How to start with watercolors
It’s the most asked question I get. Weither that’s via DM, as a comment on my Instagram posts or in actual real life. How do I start with watercolors?
Well, I’m no expert, but since I’ve copy-pasted the same answer about a hundred times, I thought I’d answer it once and for all in this blogpost.
How can I learn to do watercolors? – I can’t really tell you that the way I learnt how to do watercolors is a good way, but I had been doing watercolors for years before I started investing more time into it. I occasionally grabbed my childhood paints and brushes and started painting. On canvas. With watercolors. WHAT. Please save yourself the agony and time and just use paper 😉 But triall and error is also a learning experience so I soon figured out what wasn’t working, so that’s a way to do it. BUT you can also just go to YouTube and type in ‘basic watercolor’ and there will be hundreds of videos ready to instruct you on how watercolors work. Also, ofcourse, practice practice practice! I don’t think you can ever be done learning, so just try new things, even if they seem a bit hard or scary. Try and recreate things from artist you love (and please, give them credit!) or just try some excersises. Or you can try these super easy beginner watercolor ideas!
What kind of paint should I buy? – First off, I’m not saying you need expensive paints or brushes to be able to do watercolors. BUT, ofcourse you can’t compare your work to someone who uses professional paints and brushes. That said, I always recommend starting out by buying a watercolor travel set. I bought the Van Goh 12 pan travel set when I started painting. Van Gogh is a affordable, but quality brand in my opinion. I later also bought some Winsor & Newton paint tubes which I also love. You can also check out Ebay or any other second-hand selling website to purchase some slightly used (or even still brand new) paints to cut back on costs.
What kind of brushes should I buy? – I found the brushes that come with the paint sets are just fine to work with, but if you’re looking for smaller brushes for detailed paintings (which is what I like to paint), then I recommend these Rembrandt brushes. You can also buy ones that are cheaper, just make sure they’re for watercolors, not acrylic paints.
What kind of paper should I buy? – To be honest, I still haven’t found the ideal paper yet. You can try different ones, but just make sure to look at the weight of the paper. I’m fine with 200 grams (or even 135 gram paper from Action) and I actually don’t really like 300 gram paper (which is what is mostly named ‘watercolor paper’), but it’s a trial and error kind of deal. You can also start by buying a sketchbook to paint in, just make sure it’s thick paper.
What should I paint? – That’s the beauty of art; you can do whatever you want! But if you don’t know what to paint or are uninspired, here are some tips. First of all: you can get inspired by others, that’s okay, but if you do recreate something, please give credit to the owner and tag them in your art (if you’re going to share it online). I have a little folder on my computer with paintings that inspire me, but ofcourse there’s Pinterest and Instagram to give you all the ideas you need to start to paint. If you’re looking to set yourself a challenge, you can do a tag on Instagram (like the #paintbranches tag or #geodechallenge). This way, you have a set list of what to paint for a whole month!
I hope this helped you out a little bit and I hope this makes you take the step to do watercolors! If you use any of these tips, I’d love to know! You can send me a message on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube or leave a comment down below!