How to Gradate Watercolour Video

By The Arty Teacher - September 19, 2019

Teaching how to gradate watercolour is a really useful skill for students to learn.  This short video makes an excellent start to a lesson and breaks down the process of gradating watercolour into 3 easy steps.  You can show this video to your students or use it for your own professional development.

The resources to run this project can be found here.

People have asked me why I say to always take the paint from the palette and never from the block of watercolour itself.  Well, that’s simple to answer:

  • You can’t see the tone/value of the paint whilst looking at a wet block of watercolour.  The lid/palette is light in colour and you can see the tone/value of the paint you have mixed.  This puts you in control and is a good habit to get into.
  • Using the palette encourages students to mix their own colours rather than relying on the limited range of colours that are provided.
  • Students can add more water to a colour they have mixed to make it more translucent, should they wish, without the flooding and over-wetting the blocks of watercolour in the tin.  Your watercolours should last longer if you teach your students to always go from the palette!

There are lots of watercolour resources on The Arty Teacher, many of which help students learn how to gradate watercolour.  Why not check them out now!  Click the image below to find the shells resource featured in the video above. This resource teaches how to gradate watercolour and all about warm and cool colours too.

how to gradate watercolour


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The Arty Teacher

Sarah Crowther is The Arty Teacher. She is a high school art teacher in the North West of England. She strives to share her enthusiasm for art by providing art teachers around the globe with high-quality resources and by sharing her expertise through this blog.

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