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Watercolour Guide/Tips by Qinni Watercolour Guide/Tips by Qinni
More tips:

  1. The closest I could find on Amazon to the watercolour set I use is the Sakura brand of Koi Assorted WaterColours Field Set.

  2. Just use any old toothbrush. I used to use the ones that my dentist would give me after a visit, just because those were kind of cheap and I wouldn’t actually use them anyways.

  3. I use acrylic for flicking and highlights because watercolour-whites tend to fade when they dry.

  4. Also, remember to keep your hands clean, because nothing’s worse than smudging graphite into your watercolours and then unable to get it out.

  5. Try to avoid black and white when possible. They tend to dull the colours and it loses that watercolouring lustre.

  6. There are other things you can do to make certain effects, such as scratching whites on the paper (if you have thick paper), using salt when it's still wet (makes a certain pattern), and more. I am not personally too familiar with them as I want to get the hang of wet-on-wet technique before anything else.

Since I started watercolouring again for my daily sketches, I’ve gotten a lot of asks/dA notes on if I could give a tutorial on watercolouring and also more specific questions that overlapped each other, so I decided to do a semi guide/tips/answering thing.

I actually started watercolouring before I went into digital medium, so I have a bit of personal experience, but I am essentially self-taught when it comes to watercolouring since there weren't a lot of watercolour tutorials online back then to begin with, so I cannot promise that these are the absolute correct way of doing things.

Hope it helps anyways :). If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I'm posting this via dA's scheduled postings atm though, so I won't be able to reply until later :D.

My other Tutorials. | My Tumblr


My other works:
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:iconcombo89:
Combo89 Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Good about who have no scanner and using PS for more light and more visible your works :').

Great tutorial, anyway!
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:iconyf19-sama:
yf19-sama Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
I would recommend getting a decent scanner, for archival purposes is very good to have the 300dpi version of your draws.
Photos not only lose colors but also sharpness and textures. That way you can print with proper definition the final works if needed too.
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:iconqinni:
Qinni Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
ah, the problem is decent scanners are big and hard to carry around. I live all the way across the country from my home right now for work, and when I did this tut, I was studying in China xD;. I might invest in one if I ever become...more serious about traditional work? but for now my major work is still digital (well....mostly, lol. i have less time for digital work rn cause of work), so not yet. thanks though xD;. maybe someday :3
Reply
:iconalgonquinpaddler:
algonquinpaddler Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2014
This is amazingly helpful - thank you so much!! How exactly do you avoid getting white paint on the parts you don't want splattered (like The Doctor and Idris in that piece)?
Reply
:iconfluffy-over-dose:
fluffy-over-dose Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Whhaaa!~~ You're so awesome I'll follow you now~~
Reply
:iconthecucuyo:
thecucuyo Featured By Owner May 14, 2014
Thank you so much for this tutorial! I'm hoping to experiment with techniques like these sometime in the near future! :D
Reply
:iconfatezerofangirl:
FateZerofangirl Featured By Owner May 13, 2014  Student Artist
Thank you so much!This tutorial really helped me out!:) Can someone please help me?I really want to buy this watercolor paper but I don't know if they have one in the Philippines. :/
Reply
:iconharu-akira:
Haru-Akira Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much! Gonna try out the toothbrush trick :D
Reply
:iconthegirlisdaebak:
TheGirlIsDaEbAk Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2014  Student General Artist
thanks
Reply
:iconmedical-shenanigans:
Medical-Shenanigans Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I've been wanting to get into watercoloring so these tips are exceedingly helpful
thank you so much ;w;
Reply
:iconkemikly:
KemikLy Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thank you so much for all your helpful posts; they truly are inspiring! :icongrin--plz:
Reply
:icondeerockin:
Deerockin Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2014  Student General Artist
this is an awesome tutorial, makes me want to paint!
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:icontheshadowempress:
TheShadowEmpress Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I suck at painting almost anything... so thanks for posting this.
Reply
:iconbella-anima:
Bella-Anima Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is so fantastically helpful!!! I have learned so much from this, thank you for posting this, I will be putting these ideas into practice next time I pick up a brush! Thank you a million times! :D
Reply
:iconmatthewlhopkins:
MatthewLHopkins Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2014  Professional General Artist
You're art is amazing and your tutorials do all aspiring artists a great service.  Thank you!!  As a matter of fact; I found your Daenerys walk through very informative and am actually taking an older piece and reworking it with your final rendering tips.
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:iconvenikins:
Venikins Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome! :la: 
Thank you so much for putting this together :D
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:iconpenguinesk:
PenguinEsk Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013  Student General Artist
um for your doctor who drawing (Atleast i hope it's doctor who, but the one you cut out) did your paper buckle when you painted on it? 
Reply
:iconqinni:
Qinni Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
all my paper buckle, even just a little bit! however, the thicker your paper is, the less they buckle. relatively, the less water you use on it will have similar effects. The only way to have paper not buckle is to prime it first....i think it's called priming? well, basically you wet the whole layer of paper, wait for it to soak a little , and tape it onto a hardly piece of drawing board that's not too thin because thin drawing boards might bend/buckle because the pull of the paper will be too great when it dries (the paper expands when it's wet, which is why it buckles when we paint. If you pre-soak it before painting, tape it down, and let it shrink and stretch as it dries on a solid piece of wood, it will not buckle when wet again :)). It's a bit of work though, but it feels fabulous xD. it might also take a few.....quite a few tries to get this down properly, honestly v_v;;. they should sell these tape that are only sticky when wet though....i think it uses rosin or some kind of sap? sorry, my information's not complete because i get a lot of my supplies in China and have no idea what they're called in english >_<;;. anyways, those tapes are the best, because what people usually do is they cut out their work after they're done, and for the paper that's stuck on the board, you can just rinse or soak in water, and it should come off after a good soaking :). but like i said, it's a little time cosuming and messy though. 

