Regarding the exercises

akvarellmålning

All exercises that you find here on akvarell.se originally come from my courses in Lund. They have all been painted before by my students. Some students have painted them very successfully, sometimes better than I managed, while others’ results were more questionable.

My idea with the exercises is to give a challenge of some type at every opportunity, in a certain painting it can be difficult wet on wet transitions and in the next: glazing and layering. Sometimes the challenge is awkward color mixes or weird perspectives.

With each new attempt, the student will learn something new, or develop his already established skills. That’s why the exercises are quite difficult, They are not meant to generate art, they are only supposed to train different skills and give the student a method to plan and execute a watercolor painting.

If you want to try painting any (or all) of the exercises you find here, keep the following in mind:

  1. If the subject calls for it, draw carefully. Do not use too bad paper, a good paper is expensive, but a requirement for watercolor painting. Paints and brushes are less important, but good stuff is better than bad.

  2. The choice of colors is very important. If I write French ultramarine, you must also use that color. It cannot be exchanged for something similar. Sometimes I describe colors as cool red, warm yellow or orange-brown, in which case any color of that type can be used.

    If any color is unfamiliar to you, find out which one it is, it’s not that difficult. You must know what all the colors in your palette are called and what pigments they consist of.

  3. My painting of the subject should only be seen as an example, you are free to interpret it as you wish. If you want to remove a lamppost or make a dark shadow even darker, it’s your choice.

    The important thing is not what you paint but how you do it. Follow the instructions regarding order and colors as carefully as possible. Your painting may be different from mine and still good, or better.

General advice for those who want to learn watercolor painting

  • Make generous color mixtures, many beginners mix too little color. Use spacious mixing cups.
  • Paint from back to front (negative) many people want to start with the most important thing in the subject. But it is often better to start with the background.
  • Draw what is needed and ignore the rest.
  • Consider water as your white color.
  • Never paint lines instead of surfaces. Many beginners want to paint a line around an object and then fill in the area with the same color. Never do that, paint the whole surface directly without any line.
  • Always paint fluidly, if you are not aiming for a dry effect. Fluid does not mean a lot of water, it means a lot of paint regardless of the amount of water.
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