Watch this fun video and learn all about watercolour basic effects and techniques for beginners of any age!
The most important tip we can give you, is to have fun and keep experimenting with new effects!
If you've been on the fence about getting your own set of watercolour brush pens in Australia or New Zealand, you can get your set of 20 vibrant colours that comes with a refillable water brush here. Free shipping Australia wide and $6 flat to New Zealand.
How to use a refillable waterbrush?
Your water brush is meant to be used with water, before you use it for the first time, unscrew the cap and fill it with water.
The more pressure you apply to the flexible barrel, more water will come out. Very little water means you'll blend colours without making a splash and more water means you'll be able to make full on watercolour effects!
Each 20-colour set of Life of Colour watercolour brush pens comes with a water brush you can use for any wet technique, including the paint pens.
How to make a watercolour wash using brush pens
A watercolour wash is a layer of watercolour, it can be flat or have lots of texture, be monochromatic or a mix of different colours... it all depends on how playful you feel (and how much water and pigment you mix on the paper).
For a light, transparent wash, paint softly on your paper with any colour of watercolour brush pen. It's OK to leave uncovered areas. Then add water by pressing the barrel of the water brush very lightly, making a swirling motion.
For a solid and intense wash you should add pigment evenly and creating an almost solid shape, like shown in the video. In this case you'll need to apply a heavier and steady pressure to the barrel of your water brush to distribute the pigment evenly and avoid hard marks. After you've diluted most of the pigment evenly, you can optionally add more water to some patches to make a texture.
On any kind of watercolour technique, you can explore the beauty of bleeding or bursting effects. It's called bleeding when two wet fronts collide, causing amazing mixes of colours and textures!
This can be a very fun effect, but please remember if you're going for neat and controlled layers, you need to wait for the previous layer to dry to prevent bleeds.
A burst is a localized "splash" of colour achieved by adding pigment to an already wet area in a controlled way.
Feel free to explore them by adding more water to some areas, and then connecting those with different colours.
Apply tiny droplets of water to the paper, then touch the droplets with any colour.
Some of them will cause more vibrant results than others.
You can also use your brush right after painting a wash, and lightly tap it to release even tinier droplets of coloured water.
Just like one would blend with watercolours, creating a water "bridge" between two colours will help them blend. The results will depend on which colours to mix, so we encourage you to explore different colour combinations until you find which work for the art you're trying to make, and which don't.
Paint two separated patches of different colours using the same technique you used for a basic wash, soft grip for a subtle wash and heavier grip for a saturated wash.
Wet the lighter color's edge first and then the opposing side on the darker or more staining colour. Start moving the water to bring the colours closer. Enjoy creating beautiful watercolour effects and achieving different gradient textures!
Two colour blend without water
Follow the same process as in the previous step, but instead of making a bridge with water, bring the darker colour closer using the lighter coloured pen. Remember to clean the pen afterwards!
By making this simple mix on a ceramic plate or plastic surface, you can mix your own colours. Apply them to paper using your water brush!
Watercolour fun effects
Add water to any colour you mix or apply on paper to bring out the fun side of watercolours!
Here's a fun list of ideas you can make with your watercolour pens once you feel more comfortable with them:
Meditative art on sheet music, with printable