Watercolor Training 6: Little White Lines


Welcome to Cheap Joe's Test Studio!

I want to show you how I put fine lines into a painting because there are a variety of ways to do it. "Little White Lines" conjured up a song maybe and it goes like this:

"Little white lines, little fine lines,
put them in your painting, make it just fine,
Little white lines, little fine lines,
You can do them, I can do them, everyone can do them,
Little white lines"

We're going to put in the white lines now because I've brought the painting far enough along to have some dark areas and we can add some white lines to it. First I'm going to simply take a Faber-Castell pastel pencil. And as you can see it's really sharp. I just come up through here like this with the pencil and make fine lines. Isn't that fun?

I can do the same thing over with the trees and since this is a snow scene I can add some white to the top of those limbs coming out and that adds nice detail. To add small white lines this is a great way to do it or clean up a little area. Maybe we need a little white on that man's jacket right there.

Now then I have taken a little palette knife and I've activated some white permanent gouache. This is Winsor and Newton designer's gouache. I take the painting knife - it has a sharp point on it - and I simply pick up some of the white activated gouache - hold it like this and come right along like this.

You can see that little tree right in there. Now it won't dry that white, it'll dry back a little. But it adds some highlight to the painting that I think is really neat. The other thing I can do with it is hold it just like this on the tip and give it a spatter. It gives it an almost snow-flakey look through it, too. You can also do that with a toothbrush. Kind of like abstract snow! If you get more than you want in there, all you need is a damp brush and simply pick it up and blot it and it comes right out.

Very easy. Little white lines in your painting, adds a little highlight and it's fun and easy to do. Go try it!

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