9 Watercolor Projects You'll Love Painting

So you're comfy with the watercolor basics, and now you're looking around for something to paint. We've gotchu. These fave projects range from sweetly simple to ahhh-mazing, and we love every single one. Time to wet your brushes!

1. Go With Gouache

Gouache is a water-soluble paint that can add a whole new dimension to your watercolor painting. Depending on how much water you use, gouache can have a matte-like acrylic effect or look like a more opaque version of watercolor, so it's perf for refining detail and adding contrast (like in these blooms!).

Begin by learning how to create an inspiration board for your botanical subject. Then start sketching, refining and balancing your composition.

2. Precision Is Key

These clean lines are made with rulers, compasses and simple math. Then, when you add vibrant colors and layers of washes, you get a painting that's totally eye-catching.

Watch artist Carrie Chan conceptualize and create a geometric watercolor painting. Get a close look at her sketching and color selection processes. Then as each layer is added, see the composition gain depth and intensity. You'll see her unique approach to creating stunning work that reflects both the control and organic nature of the watercolor medium.

3. Nature's Baubles

Okay, maybe you don't spend much time thinking about acorns and mushrooms... but they make the BEST little watercolor projects. This is a great starter project for learning how to build washes for a realistic effect.

4. A Bluebird Beauty

Once you master botany, move on to birds! This cutie is a bit more difficult than acorns and mushrooms, but you don't have to fret about drawing the perfect bird — we've got a template for you to trace.

5. Our Mouths Are Watering...

No, that’s not a photograph of a giant strawberry — can you believe it?? Learn how to master tone and create a beautiful 3D piece of fruit that jumps off the page. Start with the palest of pale highlights and slowly work your way into richer reds. You've got this.

6. Brush Up a Slice of Summer

A great project for watercolor newbies. This piece might be more 2D than the strawberry project above, but look how cute it is!!!

Ahh, summer...full of late sunsets, flickering fireflies and backyard barbecues, where slices of watermelon are fresh and juicy. To freeze time, if only just a tiny little bit, create a watermelon painting. Whether you're a novice painter or a pro with a palette, this four-step process is actually no sweat, and nearly as sweet as the real thing.

7. For The Experimental Type

This project has no rules — just create a splash of vibrant color, add some salt and find an image from the chaos to bring forward with ink. It’s crazy fun, and you can’t go wrong! What do you see??

8. A Big, Blooming Flower

This bloom is larger-than-life, but the details are oh-so-intricate. Grab your smallest brushes and fall in love!

9. Baby, It's Cold Outside!

All you need is three washes and two colors for a simple and speedy evergreen scene. Don't you feel cozy just looking at it?

'Tis the season to wear all the sweaters, eat all the carbs and remember just how stunning a winter landscape can be. So whip out those watercolor paints. When you're done with the fun and easy project below, you'll have a pine forest worthy of a wintry reverie.

February 05, 2019
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9 Watercolor Projects You'll Love Painting