Watercolor painting is a wonderful way to explore your creativity and express yourself through art. However, if you are a beginner, the thought of starting with watercolor painting can be overwhelming. The good news is that with the right tips and techniques, you can start your watercolor painting journey with confidence and ease. In this blog post, we will explore some watercolor painting tips for beginners that will help you get started on your artistic journey.
Choose The Right Paper
One of the most important aspects of watercolor painting is choosing the right paper. The paper you choose will affect the way your colors blend and the overall look of your painting. You should look for a paper that is specifically designed for watercolors, as it will absorb the water and pigment better. It’s also a good idea to choose a paper that is acid-free to prevent yellowing and deterioration over time. Experiment with different types of paper to find the one that works best for you.
In my artistic journey, I have trusted two brands and those are Brustro and Arches. For my regular use, I like to use papers from Brustro and for my final artworks and commissioned works, I use Arches. I am sharing the links to the papers I use below.
Start with a limited color palette
When you are just starting with watercolor painting, it’s best, to begin with, a limited color palette. This will help you understand how colors work together and allow you to create a harmonious painting. Start with three to five colors and experiment with mixing them to create new shades. Once you are comfortable with your limited palette, you can start adding more colors to your collection.
The color theory can seem overwhelming when you're just starting out. The more colors you see, and the more artists using them, the more you want to buy, thinking it will improve your skills, but it won't. Learning how to mix certain colors requires an understanding of colors. When you become more proficient in mixing colors, I recommend buying premixed colors to save time. Do not make the same mistake as I did.
There areColor theory has a lot to teach us. One of the most important is - cool colors and warm colors. I will list a few color theory videos from YouTube.
Use a light hand
Watercolor painting is all about layering, and the best way to achieve this is to use a light hand. Start with a light wash of color and gradually build up the intensity as you go. This will help you create depth and dimension in your painting.
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Practice your brush strokes
Your brush strokes are an essential part of watercolor painting, and it’s important to practice them regularly. Experiment with different brush sizes and shapes to create different effects. For example, a small round brush is perfect for creating fine lines, while a flat brush is ideal for larger washes of color. Practice your brush strokes on scrap paper before moving on to your actual painting.
I like using different sizes of brushes for different techniques and sizes of paintings. The brushes I like the most are listed below for you to check out.
Learn to control the water
Water is a key component of watercolor painting, and learning to control it is essential. Too much water will cause your colors to bleed, while too little water will make it difficult to blend your colors. Practice controlling the amount of water you use by experimenting with different brush sizes and the amount of water you add to your paint.
Use masking fluid
Masking fluid is a great tool for watercolor painters, especially beginners. It is a liquid that you can apply to your paper to protect certain areas from paint. This is particularly useful when you want to create a highlight or keep an area completely white. Simply apply the masking fluid to the area you want to protect, let it dry, and then paint over it. Once your painting is complete, you can remove the masking fluid to reveal the untouched areas.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
Mistakes are a natural part of the creative process, and watercolor painting is no exception. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, as they can often lead to happy accidents and unexpected results. If you don’t like something in your painting, you can always paint over it or start again. Remember, the more you practice, the better you will become.
Take your time
Watercolor painting is a slow and deliberate process, and it’s important to take your time. Rushing through your painting can lead to mistakes and frustration. Instead, take your time and enjoy the process. Savor each brush stroke and enjoy the way the colors blend together.
Experiment with different techniques
There are many different techniques you can use in watercolor painting, from wet-on-wet to dry-brushing. Experiment with different techniques to find the ones that work best for you. Each technique will give you a different effect, and by practicing them, you will become more versatile and confident in your watercolor painting skills.
I make tutorial videos on my YouTube channel. I am listing out a few tutorials, you can go ahead and try them out.
Study the masters
Finally, one of the best ways to improve your watercolor painting skills is to study the works of the masters. Look at the techniques they use and the way they mix colors to create their masterpieces. By studying the works of great watercolor painters, you will gain a deeper understanding of the medium and be inspired to create your own unique works of art.
I write blogs on the topic of art history every week where I talk about famous paintings by amazing artists from history. There is so much to learn from them and you can improve your skills by learning their methods.
In conclusion, watercolor painting is a beautiful and expressive art form that is perfect for beginners. By following these tips and techniques, you can start your watercolor painting journey with confidence and ease. Remember to choose the right paper, start with a limited color palette, use a light hand, practice your brush strokes, learn to control the water, use masking fluid, don't be afraid to make mistakes, take your time, experiment with different techniques, and study the works of the masters. With these tips in mind, you can create beautiful watercolor paintings that reflect your unique style and creativity. Happy painting!