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Push and Pull Technique with Emily Artful

Push and Pull Technique with Emily Artful

Emily Artful, a watercolour artist who is one of our Fuel Your Creativity artists, details three techniques for creating a perfect flat pane of colour. Read about Emily's inspiration and artistic journey here. The number one rule of watercolours is having good watercolour paint, and good paper. Emily prefers Arteza’s Watercolour Premium Artist Paint, Half Pans and Arteza's 100% cotton Expert Watercolour Pad. She has been able to lay down 20 layers of pigment with no buckling using Arteza’s paper. When using watercolours, it's not simply putting pigment on the page; keep reading to see three wonderful techniques Emily uses! 

Supplies Needed:
  • Watercolours
  • Watercolour/Mixed Media Paper
  • Paint Brushes
  • 2 Water Cups (1 for clean water, 1 for dirty water) 

Wet on Dry 

The first method is wet on dry. Emily demonstrates this by creating a flat plane of colour on watercolour paper (or mixed media.) First, gather water on your paintbrush, grab the colour of your choice, and lay down your pigment to start creating strokes. Pretty quickly, you'll see a thinned-out wash of colour and an area that looks like a puddle of pigment. That gathered colour is what you are going to 'lead' with. The wet brush is used to control the colour and pigment load, so you'll take that more pigmented, wet area and push around until you've completely covered the area. 

Wet on Wet (Flat Colour)

This is a much more loose way to apply your colour because the pigment can have a bit of a mind of its own with this technique. First, fill in the space with clean water. Next, grab a semi-wet brush, load it up with pigment, and lay down drops of pigment on the area. You'll see the colour start to spread. Since there is a lot of pigment and water, you can switch to a semi-dry brush to 'lead' the pigment around the composition.

Optional: Sometimes, in order to see where she is painting, Emily will grab a dab of pigment to tint the water to the colour she's using. 

 Wet on Wet (Gradient) 

If you want to turn the above colour into a gradient, stop painting mid-way through the composition, and gather the second colour. Since there is a decent amount of water on the paper, when you lay down the colour at the opposite end, you can let the colours mix themselves for the most part. When needed, lead the pigment around to fill the area. Next, create a seamless transition by adding dots of pigment at the line between colours; if it is too much, you can always pull the colour down. If you see water and pigment pooling in certain areas, gently use the tip of a dry synthetic brush to pick up excess pigment. As the wet on wet dries, the colours will continue to mesh together. 

Tip: If you don't have a synthetic brush, you can use any type of brush to pick up excess pigment, as long as it is completely dry. 

There you have it! We hope you've picked up a new trick or two to incorporate into your next watercolour masterpiece with the help of Emily Artful herself. Don't forget to grab her limited edition exclusive bundles while supplies last! 

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Starter Bundle

The Emily Artful Watercolour Paint Starter Bundle includes a Watercolour Art Paint and Tools Set, a 9" x 12" Watercolour Paper Pad, and a swag bundle including a thank you note packet featuring an artist print.

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Favourites Bundle

The Emily Artful Watercolor Paint Favorites Bundle includes a set of 12 Metallic Gouache Artist Paints, Set of 24 Real Brush Pens®, Portable Watercolour Frame Set, a 2-Pack of Grey Hardcover Watercolour Books, 8.25" x 8.25", and a swag bundle including a thank you note packet featuring an artist print.


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