Watercolor Techniques: painting water

watercolor techniques for water, beginners watercolour secrets for water, debiriley.com

Short and quick today.

Observing how water can be painted using watercolors.



Painting Water

In the samples shown,  I’ve created the impression, the illusion of water on paper.

Cobalt teal blue in watercolor helps, of course.

But, so does understanding the tones, the feeling, mood, and which of the common techniques to use.



watercolor techniques for water, beginners watercolour secrets for water, debiriley.com
Techniques for painting water: watercolors



We learn as we go.

Practice… repetition until a technique process becomes second nature, was the secret key to my own improvement.



Using dry brush, washes, charging, splatter, leaving White of the paper… they all combine to help with the illusion.

In the first demo,  you see a background a mid ground and foreground, along with a focal point.  These help guide the viewer and make the image understandable.


Whereas in the second demo, a mere wash of a couple colors,  we must engage more.  There is still enough information, but its less tight and structured.

More free flowing and carefree.  Perhaps, in holiday mode!   But you will observe more warmth in front, the White cresting wave in nearby, and there isn’t much action in the back.

Our minds, have decided yes, it is water we are looking at. And,  Most likely, the beach.

We’re good to go.



follow up posts

watercolor beginner basics 

11 fun water techniques 

watercolor easy techniques 

depth   via splatter


tonal value   Into the Light




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

18 thoughts on “Watercolor Techniques: painting water

  1. I wish that way back in high school art classes, someone had told me about leaving white paper for things like the foam of the sea or clouds in the sky. It’s so simple and yet a necessary skill to practice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. big thanks and smiles, Evelyn! I love your fresh work, as it is. free. its you. and now… I’m laughing. guess I could take my own, advice! LOL


  2. Short but sweet but a thoughtful message, Debi. So agree when you say ‘We learn as we go.’. In art as we go along and try, we open up the path ahead of us. Essentially our path is ours to create and if we don’t like what we’ve created we can take a few steps back and do a re-do. I also like repetition. Some say it makes one bored but repetition teaches us dedication and it isn’t easy to do something over and over. For me, there are certain phrases and descriptions I like to fall back on when it comes to writing – these phrases make my writing more convincing and over time I have learnt how to use them the right way. Lovely watercolour as usual. That blue looks so calming 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You! As always Mabel, your comments are so thoughtful and lovely to read 🙂 Yes, repeating things can get boring, if its not done in a fun way.
      ahhh… the magic of cobalt teal blue…. truly is nearly a miracle cure!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Strange that I see only one beautiful water color, not the second one. Viewed from phone, will try computer. As always, thank-you for the sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. there are two, but paired as a duet with that white strip of paper between… should be visible. fingers crossed! thanks, Debi


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: