How to Use the Wet-on-Wet Painting Technique

First developed during the early 16th century and used later by the Impressionists, the wet-on-wet painting technique is being adopted by more and more artists. But what exactly is wet-on-wet? And how do you apply it to your next painting? Read on to learn more.

What is wet-on-wet?How to Use the Wet-on-Wet Painting Technique

Wet-on-wet is exactly as it sounds. It’s when a painter applies wet paint onto either a wet surface or a freshly painted surface. In other words, you practice the wet-on-wet technique when you don’t wait for your initial coat of paint to dry and instead paint onto it while it’s still wet.

Which mediums use wet-on-wet?

You can use the wet-on-wet technique on a variety of paint mediums. While it is most often used in watercolors, you can also use them in mediums such as acrylic, oil, or even gouache. However, keep in mind that how you apply the wet-on-wet technique will differ depending on your medium. You can read how best to apply this technique to the various mediums here.

Wet-on-wet best practices

Wet-on-wet isn’t too complicated to apply, but there are things to keep in mind as you do so. Since you’re applying wet paint onto wet paint, you’ll have to account for colors mixing on your canvas. This can add a vibrant and exciting element to your painting, but it can also be a headache depending on how you like to paint. To avoid your colors mixing too much, you can use a loaded brush or a palette knife. Then, drag the paint loosely over the top. You’ll also want to choose your color palette carefully, ensuring that if your colors do mix that they won’t disrupt the painting too much.

If you’d like to learn more about the wet-on-wet technique or other painting techniques, take one of our classes at Creative Ventures Gallery. Contact us today to learn more!