A Watercolor Hack That Will Wake Up Your Colors

Watercolor pro Laurin McCracken shares a simple tip that could change the way your paints behave on the palette

Treasure (watercolor on paper, 14x28)

I use tepid water, rather than cold as it comes from the tap, to wake up my colors in the morning and to mix color throughout the day. I’m simply applying the old physics principle that “solids tend to go into liquids faster the higher the temperature.” With the introduction of lukewarm (or room temperature) water, my colors mix faster and with greater consistency.

Six Reasons (watercolor on paper, 20×24)

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  1. I loved hearing Laurin McCracken’s hack for our palettes. I’ve often wondered that same thing myself. Of late, I’ve been considering using filtered or spring water to liven up my colors, get the best possible paintings. Great article. I enjoy each artists’ hacks. Tried and true for this very novice watercolorist. Thank you.


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