Watercolor Secret, its in the ‘kiss’

watercolor landscape techniques, impressionist watercolours, using minimalist brush approach painting trees, debiriley.com

Watercolor Secret….. It is simple and Quick!

Just allow your loaded up watercolor brush to lightly ‘kiss’ the paper surface.

Think of your paper as if it were a delicate butterfly wing you don’t wish to damage.

But to  – merely touch with the gentlest of touches.

That is it.

Nothing complicated, just simple.


watercolor landscape techniques, impressionist watercolours, using minimalist brush approach painting trees, debiriley.com
impressionist watercolor minimalist landscape


Watercolor Secret

In this serene, impressionist watercolor calmness prevails.

With a warm, well diluted Naples Yellow watercolor applied as the all over wash first to set the tone.

For my darker areas, I needed deep rich tones of burnt sienna and burnt umber.

The hints of tree trunks were created randomly, with the tip of a skewer.


I did, have several of these on the go this session.

It helps me.  It prevents me, from fiddling with watercolors.




There’s been no heavy handed, rough harsh use of the brush.

Just enough  brushstrokes, to accomplish the task intended – no more.

And then the pause.


A time for Reflection….

Stopping.  Assessing.


Understanding –  that yes, enough was said and done.





Watercolor responds best, when it is  understood. 

When you Know, what each paint, each pigment you use, will and won’t do.


When the artist is fully able, to direct the brush and the pigment with that oh so delicate ‘kiss’  upon the paper.



Watercolor’s pet peeves and her loves ….

I have avoided any rubbing, scrubbing paint color in, dobbing and dab-dab-dabbing of the brush.


Watercolor dislikes intensely the dobbing and dabbing one could skate by perhaps, with oils.

Watercolor thrives under a more sensitive, softer, lighter handed approach.


The brush, fully loaded,  just meets  the uppermost top layer of the paper’s surface.


Is what Watercolor loves most.


That is when you get the best results out of watercolor.





It makes life easier, in this endeavor, when the brush you use is not a synthetic blend. They foster, the stiffer dobbing brush strokes.  The 100% natural hair brushes, sable, squirrel, etc.  provide a fluidity watercolor loves.



Now, I have to duck out real quick.  The art shop is having a sale……..



Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at society6.com/debiriley and, redbubble.com/people/debijriley/shop

21 thoughts on “Watercolor Secret, its in the ‘kiss’

  1. You’ve reminded me of early days in high school art class when I wasn’t happy with a result and tried again and again until I had little rolls of paper gobs in a one-inch spot of the painting. Once that paper is wet, it just wants to get lumpy under a brush. Trying too hard is a bad thing in painting.

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  2. the painting is beautiful… and thank you so much for your tips, Watercolor has been a nightmare for me, but after all that you just suggested, I feel like trying it out again.


    1. thank you 🙂 I find, the more time goes by – the more art becomes meditational. And I enjoy it more. Tony Smibert a Tasmanian artist/author/Aikido master has probably influenced this I think. I love his work.

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    1. hi Charlie, a very happy 2018 to you ! Thanking you, for your thoughfulness – I’m so pleased that you enjoyed this post. Wishing you all the best for this year, 🙂 cheers, Debi

      Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much! I always try, to find ways in class to explain and describe how it feels to use the brush or paints; and this one has seemed to work with a lot of people! cheers, happy NY 2018 🙂


  3. Love this Debi. It reminds me of a quote from a classic book of surgery in which the eminent surgeon describes the touch of a surgeon’s hand when operating should be like ” lifting a butterfly off a rose petal” 🙂

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