Beginner Paint

Getting Started
  • You've got your acrylic paint, your work surface is ready to go, and you're really inspired to paint. Now comes the fun part: actually putting paint on paper!
    Jessie Oleson Moore
  • If you've ever painted a room or had a manicure, you already know what it means to prime a surface. Adding primer to a wall, applying a base coat to your fingernails before the polish goes on, prepping a canvas before you paint: It's all pretty much the same concept.
    Jessie Oleson Moore
  • 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.
  • We know you're dying to get started on a painting, but one of the most important parts of working in acrylic takes place before you ever put brush to canvas: mixing the paints. You have to get this right if you want your work to turn out as beautiful as you imagined.
    Jessie Oleson Moore
Skills to Learn
  • Exercise: The Color Wheel
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    Now you're ready to create a color wheel! In this lesson, Nina teaches you basic color theory, from triads to temperature, and fundamental color mixing techniques.
  • Methods: Paint Application
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    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.
  • Method: Stretching Canvas
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    Nina walks you through constructing your own custom canvases, from buying supplies to finishing corners.
  • Underpainting
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    Ganske shows you how to create an underpainting with your acrylics, adding detail and defining various sections as you go.
Best Beginner Projects
Everything you need to become a master watercolorist, all in one place. Get the gear and follow our lessons in Startup Library: Painting with Watercolors.
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