Try Something New: Tips for watercolor

Watercolor is the process of painting with pigments that are mixed with water. With just a little water, the colors can be bright and vibrant. Add more water, and the colors become subtle and opaque. Mix when wet, and your colors will bleed. Wait until dry, and the colors won’t mix. It’s a simple form of art that, with a little patience and practice, can be relaxing and fun for all ages and skill levels.  

Supplies Needed: 

  • A Paint Compact — I use Winsor & Newton Cotman, set of 14 half-pans
  • Paint brushes (at least two sizes)
  • Watercolor paper pad
  • Cup of water
  • Pencil
  • Paper towel
  • Thin Sharpie (optional)

3 tips for learning how to watercolor:

  1. Take an online class.

Many artists provide free tutorials, and it’s a great way to get started. My favorite is Paint with Paige, which is offered every Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. on Instagram Live. Follow her on IG @paigepayne_creations.

2. Remember the 3Ps.

A pencil, paper towel and high-quality paint will be your best friend. Lightly sketching your design sets your paint boundaries, and the pencil is easy to erase. A paper towel helps with transitioning between colors, adjusting the wetness of the brush and quickly blotting up mistakes. While any paint can be used, a high-quality paint offers depth and tends to blend more easily. 

3. Be Kind to Yourself.

No one masters a new skill on the first go. Take your time and enjoy the process. Paint with a friend. Give yourself grace and continue to learn from your mistakes. Play music. Listen to an audiobook. Breathe. And know that within each line, each stroke, each drop of water, you are creating something beautiful.