The Beginner in the use of water colors should be provided with the following materials:
– A box of water colors and two or three brushes.
– A tablet of white water color paper (4 1/2″x6″).
– A cup for water (one that is not easily tipped).
– A piece of blotting paper.
– A piece of cotton cloth (free from starch) for the purpose of drying the brush or taking up superfluous color and cleaning the color box.
– A small sheet of white paper on which to try colors.
Water Color Paper – In water color work, the paper best adapted for the purpose is that which is made of linen possessing a moderately rough surface, together with a good substance of body, that is to say, thickness.
If paper not in tablet form is used, before starting even the outline the paper should be slightly sponged on one side, and, before it has a chance to dry, the edges or margins, to the extent of a half inch, should be passed over with strong mucilage, paste or glue.
The paper should now be pressed firmly to the drawing board. As the paper dries it becomes stretched and is ready to receive the colors. When the work is completed cut the drawing within the lines where pasted, The paper must be quite dry before this is done.
Paper especially adapted for water colors already prepared in tablets can be secured, tile sheets of which may be removed after the water color is completed. The drawing board need not then be used.
Position of the Tablet – The tablet should be inclined at an angle of about 35 or even 45 degrees: This is for the purpose of letting colors flow downward, which is the general direction in which the brush should be manipulated.
Outlining the Design – Make complete outlines of the subject to be painted before applying color. These outlines should be very light, so light as not to be observed, except on very close inspection, when the water color is completed.
Erasing – Use the rubber eraser as seldom as possible, otherwise the rubber is apt to disturb the surface of the paper and cause the “washes” to appear streaked.
Parts to be Painted First – As a general rule, put in the background tints first. Then the parts in the middle distance, and the foreground last.