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Watercolor Painting for Beginners

Sandra Doe

Sandra Doe

This article will discuss how to watercolor for beginners. Wether you are still picking the best watercolor paints or looking for some extra watercolor tips. You will all be able to find here. 

Because when you understand the watercolor basics such as watercolor techniques you will be able to create things like galaxy painting. watercolor flowers from the best watercolor artists

watercolor supplies

Today we will discuss:

There are tons of techniques and supplies that you can try and terms that you can learn, but we will be focusing only on a few basics.

Because your aim is to start watercolor painting with the tutorial for beginners. 

And my aim is not to intimidate you.

Let’s gather our basic supplies (you do not need much):

Watercolor comes in tubes and pans

We recommend for newbies to start with pans because they are:

  • Easy to easy
  • Cheaper
  • Come with a palette so you do not need to buy anything extra

Start with student grade (a.k.a cheaper, a bit lower quality than professional paint.)  watercolor and later you can upgrade to professional (a.k.a best of the best, bright colors and just look great, BUT pricey.) 

The Sad Truth about Cheap Watercolor Paint: 

  • Results can be disappointing
  • Paint does not behave how it is supposed to
  • Colors are dull 
  • Pigment does not lay flat on paper
 Check out my article here for: 5 Best Watercolor Paint for beginners.

Next on our list in this tutorial watercolor painting for beginner is:

Watercolor needs a special paper because:

  • When we paint, we use plenty of water that normal one can not withstand. 
  • It is thicker
  • Has a rough surface.

Make sure it is over 220 gsm (how thick the paper is). We recommend 300gm2. 

Writing, drawing and copy paper IS NOT designed for watercolor (it does not hold water well.) 

There is hot pressed, cold pressed and rough paper, so if you see those words do not get intimidated.

Try a few of them and see what you like, as they pretty much do the same thing and all of them are designed for watercolor. 

There are tons of different brushes that can help you to create different effects, but when you are starting out all you really need is 3 types:

Flat brush

  • To define edges
  • Put water on paper

Round brush:

  • Has a pointy tip
  • Make lines

 

Thin brush:

  • For pointy lines
  • Details 

Synthetic brushes are preferred because they do not shed hair on your work & they will last forever (which is great, isn’t it?)

watercolor painting

4. 2 Jars:

They can be from old pickles or even a mug (just dont drink from it)

First is for dirty brushes. 

Second is for clean water for painting.

It will ensure that the colors are bright, and not muddy.

5. Tissue Paper:

It is needed to wipe off excess paint.

Watercolor Painting for Beginners 19

Simple Watercolor Rules to Remember:

  • More water you use, the lighter the shade you will have.
  • Watercolor pigment dries much lighter on paper
  • Paint from light to dark
  • Do not use too many pigments at once, otherwise it will create muddy colors.

#1 tip: Do not be afraid to play around with watercolors. It is a fun medium to paint with.   

Start with taking a piece of paper in your sketchbook or just any paper and understanding what the watercolor is and how to paint. 

Next, a good idea is to make a simple color chart. This way you will see what kind of colors you have and how they will look. 

They are the basics that you need in order to get started.

Watercolor Painting for Beginners 21

1.) Dry wash: 

It is a simple, solid hue on dry paper.

The main thing is to make it look solid.

Watercolor Painting for Beginners 23

2.) Wet on Wet:

Cover the whole area in water first. 

Before the layer of watercolor is completely dry, get a lot of pigment on the brush and add it to the area.

Watch the paint spread across unexpectedly, creating very beautiful and diffused effects. 

Read the full article here on 13 watercolor techniques here. We show everything with pictures so very easy to follow.

Let's try to paint something!

Deciding what you’ll paint can sometimes be the hardest part of the entire creative process especially if you are a newbie.

You want it to look good, but not too hard to make.

This is why I recommend enrolling in an art class.

If you have enjoyed this tutorial, then do not forget to check out this watercolor course for complete beginners called: “The Watercolor Workshop.”

The Watercolor Workshop is a course designed for beginner and intermediate artists wishing to explore and improve watercolor painting techniques.

This course starts with the basics and progresses gradually to more complex subjects and concepts.

The 19 modules are logically sequenced so that each module builds upon concepts learned in previous modules.

And if you are more of a book person, this is a great book to kickstart your watercolor painting journey. 

A contemporary paint-every-day watercolor guide that explores foundational strokes and patterns and then builds new skills upon the foundations over the course of 30 days to create finished pieces.

And at the end of the day, all that really matters is that you start painting!

Not that you have the most perfect supplies, mood and setting.

 Just start! Do not overthink it! It is that simple.

Because when you are overthinking it, it takes a lot of time. When you just start, you will be glad you did. 

Alright, now it is time for you to paint and make this world a very creative place. 

Ideas for your next watercolor Painting:

Watercolor Basic Techniques

FREE WATERCOLOR CHEATSHEET:

9 Watercolor Techniques for Beginners