25 Tips for Painting Loose Watercolors

Found these great tips from Richard Stephens in June issue of “Watercolor Artist”, and decided that not only I want to keep it for myself, but also to share it.

Taken from here.
May Flowers (watercolor on paper, 10×14)
1. Do value sketches.
2. Simplify your subject.
3. Do a fairly accurate drawing with good shapes on your paper.
4. Think shapes, not objects.
5. Paint from large shapes to small shapes.
6. Pay attention to edges–hard, soft and lost.
7. Be sure you have soft and lost edges in your painting.
8. Paint quickly, but under control.
9. Get in and get out.
10. The first stroke is your best stroke; fewer strokes win.
11. Use the largest brush you can for as long as you can.
12. Fewer palette colors result in fewer touches of the paper.
13. Use a spray bottle to help move the paint on the paper.
14. Paint on an angle to help the color move.
15. Pick up and tilt your board for even more movement.
16. Don’t worry about “messing up.” It’s a sheet of paper, and you can always paint on the back.
17. Don’t worry about always creating a “good painting.” Remove that stress and just play.
18. Don’t render; interpret.
19. Keep in mind what attracted you to a subject in the first place. Stick to that and downplay everything else.
20. Don’t give everything the same level of attention.
21. Don’t try to “make it happen,” just let it happen. Trust the water, paint, paper and brush.
22. Don’t use too many tricks and gimmicks.
23. Paint the same subject several times in a series.
24. Realize that you have to be willing to make a lot of bad paintings before you start doing good paintings.
25. Paint, paint, paint, and have fun.

Thank you for great tips , Richard Stephens!