How To Use Watercolor Tube Paints | Tim Borkert | Skillshare

How To Use Watercolor Tube Paints

Tim Borkert, Landscape Painter

How To Use Watercolor Tube Paints

Tim Borkert, Landscape Painter

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4 Lessons (14m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Using Tube Paints Directly

    • 3. Using Tube Paints Dried

    • 4. My Pallet

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About This Class


In this class I cover the basics of watercolor tube paints. You will learn the two common ways to use tube paints and how I set up my palette. When the class is over, you will have the confidence to use watercolor tube paints.

This is a short class and is geared towards the beginner. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Tim Borkert

Landscape Painter



Hi! I'm Tim Borkert. 

I am a professional artist specializing in oil landscapes. However, like most artists, I work in many mediums. 

Most of my work comes from commissions. I love it when someone brings me an old picture of a homestead or view from their honeymoon that they want memorialized as a painting. It is truly humbling and an honor to be a part of their life in that way. My paintings are in collections all over the world.

You can view more of my works on my website or when you follow me on Instagram.


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1. Introduction: Hi, My name's Tim Burkart. Welcome to my studio. I'm a professional artist specialising in oil landscapes. However, like most of artists, I work in many mediums. One of them is watercolor. Today I'm going to explain to watercolor paints. Many beginning artists are confused by two watercolor paints, and there's really no reason to be there. Very simple. There are two ways to use to water colors. I'm gonna go over both those ways that I'm gonna show you my palate and why I use the colors that I do. So let's get started. 2. Using Tube Paints Directly: all right, So one of the things that is confusing for people that start with watercolor is a difference between two paints and pans. Really, there's not a tremendous amount of difference, and a lot of people are afraid of using tubes, and they really shouldn't be because they're pretty awesome that pans are awesome, too. And, ah, question I get a lot is how do you use tubes? And I see that, uh, with new artists, they wonder, you know, they shy away from to paints because they don't understand how to use them. And really, there's two ways of using tubes. You can use them wet from the tube, and you can use them dry like I usually dio from a pound it and they work more like pans. In this way, we're gonna go over both of these ways and the pros and the cons, and then how to actually use them. Using two paints is actually quite easy. If you're gonna use them directly from the tube, he simply squeeze a little bit out onto your palate a tiny bit. That's really too much. Bring it over to your well, mix it with some water and you are good to go now. You can, uh, use more or less paint pretty light right there if you go directly, so it's really if you just want to know how to use to paint directly from the tube, that's all there is to it. It's about a simple as you can yet try, more vibrant color here. One of the pros to using two paints directly from the tube is that you get very clean, very vibrant, almost opaque colors. Now you can add water to it. Make it as transparent as you want, but you have a nice range of very large range vibrancy and opacity. Plus, you get super clean colors. Notice on my palette here, how the colors are a kind of dirty and muddy that works itself out, but they'll never be as clean as they are directly from the tube. The other good thing about him is that you can put together a huge washes. Well, you see larger breast here. It's more water you can put together very quickly. Huge puddles of water, puddles of paint and do very large, very large washes very quickly cover hope he's a paper and seconds Those are really the two biggest advantages of using two paints, and there are times well, two paints directly from the tube. There are times when that is extremely useful. Now, with anything that comes from cons A. Z, you probably noticed it's easy to waste paint right here. I just put a dab down. But really, that is enough for an entire painting and mawr. Probably a couple paintings. Um, so if you're putting several colors down, you're only going to use a dab of each one. Sometimes you might use an entire one, but usually you end up having a lot of wasted paint, and you use a lot of paint. Because of this, to paints can be more expensive than pans. Um, just by the nature of using the more these tubes costs about $10 apiece. Sometimes more depends on the brand, Um, and you can go through them very quickly if you're using them directly from the tube. Also, when you're traveling, if you do field sketching in or or out in the city, urban sketching least can be messy. You squeeze the mallet and it takes you a long, long time for them to dry in your pan like like like these have. So you have to clean them off where they'll make a mess in your bag. And, uh, so that's one extra step you gotta do. And they could be a mess because they don't they don't dry, and you got that you got to deal with, too. Plus, you have to keep these tubes and there are sitting loose in your bag. Or you could get a hold or something or satchel to put them in. But still, there's these that could be lost, or one more thing toe keep track of. And if you've done much sketching out in the wild, you'll know that the fewer things you have, the easier it is. The best time to use to paints is in the studio when you want to do large washes or you need spots of super vibrant colors, so in review to paints directly from the tube. Create extremely clean, vibrant colors, and you are able to mix large washes very