Virtual Art Academy

Watercolor Painting Techniques

These are the most commonly used watercolor painting techniques. These are the basic techniques for painting in watercolors that have been used throughout the history of watercolor painting. We also include some more recent expressionist watercolor techniques using modern materials.

Straight to Curved Lines

Curved shapes are important in many paintings, not only in paintings with figures in them but also if you are trying to capture the gesture of a particular tree, an archway on a bridge, or a vase. Many drawing books...

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Block Studies

Learning color is one of the basic skills an artist needs and is often one that is the most neglected. Many beginners use either too much garish color, or go too far the other way and do not use enough color in their...

How To Paint Water So It Doesn’t Look Like A Wall

When you are painting a body of water there is one thing that most beginners miss. The end result is a lake or ocean that just doesn’t look right. It looks more like a vertical wall than a flat body of water. The...

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Contrast of Temperature

There are several ways to emphasize the focal point or focal area in your painting. This key discovery shows you how to use contrast of temperature to focus the eye. In this painting the flower head, which is the focal...

Notan Design

The impact a painting has on the viewer often does not depend on how much detail you put in, but on how much you simplify the scene in front of you. This painting is a good example of that principle. In this article I...

J.M.W. Turner Neapolitan Fisher Girls Surprised Bathing by Moonlight

Gradations And Edge Notans Assignment

Here is an assignment from one of our more advanced lessons in Workshop J, submitted by Luz. The assignment is designed to help you understand an important aspect of notan: gradations. Comment from Luz: I found this...

Secondary Color Harmony

Table of Contents What is Color Harmony?When is Secondary Color Harmony used?Secondary Color Harmony in practice What is Color Harmony? Much of the pleasure from viewing a painting is derived to a large extent from the...

Interlocking Shapes

Table of Contents What are Interlocking Shapes?ExampleMaster Examples What are Interlocking Shapes? Space division in a painting is more interesting when you create two shapes that interlock, as in a puzzle or jigsaw...

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Three Components of Color: Hue, Value, and Saturation

Table of Contents The 3 Key Components of Color: Hue, Value, and SaturationHueValueSaturationKey Discoveries In Practice The 3 Key Components of Color: Hue, Value, and Saturation Understanding hue, value, and saturation...

Creating Color Maps

Table of Contents Why Create a Color Map?What is a Color Map?How To Create A Color MapKey Discoveries In Practice – After the Party Why Create a Color Map? There is one technique that will help you learn more...