Watercolor Outlined Elephant Tutorial

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I recently posted this picture on Instagram and people really seemed to like it so I thought I’d share a tutorial on the technique I used, using an outline of an elephant.

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You will need a jar of water, paper towel, brushes, something to mix your paint on, a pencil, eraser (just in case), pen, and watercolor paper and watercolor paints (duh!). For quick projects I like to cut my watercolor paper into smaller pieces. The one I’m using for this tutorial is Strathmore 140 lb. paper. I’m also using Reeves watercolor paints and BIC Fine Intensity pen.

I began by first drawing the outline of the elephant with my pencil and then tracing that with my pen.

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For the painting part I first lay down a layer of clean water. I like to do these kinds of paintings in sections so that the water doesn’t dry out as quickly.

I then take my first color, in this case purple, and lay it down over the first layer of clean water in different parts of the section I am working on. Taking my second color, green, I also put it down on different parts of the same section. I repeat this with my third color, pink, until I have finished the entire first section. I repeat this process all throughout.

If the lines begin to look a little but harsh or you see hard lines of a certain color, a tip is to let it dry and then go back in with clean water on a clean brush and blend the line until it is no longer noticeable. Watercolor is fun to work with because you can blend the colors so easily if it didn’t come out the way you wanted it to in the first place.

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And for the grand finale, here is what my elephant turned out like. I really enjoy doing these types of paintings because I love blending (yea, I know, that sounds kind of weird lol). One last tip is to try to stick to only 3 or 4 colors so that your painting doesn’t end up looking muddy or too crazy. I’d love to see what the darling fam comes up with. Tag me on Instagram @darlingdaydreams 🙂

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Creator of Mad Messy Mind. I live for my fur babies, coffee, and love.

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