Notes and Tips from Daily Digital Watercolour Painting by Joan A Hamilton



Need to Keep Quick Notes on Techniques I'm Working Out in One Place

Lots of times when I'm trying things out with digital watercolours I discover useful techniques or 'tricks' that I forget about as I move on. I have decided to try making handwritten notes and Screen Captures (because text and little boxes etc ... all get so time-consuming and tedious) and saving them in a Tip File.

 Todays Tips:

Blending Digital Watercolour Layers and Using Two Layers of Different Opacity for the Final Layer


Aside from using brushes with captured dab shapes from previously discussed variants, I also occasionally use John Derry’s Watercolour Brushes because they use a wonderful captured dab. The Gel brushes are not the same as P12’s new Gel brushes. There are brushes using the, Cover, Eraser, Digital Wet and Marker Method, but no Wet brushes.

After blending, I dropped, dried and duplicated the layer because I wanted to experiment with a Wet Layer and a Dry Layer of different Opacities instead of adding more colour with Wet Watercolour brushes.

At this point the tree seems to need more dimension. This can be achieved by deepening the lights and darks. Doing this by adjusting the Contrast/Brightness just doesn’t always do the trick. I wanted to have a little grainy wet look on the too.


When using any Splatter brush you can adjust the Jitter settings so that you can control where the splat lands a bit more. Reduce to 0 and move up from there. Don’t forget to alter the size as you go along.


I did a little experiment with reversing the layer order and the opacity of each to see what it looked like.


Screen Captures of the results follow.





Blend to taste lol! Remember to keep dark areas on the bottom and to the right (sun from left).


Drop the layer to canvas, dry all and lift to WC layer. Wet the entire WC layer very slightly with - what else… Custom Wet My WC Layer Slightly brush lol!


This image shows the WC Layer on top of the Dry layer at 20 % opacity. That means it doesn’t add much colour to the final image. The Dry Layer at 80 % opacity dominates of course. It hasn’t really improved the situation enough.



With the WC layer opacity higher I can see a little more graininess, but not enough yet. The Dry layer is not dark enough yet either. I just noticed it’s on Default Composite so I changed it to Gel.


Some of the dark colour was removed from both layers on the trunk in preparation for adding some warmer brown with DWC Pointed Simple Water.


The darker Dry layer and an increased opacity to 84 % make the Dry layer dominant. The increased opacity of the Wet layer adds more colour and grain as well.



I also did a few alterations in the trunk area. Added some warm brown and a touch of blue DWC and took some of the darker WC and DWC off with erasers and wet density removers.


The layers were dropped to canvas again, lifted to a WC layer and wet one more time to make them more cohesive.

Perhaps you think this is all too fussy, and you can if you like.  I like my final paintings to have a cohesively finished look by having similar texture all over them. Some people like to mix up their paper textures more. It’s a matter of preference. I never saw a traditional watercolour painted on paper with more than one texture though. This is not to say that different textural effects cannot be present in the paint and it’s reaction to the paper though




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