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Take a large soft brush (a size 7 sable would be ideal) and wet it, then take the strongest tone you can on your brush and lay strokes of each colour next to one another so that you get a clear idea of their relative power. Do this exercise on a piece of white watercolour paper for the best results. Thin paper will only cockle and go wavy.

2 Having made a patch for each colour in your paintbox, find out how the intensity can be reduced by adding water to it. Starting with a solid patch (I started with yellow), brush out from left to right, add more and more water until the colour has almost faded to nothing. Try to do it as evenly as you can. You will improve with practice but, as you can see from my examples of red, blue, viridian, brown and purple, some have come out much patchier than others. However, this only shows that a patchy quality is sometimes quite acceptable.

Get accustomed to the idea of drawing with the brush. As you can see from the next set of exercises, coloured shapes have been formed by pulling the tip of the brush across the paper with various twists and turns that are sometimes thicker and sometimes thinner. Try the same method with the brush, making short strokes and small blobs.

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Learn to sketch by working through these quick, simple lessons. This Learn to Sketch course will help you learn to draw what you see and develop your skills.

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