Watercolor Painting for Beginners and Beyond (2023)
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Whether you’re brushing off the cobwebs or you’re just getting started, this in-depth guide will help you dive into watercolors and making beautiful paintings in no time!
Watercolor Is For Everyone
When you think of paintings, you probably tend to think of works on canvas in oils and acrylics. But the very first painting any artist ever does nowadays is with watercolor. As young children, we’re given plastic palettes filled with bright oval wells of paint, and we create cheery little paintings of houses with happy suns and stick figure families below. Watercolors feel accessible, easy, and fun when we’re young.
But as we get older, we begin to step away from this medium or stray from art as a hobby entirely. It’s easy to begin thinking of watercolors as an intimidating medium with expensive materials.
If you’re coming back to watercolors as an adult and you feel nervous, I understand! It used to be scary for me, too — now I’m a watercolor artist for a living. In this guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to get started with watercolors, from the materials, basic techniques, and a few more advanced techniques to help you feel confident in watercolors like you used to feel as a child.
Watercolor Guide Table of Contents
- 1 Watercolor Is For Everyone
- 2 The Ultimate Watercolor Painting Guide
- 3 Watercolor Supplies
- 4 The Best Paintbrushes for Watercolor Painting
- 5 Best Watercolor Paper
- 6 Watercolor Accessories
- 7 Basics of Watercolor Painting
- 8 Layering Watercolors
- 9 Advanced Watercolor Painting Methods
- 10 Creating Watercolor Paint Textures
- 11 Watercolor Tips from a Pro
- 12 Common Watercolor Mistakes
- 13 Fun Watercolor Projects for Anyone
- 14 Your Turn
- 15 Explore More Art Tutorials
The Ultimate Watercolor Painting Guide
There are a lot of different things to cover in this watercolor guide, but I’ll start with the most vital part of your new favorite hobby: the supplies. After that, we’ll dive into some techniques and advice to get you out of your head and onto the page!
Before you jump in and start painting, you need to gather a few supplies. You can keep it simple with just the bare minimum, get lots of fancy supplies, or find your own balance somewhere in between. As long as you feel comfortable with the supplies you choose and they make you excited to paint, you can’t go wrong.
The Best Watercolor Paints
The first thing you need is watercolor paint, obviously! There are a number of different paint options out there, but I will guide you through some of my favorites.
What’s the Difference Between Tube, Pan, and Liquid Watercolors?
If you’re a newbie, you might be overwhelmed by all the watercolor paint options out there. There seems to be tons of different forms of watercolor, so how do you know which one is right for you?
In a nutshell, pan and tube watercolors are very similar in how you use them. The main difference is how much paint you’ll get for the price. Tubes are a better bang for your buck, but pans are the most beginner-friendly. Liquid watercolors contain their own unique pros and cons that may intrigue you. If you want to learn the specific differences between all these varieties of watercolor, check out my full post and video going over how to choose the right paint for you!
Beginner Watercolor Paints
If you’re a total beginner in the world of watercolor, you should stick with simple student-grade watercolors. Don’t worry about running out and buying expensive sets of paint.
The first paints that we give to children aren’t a bad buy for the complete newbie. If just want to dip your toes and not worry too much about quality, I’d recommend Prang paints because they are vibrant, incredibly cheap, and mix pretty well.
- Pure pigments with no wax fillers provide smooth laydown and vivid colors
- White mixing tray and brush included
- Sturdy box with easy to open lid and refillable pan save you time and money
- Includes 16 brilliant colors, AP certified non-toxic
If you’d rather have a slightly more “adult” set of paints, Winsor & Newton have several student-grade sets that are affordable and will cover all the basic colors you need.
Advanced Watercolor Paints
Wanting to take your paints up a notch? Look for larger student-grade paint sets with more color options to expand your paint world. Another option is adding individual tubes of professional-grade paint to your collection, giving you a taste of fancier paints without going all out.
If you feel like growing your paint collection, you can opt for a Winsor & Newton palette with a wider array of colors.
