When you were a kid, you probably love to shade your drawings with watercolor. And this could depict many things such as your dad and mom, your school teacher, or your sibling standing under a green tree.
In our early years in school, most of us were watercolor artists, picking up our brush and watercolor to paint at the slightest instinct. But as we grew, this passion grew wings and departed from many, while others still hold on to it to date. Painting with watercolor is more like an adventure for those who love to paint.
Are you still obsessed with the love for watercolors, and you like to explore it now as an adult? Or you still have a glimpse of the faded passion that once engulfed your mind when you were in grade 1, and you feel it’s time to revive it? This post is for you.
Technology has brought many goodies to the art world. Therefore, irrespective of why you want to learn watercolor painting, there is more than enough options for you, and Superprof is more than ready to show you the ropes and help you get started on this beautiful journey to the vast world of art. Follow us as we sojourn deep.
Watercolor Painting for Beginners
So, we are hovering around the “beginner status” and assuming that you probably don’t know about watercolors more than what you were taught in elementary school (which isn’t enough to make one a pro anyway). And you are not an art student either. If you are a professional artist, you would probably know everything about how to use brushes, paint and the different watercolor techniques. As a beginner, you need all the help you can get to master the various watercolor terrains.
Therefore, let’s start with the question: why are you interested in watercolors? Most people decide to dive into the world of art without a clear direction of where they are heading to and they just test the waters by learning different aspects of arts, then they fall in love with watercolor painting. Isn’t that awesome?
But the story is not so rosy for some who have a clear direction of where they are going. They may be interested in watercolor painting from the onset, but they make the wrong move by trusting their instincts and doing as they please with their newly found passion.
They think watercolor is nothing other than using the right color and creating something beautiful. Not at all! Watercolor painting has gone beyond that stage and evolved into a globally recognised field of study with due processes, techniques and tools. To learn it successfully, you will need to get the right guidance, learn the ropes from someone who was once in your shoes, and master the techniques that form this lovely art's ingredients.
So whether you just want to paint using watercolor for its fun or are doing it to help your grades, these beginner watercolor tips will get you on the right track anytime.
It’s highly recommended to find out what watercolor supplies you will need before starting. If you are like most people that may want to try things out before devoting their time to it, then you could start out using s simple paint set that is highly affordable.
The reality is that you don’t need much materials to get started as a beginner. Hence, if you are on a little budget and want to try something new with watercolors, you will be amazed to see the results you will get.
Generally, watercolor supplies are divided into:
- Essential watercolor supplies
- Extra watercolor supplies
Essential Watercolor Supplies
You can’t do without these supplies if you want to learn watercolor painting. They are a must whether you are on a tight budget or not. They include:
Pans and tubes are the two recognised forms of watercolor paint. Tubes are moist with pasty consistency. On the other hand, watercolor pans are like caked paint that needs to be moistened regularly with water before use.
Most beginners find it hard to decide which one of the two is best for their lessons. If this describes you, try buying a blend of both watercolor forms and see which one suits you.
There are also two types of watercolor paint quality. They are Student quality and Artist quality. The former is more affordable, has more filler and less segment when compared to the latter. This is to say that with Artist watercolors, you can get more variety and better results even though they are more expensive than their counterparts.
It’s vital to consider hair, shape and size when buying watercolor brushes. Trust me, the number of paint brushes available in stores is overwhelming. These brushes are relatively expensive, depending on the one you get. It’s best to go for natural brushes than synthetic ones.
As a beginner, you should worry less about the shape and size of your brush. If you can afford up to two brushes, ensure you get a short and a medium one. But if not, just get a small one, and you are good to go.
- Watercolor paper
Watercolor comes in three forms which are blocks, sheet and pads. Like watercolor paints, there are two types of watercolor paper quality: Artist paper and Synthetic paper. As explained earlier, Artist papers deliver the best results.
Watercolor papers are available in sheets that can be cut to different sizes as desired. Simultaneously, the blocks are a pile of watercolor papers that are easily glued together on its edges.
Watercolor palettes are either ceramic or plastic. If you want to learn watercolor for beginners, we recommend you get the ceramic. Even though plastic palettes are more comfortable to hold and lighter, they will eventually become stained with paint and look messy.
Ensure you get a palette with separate walls so you can comfortably mix different colors on each wall. This will ensure that the paint does not run into each other.
Water is another essential supply you will need in all your watercolor sessions. Whenever you want to experiment with watercolors, put water in a glass or cup and change regularly as soon as it becomes murky.
It’s best to use an organic, all-natural or mild shampoo to clean your watercolor brushes after use. You have to be careful about the type of soap you use because some of them can damage the brush's hairs. There are different types of artist soaps that can clean paint brushes effortlessly.
Extra Watercolor Supplies
These are the essential supplies you need as a beginner. Now that you know them, let’s take a look at some other supplies (extras) you may need to stock up regularly. Note that they are equally important but not necessary. They include:
- Paper towels
- Spray varnish
- Masking fluid
So there you go, a complete list for the adventurous mind!
Watercolor Techniques for Beginners
Here is an easy to follow watercolor technique that you can try your hands on as a beginner.
- Wet-on-wet technique
This application produces a very unpredictable and fluid effect. It is usually achieved by using a brush to wet the first rectangle on the paper. You can experiment with different colors. Most artists prefer to use all shades of blue. When you are done, ensure you tilt the board to allow a natural blend or flow.
- Dry-on-wet technique
You will need to mix Magenta, Cadmium Red Light, and opera paint with some water in this technique. Use the mixture the paint the surface of a dry rectangle on the watercolor paper. Wait for the paint to dry completely before removing the paper from the cardboard. This technique doesn’t fade out as much as the former does.
- Dry-on-dry technique
This is also called the dry brush technique. It involves the minimal use of water alongside the Crimson paint. Most artists use this technique to create a rough-looking texture while using different sizes and shapes of paintbrushes to achieve varied results.
Watercolor Painting Lessons and Resources for Beginners
The world of arts and craft is vast, and there is nothing you can’t find online. Superprof is an example of an online platform where you can find useful tips, resources and guides for the novice watercolor painter.
Many artists with unquestionable painting skills are offering to teach others how to use watercolor to paint like a pro on Superprof. Therefore, a quick tour of the platform will give you an idea about the type of instructors that we proudly boast of any time.
Why are you interested in watercolor lessons? Whether you want to paint for the fun of it or as part of your coursework, you will find a professional on Superprof to take you private lessons for a small fee. If you prefer to learn watercolor painting skills in groups, the platform welcomes you! The array of options you have with Superprof is unimaginable.