Why watercolour is the best medium

I was drawn to watercolours many years ago when I received a free Windsor and Newton set after subscribing to a painting magazine.

Having never used watercolour paints before, I started to play with them.

A little later, I started to delve deeper into the medium. I watched tonnes of YouTube videos and tutorials, read magazines and books and basically immersed myself in it.

Then I stopped using them at some point and my paint set lay hardly used in a drawer of my office. It has been the last few months that I have been drawn back into using them again.

I know much more about watercolour painting now than I did all those years ago and I have fallen back in love with them again.

Here are my reasons why watercolours are the best medium.

  1. They are simple to set up-
    • As long as you have some water, an assortment of brushes, good quality paper, paper towels and a palette, then you are good to go. 
    • I keep all my watercolour supplies in one place so I can access them easily when I am ready to start a project.
  2. They are portable-
    • Watercolours are so easy to take with you on your travels and will fit neatly in a bag. Some of the watercolour sets double as a palette too and you can carry the water in an old drinks bottle if you plan to use them in the open air.
    • I haven’t tried painting outside yet but when I do, I know it will be easy to do so.
  3. They are affordable for a beginner-
    • As a beginner, you can get away with using student-grade watercolours. The Windsor and Newton Cotman set is a great starter set and I used them for a number of years. It is only recently that I have upgraded to the Windsor and Newton professional set.
  4. Simple clean-up process-
    • It is just a matter of emptying your dirty water away, washing your brushes through and wiping down your workstation: As simple as that.
  5. The colours are soft and gentle, having a translucent quality-
    • I love the way watercolours look when they dry. Their transparent nature makes them a dream to layer.
  6. They are quick to dry-
    • Watercolour paints don’t take long to dry, even when waiting between layers. You can even speed up the drying time by using a low heat setting with a heat tool or hairdryer.
  7. Calming and good for mental health, and they help you to slow down-
    • Using watercolour is a relaxing medium to work with. It is great for intuitive painting and just letting the colours do their own thing on the paper.
  8. Those little watercolour accidents are wonderful-
    • I have had a few little accidents with my watercolours at times by dropping paint onto my wet paper. The unpredictable flow of colours into the water has produced some fascinating results that have allowed me to incorporate them into my work.
  9. They can be used with other mediums-
    • Sometimes I will finish off a painting with coloured pencils to add depth and shading. I have used white gouache to add highlights and even inks to add lines and shapes. The darkness of the ink really compliments the soft watercolours.
  10. They are less toxic and odourless-
    • I have never had any problems with my watercolours being smelly or giving me a headache.

The Image below is for the first set I used, which is ideal for beginners.

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The image below is the professional set I have just started using.

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Check out these three watercolour masters to see how wonderful the medium is and how you can create art with them with practice.

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