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Nick's Tips

Use largest brush for colour wash

When making a watercolour wash, use the largest brush available to you: speed is of the essence to avoid brushmarks. And keep the paper flat until it is dry, to avoid runs.

Mix up plenty of colour wash

When doing a colour wash, always remember to mix up plenty of paint. There's nothing worse than trying to match the same colour because you've run out too soon.

Let the eyes have it

Use and believe your eyes looking at the object 75% more than looking at your paper.

Use less colour at the start

Use less colour at the start of a watercolour. You can always add more but if you try to take colour off you could muddy your painting.

Help with perspective

If you have difficulty getting perspectives right, then put a dot in the centre of your horizon and draw lines from the four corners to the dot. Add intermediate lines from the dot where needed. This will help your positioning by about 100%!

Use a grid when copying a photo

When working from a photo, draw a grid on the photo or on a copy of the photo and draw a larger grid on your paper in the same proportions. This will enable you to correctly position the image. For greater accuracy, copy the photograph upside down. Be sure to erase the grid afterwards!


Use the back of your hand to test that your watercolur is dry, not the front, which will be greasy.


Keep sharpening your pencils!

Rest your hand

Always keep your hand rested when drawing, so that you can move it in a more controlled manner.