Dr. Ph. Martin’s Liquid Hydrus Watercolors is another great choice if you’re interested in liquid paint. These vibrant watercolors are versatile and tend to last for a long time because of how concentrated they are.
I also adore Sennelier as a mid-level watercolor brand that packs a powerful punch without being too expensive. In fact, Sennelier paints have been my go-to watercolor brand for the past few years.
Looking to dip your toes into high-grade paints? Daniel Smith watercolors are spectacular, if not expensive. You can always buy a few tubes in your favorite colors and see how they compare to your existing paints.
Extra Watercolor Paints
Beyond the standard array of watercolor paints, there are a few unusual options that are worth mentioning. These types of paints are not necessary for a beginner, but they might be a fun addition to your paint sets!
The first type of extra paint I want to mention is metallic watercolor. These paints behave just like normal watercolors, but they typically have mica powder in the mix which gives them a beautiful shine. There are lots of metallic paints you can buy, but my favorites have been from the German brand Colrio. They have lots of fun palettes, including the popular gold set that has been a personal favorite for years.
Another handy addition to my paint kit is Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bleedproof White. I think this material is more ink than watercolor, but it really is in a league of its own. I can make this white substance as opaque or as translucent as I like, making it extremely handy for adding white details and highlights to my work.
The Best Paintbrushes for Watercolor Painting
One of the most important things you need for successful watercolor painting is a reliable brush. Lots of painters have huge collections of brushes, but that isn’t necessary to get started! You really only need a very basic set to kick off. Once you’re used to painting, you’ll naturally gravitate to certain types of brushes and you can let that inform future purchases.
There are a number of different brands of paintbrushes, but you don’t need to get any fancy name brands yet. I personally enjoy Princeton and Grumbacher brushes, but you can find plenty of decent cheap brushes that will do the job until you can afford more expensive options. As long as it’s not those horrible brushes with scratchy plastic bristles you find in kid’s sets, you’ll be fine.
Round brushes are the bread and butter of an artist’s toolkit. They are some of the most versatile and useful brushes you can have. I would highly recommend you buy a set of round brushes in several sizes. To cover all your bases, I would suggest a small, medium, and large round brush such as the sizes listed below:
- size 4
- size 6
- size 10
Flat brushes are fantastic for filling the page with washes of color. I find having at least one medium and one large flat brush on hand is extremely helpful.
Filbert brushes end in an oval shape instead of a hard flat line. This shape makes them great for creating organic shapes like leaves. They are also ideal for filling in color in a rounded shape since this brush doesn’t have any pesky right angles. I don’t use my filbert a ton, but you might find that it’s valuable for your style of painting.
These brushes are similar to flat brushes in that they have a hard, flat edge. However, instead of the brush ending at a ninety-degree angle, the brush has a more diagonal angle. This is handy for getting into tight corners and creating certain textures. You don’t need an angle brush as a beginner, but they can certainly be helpful from time to time.
When you need tiny details in your work, such as linework or highlights, detail brushes are the answer. These small brushes are fantastic for adding the finishing touches to your piece. If you plan on working in small detail, make sure you have at least one of these brushes on hand.
If you work on large pieces with big washes, mop brushes are excellent to have in your toolkit. They hold an enormous amount of water, which means you can create large, wet brushstrokes and washes. A mop brush isn’t necessary for a beginner, but you might want to grab one once you have more experience.
I haven’t shared a comprehensive list of the types of paintbrushes available here — that would take all day! There are tons of funky other brushes you can buy for a myriad of different uses. My best advice for buying new brush types would be to look them up to see how they’re typically used, then buy a single cheaper brush to test it out. Once you’ve used it a bit and feel like it’s a keeper, then you should look for a set of them or a higher quality version.
Best Watercolor Paper
You might think that paint is the most important material in watercolor painting. Believe it or not, watercolor paper takes that honor. If you have poor quality or the incorrect type of paper, it doesn’t matter how nice your paints and technique might be — the painting will still look terrible. You need a solid foundation for your paintings by using good quality watercolor paper.
