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How to Watercolor – a complete guide for beginners

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It’s been just a few months since I decided once and for all that it’s time for me to learn how to watercolor. I decided to sum up my series here so that you can find all your watercolor resources in one spot! If you’re looking to learn brush lettering check out the best brush pens for lettering and the rest of that series! Disclosure: this post contains commissioned links.


Click to learn how to watercolor from scratch with step by step watercolor tutorials for beginners! #watercolor #art #watercoloring


Watercolor is one of my favorite media for a few reasons:

  • The dry time is quick making it easy for me to do as a mom, who can’t leave things lying around
  • On the same note, it’s easy to do quick, small-scale pieces
  • It’s so versatile –  I use it for brush lettering, to make more detailed art, for quicker washes, etc.


  • It’s really easy to learn how to watercolor because the medium is so forgiving and easy to manipulate!
  • It plays well with other art forms, such as line art.
  • It is relatively inexpensive! While you CAN go all-out and get top-of-the-line canvases, paints, and brushes, you can also stick with a basic pan set like this one and wet media paper, especially if you’re doing it just for fun.


Now on to your full guide on how to watercolor! Make sure to click on the title or image for the full guide, brought to you by Stefanie of Simple Acres blog, so that you can get all the details you need. Each post works as a “lesson” and then you’re on your own making the most of these new skills.

On each post, Stefanie has also linked to a few specific project tutorials that are great for practicing.



How to watercolor step 1: gather your supplies!

Making sure you have the best watercolor paints for your needs, as well as all the watercolor materials and painting supplies to get you through learning! Stefanie broke down for you in these posts what works for which needs to really help you choose.




Watercolor 101 – use books to learn how to watercolor!

If you’re more of a visual, hands-on step-by-step learner, you may prefer to have a book or two open in front of you! This is also a good way to learn how to watercolor more in-depth. While this guide shows you basic techniques so that you can step out on your own, these top watercolor books for beginners will give you much, much more than we can in a few posts.

MIx Your Own Watercolors - the best watercolor books for learning color mixing with watercolors



Learn the basic techniques and skills you need to know how to watercolor!

Stefanie takes you through some basic watercolor techniques for beginners so that you can get started! Practice these over and over again on scraps of paper, then go on to making your own watercolor artwork!

watercolor techniques for beginners - splatter



Now that you know how to watercolor, try these fun art projects:

Once you know the techniques, you can start creating frameable art with some specific projects by Stefanie, such as this watercolor fall tree art or these watercolor gift cards.

Or, take a walk, find your inspiration in nature, in a favorite place, object, or person, and continue creating your own watercolor art!

The more you practice, the better you’ll become.


Have you learned how to watercolor? What are your top tips for beginners? Got any questions? Comment below!


Click to learn how to watercolor and to master the art of watercoloring for beginners!



Loved learning how to watercolor? Try learning these new skills:

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nancy simms

Monday 12th of April 2021

I must confess....I signed up for a watercolor class years can't possibly imagine how stupid I felt, sitting there with the recommended supplies....when I saw that all the other people in class had TUBES of watercolors...and there I was with my old Prang box that I was use to in grade school.................I still find it hard to use tubes

Jean |

Friday 18th of September 2020

Great post! I started watercolor painting about a year and a half ago, and I'm having such fun with it. It may not be true for everyone, but I found that starting out with just a handful of decent, affordable, student-grade paints (Winsor & Newton Cotman series, 8 ml tubes) was a great way to start, learning from the get-go how to mix colors. With a cool red, a warm red, a cool yellow, a warm yellow, a cool blue and a warm blue, plus burnt sienna, you can make any color. Then as you develop and see what colors you use most in your style of painting, make your next tube of that color a professional- rather than student-grade.


Tuesday 15th of September 2020

I found this website sooo amazing and helpfull thankyou soo much

Dorothy J Harman

Sunday 7th of July 2019

Lol, ok, first I'm guilty of being bored after being laid up from back surgery so I read the comments before I tried the links...because I can't bend down to get my paint box off the floor until my daughter finishes eating and can bend down and get it for me. Try that one...see thing you really want 2 foot away and you can't get it if you need something to be frustrated with. Now for what relates to these posts. I have a bajillion (yes, that's a word in my house!) things for hobbies in this house. Spent lots over long period of time, over 50 years of collecting (I have embroidery thread that is 45 years old). At some point, people need to realize that different people get into a hobby for different reasons. Some have the money to buy anything they want and toss things away if they don't enjoy, others don't. Some want to be artists, others want to just be able to keep up with their kids and have fun and paint at the same time. Some have talent from doing artsy stuff for years, others were busy and are just now trying art out. Guess my point is to just relax and try not to let it kill you that someone else is different or is looking for a different experience than you are. I started with acrylics after not painting for almost 30 years. Loved it and quickly started to upgrade supplies using coupons (craft stores are great if you buy just an item a week, you will soon have enough to try any hobby). Struggling with watercolor so using cheap stuff to see if I like the speed of it. Point being this is supposed to be fun. Ask for help finding links before complaining, use the library, use coupons, use a toddler to learn how to paint for fun! Life really is too short to not enjoy it.

Menucha @ Moms & Crafters

Monday 8th of July 2019

Dorothy, you said it! Everyone crafts differently, for different reasons, with different budgets! Thank you for your input and wishing you a speedy recovery.


Monday 27th of August 2018

Super excited to find your post! We home school and my goal this year to help my daughter explore watercolors while learning along side them. Thank you so much for taking the time to put together these fabulous resources!

Menucha @ Moms & Crafters

Tuesday 28th of August 2018

I love that you incorporate this in your homeschooling! Hope she loves it!