Why Is Watercolor Considered So Difficult? (5 Top Reasons)

Watercolor is known to be difficult. It has invoked the emotions of defeat, disappointment, and frustration in many.

In the early stages, you might take things seriously and put all your efforts and concentration into this subject. And thus, you might try hard to control things.

Control does work with mediums like acrylic, where paint behaves in a predictable manner. It goes exactly where you place it, and the color that you have on your palette is also what you will see on your paper.

Watercolors do not behave that way. The more you want to control, the trickier it can be.

And, it is not only about control, there are other factors too that make watercolor difficult, about which we shall learn right away. Together with that, we will also get to know why these very qualities also make this medium very beautiful.

Watercolor Is Fluid And Hard To Control

Water is quite hard to control. It is fluid and moves in different directions. Paints respond in a different way when there is not enough water, just enough water, and also when there is too much water. Understanding how much water is needed to get the exact kind of effect you want is not easy.

However, this also makes watercolor unique. Not only can you get hard edges, but you can also use this medium of paint to create very soft blends and even bleeds from one chosen color to another.

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Watercolor Is Permanent As Opposed To Acrylic and Oil Paint

While creating an art piece using watercolor, there are hardly any scopes for you to erase your mistakes. Yes, you can blot up errors using a towel.

However, for most of your work, once the paint has dried on the paper, the pigments are going to get soaked up by the fibers of the paper and the results can be weird.

The staining quality, at the same time, makes watercolor look so amazing in our paintings. It is so beautiful the way color settles into our paper, lighter in certain areas, and darker than that in other places.

Watercolor Is A Very Transparent Medium

Owing to the transparent nature of this medium, it is not really possible to cover up any mistakes. If even you make one single wrong stroke and your paint dries, it is not possible to hide it using more paint, not unless you plan to paint that area very dark.

If you think you can keep layering and cover up your mistake, chances are bright that you will overwork your painting. Also, if the sketch lines have been drawn way too deep that can easily show behind the light colors that you may have used.

This makes it a little difficult if you plan to sketch first before using your watercolors.

However, it is the transparent nature of this type of paint that offers luminosity to paintings. Some artworks look like they are actually glowing. They can capture the beautiful light shining through delicate petals, and glow on surfaces.

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There Is No White Watercolor Paint

Usually, white paint is not used for bright areas or as highlights.

The white areas that you get to see in paintings are actually places where the paper has been allowed to show, or where some masking fluid has been used.

This contributes to making watercolor painting quite difficult because you cannot simply start painting but do quite a lot of planning in advance.

The fact, nonetheless, cannot be denied that the highlights or white that you see in such paintings make them more attractive. It makes people wonder if the painter used a masking fluid first or did they leave the area unpainted intentionally.

Watercolor Is A Very Unpredictable Painting Medium

We mentioned above that watercolor is unpredictable because you work with a fluid medium. There are also two other chief qualities that make watercolor difficult.

The first thing is the paint itself. The paint that will come out of the tube you have brought is not what you will see on your paper. You will have to add water to the paint, and then what you see in your palette is also not what you will see on your paper.

The next quality of this paint is the way it dries. Watercolor paint changes even after you have completed your painting. Paints look darker while they are wet. And, as the water evaporates and they dry, the pigment starts getting lighter and, at times, settles in ways that you did not expect.

Yet, this is also what makes this kind of painting very unique. You may paint something that may appear very ugly to you, but once it dries, it can look way prettier than you would ever expect. It is anyway so interesting the way watercolor can change and surprise you after you have put down your brush.

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This Is Why Watercoloring Is Considered More Difficult

So, it is true that watercolor is difficult and you also now know why. At the same time, you have learned that the very reasons that make this medium of painting a little difficult also make it unique. And, these are, in fact, some of the reasons why people want to try this medium of art.

Even if you do not get the results that you want initially, there is no reason to give up. You must keep on trying, as the more you try, the more you learn. Gradually, you will understand how much paint and water to use, how dark or light you should paint, and so on.

When you have learned and practiced enough, you will get the exact outcome you want. It is truly just about practice and patience. But, is it not the same elsewhere? Practice makes one perfect and patience helps you get the results you want. If you can invest that elsewhere, you definitely can do so here as well.

So, do try your luck in watercolors. It may be difficult initially for sure. But once you master the tricks, and learn the right ways, the pieces of art you will create will be super satisfactory. Not only will you fall in love with your own creations, but others will also left be awe-struck with the way you use watercolors to create mesmerizing paintings.

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