How to: Create shades and gradients with watercolors
This exercise will help you get comfortable with using one shade of color to create different values in a seamless manner, otherwise known as the ombre.
- Start with your dry sheet of watercolor paper and watercolor set . Squeeze your water-brush to moisten the tip and begin painting a long strip- no color should be visible at this time, in fact you're pretty much working with a small puddle of water.
- Slowly add tiny amounts of pigment to your puddle, working your way down the strip.
- Each time you are making sure to dab off any excess water and pigment onto a paper towel so you can always work with a controlled amount of pigment.
- By the time you get to the end of the strip- you should be using a thick mix of watercolor paint thus creating an opaque shade and ending our transition.
- Feel free to repeat this exercise as many times as you wish. Always remember to work slowly and delicately so that you can achieve the most seamless transition from one value to the next. Maybe explore other shades from the watercolor palette.
Pro-tip: this exercise can also be done with multiple shades of color. Once you master the technique of transitioning between values, add another shade of color to create a gradient, a gradual bleeding from one color to the next. This is a perfect method for painting gorgeous sunsets and skies!!