There are different ways to paint with watercolors. I want to share with you a watercolor technique that is thoroughly enjoyable - pouring watercolors.
It is unpredictable and that is what makes it so much fun.
Follow this step-by-step tutorial and paint five colorful koi. At the same time learn how to pour watercolors for the background.
As an affiliate, I earn from Amazon sales with no extra cost to you. Learn More
The challenge of learning how to paint watercolor koi is controlling the water and paint.
I enjoy a challenge that is what makes painting with watercolors enjoyable.
The painting is on a 'ad' 11x14 Aquabord. The aquabord does not bend. That makes it easy to pick it up and tilt it to move the poured paints where you want them.
We bring attention to a focal point by using warm verses cool colors.
We also use contrasting values.
He is painted with New Gamboge. Add a bit of blue to grey down his fins.
The eyes and mouth are a combination of red and blue that makes a black.
This koi is a bit smaller so it would look deeper in the water. We'll see how it works when we get farther into the painting.
Paint yellow on what will be the orange parts.
While it was still wet, drop in some Quinacridone Red. They mingled together to create orange.
Lightly used some yellow to indicated warmth on the white areas of the fish.
Wet the colored areas of the fish with clear water and leave the white areas dry.
the red areas with Winsor Red. Quinacridone Red didn't give a very
bright red. Use whatever red you prefer. The cadmium reds or their
replacement (Winsor Red) give the most saturated red colors.
While the red was still wet, add some black spots. The colors softly mingle together. (Mix the red and blue for the black.)
Pour yellow on one side. Pour red on the opposite side of the fish. Let the two colors to mingle together.
They mingled, but they ran outside of the small area of the fish because the mix had too much water.
The dark background will cover the runs outside of the fish's body.
That's part of the challenge of painting watercolor koi.
The major painting is done on the koi. We will detail them after the background is finished.
When the background is done, we will be better able to see the colors and values. Then we can use them to our advantage.
Put about a quarter inch of each color into separate containers, red, yellow and blue.
Add about a tablespoon of water.
Stir them thoroughly to dissolve all the paint.
The background is dry.
I started with the blue in the upper right. Then I put some red on the left. The top edges of the blue and red were spritzed to make them softly move out into the white.
Keep pouring the three colors around the koi. Use your artistic license and choose what looks good to your preferences.
The unpredictable movement of the colors is a joy of learning how to paint with watercolors!
The colors between the lower left koi look brown. Oh-oh, I realize what I did. I broke one of my own rules.
I mixed Winsor Red. It is not a transparent color. It doesn't mix well with other colors. So I got brown instead of a purple. But actually it makes a warm background for the warm fish.
The background around the yellow focal fish is cool. The contrast brings attention to the focal koi.
When I was first learning how to paint with watercolors, I made the mistake of removing masking from damp paint.
What a mess! The masking picked up paint. I got paint on my fingers and touched it into areas where it didn't belong. A lesson well learned.
The top left fish was competing with the focal fish. The swirl across its head was removed.
Adjustments were made to the background so he didn't draw so much attention.
The dark on the right of its body was removed by spritzing water on the color and blotting it up with a paper towel. Red was poured to replace the dark color.