Using the right (or wrong) type of paper can truly make or break your painting, and there's no better feeling than finding the perfect one for your project. If you're just getting started in the realm of watercolor — or you've just never tried different varieties — there are a few things to consider before picking up your paint brush.
This Easter basket is filled with brightly-colored eggs, pink chicks, jewel-like jelly beans and a big chocolate bunny. What could be sweeter? With this simple tutorial, you can dream up your perfect basket, then bring it to life with watercolor.
Fact: you can never go wrong with a handmade gift. But if your recipient lives far away, navigating how to ship your homemade goods can be totally stress-inducing, especially a painting. What if it's too big for an envelope? Or it gets wet in transit?
There's more to painting clouds than loading your brush with white paint and making big blobs in the sky. Remember, there are different types of clouds — throwback to grade school science class! — and each has its own opacity, shape and way to paint it. So whether you want to paint a landscape en plein air or work from a photo, these are the four cloud types to know — and the tricks to keep in mind when making 'em.
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.
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?
Whether you're a watercolorist, acrylic maven or colored pencil crazy, we've got a 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 day.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
This Valentine's Day, give a piece of your heart with a cool mashup of collage and watercolor. Not a watercolor fan? No sweat — you can reinterpret this design using markers, colored pencils or even glitter. Whatever medium you choose, your boo will heart it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.