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4 Reasons Your Watercolor Paintings Are Muddy
Watercolor Painting Lesson

by Jennifer Branch

4 Reasons Your Watercolor Paintings Are Muddy Watercolor Painting Lesson

Come on, you really expect to get pristine clear flower yellows with this?

Painting Lesson Level


Skill Building

Mud is that awful grayish or multicolored sludge that forms on your paper instead of your painting. All transparency is lost. Artists do use mud as a tool. More often, it simply appears where least wanted.
Artist's Tips
Using more than 3 colors in a wash can get muddy fast!

Hinckley Boatyard Watercolor Painting Tutorials

Hinckley Boatyard Watercolor Painting Tutorial



1. Water or palette dirty.

Use clean water and clean your palette with every painting.

2. Not waiting for one wash to dry before you slap on another.

Try letting colors bleed together on your paper instead of mixing on your palette.

If you're a beginner - mix a maximum of three colors together to start, then let it dry completely before you add more paint.

3. Not using enough pigment.

Use enough water and pigment for strong colors.

4. Last but not least, student or low quality paints.

Low grade paints have very little pigment and a lot of filler or kaolin (clay or well, mud).

If you're painting with mostly mud, how could you not get muddy paintings!

Use good quality paints - I promise you'll use less and get much better results! Good brands are M. Graham, Daniel Smith, Schminke, etc.








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Happy Painting! Jennifer Branch

4 Reasons Your Watercolor Paintings Are Muddy painting lesson by Jennifer Branch
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