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two abstract watercolor washes side by side next to paint brush
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Sometimes you've gotta mix it up — especially when it comes to making art. If you're itching to experiment with abstract painting, you've hit the inspiration jackpot.
Bluprint
stack of watercolor mountain landscape sketches with a small brush on top on wood background
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Watercolor sketching refers to any watercolor work that's completed quickly, with a loose, informal style. It's often used as a "warm up" for a bigger, more detailed painting, but it's also a great practice for any on-the-go artist.
Bluprint
close up of hand holding watercolor paint brush working on an autumn landscape painting with palette next to it
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Blue summer skies and starry watercolor night scenes are fun to paint, but dreary days deserve some love, too. Think of a snowy day, the pearly light of a cloud-covered sun illuminating the horizon. How about a November morning with drizzle so fine it tints the air with silver mist?
Kateri Ewing
Kateri Ewing
top view of flowers and pitcher still life painting surrounded by paint, brushes, palette, color wheel
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Whether you're a watercolorist, acrylic maven or colored pencil crazy, we've got the perf flower-fabulous project for you to tackle! Don't sweat it if you've got a black thumb — these blooms will never wilt and will always brighten your mood.
Bluprint
woman's hand drawing a pond landscape in colored pencils with watercolors next to the paper
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If one art medium is good, two or more is even better, right? Mixing up your materials is a great way to open up new creative territory with your artwork. Give it a try and if you're lucky, you'll surprise yourself!
Bluprint
canvas painting of acrylic seascape with crashing waves next to artist workspace and tools
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Long, lovely days mean... more time for painting! These seven projects are all about that easy summer vibe.
Bluprint
painting a blue bird with textured acrylic medium
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As if acrylic paint isn't cool enough already, modifying it with different mediums makes it positively magic. Just by mixing your medium of choice into your base paint, you can make your paint thicker, thinner, shinier, textured and even change how long it takes to dry. The first step: understanding the basic types.
Sandrine Pelissier
framed watercolor painting of an evergreen forest
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Let it snow and let the paint flow! Freezing temps are the perfect excuse to cozy up with your brushes and create a few wintry works of art. Cocoa optional.
Bluprint
woman's hands painting a watercolor autumn cornfield on a workspace desk
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Whether you're painting from a reference photo or working en plein air at your favorite park, creating landscapes has got to be one of the most relaxing and inspiring forms of painting. And the more different subjects you tackle, the more your skill set will grow.
Bluprint
woman dipping paint brush into blue watercolor outside
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Outdoor watercolor painting is something I recommend to all of my students. When you're out in nature feeling the air and watching the light change right in front of your eyes, you can bring more than just an image of a landscape to your paintings; you can bring a sense of atmosphere and emotion.
Kateri Ewing
Kateri Ewing
watercolor work in progress with masking fluid on trees
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Watercolor painting isn't just about where you put your paint, but also where you don’t. Leaving some white space on your paper gives your paintings contrast, creates highlights and puts the snow on those mountaintops.
Sandrine Pelissier
painting a pink peony on a table in watercolor
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The days are getting longer, and you know what that means... more daylight for painting! So grab a palette and get ready to bloom, big time.
Bluprint
Nocturne seascape acrylic painting on canvas
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If you already know your way around the basics of brush and palette, it's time to let your skills set sail!
Bluprint
Painting a sunflower in acrylic
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So many acrylic paints, so little time! If you ever wandered the aisles of an art-supply store feeling half-excited, half-overwhelmed, we feel you. You just need a little guidance. So here's a quick lesson on the main types of acrylics out there and what each can do for you.
Paul Heaston
Woman holding painting of dachshund in front of her face
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A pet portrait is an excellent way to honor your fur baby, BFF (best feathered friend) or other beloved critter. Painting one is easier than it may look; in fact, you might be surprised to learn that capturing a pet’s likeness on canvas actually uses many of the same techniques as painting any portrait.
Jessie Oleson Moore
hand painting a canvas outside
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There’s an old saying in my family that the best way to ruin an adventure is to bring too much stuff. I have found that to be true for en plein air watercolor painting, too.
