This is your ultimate guide for watercolor painting tips and tricks for beginners. Make sure to read on. 

Watercolor painting has become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to its versatility and the beautiful results it can produce. 


However, if you’re new to the world of watercolor painting, it can be daunting to know where to begin. 


That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 9 watercolor tips specifically designed for beginners to help you get started with watercolor painting.

Whether you’re looking for watercolor ideas, tips on how to watercolor, or information on the best watercolor paint sets for beginners, this guide has you covered.

We’ll go over basic watercolor techniques, offer tips for beginners, and provide inspiration for your next watercolor painting project.

So, whether you’re an experienced artist looking to try something new, or a complete beginner just starting out, read on for our 9 watercolor tips for beginners, and start creating beautiful watercolor paintings today.

9 Watercolor Tips for Beginners 3

9. First layers of paint should be very light

If you’re just starting out with watercolor painting, here’s a pro tip for you: start with really light layers of paint.


All you gotta do is mix enough water into the paint, and then add more layers as needed to get the color you want.

One thing to keep in mind is that watercolor paint doesn’t have any white in it, so it’s important to be slow and careful as you add layers.


You don’t want to make any mistakes that you can’t fix.

So, here’s another tip: it’s easier to fix a painting that’s too light than one that’s too dark.


Just take your time and build up those layers nice and easy.

watercolor art

8. Create a very detailed sketch beforehand

It is so tempting to just draw rough outlines of your sketch and jump straight into painting.

Make sure to mark the lights and the darks of an object on paper before starting, unless you are doing a galaxy painting. 


Watercolor is difficult in itself, no need to make it even harder for yourself trying to think on paper where the light and the dark should be. 


Although there are many watercolor techniques that encourage that, as a beginner it is best to be the most prepared.

Watercolor Painting Dogs

7. Let the layers of paint dry in between

The secret of having bright and vivid colors is that you will wait in between each layer before applying a new layer.


Watercolors can bleed into each other and unless that is a desired result, then wait patiently.

While it may take a bit longer to complete your painting using this method, the end result will be well worth it with those vibrant colors you were aiming for. 


So, take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy the process of creating something truly beautiful with watercolors.

6. Paint on watercolor paper

Using printer paper to paint with watercolors is a common mistake among beginners.


While it’s okay to experiment with normal paper when starting out, the best results come from using proper watercolor paper. 

Watercolor paper is a special type of paper that’s designed specifically for use with watercolors.


Unlike regular paper, it’s much thicker and has a unique texture that helps absorb water and pigment.

This texture is created by pressing the paper fibers together during the manufacturing process, creating a rough or smooth surface depending on the desired effect.


The quality of the paper can have a significant impact on the final outcome of a watercolor painting.

Using low-quality paper may cause the paint to bleed or not absorb properly, resulting in a dull or muddied appearance.


Choosing the right watercolor paper can enhance the vibrancy and texture of your artwork and make the process of painting more enjoyable.

Watercolor Mountain

5. Erase pencil before applying paint

It’s important to erase any pencil marks before applying watercolor paint.


Pencil marks can smudge and mix with the paint, creating a messy appearance. 

This is especially true for lighter shades of paint, which may not fully cover the pencil marks.


Using a soft eraser and being careful not to damage the paper, gently remove any pencil marks before starting to paint.

This is especially true for lighter shades of paint, which may not fully cover the pencil marks.


Using a soft eraser and being careful not to damage the paper, gently remove any pencil marks before starting to paint.

This will help create a cleaner and more professional-looking finished piece.

watercolor painting ideas

4. Get a second jug of water

Having a second jug with water is especially important when working on a piece that requires intricate details or precise color mixing.


Without clean water, the colors can become dull or contaminated, making it difficult to achieve the desired effect.

Having spare clean water when you are in the flow,  as it’s best to change it frequently, especially if you are using many different colors in your painting.


Sometimes you just can’t stop and best to always be over prepared than under-prepared.

watercolor pancakes

3. Test out watercolor mix on scrap paper

When you are mixing watercolors, make sure that you create a swatch on the same paper that you will be painting.


The color that you see in the palate will look different on paper. So that you will not have any surprises on your work. 


So if you learn how to draw a flower, and then decide to color it in, test out the colors for the best results. 

watercolor for painting

2. Give yourself a break, when almost finished

We are humans, we are not robots (unfortunately), so for the best results, just before you decide to do the final touches, take a break: go for a walk, and make a cup of coffee.


It will help you to see mistakes that you have not seen before, making it easier to improve.


I think this is one of my favorite watercolor tips. 

watercolor rose painting

Seriously! Did you know that professional artists can teach you online, so from the comfort of your own home you CAN improve in watercolor painting level and fill you up with different drawing ideas.

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

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

If you have been wanting to improve your watercolor skills then do not forget to check it out!