6 Tips for Beginners Painting with Watercolour

Watercolour painting is a technique that is really popular, and it’s arguably easy to see why. It creates a beautiful, idyllic and soft image on the page that you just can’t achieve from different paints or techniques.

If painting with watercolour is something you’d like to try but aren’t too sure what to do, we’ve put together 6 tips which should help you as a beginner onto the journey of becoming a great artist!


Invest in a good quality brush

A good quality brush will be really important for achieving great results; after all, we’ve all heard the phrase ‘a workman is only as good as his tools’ and this is true, to a certain extent. It’s well worth investing in one great brush than lots of cheaper, weaker ones that are more likely to malt on you and ruin your paintings. It’s said that a good quality brush can even reduce the amount of paint you use as it can keep more of it, so you won’t need to keep topping up as often. There’s a useful video here for choosing a good watercolour brush.

Invest in some good quality paper

Likewise, you will need some really good paper to hold up to the brush and paint, especially due to the heavy water content of watercolour painting. Look into the thickness of the paper as well as the colour (each ‘white’ may differ from store to store) and the texture in terms of how smooth it is on the surface; all these things will have an effect on the outcome of your work.

Understand how the colours will look when dry

Regardless of which watercolour paints you go for (there are some great ones here http://www.artifolk.co.uk/paints/watercolour-paints.htm), they will always look a little different on the page. As you are diluting them with water, they will appear much lighter and thinner than they do in the palette, so it’s a good idea to play around with different amounts of water you add to them to see how you can achieve certain shades.

Test colours first

As briefly mentioned above, testing the colours before you start on your masterpiece is a good idea so you can really get to know them and how you can achieve a range of shades and tones. Watercolour paint dries much quicker than you’d probably imagined, so changing the colour when it’s dry isn’t always easy.


Avoid adding too much water

You of course need a lot of water for watercolour painting, but it’s important you get to know the amount you need to gain your desired shade and to avoid overloading your painting with too much liquid. When it comes to packing up your stuff at the end of a session, clean your brush thoroughly and leave it to dry naturally.

Go from light to dark on the page

Painting from light to dark is generally regarded as the best technique to work with as the white on the page will be a huge factor in determining the colours you achieve. There is a really good video here for beginner techniques that are well worth a watch, too.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

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