...this is the tl:dr video:

it's on how to stretch watercolor paper xD;; sorry, i only found it after i rambled >.>;;
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:iconoscarfl:
oscarfl Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013  Professional Artist
Thanks for sharing this tutorial.
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:iconmeliyensen:
MeliYensen Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2013  Professional General Artist
Oh thank you for it!!
Reply
:iconzoareena:
zoareena Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
omg i use this set of water colours too :)
Reply
:iconsereas:
Sereas Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2013  Student General Artist
thank you!! it was verrrryy helpfull Hug :) (Smile) 
Btw do you like doctor who? Love :happybounce: 
Reply
:iconxiaooyu:
Xiaooyu Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! this is awesome! ;w; 
Would you say watercolour takes patience? when I paint, it always comes out kind of messy ;__; 
What about the watercolour spreading effect? where you put some paint on wet paper and it just kind of runs in all directions by itself? How do you get it to not go out of the lines? :0 
If you could reply.. that would be amazing ;w; thank you again! (I love your art so much).
Reply
:iconqinni:
Qinni Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
no problem, glad it helped :D

well, honestly, i think watercolor takes practice, not really patience? cause you can usually finish up a watercolor in a day or two, whereas if you do oil painting, well, those usually take me from a week to a month for one xD;;~ 

it's all about water control. if you have just the right amount of water on your brush, it will not run out of control. If it does, it means you have too much water on your brush and you can touch some tissue paper to remove excess water. 

hope that helps :3.
Reply
:iconxiaooyu:
Xiaooyu Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! I will keep that in mind!! ;w; :hug:
Reply
:iconcatstudio7:
CatStudio7 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think this will be very very usefull for me, because I want to start practice with watercolors.
do you have any suggestions or tips for me?
This is the first 1 I ever did.

But I used to much and it ended like this, thought everybody like's it.
Reply
:iconmikisakiiro:
Mikisakiiro Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Waah thank you so much for recommending those watercolors! Since I'd been looking for some nice affordable watercolors but I wasn't sure which would be the best I went ahead and ordered them and it's really made a difference! <3
Reply
:iconblissfully-unaware:
blissfully-unaware Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm shocked you get such good results from "poor" photos! that's the hardest part for me
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:iconkitsukithefox:
KitsukitheFox Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013
Ahhh! This is beautiful~ What do you use to cut your watercolour paper?
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:iconqinni:
Qinni Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
thanks~! just a standard cutting knife- those you can sort of pull in and out xD;~
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:iconstalfrost:
Stalfrost Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Student Digital Artist
How do you make the watercolour so precise and to the point?
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:iconqinni:
Qinni Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
hm..do you mean the edges? wait for the water to properly dry and really just being very careful with everything. 
Reply
:iconstalfrost:
Stalfrost Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Ah, so it's just a matter of being careful. So I'm guessing the same goes for the face?
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:iconqinni:
Qinni Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
yes. the thing with watercolours is really just water vs paint control. how much water to put on and how much paint? and then there's the race against time. the less the water, the quicker it dries, and you really get used to these things through experience. i mean, you can read about them, but you'll only really learn through trial and error, imo :)~
Reply
:iconstalfrost:
Stalfrost Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Ah I see, thank you for the help :hug:
Reply
:iconprechoco:
prechoco Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2013  Student General Artist
Thanks for the tutorial! :heart: I'd like to see some more, if possible, in the future! :)
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:iconprechoco:
prechoco Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2013  Student General Artist
Oh, by the way, what type of brush bristle do you use? Sable? Artificial?
Reply
:iconiheartigs:
Iheartigs Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013  Student General Artist
What colors do you use for the skin?
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:iconqinni:
Qinni Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Skin is a various combination of yellow, red, and white, for the Chinese, korean and japanese sort of asians, and Caucasians, and adding hints of brown (or more depending on the race and person) for Hispanic, and Indian, Philipino etc kind of Asians, and African. You can also add tints of blue in the skin but because it's watercolours, you'll have to be really careful.
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:iconiheartigs:
Iheartigs Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2013  Student General Artist
Ah, thanks.
Reply
:iconmonkeydmaida:
MonkeyDMaida Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013
thanks for sharing!!
Reply
:iconfeministfangirl:
feministfangirl Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks for sharing!
Reply
:iconmitsukismirror:
Mitsukismirror Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
nice tutorial!!! <3
Reply
:iconravage509:
Ravage509 Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013
Great tips, but you have got a few typos there :P. Great work.
Reply
:icongemberry:
Gemberry Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Thanks, it's really helpful!
Reply
:iconyarnheart:
YarnHeart Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much! I just have one question.
What do you outline with? Is it water colour as well? Or do you use different coloured outliner pens?
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:iconqinni:
Qinni Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
it's just watercolor
Reply
:iconneko-glo:
Neko-Glo Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013
How do you color the beautiful dark background then the people in front with outlines? Thats something I've never learn to do.
Reply
:iconqinni:
Qinni Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I'm not sure what you mean? Like, colour the background with outlines? I do the background, the characters, then the outlines for the characters, in that order.
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:iconnutrea:
Nutrea Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013   Traditional Artist
Do you copy your lines from the experiment onto the paper or just freehand it?
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