Kateri Ewing
Kateri Ewing
kateri ewing dipping a paint brush into watercolor palette
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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!
Bluprint
Paintbrush with green oil paint mixing on palette
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At first glance, making green paint is easy: Just mix yellow and blue. Done!
Jessie Oleson Moore
Low angle view of artist painting a canvas
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Too big! Too small! Just right!? Picking the right art-canvas size can be tricky — and highly subjective.
Jessie Oleson Moore
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You thought you'd mastered the tree back in preschool — a brown rectangle topped with a big blob of green. But once you traded in those tubs of tempura for tubes of acrylic, you learned the humbling truth: Trees are actually pretty tricky to paint well, especially if you're going for a bit more realism.
Brandon Schaefer
man mixing paint on a palette
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If you've got a disposable plastic dinner plate, you have a painting palette. Just saying: Many artists, myself included, started out with one of those.
Dorothy Lorenze
Watercolor painting station with tubes of watercolor
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You were in kindergarten when you learned to mix blue and yellow to make green — and you nailed it! Yet somehow mixing watercolors to create just the right shade still seems hard. How exactly do you get the right color and consistency and not end up with a big puddle of mud?
Jessie Oleson Moore
hand holding two paint brushes
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Stocking up on paint brushes can put a serious dent in your art budget, especially if you're buying high-quality ones. You want to protect that investment, don't you?
Paul Heaston
Artistic equipment in a artist studio: empty artist canvas on wooden easel and paint brushes Retro toned photo.
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Let's be honest: You don't need to stretch your own canvas anymore. You don't need to prime your own canvas. You don't even need to paint your own painting.
Paul Heaston
three square canvases of splattered coral paint
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Splatter painting, the technique made famous by Jackson Pollock, is energetic, unpredictable and a whole lot of fun. It's also a lot harder than it looks.
Sara Barnes
painting of black rabbit around plants
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It's pretty much impossible to paint animals without knowing how to paint fur. True, not every species has fur, but if you want to paint animals that look real, at some point you'll need to deal with the fur factor.
Kelly Mitchell Gazdowicz
Painting with blue watercolor paint
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Acrylic and watercolor might seem to live in two completely different universes. After all, the two mediums result in dramatically different looks. Acrylics deliver a flat, opaque, almost plastic-like finish. Watercolors, on the other hand, create a luminous look, full of tonal variations, depending on the amount of water used.
Jessie Oleson Moore
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When you're painting a landscape or a seascape, keep your eye on the sky. Sunny, stormy, cloudless or hazy, the sky can play a supporting role in your composition, or it can be the most riveting element. 
Maria Stezhko
watercolor paint brush on a pallet
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What's with all the different words for color? There's hue, tint, tone and shade — not to mention color. It gets confusing. But here's the deal: Each of these terms has its own specific meaning, and once you get a handle on that, everything gets much easier.
Paul Heaston
final daisy watercolor painting with gray borders
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We get it: Painting with watercolors can be challenging, especially if you're a newbie. Who out there can create a killer artwork the first time they try a new medium? Yeah, no one.
Cady Driver
watercolors and brushes on white background
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Taking a journey to anywhere can jump-start your creativity. But that's not all a trip can do. It can also help you edit your watercolor supplies as you pack. The payoff: a lightweight, portable kit that lets you paint as well on the go as you do at home.
Jessie Oleson Moore
hands knitting
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Lifestyle
You've made up your mind to finally take a crack at knitting, cake decorating, paper crafting … whatever. But how to make it happen when there are so many options? The truth: Just. Go. Start.
Liz Callahan Schnabolk
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One of the best parts of winter is watching falling snow. (Sorry California, you're stuck with this all year round.) So wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to capture that magic in watercolors? Of course it would. Here's how to do it.
Maria Stezhko
acrylic painting running water on rocky shore
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Water is endlessly inspiring to artists. There's something deeply compelling about its ever-changing nature, whether in a still, reflective pond or a rushing stream. But water is also one of the most difficult things to paint realistically in acrylic.
