Don’t Be Afraid to Paint Outside the Lines

Watercolor artist Bev Jozwiak shares a tried-and-true method for painting loose with watercolor.

“A Wrinkle in Time” (watercolor, 21×14 in.)

Painting directly, American Watercolor Weekly advisor Bev Jozwiak places her watercolors on the paper with very little mixing on the palette. “I use lots of varied color in my blacks to keep them from going flat, in my whites to keep them glowing, and even in my skin tones to keep them interesting,” she says. Using bold brushstrokes and thick paint, she approaches her work in an expressive, almost playful, way. She brings her figures and animals to life with drips, spatters, and lively irregular edges — sometimes the paint vanishes into a solitary pencil contour line defining the shape.

“Marching to the Beat of Your Own Drum” (watercolor, 13 x 22 in.)

“I use a 9B pencil to scribble on my paper,” she says. “Sometimes I simply add a line where the paint has faded out, and sometimes I will scribble into the paint when it is still wet to create a sense of energy and texture.”

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