Most of the complaints I hear about watercolor as a medium can be blamed on poor paper quality. I used to struggle with this, too! When I was in college, I didn’t want to pay for proper watercolor paper, so I tried painting on inappropriate papers — and it always looked horrible. It was so frustrating! I only finally started growing my watercolor skills when I began painting on the correct types of paper. It truly makes all the difference.
The paper needs to be graded at 140 lbs (300 g) for it to stand up to the watery medium. You can also easily find high-quality paper at 300 lbs (640 g) if you want something more sturdy.
Some of my favorite brands are Canson, Strathmore, and Arches.
When you’re just getting started, it might be a little intimidating to start with full sheets of watercolor paper. For a long time, I found these blank pages put a lot of pressure on me to make something really nice, and I never felt like what I had to create was worthy.
A better way to practice (at least, in my opinion) is by using a watercolor sketchbook. You can get sketchbooks with watercolor paper or even mixed media sketchbooks, which will stand up to watercolor. I find that a sketchbook takes the pressure off and allows me to play, experiment, and mess up without worrying about “wasting” paper.
I’m a big fan of my Moleskine Watercolor Notebook.
Beyond paper, paint, and brushes, you need a few extra things to fully round out your full watercolor toolkit. Thankfully, most of these are easy to find or improvise with whatever you have around the house.
You need fresh, clean water in order to make watercolor paintings — that is pretty obvious. But what isn’t obvious to a new painter is that you need more than one jar of water.
You need one jar for cleaning the pigment off of your brush so you can switch colors and another jar with clean water to wet your brush and pick up new color. It might seem redundant, but this extra jar of water can help keep your colors clean and prevent muddiness (the accidental mixing of pigments).
While you’re painting, you’ll frequently need to wipe your brush onto a rag or paper towel to adjust the amount of water or clean off a bit of pigment. I have an old cotton shirt cut up into rags that I use because I don’t like the waste of repeatedly using paper towels. That being said, it’s not a bad idea to have paper towels on hand to clean up any spills to blot up excess water on the page.
I used to never use tape to hold down my watercolor paper, but now I use it every single time. Plain masking tape or painter’s tape (for painting walls) works beautifully to keep your paper secure while you work and produces delicious clean white borders on every piece. Washi tape can also do the job if you have some on hand!
Watercolor can be a bit messy, and if you care about your table or desk, I’d suggest some kind of an artboard as the base for your painting. I have a big drawing artboard and a large flat wooden palette that I use, but you could also use plywood, composite board, or even cardboard in a pinch. You just put the paper where you want it, tape it to the board, and begin painting.
If you have a watercolor pan set, you don’t need a palette. Instead, you can just mix paints right in the lid of your set. But if you have tubes, liquid paints, or simply want more room for mixing, you might want to buy an extra palette. This will just give you more room to play with mixing colors without worrying about them running into each other.
There are tons of varieties of palettes available, so just do a bit of searching to find one that suits your needs. I have a few ceramic ones from Etsy shops that I absolutely love, but cheap plastic ones work great as well.
Pencils and Pens
It’s not a bad idea to sketch out your linework on the watercolor paper before you begin. You can use normal mechanical or wooden pencils, but I have recently switched to Prismacolor Col-Erase colored pencils because they tend to not show up under the layers of watercolor.
As for pens, there are a multitude of pens available If you like doing linework on top of your watercolor or like painting in your inked lines, you have a range to choose from. You can see all my general favorite pens in this post, I can say that the Tombow Fudenosuke and the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen are my go-to choices for brush pens. I also love Sakura Micron pens for monoline inking.
With pens, it’s always a good idea to test the ink before you use it in a painting. You don’t want to painstakingly draw out linework with a new pen only to discover that it bleeds the moment a paintbrush touches it! Some pens have water-based ink, which means the water from your painting will activate and lift it off the page. Test your new pens in a watercolor sketchbook or on a scrap piece of paper before using them in your work.
Masking fluid is a latex liquid that you can use to preserve sections of your painting while you add layers of color. For example, you can add masking fluid to a drawing of a flame, paint dark layers directly overtop the masked section to create a dark night scene, and later remove the masking to allow you to paint the flame’s details. This material is not necessary for beginners, but it’s a very common watercolor material that you might be interested in at some point, so it’s worth learning about.
