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Glazed/Layered Watercolor Swatches Tutorial – How to Layer Transparent Watercolors

This post may include affiliate links, which means I may make a commission on purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. 

Hi, everyone! I’m excited to be back after an unplanned one week hiatus with the fourth installment of Getting to Know your Watercolors!

Today’s class is on creating swatches with layering, or glazing, so you can see the benefits of layering with your watercolors.

Layering is an essential watercolor technique that adds depth and beauty to your paintings. Painting layered swatches will help you know what to expect when you sit down to create a “real” painting. I hope you enjoy this layered watercolor swatches tutorial!

glazing and layering with watercolor paints

Layering works best with transparent and semi-transparent watercolor paints, so you can put your knowledge from the first class to work! You can also reference your transparency swatches from the third class to help you pick a mid-range value for each of your paints.

How to paint transparency swatches class on Skillshare - stop by for a free Skillshare link!

There’s also a big change for this class – I’ve decided to take it to YouTube! I love teaching and helping people learn and I thought YouTube would help me help more people.

Free beginner watercolor technique classes

The first three classes are staying up on Skillshare and will not be moved to YouTube, but any additional classes in the series will be on my YT channel.

These are affiliate links to the classes. That means if you don’t already have a Skillshare membership, you can sign up for a free trial (at the time of writing the free trial is two months long!!) with the link and I’ll receive a small commission at no cost to you. I deeply appreciate your support!

How to test your watercolor paints for transparency

How to test your watercolor paints for staining

How to paint transparency swatches

Materials needed to paint layered watercolor swatches

  • 140lb/300gsm cold press watercolor paper. If you want to go super premium, look for 300lb!
    • I frequently use blocks for paintings but prefer to rip up larger sheets for swatches because the paper costs less that way.
    • Suggested brands include:
    • Arches – my favorite!
    • Fabriano 
  • Watercolor paints. Transparent and semi-transparent paints work best for glazing. Not sure if your paints are transparent? Check out the first class in this series!
  • Watercolor brushes. I use a #6 round and a #8 round in this video.
  • A palette. It doesn’t have to be fancy – a plastic plate will work! I’m using a ceramic one similar to this
  • Plenty of clean water!
  • Paper towels

How to paint layered watercolor swatches video tutorial

You can find the class on creating glazed/layered watercolor swatches right here! You’ll be able to see the full materials list with links if you visit the YouTube page, so it’s a good idea to click on over. If you just want to see the video, you can watch it below:

I still have at least one more class to go in the Getting to Know your Watercolors series, but I’m open to adding more! Please let me know if there are any watercolor techniques you’d like to see covered or projects you’d like to see next!

Natasha of The Artisan Life-01

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Stephanie August 3, 2018, 06:03

    I’ll check your YouTube channel right away. I’ve been fond of drawing lately and could need some good advice
    xo from Germany,

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