Watercolor Tutorial: Flat vs Gradient Wash

Hi guys! This is just a really quick tutorial showing the difference between creating a flat wash and a gradient wash. A flat wash is simply putting down one colour over an area of paper, creating flat colour. A gradient wash, or graded wash (I looked and I guess they’re both used, so I wasn’t completely wrong calling it graded lol!) is a wash of colour that gradually shifts from saturated to not saturated.

Flat washes are great for filling in large areas like backgrounds or as the base layer for anything you want to add additional layers overtop. A gradient wash is great for skies in a landscape, as their getting lighter towards the bottom, where your earth will meet it, can represent distance, as the sky generally get lighter as it moves further away from us.

So this is just a quick demo to give you an idea of how to go about making them, and the differences between them. You can also use paper towel to create texture for backgrounds for drawings or in any mixed media works.

See how I use this method to create my own tinted paper for a drawing here!

Thanks for watching!

-Ashley <3

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