For years, one of my biggest challenges with watercolor was waiting for layers to dry. I hated having to put my creativity and inspiration on hold while the paint slowly dried, so I found a way around it. I bought a heat tool for embossing and quickly realized that I could use the tool to force my paintings to dry in a fraction of the time. Now, I use it constantly. Again, this isn’t a necessary purchase, but if you are bothered by long dry times, you might want to look at a heat tool, too.
Another little tool that I reach for every painting session is my eyedropper. I use this tool to drop clean water into the wells of my palette to activate the paint before I begin painting. This tiny step makes world of difference when I paint so I don’t have to stop to “wake up” the pigment in the middle of the painting process.
You might not think you need a ruler for watercolor, but you’d be surprised how often this tool comes in handy! I have a small metal six-inch ruler and a large metal two-foot ruler that I reach for constantly in my art studio. If you don’t already have a ruler, I’d suggest you grab one and keep it nearby.
Your Watercolor Painting Setup
How do you set up all your materials for ideal painting? There is no one right answer that applies to everyone, and with practice, you will determine what works best for you. To figure out what your setup should look like, consider your handedness. You’ll want the materials you use the most to be closest to your dominant hand, and the materials you use less frequently on your non-dominant side.
Here you can see my ideal setup. I’m right-handed, so I have my water jars on the top right of my workspace so I don’t accidentally knock them over and I don’t risk dripping water on the painting. The rag for cleaning my brush is right next to the jars, and the paints are located at the top left of my space. The heat tool is on the left of my space so I can easily reach it and keep it out of the way while I’m working, along with any pens or pencils.
Try creating a setup similar to this to get started and adjust according to your needs until you find the right painting layout for you.
Basics of Watercolor Painting
Now that we’ve covered the basic supplies for watercolor, it’s time to dive right into the techniques you’ll need to get started!
In order to mix watercolors to create a beautiful range of colors, you need to understand basic color theory. Lots of people learn the basics of the color wheel in school, but it’s worth taking a moment to refresh that knowledge.
First, you need to know your primary colors: red, yellow, and blue. When you combine two primary colors, you get a secondary color, like green, orange, and purple. And when you mix a primary color with a secondary color, you get one of six tertiary colors like yellow-orange, blue-green, and so on.
Each watercolor palette is different, so it’s a great idea for you to paint out a simple color wheel with all twelve colors (three primary, three secondary, and six tertiary) starting out with just your primary colors. This way you can get a feel for how your paint will behave, and it will help you understand the basics of color mixing firsthand.
For a deeper dive into watercolor mixing, head to this post and learn how to blend darker colors, lighter colors, and more!
Learning Control Over Your Tools
One of watercolor’s key characteristics is how challenging it is to control. You’ll learn that watercolor has a mind of its own because of how fluid water can be. In order to understand how to wield watercolor as a medium, you need to begin to learn how to guide the water and pigments instead of letting them run wild. This water control comes in many forms and takes hands-on practice — no matter how much you read about it, nothing compares to actually having the brush in your hand and experiencing the paint on the page.
Control Your Brush
The amount of water on your brush directly impacts the way it interacts with the page. Is your brush fully wet? Mostly dry? Somewhere in between? Each will get you totally different results, so it’s important to get a feel for how wet your brush is.
A wet brush may provide smooth, gliding strokes on the page, but you might accidentally have more water than paint if you don’t pay attention. A dry brush might be easier to control, but you could end up with a raspy texture on the paper that you didn’t expect.
The trick to figuring out your brush control is to sit down and just fill a page with varying brushstrokes. Experiment with the amount of water you use and the amount of pigment to get a feel for your materials. You’ll find that you can get a huge range of brushstrokes using the same paintbrush by simply adjusting the amount of water in the brush. This will help you understand the relationship between your brush, water, and the page much better.
