Watercolour Tips with Kristen Maduik

Join artist Kristen Maduik as she demonstrates some of her favourite tips and techniques for painting rocks, water, and moss while working outdoors with watercolour. Watch our short series of tips below and get inspired to take your watercolours outside this summer!

Tip #1 – Electrical Tape

Kristen mounts her watercolour paper using green painters tape, and then covers it to the edge of her painting area with black electricians tape. This helps her see the contrast, and paint more accurate values as the black tape lets her see her darkest dark against the white of the page. Give it a try with your next watercolour!

Tip #2 – Mixing Greys & Painting Rocks

Kristen creates all of her own greys by mixing earthy tones like Sepia and Burnt Umber with different shades of blue. Using a mix of colours to create greys results in more lively shades, and the way the paint dries often results in interesting colours and patterns within the rock’s surface. She prefers to use a 3/4 Flat Brush when creating her plein air sketches because it forces her to think of things in bigger shapes rather than getting caught up in the details.

Tip #3 – Creating Realistic Water Effects

Because water reflects the colours around it, you cannot always simply “paint it blue” to indicate that it is water. Watch how Kristen uses colours when painting water to give a more interesting effect. You’ll also discover how Kristen uses movement to indicate ripples in the water and see her demonstrate a technique she calls Pulling to help add detail to her water.

Tip #4 – Dry Brushing

Kristen uses a dry brush technique to help her quickly illustrate different textures of moss and foliage.

Check out more of Kristen’s artwork by visiting her on Instagram: @Kikitr0n

Interested in some of the products Kristen uses?
Opus Essential Watercolours
Opus Galiano Brushes
Opus Finest Watercolour Pads
Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors
Winsor & Newton Professional Water Colours
24 Well Folding Palette Box
Clic & Go Foldable Water Pot