The Best Way to Finish A Watercolor Painting

Aug 10, 2022

The last 10-15 minutes of the watercolor painting process can make or break your painting.

In watercolor, we can't correct paintings in the same way that you can in other mediums. So, it's really important to pay attention to how we handle the end of the painting, when we’re adding in the darks and the details.

In today’s video, I'm going to talk about how to finish your painting in the right way, avoiding overworking or messing up your painting at the very end.

One obstacle I run into is that I simply run out of steam and can’t concentrate as well at the end. When we've been focusing on a painting for an hour or two - planning, drawing, and rendering the scene - the end can be a challenge. When we're not fresh or thinking clearly, it’s a lot easier to add in too much detail and overwork our painting.

Here is a helpful approach to tackling this challenge:

Get your painting to about 80 or 90% done. Then take a break.

Maybe that break is a couple of hours. Maybe it's a couple of days. Take whatever time you need to come back fresh. That way, you're approaching these final decisions with a clear mind and making better decisions.

There's this temptation that you need to finish a painting all in one go, get it done, and get it out in the world. But be okay with taking your time. Sometimes, it’s the best thing you can do for your painting.

Check out my video to watch me put the finishing touches on a recent painting. I talk you through my process and let you in on why I make the choices I do.

Thank you for spending time with me here today. I know that there are so many places that you can learn about watercolor and I really appreciate you being here with me. If there's something that you're struggling with and you'd like me to make a video about it, leave your question in a comment below. I want to make sure that these videos are as helpful as they can be for you.

Keep practicing. Keep moving forward in your learning. See you next time!

Stop Overworking Your Paintings!

Watch my FREE Video Lesson 7 Secrets of Fresh, Powerful Painting.

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