Control Your Paper
Another thing to keep in mind is the wetness of your paper. If you’re painting on wet or damp paper, you might find that your brushstrokes behave unexpectedly and erratically. If you’re painting on bone dry paper, you will likely find you have more control over the paint but you can’t achieve some of the beautiful watercolor textures you’re looking for. The wetness or dryness of your paper, combined with the wetness or dryness of your brush, can result in wildly different results.
Again, the only way to really understand this type of control is to roll up your sleeves and give it a try. To experiment and get a feel for these variations, try once again to fill a page with just brushstrokes — but this time, wet the page first using a big brush and clean water. See how the paint behaves when you use different brush strokes and note how the watercolor moves in new ways.
Control Your Paint
The less water you use, the bolder and more vibrant seems to show. The more water you use, the more diluted and pale the color tends to appear. There is no right or wrong amount of pigment to use. Sometimes you might want bold color, other times you might be looking for more transparency.
Lastly, you need to get a grasp on how to control the paint itself. Just like everything else in watercolor, controlling the paint boils down to controlling water. You’ll find that the amount of water on your brush directly affects how strong the color shows through on the paper.
To get a feel for pigment control, you once again need to get some hands-on practice. Get a fresh page of watercolor paper or flip to a new sketchbook page, then play around with pigment. Push yourself to take one color from the boldest and brightest version of itself to the palest, most transparent color you can. This type of exercise will help you get a better grasp on how to create the precise color effects you want while you’re painting with watercolors.
A watercolor wash is another term for covering a large area with color. Washes can be a large section of your painting or even the whole thing. There are a couple of different ways you can create a watercolor wash, all of which have different final results.
To learn how to achieve these four basic washes, check out this post for the inside scoop!
Or if you want to learn how to create each wash step by step (and learn one bonus wash), check out my full-length course Watercolor Washes on Foxsy!
A flat wash is a technique of creating a single flat layer of a single color. It looks smooth and doesn’t change transparency at any point throughout.
A graded wash is where your layer gradually fades from full color to a lighter color or even totally transparent in one smooth transition.
A variegated wash is very similar to a graded wash. However, instead of transitioning from one color to no color, a variegated wash transitions from one color to a second color. This is especially great for painting sunsets and sunrises.
Wet on Wet Wash
A wet on wet wash utilizes the (you guessed it) wet on wet painting technique. Basically, you wet the paper and add one or multiple colors to the wet paper to create blooms. The colors will bleed into each other and mingle with the water to form a truly unique, organic wash.
One thing that always trips up newbies to watercolor is how pale and light the paint tends to be. Compared to heavier-bodied paints like acrylics and oils, watercolor feels so thin and transparent. But you can find tons of watercolor paintings that show bold colors, strong contrast, and commanding depth. How is this done?
The answer: layers
Watercolor thrives on lots and lots of thin, pale layers stacked over top of each other. Layers give tons of depth, color, and life where one layer might feel flimsy and inadequate. A common mistake among beginners is attempting to complete a full painting with only one or two layers. It’s only once you begin to understand the magic of layers that watercolor begins to click into place and come to life.
That’s why I created a whole course just to teach this one essential skill on Foxsy — Watercolor Layering: 5 Tips for Creating Depth, Intensity, and Color.
To practice working with layers, try picking a color and painting a shape over and over again in stacking layers. Paint the first shape, wait for it to dry, then paint another layer of the same shape again just off-center so the original shape peeks out. Keep doing this, showing a sliver of each previous shape, until you have at least ten layers and you can see how the layers continue to build color and depth to your painting.
Advanced Watercolor Painting Methods
If you’re looking to move beyond the basics, there are a few techniques I recommend that you try.
Negative painting is a technique that was tricky to learn, but it has become a favorite method for me. In a nutshell, negative painting turns the standard method for painting on its head. Instead of building up the subject of your painting with multiple layers, you work backward with the negative space and paint around the subject of your painting.
This technique is worth describing in more detail and seeing in action, so make sure to check out my negative painting post to see exactly how this method is achieved!
A frustrating aspect of watercolors is that it can be very challenging to cover up or hide mistakes. Because watercolors are inherently transparent, a mistake can easily show through many layers of paint no matter how hard you try. But there is a technique called scrubbing you can use in cases where you need to lighten and even remove a mistake.
