Watery, juicy and pasty washes

June 2, 2022 | 4 Comments

The most important skill to learn when watercolour sketching is to get the right amount of pigment and water in your washes.

Here is a brief short video summarising how I achieve watery, juicy and pasty washes – using my Rosemary Brushes Series 722 1/2 inch sable blend dagger and mixing SCH French Ultramarine with DS Transparent Red Oxide. Watch the video/reel on YouTube or Instagram.

The goal, over time, is to have an intuitive feel for the right pigment to water ratio.

This feeling and the knowledge that my wash will produce a pigment party when it dries is one of my favourite aspects of watercolour!

We go into this in a lot of detail inside my Watercolour online course. Reminder: Live version of Watercolour starts on Wed 8 June – find out more here.

I can’t wait!


  • Kate Case says:

    Thanks Liz, your posts are always interesting.
    I’m confused though – what do you mean by pasty? I thought that meant pale, but the “pasty” stroke you’ve done is very saturated

  • Beverly Conerton says:

    Liz – I enjoyed the short video — it was helpful to see how you created the different strengths of color. FYI – when I clicked on the link in your email, the YouTube video wouldn’t play. But I was able to see it by searching for YouTube and your name.

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Beverly – glad that you were able to watch it! Hmm…the link from this blogpost is working for me so not sure what caused the problem.

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