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watercolor basic techniques by MeredithDillman watercolor basic techniques by MeredithDillman
This wasn't meant to be a tutorial (but it became one), hence the drawing is not great and her head doesn't look attached. I get questions often so I hope it is somewhat helpful. I doodled something because I was having problems with my paper and wanted to test out a new pad. Of course there's more techniques I didn't cover (but I have a book on that coming out in March :))

1. Skin Colors used - burnt sienna, magenta, burnt umber, purple, rose dore

2. Dry on Dry - This means letting the first layer of color dry before adding more and results in crisp lines. This technique is good for details. If you do this your colors will not mix.

3. Wet on Wet - Adding more color while the first layer is still wet. Makes in soft edges but too much water can cause "blooms". This is good for backgrounds or your early layers of paint or if you want your colors to mix.

4. Lifting Out - Using wet brush or clean water over an area that is already painted with a darker color. This works best if your first layer is still wet and probably varies by how absorbant your paper is.

5. Hard Edges - This is what what painting dry on dry will generally look like.

6. Blended Edges -Edges of color blended with clean water.

7. Bloom -Too much water makes it dry like this if you are not careful while trying to paint a completely smooth area.

8. Glazing - using one color over another dry color instead of mixing first.

9. Used white paint for highlights on one side of her face and some of the hair. This is more of a preference since leaving the paper white in small areas can be difficult.

Old walkthrough by me: [link]

Some watercolor tutorials by other people:
Practical Colors Tutorial by leftyfro [link]
Watercolor tutorial by Elvenstar - 1 [link] and 2 [link]
Watercolor Tutorial by Mirrew [link]

Of course there are a lot more out there is you search DA.
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:iconjasmine2792:
jasmine2792 Featured By Owner May 13, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
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:iconmeredithdillman:
MeredithDillman Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Why are you advertising on my submission? You should be posted in a group on that topic, not spamming other people's galleries.
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:iconcarl-mcintyre:
Carl-McIntyre Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014  Student General Artist
This brings me joyful feelings.
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:iconmeredithdillman:
MeredithDillman Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
great :)
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:iconpixelatedpanda:
PixelatedPanda Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for sharing this. :heart: I've been looking at different techniques for an upcoming painting to see what I can do to improve it.
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:iconmeredithdillman:
MeredithDillman Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Sure :) I also have two watercolor painting books - Watercolor Made Easy: Fairies and Fantasy and Fantasy Fashion Art Studio
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:iconpixelatedpanda:
PixelatedPanda Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I certainly plan on checking those out. Thank you. :heart:
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:iconflowervale:
Flowervale Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for sharing :)
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:iconafreitag1011:
Afreitag1011 Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
very helpful thank you!
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:iconvalerieanna:
ValerieAnna Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Thanks! Simple explained and very helpful. :D
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:iconteenagebibliophile:
teenagebibliophile Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the tips, this will be really helpful! And thanks for providing links to other tutorials.
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:iconmeredithdillman:
MeredithDillman Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
you're welcome :)
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:icononionscratch-paper:
onionscratch-paper Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the tips! Simple and can be easily remember. :) I hope you could do tutorials for background.
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:iconhenrytrettenbach:
HenryTrettenbach Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2012  Student General Artist
Thanks! This is a nice and quick reference!
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:iconroselilly312:
roselilly312 Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2012  Student General Artist
Thanks so much for the tips! I love painting with watercolors, especially pencils. This really helped my technique!
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:iconquirkyrandomchika:
quirkyrandomchika Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
would you do a line art with ink before watercoloring? or just pencil?
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:iconmeredithdillman:
MeredithDillman Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I usually do, but make sure to use a waterproof ink.
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:iconquirkyrandomchika:
quirkyrandomchika Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Thanks :D
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:iconhyperskygirl:
hyperskygirl Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you for sharing :)
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:iconmorebetterness:
morebetterness Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I've been wanting to try my hand at watercolor, and I will totally refer to this for tips! Love how clear and concise it is. Thank you!
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:iconwatchamadoodle:
WatchaMaDoodle Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Student General Artist
thank you so much for these tips! :iconcryforeverplz:
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:iconjjbartow:
jjbartow Featured By Owner May 18, 2011  Student
Thanks for the demonstration. I'm just beginning...
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:iconchocolaterainbows13:
chocolaterainbows13 Featured By Owner May 12, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
this will be very helpful! 8D
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:iconandyfreedom:
AndyFreedom Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2011
This is helpful. Thanks for sharing. :heart:
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:iconautumnat:
autumnat Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2011
thanks!!! this will help me in some stuff :)
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:iconinfinity4ever:
infinity4ever Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2011
Love it!
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:iconlukhanus:
Lukhanus Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2010  Hobbyist Filmographer
Very cool!
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:icondamasceneblue:
DamasceneBlue Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2010
Thank you so much for sharing this! I've been looking for something like this for the past hour! I've just started with watercolors, and have so far managed to ruin everything! Ugh! But this tutorial makes me feel better about trying again. :)
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:iconmeredithdillman:
MeredithDillman Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
good luck!
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:iconscm11240464:
scm11240464 Featured By Owner May 16, 2010
thank you for your help.
ive always been afraid of watercolors.. (runs away from paint box.)
but now since reading this i have a new found confidence. :D
i shall try my very best.
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:iconmeredithdillman:
MeredithDillman Featured By Owner May 17, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
:) good luck
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:iconscm11240464:
scm11240464 Featured By Owner May 18, 2010
teehee :love:
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:icondeefah:
Deefah Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
just beginning to experiment with watercolors, these techniques will prove very useful, can't wait to try these out!!!
Thank you so much for sharing!!!
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:iconinspirrational:
Inspirrational Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2010
Dude... this piece needs so much texture and presence. That "bloom" you're so afraid of is the only aspect in the piece with any character.
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:iconmeredithdillman:
MeredithDillman Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
If you hadn't noticed, it's not more than a sketchy unfinished doodle of a painting, which wasn't started to do more than test out new paper. Many new artists have a problem with colors running together and ask how to control their watercolors. If that's not your aesthetic, you're free to paint how you like.
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:iconinspirrational:
Inspirrational Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2010
I don't care how resolved it was. I'm not talking about anything other than the fact that you discouraged people from a technique which is entirely valid and which also happens to be the only interesting aspect of your painting.
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:iconmeredithdillman:
MeredithDillman Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
It's valid if you want it in your painting. If you don't, you want to know how to avoid it. Many people have asked me how I paint how I paint and that's what I explained.

