What You Get…. (Benefits of watercolor paint test strips)

watercolor test strips, color mixing, debiriley.com

Testing…. test strips for Watercolor.

What’s in it for you?

The relevance, the value, The Benefits of having a Test Strip at the ready every time you paint.

It may not sound like fun at first but it certainly can be.


watercolor test strips, color mixing, debiriley.com
watercolors, a Favorite….. Test Strip


Watercolor Mixing and Testing



Learning Points about Test Strips 


Things that I’ve learned & gained from consistently having  and Using  test strips when I paint:


  • using more paper as a Test Strip  (ie 5×7) is truly,  not a waste
  • use the Belly of the brush to test… Not the Tip


  • the belly gives more accuracy, the tip will be too tiny and,  too falsely dark
  • its a great way to warm up before you start painting


  • testing the tonal value, how light or dark the color is prior to application is a life saver
  • checking the color out first on the test paper, means you get it right the first go


  • it saves you time, materials and a whole lot of frustrations
  • accidents,  hmm, “wayward” paints happen…… let this occur first on the test strip and then see if you can harness that waywardness to your advantage!
  • in other words,  turn accidents into Assets



watercolor mixing, lunar black mixes, naples yellow daniel smith watercolor, prussian blue pb27, debiriley.com
Lunar Black, Naples Yellow +Prussian Blue





  • very frequently, I find…. snippets emerge to make lovely little mini paintings
  • colors on the test strip allows you to try several various glazes on it later,  because that color is there already and it is a ‘safe’ place to do so



watercolor mixing, test strips, lunar black, prussian blue pb27, daniel smith naples yellow, debiriley.com
The Mountain




A student’s oh so lovely, Test Strip!

test color first, color mixing for beginners, watercolour test strip, watercolor paint color mixes, debiriley.com
Color watercolor test strip






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  1. I have just recently taken my oodles of test squares and put them in plastic sheets and put them in a binder. Wonderful post, and just what is that granulating blue in “the mountain”? also the yellow…..my inquiring mind wants to know.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. hmmm…… the super wonders of a matt and frame! you’d be so amazed how even color studies and test strips, can, become lovely gems with the right ‘dressing up.’ Never give in and never give up!!! don’t let that paint win I say to myself! LOL Cheers, Debi 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. my Pleasure!! we don’t know which media is our ‘thing’ til we get in the groove with it for a while. and seriously – as long as, you are having fun, what. could. be better?!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent and useful advice Debi! I always have a sheet of “test” paper handy when I’m using my watercolours. And I love mixing colours! I’m slowly filling a book with watercolour mixing charts so I have a reference guide when I’m after a certain range of colours. When my sheets of test papers are full I often use them for collage or gelli printing on…. !

    Liked by 1 person

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