Scrubbing basically is exactly what it sounds like. Wet a special scrubbing brush or a stiff brush with clean water and gently scrub at the mistake. The pigment should begin to lift away with a little scrubbing. Make sure to clean the pigment off the brush regularly and you should be able to significantly remove the mistake. Just be careful, because this technique is rough on the paper and could begin to damage the paper if you scrub too hard.
Creating Watercolor Paint Textures
A strength of watercolor painting is its huge variety of textures. While you can achieve quite a lot of interesting textures with standard techniques, you can also create unexpected new ones with household items.
By cleverly using salt, rubbing alcohol, cellophane, sponges, and even clean water, you can totally alter the final look of your watercolor painting. These are fun enough to play with on their own, but these techniques can also be fantastic elements to use in your artwork.
In fact, one of my favorite courses I’ve ever created covers the vast range of textures you can create with household materials! You can find 12 unique textures and how to use them in Watercolor Textures on Foxsy.
If you want a quick and dirty dip into the world of watercolor textures, you can find a few in this post!
Watercolor Tips from a Pro
I’ve been painting for a long time now, and I’ve learned lots of lessons along the way. Let me share some nuggets of wisdom to help you get further with watercolor.
When you’re first getting started, a full-sized piece of paper can be very intimidating. That’s a lot of blank space to fill! Instead, try cutting your paper into smaller pieces or use a smaller sketchbook. That way you can create small paintings and gain confidence without being worried about big, complicated paintings.
Go With the Flow
One of watercolor’s charms is how fluid and wild it is. No matter how much you learn to control your brush and paint, you will still find that watercolor surprises you sometimes. Instead of cursing this tendency, embrace it. Allow the water to create unexpected organic shapes and effects.
Think of yourself as training a dog. You can work hard to train the dog to obey, do lots of tricks, and behave nicely — but at the end of the day, it’s still a living, breathing animal. The quirks of the dog might frustrate you, delight you, or make you laugh, but you will always love it at the end of the day if you accept that it’s always a little bit wild.
Keep Supplies in View
If you want to encourage yourself to use your watercolors and practice, then it helps to have the supplies out and visible. Tucking your watercolor supplies out of sight means you won’t see them and think of them nearly as often, especially as you’re getting started. Instead, try to display your materials on your desk, on a shelf, or on a cart somewhere you can easily grab them and begin painting.
Paint What You Want To Paint
You might begin painting and feel like you have to do things a certain way. While you’re learning, it’s a great idea to push your boundaries and try out techniques recommended for you. However, that doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to do something completely different.
If you want to paint a particular subject, use a particular brush, or exclusively use one color, then do it! Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s wrong, because there aren’t any rules in art. Create things that delight you and you will learn along the way no matter what.
Find Inspiration and Recreate It
A great way to expand your watercolor skills is to find other watercolorists in the world and enjoy their work! Once you find an artist that sparks inspiration for you, try to figure out what specifically you like about their work. Is it the color? The subject matter? The clean lines or drippy details?
Identify the aspects that excite you and try to replicate them. I learned how to do negative painting after seeing other creators use the technique, and now it’s one of my favorite watercolor methods. Borrow little pieces from the works that inspire you and weave them into your own style.
There is no such thing as a totally original style or idea — you don’t live in a vacuum. It’s okay to be inspired and try other creator’s techniques. If you’re worried about it, you can always credit the artist that inspired you!
If you follow the last piece of advice (or you simply exist on the internet in general), you will probably find yourself comparing your work to another artist’s work. It happens to all of us. But remember when you catch yourself doing so to cut it out.
It is wholly unfair to compare your first steps to someone else’s 100th step. Would you chastise a kid learning to ride a bike because they can’t ride like a pro? Of course not! So why do that to yourself? Everyone has to start somewhere, and there will ALWAYS be more advanced artists out there. There is always something new to learn, some new technique to master, a new style to try on. Everyone’s journey is different, so why torture yourself with such a ridiculous thing?
