Edges in Watercolor

South Texas Watercolor Artist

Edges can be broken down into a simple concept for watercolor.  It’s either wet paint on dry paper to create a “hard edge”  or wet paint on wet paper to create a “soft edge”.  The combination and use of these 2 edges in watercolor is called a “variegated edge.”  However, edges can be created in a variety of ways.  Every artist will use edges to create a certain “effect” or “impression” in his/her watercolor.  

Edges in watercolor also have their roots in flat, graduated or gradient and variegated washes. A simple tonal study using a single color as a gradient wash will get you started in understand wet into wet soft edges for instance.

“Denver near Lingers” – (Arches Paper 11 x 15 – Daniel Smith Watercolor Paints) This early painting that I did as a plein air painting in Denver, CO shows how I experimented wiht a simple variegated…

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