Plastic Wrap Watercolor Technique: A Comprehensive Guide
Watercolor painting is a versatile medium that allows artists to experiment with a variety of techniques. One such method is the plastic wrap watercolor technique, which creates unique and interesting patterns, adding depth and texture to your artwork. This guide will walk you through the process of using this technique to create beautiful floral designs, as demonstrated in the video “Plastic Wrap Watercolor Technique For Flowers” by Deb Watson.
Before you begin, ensure you have the following materials:
- Watercolor paints: For this tutorial, we’ll be using red, cobalt turquoise light, lemon yellow, and phthalo blue.
- Watercolor paper
- A couple of brushes of different sizes
- Plastic wrap (Saran wrap)
- A pencil
Step 1: Wet the Paper and Apply Color
Start by wetting your watercolor paper. This technique uses a loose wet-on-wet method, which means applying wet paint onto a wet surface. Once your paper is wet, drop on some color for the flowers. In this example, we’re using red and dropping it in approximately three areas. The color will run, creating a wild, uncontrolled effect. You can adjust this to your liking. Also, add cobalt turquoise light and lemon yellow to the mix.
Step 2: Create the Flower Centers
To make the flowers look like flowers, put a dot of a darker red with a small brush and thicker paint right in the middle of each flower area. If the flowers look too regular, you can put the dot slightly higher than the middle to create some variation.
Step 3: Apply the Plastic Wrap
Cut three fairly square pieces of plastic wrap. Put your finger on the dark red dot (the center of the flower) and twirl the plastic wrap around it. This creates a pattern that resembles a rose or flower leaves. Mash the plastic wrap down into the very wet wash. Repeat this for each flower. This gives the painting a hint of direction and texture.
Step 4: Let it Dry
Allow the painting to dry for about 20 minutes. Once the paint is set, remove the plastic wrap. This process will not create a lot of texture, but there will be some noticeable effects.
Step 5: Outline the Flowers
Using a pencil, draw on what you think looks like a flower, based on the patterns and textures created by the plastic wrap.
Step 6: Paint the Background
Switch to a smaller brush to paint in between the flowers. Use the same colors as before, plus phthalo blue, which is a lot darker. Draw on a few leaves and think about how you want them to interact with the flowers. You might want to separate the leaves from the flowers with a hint of a shadow on the side of the flower.
Step 7: Add Water and Final Touches
After laying down color, clean your brush, add water, and let it dissolve out. This creates a nice look with edges that appear and disappear. It’s a very intuitive process, and the pattern made by the plastic wrap can give you hints as to some directions you might want to take.
Remember, what makes a nice picture is a unified color scheme. Stick to a few colors and let them appear and disappear throughout the composition. Most of the painting will be light in value, but a few dark areas will make the rest of it pop and help lead your viewer’s eye through the composition.
Tips for Success
- Control the Wetness: The wet-on-wet technique can be tricky to master. The amount of water you use can greatly affect the outcome of your painting. Too much water can cause your colors to bleed into each other more than you might want. On the other hand, too little water might not give the colors enough freedom to blend and create interesting patterns. Practice will help you find the right balance.
- Experiment with Colors: While this guide uses specific colors, feel free to experiment with your own color combinations. Different colors can create different moods and effects, so don’t be afraid to try something new.
- Use Quality Plastic Wrap: The quality of the plastic wrap can affect the patterns it creates. Some plastic wraps might stick better to the paper and create more distinct patterns. Experiment with different brands to see what works best for you.
- Patience is Key: Letting the paint dry completely before removing the plastic wrap is crucial. If the paint is still wet, it might not have settled into the patterns created by the plastic wrap, and you might not get the desired effect.
- Practice Makes Perfect: As with any new technique, practice is key. Don’t be discouraged if your first few attempts don’t turn out as expected. Keep trying, and with each attempt, you’ll get better and better.
Remember, the goal is not to create a perfect replica of a flower, but to express your creativity and enjoy the process. The plastic wrap watercolor technique is a tool to help you do just that.
The plastic wrap watercolor technique is a fun and easy way to create beautiful cards or paintings. It’s a method that encourages experimentation and creativity, allowing you to create artwork that is uniquely yours. So, grab your paints, plastic wrap, and let your imagination run wild.
- URL: https://www.artistsnetwork.com/art-mediums/watercolor/watercolor-with-plastic-wrap This link from Artists Network contains an in-depth tutorial on how to use the plastic wrap technique in watercolor painting. It discusses the process step by step and gives tips to improve the outcome.
- URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8LgZ9x5Uzw This YouTube video demonstrates how to use plastic wrap to create interesting watercolor textures. The artist explains the method as she paints, making it easy for viewers to follow along.
- URL: https://watercoloraffair.com/watercolor-textures-using-plastic-wrap Watercolor Affair’s guide explains how to create a unique texture with plastic wrap and watercolor paint. It provides step-by-step instructions, including photos and detailed explanations.