In this video I show you how I use my home made split brush for the finer details.
Applying a graduated wash
This is a starter video to give everyone beginning with this exciting medium, the tips and techniques needed to progress to larger projects.  For the more experienced artist, this may enable you to learn a different way of applying washes.
 Masking fluid
In this short 7 minute video I will show you some aspects of how I use masking fluid for painting grass.  I also include some guidance on applying the finer details to a dog’s nose.
Affiliate link: Masking Fluid 
Variegated washes
In this video I will show you one of my most used washed the variegated wash! 
(There’s another deliberate error in this thumbnail – no prizes for spotting it!)
Using tissue paper
In this video I will show you one of my techniques for creating  texture using tissue on wet paint.   This can be a fun and effective way to apply background washes, can be used for skies and as part of other layering techniques. 
Splattering
Splattering is a very useful technique, I use this method for a variety of effects.  Great for creating, amongst other things, texture, rocks, paths and branches.
Using salt
It would be wise to practice this on some scrap paper, but once mastered, the effect would give an interesting twist to your background washes.
Cling film
This simple technique can create some amazing effects.  If all you want to do is have a quick play with your paints, give this a try with some bright, strong colours!  Your finished pieces would make great modern art cards for friends.
Watercolour glazing
Let me show you the basics on glazing using watercolours. This can be a very handy technique for your washes.
Blooms and cauliflowers!
Many of us have experienced this little effect unintentionally but it can be made good use of…..let me explain.
Speed painted otter
Would you like to learn how to paint an otter?  Let me show you in 15 minutes how I do this.
The full real time 4+ hour video is available on Patreon – click here.
Paint a bookmark
These lovely bookmarks can be painted using whatever colours you have.  Follow my real time video and have a go yourself with your own image.
Masking fluid tools
This video gives an insight into the  tools I personally use for applying masking fluid.  The list of suitable tools is endless, like me, you will have your own collection of tools that suit your style and requirements.
Applying masking fluid
This video shows you how I apply masking fluid using different tools to create varying effects.
Affiliate link: 
Masking Fluid 
Graded wash
A simple wash can be the foundation to a painting, the basic building block to support the layers of details we will add later.  Here is a basic graded wash to get you started.
Adding colour over watercolour white
This painting technique can be tricky to achieve, often colours become muddied, this video explains how you can successfully add colour over your watercolour white.   It is far from a traditional way of using watercolour, but for realistic wildlife it really works.
Using watercolour white on black fur!
Find out how I use  white watercolour without making this dog look too old? 
Lifting off using cheap brushes
When you  come across a set of very inexpensive brushes it is worth picking them up.  They are ideal for applying masking fluid and for those techniques that can normally wear out your good brushes.
Paint savers
These little plastic paint savers are ideal for saving your tubed paint!  They cost around £1 or approx $1.30 depending on where you find them, but they are really good for ensuring you use as much of the paint in the tube as you can.   (They are also good for toothpaste!)
Softening pan paints
This really does help; drop one or two little blobs of water into your pans of colour before you start to paint.  Try to think which ones you may need to use and soften them for a few minutes before you pick up your brush.
Behind the scenes
A behind the scenes sneak peak at how I film my videos.
Affiliate link below:
My Photo/Video Camera
Soften your paints
Great tip!  Add a couple of drops of water to your paints, this helps to soften them before starting a painting.
Taking good photos to work from
Here are my 12 top tips on how to photograph your pet.
Affiliate link below:
My Photo/Video Camera
Lifting off technique
Would you prefer to use less watercolour white when creating highlights?  Why not try the  ‘lifting off’ technique, this is useful for removing small amounts of paint to create the highlights – it gives a real feel of texture and depth.
Freehand drawing
A 12 minute video on the freehand drawing method of transferring your image to the paper – whilst this takes a bit of time, do keep practising this technique it will keep your skills sharp.
The grid system
The grid system really works and all it takes is a little preparation. Keep all of your lines very light using a 2H lead and lightly graze the paper with the pencil.
Feel free to use the printable PDFs to create your own acetate grids. 
Stretching your own paper
There are a few different types of stretcher boards on the market and they can vary dramatically in price.  My way cost virtually nothing, you need some old MDF, some varnish and a bit of rope.  Affiliate link to my favourite  paper:  Bockingford paper
Transfer paper
This is by far the quickest method to get your image onto the paper.  It produces accurate results and allows you to get on with the actual painting really quickly.
Affiliate link to the transfer paper I use:  Transfer Paper
The paints I use
A short video on the paints I use.  Affiliate links below.

Winsor & Newton Professional 18 Watercolour Pans 
Winsor & Newton Student Cotman 12 pans
The brushes I use
These are my most favourite brushes.  They are widely available from different stockists.  Affiliate links below:
Winsor & Newton 00 Brush
Winsor & Newton Size 5 Brush
Lifting off technique
A really close up look at how I use the lifting off technique.
Using a split end brush
Now let’s not split hairs about this one, OK we have to split the hairs but with this video you will see the benefits.

Time to relax
I very often relax a little before starting on a painting, give it a try and let me know if it works for you.

Blend out hard edges
This video shows you how to deal with those occasional unsightly watercolour edges.  I will show you my method of blending these edges to give them a much softer feel.

Patreon Members’ Paintings – Part 1
Take a look at some paintings created by my Patreon Members from my tutorials.  They really are inspirational and absolutely fantastic – why not join and have a go yourself?

Mix and test your colours
This is one of those techniques which with a little help you can soon get the hang of. So allow me to show you my way and see if it helps you.  Affiliate links below. 
Winsor & Newton Professional 18 Watercolour Pans 
Winsor & Newton Student Cotman 12 pans
Speed painted Robin
The whole robin tutorial sped up with explanatory voice over.  The full real time 4+ hour video is available on Patreon – click here.
Start your painting with a smile!
How do you feel when you are about to start painting?  What mood are you in?  Do you feel like picking up that brush?  It may not be serious but to me a smile works a treat and puts me right where I need to be for painting!