The painting was not meant to be interesting as I've already said.
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:iconihaveprobs:
Ihaveprobs Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2009
I like how you showed how and where all the different techniques where used in the picture. That really helps me get a better idea how to use some of them. Thank you so much for putting this up.
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:iconmeredithdillman:
MeredithDillman Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
you're welcome :)
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:iconnycterisa:
NycterisA Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Whew, if I could get the basics down...
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:iconadaeth:
adaeth Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2009
Great advice! Nice technique!!! :thanks:
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:iconyourfavoriteplaydate:
YourFavoritePlayDate Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2009
What scanner are you using?! It looks so pure and resolute! :O
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:iconmeredithdillman:
MeredithDillman Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
This [link];prodoid=21643926&infoType=Downloads&;platform=Windows It's a few years old though
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:iconyourfavoriteplaydate:
YourFavoritePlayDate Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2009
Ugh! Everyone has an Epson besides me! :( man if I had epson it beats watercolor painting with a mouse at Painter11 :XD:
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:iconmeredithdillman:
MeredithDillman Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Only scanner I've had that's lasted this long so it was worth it. Have had it 6 years.

well, I wish I had painter :)
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:iconyourfavoriteplaydate:
YourFavoritePlayDate Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2009
It's very difficult... well when It's your first time tryin git of course... I heard you need photoshop to co-operate with it or something... and I don't have a pen tablet which sucks... :( I heard epson is the best... how much does it cost?
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:iconmeredithdillman:
MeredithDillman Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
I think it was $250. They might be cheaper now. I got a pretty nice tablet on ebay a lot cheaper than it was elsewhere.
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:iconyourfavoriteplaydate:
YourFavoritePlayDate Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2009
Wah...! Man, money talks... :( I wish I had an epson so much right now. If you check my gallery, some drawings were on other scanners. The Summer Light piece in my gallery was a horrible scanner! :O
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:iconeschewal:
Eschewal Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2009
Thank you for this, I think it'll come in handy. :) It's very simple and easy to understand, and gives us a chance to experiment with watercolours while already seeing the effect, so thank you. :)
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:iconeschewal:
Eschewal Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2009
Thank you for this, I think it'll come in handy. :) It's very simple and easy to understand, and gives us a chance to experiment with watercolours while already seeing the effect, so thank you. :)
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