How to Paint With Watercolors

Unleashing Your Creative Side

It's one of the most popular art mediums in the world, and there is little need to guess why. Watercolors are truly beautiful, and can capture a scene in soft, delicate light or even in a darker, stormier light. And it's great for anyone and everyone, whether they are professional artists or someone looking for a new hobby: Learning how to paint with watercolors can be simple and easy! Follow these tips, and you'll be turning out artwork in no time at all.

Choose the Right Brush

brush water color

Every artist needs the right tools of the trade in order to get started. And a brush is one of the most basic requirements of any painter, watercolor or not. The right brush will likely vary by painting style, but there are good choices that everyone should have on hand when painting with watercolors. For beginners who are only interested in buying one brush, a #8 round red sable watercolor brush is great. Add in a round #4 and a 1” flat brush for a broader range.

Pick a Good Set of Watercolors

water color palette

Now time for the fun part of shopping for supplies:  Picking out the watercolor set that you want! It might be tempting to go overboard here, especially once you see all of the colorful options. However, if you're a beginner, try to limit yourself. Look for a palette that has a good mixture of basic colors, including yellows, reds, blues, greens, and browns. With these colors, you can mix them until you have a different color, if necessary.

Sheets, Blocks, or Something Else

color sunflower

Now that you have paints and brushes, it's time to pick up your watercolor paper. And you definitely need watercolor paper:  Without it, your paintings are likely to end up warped by the water that you use in this art form. You can use just about any kind of watercolor paper, so long as it has a weight of about #140 or higher. This makes it less likely that the water will damage your painting. Sheets, blocks, or pads work just as well; use your own judgment there.

Experiment with Opacity

watercolor color paper

One of the most beautiful parts of watercolor painting is the ability to paint both light, airy images and darker, more bold images, all with the exact same paint. How do you do this? By controlling how much water you use! Before sitting down to do an actual painting, experiment with different levels of opacity with the same color. For light colors, use a lot of water and a little paint. For darker colors, use more paint and less water.

Mixing Your Colors

water color blending

Because most artists would prefer to have more simplified palettes and not have to collect every color individually, learning how to mix colors is key. It can help you to find the appropriate color choice without running down to the craft store. One of the best ways is to use a standard color sphere, to show what colors, when combined, make what. Or just experiment a little!

Watercolor painting is a beautiful and relaxing art form that more people than ever are taking up. It takes a little work, but, with these tips, you'll be on your way to making your own art I no time at all!

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