Brandon Schaefer
canvas of acrylic drip painting in a living room
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Sometimes when you're working with acrylic, you want your paint to have a more liquid effect (like if you're painting a water scene). Diluting acrylic paint in water isn't necessarily the path: if you dilute beyond 50 percent, the paint won't cover your substrate evenly or adhere well. That's just frustration waiting to happen.
Sandrine Pelissier
watercolor paint palette with brush
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We all know that painting a portrait is a challenge, and painting a portrait in watercolor is even more so. But if you do it right, a watercolor portrait can be an incredibly satisfying project.
Paul Heaston
squares of mixed acrylic colors on white paper
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You already know red plus yellow equals orange, yellow plus blue equals green, and blue plus red equals purple. But did you know those combos are only a tiny fraction of the millions of colors you can create just by mixing primary colors?  
Jessie Oleson Moore
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People who've never used acrylic paint before think it's a tough medium to master. It's anything but. In fact, it's one of the more accessible methods of painting for beginners. Supplies are minimal and the method is easy when you break it down. 
Jessie Oleson Moore
watercolor landscape painting surrounded by supplies on white table
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Got paints. Got paper. Go for it. We're never going to discourage free-roaming exploration. But if you want to ground your watercolor play in a little technique, we've got you covered.
Bluprint
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Painting a watercolor landscape is about more than copying nature. You don't just want to show a mountain; you also want to capture a mood and really express how that gorgeous scenery makes you feel.
Painting with blue watercolor paint
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You've decided to take up acrylic painting, have your supplies all ready to go, and are totally psyched to sit down and get started. But then it hits you smack in the face: A blank canvas can be a little scary. Yup, painter's block is totally a thing. The good news? You can get through it with help from our six prompts below.
Jessie Oleson Moore
watercolor squares on white background
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From Vincent van Gogh to Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keeffe and Cecily Brown, the list of art world superstars who've experimented with watercolors is endless.
Sandrine Pelissier
Painting with blue watercolor paint
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Watercolors are notoriously unpredictable. Whether you're new to watercolors or have been rocking these paints for years, one thing is certain: Mistakes will be made.
Maria Stezhko
paint brushes on white background
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Oil paint brushes might look skinny, but they definitely punch above their weight. Those brushes are the most important tools in your art arsenal, so take the time to find the right ones for you. You won't be swiping right on every brush you try, but once you figure out which ones you love using, the happiness factor goes way up.
Dorothy Lorenze
close up of brushes coated with red and orange paint
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Your canvas is ready, and so are you. Time to create your masterpiece! But there's a big decision you still need to make: what kind of paint to use.
Jessie Oleson Moore
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Monet, Degas, Renoir, Seurat: The Impressionists were rock stars. These artists and their peers revolutionized painting and paved the way for what we now know as modern art.
Sandrine Pelissier
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From amber to umber, the color brown is everywhere in the natural world. Whether you're painting landscapes, interiors or portraits, you'll probably need to use some variation of this rich shade.
Jessie Oleson Moore
20181007_11627_SUP_WatercolorInNature_KateriEwing_Desktop.jpg
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In 2013, an evening spent playing with art supplies changed the course of my life. I was recently divorced, recovering from four years of surgeries and a long hospital stay for a MRSA infection. My beautiful children had both flown far from the nest for exciting new lives in Texas and Ukraine.
Kateri Ewing
Painting green apples on a wall with a stencil
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Stencils are a ridiculously easy way to add hand-crafted style to any boring surfaces in your house — walls, ceilings, floors, furniture, fabric, mirrors, you name it.
Sara Barnes
close up of brush painting green watercolor on white paper
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Green is definitely Mother Nature’s favorite color. Every tree, bush, and flower stem comes in its own unique shade ... all of which perfectly coexist. Now try to recreate all of that in a watercolor painting, and you might be the one turning green!
Maria Stezhko
colored pencil watercolor supplies and framed painting
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Watercolor pencils look like regular colored pencils, and you pretty much use them the same way... with one exception. When you add water to your drawing, something incredible happens: you've suddenly got watercolor art.
Sandrine Pelissier
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The eyes always have it — and with good reason. When we meet someone, we notice the eyes first. When we speak to other people, we look into their eyes. Eyes draw us in and tell us what we need to know about a person.
Sara Barnes
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