The World of Watercolor: Loose And Free!

cobalt teal blue pg50, semi abstract landscape, watercolors with a palette knife, untamed landscape of hills and foliage, free and loose painting,

Do you love watercolor?  Love its translucency, its soft melting edges?

Love Colors that seemingly flow together to create something that the hand, the brush could not quite have dobbed or dabbed into being?

I do.


watercolor techniques loose and free, beginners fun painting,
world of watercolor loose and free


Impressionist watercolor flowers, bright colored flower painting,
Loose Colorful  Patio Flowers

Watercolor Loose and Free

Freedom of Expression

What purpose such looseness and freedom serve, we may wonder.

Wouldn’t crisp, tight, defined, “control” over the entire process be much better?

Maybe. Or maybe not.

Wouldn’t it better … “to bend; not break?”


My privilege as a teacher, while adhering to the described course title, theme topic,  is to overview the group’s needs and then tailor the agenda to that.

Diversity within the group, of course means we will all take in the skills, the information at varying rates, the different things presented.

Its just like here, in these posts.  At different times, we will be ready. For new information.


I liked the concept of Loose and Easy, as I believe its one of the most effective ways to  become confident and successful with watercolors.


Scary at first, yes,  I do remember being a ‘beginner.’

But we ease in. Bit by bit we let go.

Step by step we open the doors.


watercolors, bright colors of natures, wet in wet watercolor technique,
Glorious Colors


Ways… to let go

Trying any of these, better still – making up your own ways, is a step towards free & loose expression in art.


Ultramarine acts as a dark anchor while Lemon blends with Cobalt Teal blue as they fall together.

The explosion of shapes created with Cadmium Scarlet eased into Indanthrone blue, Prussian blue.

Or maybe the sedimentation and speckling patterns made by mixing Lunar Black with Quinacridone Sienna.

Cobalt Teal blue finding its way downwards, as gravity controls its descent in a lovely scene, reflections along the water.


creativity includes cropping an image,
Cadmium Scarlet on Blue




There is a time and place for all types, all styles, genres of painting approaches.

Botanical, Impressionist, Surrealism, Illustrative, Cubist, PhotoRealism, etc.


bright bird of paradise greeting cards, debi riley art, flower cards for Mothers day, Society 6,
Bird of Paradise Greeting Cards


Each artist, will have their own unique personality.

With specific preferences.


These preferences,   evolve with time.

Our tastes, change, as we gain more experience.


As we gain confidence, step by step, we put our ‘stamp’ upon the things we do.

Just like our clothing, our home decor, our landscaping, our favorite cooking recipes.

And this, is exactly what we are aiming for!



zen of colour: forest in cobalt teal blue pg50,
‘Zen in the Forest,’    …. a loose interpretative approach




Tips & ‘Guide Posts’  to Painting Loose!

For us to be able to paint and create Loose and Free,  there are some helpful ideas that make it easier for us.

These guide posts serve to inspire us, to lead us in the direction of our goal.



viridian green watercolor, viridian green pg18, watercolor mixing greens, debi riley watercolors,
Loose and Free!!    Viridian green and Ultramarine  22×30  Abstract

If you like, you could replace the words need and must, with “suggest”  it does, sound nicer on the ears.


  • we must be willing to paint loose
  • we have to….  Want It!


  • we need to practice,  frequently
  • practice with such repetition, that it might annoy us at times


  • we need to Think differently
  • think thoughts of big bold, loose! Free!


  • we need to let go
  • we need to open the closed doors


  • we need to stop,  all,  miserly thoughts
  • penny pinching  defeats,   Loose & Free


  • we need to think laterally
  • creative problem solving  for such issues, IS Possible


watercolor beginner flowers, easy purple iris bud, step by step,
Control –  serves a purpose, at times.



The World of Watercolor Loose and Free, though, is one where we can relax.  Let go.

Enjoy the colors, the music, the tones, the movement.



watercolor abstract simplicity, light red,
Simplicity Wc Light Red



bold colorful impressionist landscape, loose and free landscape paintings,
Loose and Free,  interpretation of  W.A.  landscape.      “uncontrolled  ill defined”





Watercolor Basics 





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 and,

16 thoughts on “The World of Watercolor: Loose And Free!

  1. I got this in my email today and came to your site again. I am getting more ready to attempt some of your beautiful free paintings. Thank you so much for your amazing generosity. I love getting your posts. They inspire and encourage me so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hi Robert, thank you for your words I do appreciate it. And, I’m happy to know that the posts and art are encouraging, inspiring. I love the palette knife on dampened paper for the most exciting and greatest, sense of freedom with wc. it is SO liberating! cheers, Debi

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My answer to your first three questions is a resounding YES! These are the very things I love about watercolour – I love loose, free, wild, creative. No rules! Crisp, tight, defined and controlled are not for me… !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. amen! 🙂 but, we are all … unique and the world would, be boring if everyone was the same. but, still its great to run wild with others like minded – smiling!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I have been thinking of exploring styles in watercolor. This is just the guidance I need to begin. Permission to play!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. play…. one of the best words and the most underused.
      so absolutely! without play, enjoyment, pleasure, it all derails into a tightly boxed rigid uncomfortable….form. Have Fun! thanks Joanne 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for your post on loose and free…I so wish I could have a whole class on this way of painting, I love it soooo much!

    Liked by 1 person

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