Intro to Watercolor
Need-to-Know Basics
The flowing colors, the unpredictable pigment, the spectrum of saturation — watercolors are both beautiful and intimidating. But watercolor newbies, don't let a little uncertainty scare you away. These 10 tips were designed to beat your fear and get a brush in your hand.
Jessie Oleson Moore
New paint, who dis? Anyone who's ever tried watercolor has quickly learned that watercolor shades can look a lot different in the package than on the paper. That's why swatching your go-to colors is like the equivalent of adding friends to your contact list ... when you need 'em, you can quickly call 'em up. Here's how to get started creating your palette:
Antonella Avogadro
There's something so satisfying when I get to see one of my students have a “lightbulb moment” about their watercolor practice. These little epiphanies have been scattered along my own creative path too, and I love sharing them with anybody who will listen. When we try to build a new skill, there are so many things to learn — rules, tips, techniques — that it can feel really daunting. But there are a few things that stand out as the most helpful “a-ha moments” I wish I had known about sooner.
Kateri Ewing
Everything you need to start painting with watercolors. We're on a mission to turn you into a painter! Learn everything you need to know to get started with watercolors, and even create your first masterpiece!
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Gather Your Supplies
Take a look at the different types of brushes available as Nina explains what each one does, plus cleaning and care instructions.
Explore the various aspects of paper and the formats it comes in, from pads and blocks to giant tearable sheets. Kateri helps you choose the right kind of paper for your project, then shows you how to stretch it to avoid warping and bubbling.
Meet Kateri Ewing and ground yourself in the fundamentals of watercolor paint. Kateri examines key topics, including staining and granulating effects, lightfastness ratings, pigment numbers and more.
Meet Nina Weiss and go over the tools and supplies you'll need to get started, including what paint and palette to buy.
Watch + Learn
Explore a number of mark-making techniques with two types of brushes: flat and round. Kateri demonstrates how to lift pigment, create sharp edges and make a variety of lines, including twisting, flat, thick-to-thin and more.
Learn how to effectively use watercolor washes, including blending colors, creating gradients, and creating hard and soft edges.
Explore the two primary watercolor methods: wet-in-wet and wet-on-dry. See how to drop in and lift out color, use masking fluid or salt to create unique effects, and explore a dry-brush technique to create hard and soft edges.
And guess what? This goal is totally achievable! Paint along with three nature-inspired pieces.
Your Next Project Is Here
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.
Elise Engh
Enliven your cards with dreamy watercolor effects! Learn techniques to create gorgeous backgrounds and enhance your stamps, die-cuts, stencils and more.
Deepti Malik
Deepti Malik
Watercolor painting and embroidery. Both great art forms. But have you considered a mash-up? (Bear with us here!) Hey, it works for the most unlikely musician pairings, and it will work here. In fact, adding thread to a watercolor work will definitely add a robust new dimension to your work — a unique sculptural effect that will draw admirers.
Sara Barnes
Finish your rose painting with the addition of a dark background, discovering ways to prevent your light and dark colors from mixing in the process, and adding bold focal points that pop on the page. Nan also shares tips for glazing and scrubbing the rose's leaves, as well as adding texture with a fun and surprisingly easy method. You'll finish the class with two frame-ready watercolors, and inspiration to start painting all the other flowers that you love!
See how value influences the colors you choose as you add paint to your initial contour sketches. Then, stop to evaluate your progress and decide what makes good subject matter for a landscape. Finally, create a fun, quick gesture sketch with expressive, loose strokes. Along the way, pick up tips and tricks for handling your brush and working with watercolor.
Discover essential techniques to create beautiful botanical illustrations!
Adele Rossetti
Adele Rossetti
Learn how to paint realistic-looking fruit using versatile watercolor techniques.
Anna  Mason
Anna Mason
Elevate your art journaling with a variety of water-based materials.
Judith Cassel-Mamet
Judith Cassel-Mamet
Do More In Watercolor
Expand your repertoire of advanced watercolor painting techniques to infuse your work with interest and excitement.
Mary P. Murphy
Mary P. Murphy
Build your skills and create a watercolor painting that you can be proud of, even if you’re a beginner!
Mary P. Murphy
Mary P. Murphy
Mix the glowing, harmonious watercolors you want, every time. Learn how using fundamental techniques and a limited palette of just six pigments.
Kateri Ewing
Kateri Ewing
Master a mixed media combo for art that’s saturated with color, depth and creative inspiration.
Janie Gildow
Janie Gildow
Capture any view that captivates you! Paint your favorite outdoor scenes quickly in loose, luminous watercolor sketches.
Angela Fehr
Angela Fehr
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