By: Kayla Koslow
- OOLY Neon Watercolors or OOLY Pearlescent Metallic Watercolors
- Paint Brushes
- Black Drawing Paper (Construction paper will not work well, I prefer the canson XL 92 lbs Black drawing paper)
- White colored pencil, or paint pens if you want to draw first
I am thrilled to be sharing a technique that I LOVE! I am obsessed with the OOLY neon watercolors and use them constantly in a ton of my work. And since there is a day for everything, I am sharing this unexpected technique just in time for National Watercolor Day! Using OOLY’s watercolor palettes on black paper gives an amazing vibrancy to anything you paint.
I love watercolor painting. It is easy and really can be used by the beginner artist as well as a more advanced artist. I use watercolor painting in my art classroom ALL THE TIME! Check out OOLY’s How To’s for their Watercolor Palettes HERE.
One of the advantages to watercoloring is that you really don’t need too much. As you can see from the supplies list above, you need watercolor paints (OOLY’s comprehensive sets of palettes are perfect for beginners!), brushes, paper and water! Does it get more simple?
Set up your space… with minimal supplies needed, set up your painting space with a couple glasses of water, your brushes, watercolor paint palette and paper!
Start with basic shapes to understand the process of putting down the watercolor on the black paper. Lots of water will create a beautiful effect, just be sure to leave it alone while it dries! Don’t drown the paint or the paper. This paint loves water and will be more vibrant if you add layers while it is still wet.
Practicing on some warm up designs is a great way to get started. Test out your brushes and paints. Mix colors. See how they interact with each other. Add water. There really is no right or wrong here…. Just see how your creativity flows!
TIP: Some artists like to tape down their paper to keep it in place as you work.
Below are some techniques I use and examples of how to create a vibrant floral arrangement on black paper.
Wet on Wet Layer Watercolor Technique:
It is important to have a good bit of water with this technique. I like to use the paint first and add more paint on top of the wet paint to give it more color and vibrancy. This is a great time to add in other colors while the paint is still wet.
Use lots of water when you put down the first layer. Use more paint to add to the space that didn’t get enough color pigment in the first layer.
I like to freehand my watercolor painting but you can use a pencil (white pencil for the black paper) to draw out your ideas. This is a good thing for beginners to map out exactly what you are thinking.
Once you begin, know that watercolor paints are forgiving. This is another reason I love this painting technique. If it is too dark….add some water. If it is to light….just add a bit more of the watercolor pigment.
Once you have the base to your painting, you can go back to add more colors into the already existing colors of each flower. Add more details by using the tip of your brush to add smaller dots, leaves and designs. You can do this while it is dry or wet, depending on the effect that you are looking to achieve.
TIP: Remember watercolor paints are transparent so the more water you use the more transparent they become. And it will always dry a bit lighter than you think it is when it is wet!
Celebrate National Watercolor Day with OOLY on November 23rd. Share all of your creations by tagging #WeareOOLY or #YESOOLY to be shared directly on Instagram!
You can follow Kayla Koslow and see all of her vibrant creations HERE.