Painting and spatula techniques with Schmincke HORADAM® watercolours in tubes - With the German artist Sabine Hilscher

Like many other artists, Sabine Hilscher has also found her own technique - painting and spatula techniques with watercolours in tubes. Let´s have a look at this colourful and expressive painting.

You will need:

  • HORADAM® watercolours in 5 or 15 ml-tubes: Translucent orange (14218), Magenta (14352), Delftblue (14482), Prussian green (14528)
  • Possibly HORADAM® watercolour box with 12 colours in pans (74412 or 74312)
  • Watercolour paper, matt, e.g. Hahnemühle Cornwall
  • AERO COLOR® Professional SUPRA-White opaque (28101)
  • Watercolour brushes in different sizes, e.g. from daVinci
  • Pencil
  • Pallet knife for spatula technique
  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • Pallet


Step 1 and 2:

Make a slight pre-scetch of your flower motif with a pencil on the watercolour paper. Now, carefully apply some watercolours in Magenta and Translucent orange directly from the tubes onto the paper, tracing the half circles of the blossoms, which form the colour base of the flowers. Better apply the colours sparingly and leave sufficient space blank.


Step 3 and 4:

You now sprinkle the watercolours carefully with the spray bottle, so that they begin to flow into each other in larger areas. They spontaneously will mix themselves and begin to bloom, which means they form irregular edgings. To fill out the blossoms and to work out their forms, you now spread the colours using a pallet knife (spatula technique). Intense, pure applications and diluted colour flows should vary to create a vivid and light impression.


Step 5 und 6:

Now you complete your picture using the blue and green watercolours, indicating informal stipes and leaves directly from the tube. Please be aware: As always, less is more. Proceed now like in step 2: The colours will be sprinkled with water from the spray bottle to let them flow in different directions. Using brush and pallet knife helps to create the forms for a better separation of flowing colours and determined colour areas, so that the motif becomes more and more clear and visible.


Step 7:

To avoid a too pastose impression and to sustain the typical watercolour effect, you now take a big watercolour brush and spread surplus colours in the background. You can also use your pallet knife for further effects. Doing this, pay attenti onto the colour flow, it helps to underline the character of the painting.


Step 8:

With a small brush you now apply details, fine lines and contours, which vivify the painting and give a structure at the same time. Using AERO COLOR® Professional SUPRA-White and a bigger and wet brush, you add splashes for light dots, with a smaller brush you add some fine lines. Some splashes in different already used and now thinned colours can be applied with a big and wet brush to accomplish the fresh and abstract watercolour painting.



Even though we use only a reduced colour assortment, we will achieve a shining and fresh watercolour painting. This is bdue to the complementary contrast of orange and blue shades which we have used. If you take too many different colours, the painting can become too colourful, furthermore you risk a grubby impression when too many different colours mix without control.