Instead, compare your present self to your past self. Keep your drawings and paintings so you can look back in six months to see how much you’ve grown. While it never feels like it, you get better every single time you touch paint to paper. Every single time. So don’t give up, and don’t allow yourself to believe that you’re not good enough. You are good enough — period.
You know this. I know this. But it bears repeating anyway: practice!!!
You can think about watercolors, watch other creators online, study books about watercolors, and stare aggressively at your own painting supplies. But when it comes down to it, you will never be good at painting until you’re bad at it first. You’ve got to put in those hours to get better. It’s the only way.
Done Not Perfect
You will always make mistakes, but that’s a good thing! Mistakes are the catalyst to growth, so embrace them. Don’t let the fear of mistakes stop you from trying at all. This halted my progress for years until I learned the magic of Done Not Perfect.
Common Watercolor Mistakes
While learning about watercolor, you could potentially run into some snags that cause frustration. In this post, I’ll share the seven most common watercolor mistakes and how to avoid them or fix them. Keeping an eye out for pitfalls will help you avoid getting stuck on unnecessary stuff so you can get right to the best parts of painting with watercolor.
Fun Watercolor Projects for Anyone
Now that you’ve got a foundation in watercolors, it’s time for you to jump into some fun beginner-friendly watercolor projects!
Want to create something vivid, dramatic, and easy? Try painting a watercolor galaxy!
Besides the basic watercolor supplies of paper, paint, and brushes, you’ll need:
- Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bleedproof White or similar
- a toothbrush
Check out how to paint your own watercolor galaxy here!
If you’ve got the itch to make something but you have no idea what to paint, then you ought to give watercolor doodles a try. This fun, easygoing technique is a great way to flex your creative muscles.
Besides the basic watercolor supplies of paper, paint, and brushes, you’ll need:
- Drawing pens or pencils
Check out how to create some funky watercolor doodles here!
Want to use your watercolor skills in a new unique way? Then you might be interested in watercolor lettering.
All you need for this project is your standard watercolor supplies!
Check out my tips for watercolor lettering right here.
Bullet Journal Watercoloring
One of my favorite ways to add little splashes of watercolor to my life is by incorporating watercolor into my bullet journal.
What you’ll need:
- A journal such as Leuchtturm1917, Moleskine, or Archer & Olive Watercolor Journal
- Watercolor paints
- Watercolor brushes
- Drawing pens
Check out my guide to the bullet journal to see how to get started today!
I’ve gotten a million questions over the years about how to do watercolors in your bullet journal, so I finally broke down and condensed all my knowledge into one handy resource. Learn all my secrets in my most popular course on Foxsy: Paint the Page! I spill it all — my favorite supplies, the best techniques, and three gorgeous projects that you can use in your bullet journal today.
I know watercolor might seem overwhelming at first, but I hope this guide has helped clear the way for you. Yes, there are lots of techniques to learn — but you don’t need to learn them overnight. There are lots of supplies to choose from, but you only need a few to get started. In the end, it’s just you and the paper in front of you. Do what feels right, trust your instincts, and remember that this is supposed to be fun.
Watercolor is meant to be played with, not controlled with an iron fist. As long as you’re enjoying the process, you’re doing it right. So go out there, paintbrush in hand, and create!
Explore More Art Tutorials
If you are ready to dive deep into watercolor, then you’d definitely love the variety of watercolor courses on Foxsy!
There are several courses that are perfect for beginners, such as Watercolor Basics and Watercolor Washes. Beyond the most essential skills, you’ll also find more exciting courses that will push your boundaries and ignite your imagination.
With a Foxsy membership, you also gain access to the growing creative course library! Foxsy is packed with art classes to help you grow your watercolor, lettering, drawing, and creative journaling skills — and more classes are added every month.
Take the next step on your creative journey and get your Foxsy membership today!
Thank you so much for your advice, comments and free info.
I am 73 now and watercolour art is away to make a lovely living.
I’m so glad you enjoyed this article, Al! Thanks for reading!
Thank you for sharing your wisdom and art! I cannot wait to begin and this was so helpful!
I’m so glad you found this guide helpful, Paula! Good luck getting started!
Excellent useful information!!