easily. Some of the problems with using two paints directly from the tube is that it's easy to waste paint, and because of that, they could be expensive and they can be messy and bulky when traveling. Next, we're gonna look at the second way of using two paints, and that is to put them on a pallet and let them dry and basically turn them into pans. So let's go ahead and do that. 3. Using Tube Paints Dried: now, The second way used to pain since is how I prefer do them is to create your own pans. Um, it allows you to create a custom palette, which I have right here. This is a brand new clean pilot. Never been used. A just squeezed the tubes into them. They're still not still here, not dry. Takes a couple days for these to dry out where you can use them. But essentially what I have here are pans, but I'll wet and use just like you would just like you would a traditional pan set. Ah, now there's the benefits to doing this, and what I do is it's extremely economical. When you use these way. Tube here will last me years. I'm not years, probably a year, depending on how much I I'm painting with a certain color, some coz go faster. I use a lot of ultra Marine in. It doesn't last long, and I use a lot of cicippio. It doesn't last long, but some of these colors will last a really long time because you don't really don't use very much. It's also easy to travel with. When I'm radio, I just pack it up, and that's all there is to it. I don't have to worry about clean up really at all. Now, uh, the same cones that you have of using two paints dried like this and a palate is to his Samos. You have in normal pans, you have to activate when you go to use them, you have to take a drop of water and crony to the, uh, hands. So the activates the paint takes about 30 seconds to a minute for the toe activate. That really is a huge deal for me, and you can have dirty colors, as you can see on this palette that I've then this exact same thing. It's the same color palette is what I have down here. But the colors get dirty over time. But again, that's not a huge deal for me on how I paint. But if you want a clean, vibrant color, then, uh, that can be an issue. The best time to use tubes as pans, letting them dry out like this is when you're traveling, when you want to save money and when you want to do light, transparent washes, you're not gonna get as vibrant as is this very easily that what you're gonna get the lighter washes, which is totally okay, but it depends on your style and what you're shooting for, and review the reason why you may want to use to paints, squeeze them out and let them dry and create pans. It's because it's very economical. It's easy to travel with, and you can create your own palette and however format you like very easily. The bad things about it are that you have to activate the paints. The colors can get dirty over time as they mix off your brush, so you're not going to get quite as vibrant as colors as you would directly from the tube. Next, we're gonna go over real quick. Uh, why I chose these colors and how I set up my palate and ah, some tips on setting up your own. So let's do that next 4. My Pallet: Let's take a second look at my palate. This is what I personally use. No, this is again a total personal preference. Every artist is gonna have their own palette. You need to go through and figure out what works best for you. But this is what I do. I use a raw sienna, a burnt sienna, a yellow Oakar, a Windsor yellow sap green. It's really in blue Windsor blue, ultra marine blue, a lizard, Crenson permanent rose, Serbia and Payne's gray. Now, really, what you want a lot of is theory Reds the blues in the yellows. Uh, the the sap green for me is a convenience color. I really don't use it that much, but I just It's easier to divide this way than toe to mix it up. Uh, sippy a is a brown. It can be hard toe mix up for me. Maybe you're awesome at it. I'm not. I highly recommend using sippy as your brown. It's got a really nice nice color to it, And the Paynes Grey is another convenience color. It's less intense than black black and really be easy to really your painting. Um, but it gives that nice, dark you can use it as a black without being quite so intense. The, uh, ultra marine blue and this really in blue are great for skies. Um, I'll use a mixture of sepia and ultra marine blue for the sky is a lot, um, the yellows use for I used for mixing a lot anything with an orangish que I'll use talmacsi the the winter yellow or the listen, Prince um, of the ones or yellow from the permanent rose Perma roses. More of another one of those convenient colors. Um, it is a is a beautiful color by itself, and it makes paintings pop a lot. I just like it. Some people don't It's again total preference. Uh, these three, the Rossini in the burnt Sienna and the yellow ochre yellow car, I think, should be in just about every palate. It's a really versatile color. You can use it for mixing greens. Uh, you can use it in landscapes. Basically, these colors are from my landscapes, Brown's and dark reds. I have trouble mixing up, so these just make it easier for me. That's why I have this pellet again. You need to figure out what colors you use the most purchased those and make your own palette. I would highly recommend eliminated it to make it a small. You can get those pallets that are huge and have 24 even more pans in them. But it's really easy to get overwhelmed with your colors when you leave it as simple as possible. Men, your focuses on your painting and not as much on the color make well. I hope that answers any questions you might have about two paints there Really useful. They can save you a lot of money, and they could be very versatile if you are into watercolor painting at all. I think that you will eventually gravitate to two paints because they are but are the most versatile. It's not the only way to do it, but it is a good way to do it.