One of the main qualities of watercolors is that by varying the amount of water and pigment that we use, the result can be very transparent or even opaque. To practice transparency and color value in my book ‘DIY Watercolor Christmas’, I proposed a project called ‘Layering Circles’. A wet on dry exercise where we can observe this quality while layering circles. By using the same principle we can create the effect of light in a fun and simple way. I exemplify this with a string of lights but I didn’t go trough the process. So I thought it will be handy to create a step-by-step tutorial. The following tutorial is for a yellow light, but you can create lights in many colours. The key is always to work from light to dark, so don’t be afraid of using enough water to achieve this. You can only use one color if you want, although I propose using two for a more interesting effect. I also created a video tutorial where I add a blue back ground just for fun. It is a more experimental approach where I also sparkle some salt for an additional texture.
For this project you will need:
1. Paint a translucid yellow circle and let dry.
2. Draw the light bulb using a watercolor pencil
3. Make a watery mix of Lemon Yellow and Pyrole Orange, and paint a second circle, slightly smaller than the first. Go around the light bulb in step 3 and 4, we want to reserve the original color. Allow to dry.
4. Add more orange to your mix and paint a third smaller circle.
5. Repeat this step if you wish with smaller circles, I painted a total of five circles.
6. Leave the light bulb as is or add more color if you wish. I added more yellow and orange. Using a gray watercolor pencil, draw the base of the light bulb
7. I drew some lines to resemble the idea of a strain.
You can also see a wonderful Painting Baubles Tutorial which Ingrid also created for us here.