Why you should use two water jars when using watercolour

Have you ever wondered what the deal is with two water jars? Like, why not just one?!





Ok, so this is something that I learnt WAY too far into my painting journey/career (whatever you wanna call it).


There are two ways you can utilise two water jars:


1. One jar for clean water, and one for dirty water. With this technique you're washing off the paint you've just used in the dirty water jar, then before you pick up any fresh paint, you wet your brush in the clean water jar.


2. One jar is for warm colours, and one is for cool colours. This technique means you wash your brush AND collect your mixing water from the warm colours jar when you're using colours like red, pink, yellow, orange etc. and you do the same with the cool water jar for colours like blue, green, purple etc.


When I started out painting, for YEARS I used just one jar of water and it would always end up gross and muddy looking really quickly, and I would find myself constantly re-filling it.


Orrrr, let's be honest, I would usually just keep using it even once it was dirty and awful and then wonder why the colours I mixed were muddy and gross instead of lovely and vibrant (sound familiar?).


Sooo, then I moved to the two jar system, initially I used technique 1. from above, but I found myself getting them mixed up and then I just had two dirty jars (pictured!) and THEN I moved to a warm colours jar and a cool colours jar, and my life is CHANGED FOREVER.


This feels like a painting hack, but I'm pretty sure everyone else knew about it waaaay before me.


Regardless, my life has changed since doing this one thing, and if it's news to you too, you have gotta give it a go!!!





I acknowledge and pay respect to the lutruwita (Tasmania) community as the traditional and original owners and continuing custodians of this land on which I live, work create and paint.

© Ruby Tuesday Art® 2020. All rights reserved.

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