Watercolour painting: materials & techniques
Watercolour paint is a combination of a pigment and a water-soluble binder, usually gum arabic. The pigments may be natural or man-made.
Manganese Blue, a man-made pigment
Prussian Blue, a man-made pigment
Natural ultramarine, made from lapis lazuli
Underdrawing in pencil, laying on washes, building up colours, highlights
From left to right: natural sponge used for stippling, pulling the wet paint with the brush handle, stippling with a natural sponge
From left to right: overlaying washes to build up tone, watercolour applied to wet paper, scratching the paint and paper
A brush needs to hold a lot of water, to form and keep a point when necessary and to be soft and springy so it keeps its shape. Watercolour brushes are usually made from hair rather than bristle.
From left to right: Sable, squirrel hair, Ox hair, Goat hair, synthetic hair
Brush construction has changed little over the centuries: Brush hair, metal ferule to shape the brush head, handle made from hard wood