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Step-by-Step Demo: Painting Glazes with Watercolor

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The Colorful Possibilities of Glazing with Primary Colors Only
Painting glazes with watercolor

These leaves were painted by glazing primary colors.

Image © Katie Lee Used with Artist's Permission

These leaves were painted in watercolor by glazing with primary colors only. All the greens were built up glaze by glaze (or layer by layer) on the paper. No color mixing was done on a palette.

Two 'secrets' to successfully building up colors by glazing with watercolors are to select primary colors that have only one pigment in them, and to be patient enough to allow each glaze to dry completely before painting the next.

The leaves were painted by botanical and zoological artist Katie Lee, who kindly agreed to my using her photos for this article. Katie uses a six primary palette, comprising a warm and cold blue, yellow, and red (see: Color Theory: Warm and Cool Colors). Her paper of preference is Fabriano 300gsm hot pressed, which is a thick and very smooth watercolor paper (see: Weight of Watercolor Paper and Different Watercolor Paper Surfaces).

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