• Jessie Alice Smith

Learn How To Watercolor

Watercolor is one of the most; beautiful, freeing, achievable and cheapest forms of painting.

Let's give it a go!

First things first, I am not a professional Watercolorist. I am an artist and painter, but I have never had any training in watercolor. I have learned by loving and doing! Which (spoiler alert) is how most enthusiasts learn to make art these days.

I have included some information on the materials I use, some photos, and a few videos. I hope this post gives you the confidence you need to give watercolors a try. I can promise you, you won't regret it.


  • Soft bristled brushes. They do not need to be specific watercolor brushes at this point (although you can certainly buy true watercolor brushes if you like). Many brushes are interchangeable between watercolor, acrylic, or ink.

  • Watercolor paper. This is more important as regular paper will not work with the water. I would recommend starting with a watercolor book of paper. There are many different brands, all fairly comparable.

  • Tape. I don't always tape my paper down but it's a good habit to start. I use masking tape but you can also use artist's tape, painter's tape, or kraft tape. (Scotch tape is not recommended)

  • Watercolor paints. I use both solid paint pots and liquid paints. I enjoy both, but the solid pots are a bit less maintenance and easier for beginners.

  • Water. Easy peasy.

Just Start:

  • Once you have your paper taped down to your surface (remember your tape lines are your border, be sure they're straight), place your paints in front of you, get your paint pots wet with your brush, and put brush to paper!

  • In your first few attempts, don't try to paint anything recognizable. Just put down your colors in an abstract form. Let it flow, let the water run, let the paint find its way. Get to know your materials.

  • Once you're more comfortable and feeling brave, try to compose an idea. Many watercolorists sketch out their composition on the paper first and paint over the pencil marks. That's currently not my way, but by all means, try it if you'd like!

  • Always sign your work.

  • Finally, always let your piece fully dry before un-taping and moving it.

Time Lapse Examples:

Final painting #1...

Final painting #2...

Final painting #3...

You did it! Nothing great happens over night or rarely on your first try. Keep trying and experimenting with new methods, paints, content, etc... The point is, to do and keep doing.

Happy painting, Friends.

All photography and art by Jessie Alice Smith. Prints are available of the pieces seen in this post. See Print Shop.

#watercolor #art #painting #timelapse #videos

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