Watercolor painting is an artistic skill that takes time and dedication to perfect. When you first start painting with watercolors, you may feel frustrated that the results don’t live up to the image you had in your head.
If you’re new to watercolor painting and your skills aren’t quite where you want them to be yet, the first thing we recommend doing is purchasing a watercolor paint set for beginners.
When you have the right supplies for watercolor painting, you can start implementing some of these ways to improve your watercolor painting skills!
By using the right steps and tutorials from the internet you can start easy mouth drawing, nose, ears, or eyes even if you are just a beginner, and then move on to more complex drawings.
Table of Contents
How to Improve Your Watercolor Skills
1. Plan Out Your Artwork
When it comes to art, there should always be room for spontaneous self-expression. However, if you go into a watercolor painting with a plan of how your painting will look, you’ll be more likely to achieve results that you’re happy with.
Planning your painting beforehand allows you to work on all parts of your painting evenly as you go, which is the best way to ensure that all aspects of your art appear well-integrated.
This isn’t to say that you should be totally inflexible with your approach to painting – of course not! It’s totally fine to decide halfway through that you’re going to try a different technique for a certain part, or put trees in the background instead of hedges, for example. However, we would always recommend starting with at least a rough plan.
2. Use the Transfer Method
Of course, you will want to draw out your design before you paint, but the problem is that it’s difficult to erase pencil lines of watercolor paper without damaging it or leaving some smudges behind.
Therefore, drawing your design on a separate piece of paper and then transferring it to your watercolor paper using graphite, charcoal, or carbon paper is a sensible part of watercolor painting.
3. Layer Your Colors
If you’re new to painting, especially with watercolors, this may not be something you automatically think of doing. However, if you’re noticing that your paintings don’t quite seem ‘tied together’ enough in the sense that the colors don’t seem integrated with one another, that might be because you’re not layering your colors.
In theory, we all know that different subjects in paintings will be different colors. Trees are green and brown whilst a sunset is yellow, pink, orange, and red. However, if you layer your colors over one another, your painting will look more seamless and realistic because the colors are all made from the same base.
4. Avoid Hard Edges
Part of what makes watercolor such a special and beautiful medium for painting is that the colors flow and blend together in a natural-looking way. Creating hard edges with your paint can ruin this effect and it’s one of the biggest giveaways of an amateur painter (not that there’s anything wrong with being an amateur – we all start somewhere!)
If you want to improve your watercolor painting skills, you should work on avoiding hard edges where possible. The best way to do this is to paint on wet paper so that your edges bleed ever so lightly. If you prefer to paint on dry paper, you can soften the edges later by dipping your brush in water and gently going over your lines.
5. Don’t Stress!
We know that this article is all about improving your skills as a watercolor painter, but don’t let this goal steal away the joy and relaxation of the painting process!
Striving for complete perfection 100% of the time is likely to make you feel stressed about creating art and will probably lessen your enjoyment of painting. This, of course, is counterproductive to improvement because if you don’t enjoy something, you’re less likely to practice it.
When you find yourself stressing about the quality or execution of your art, take a deep breath and remind yourself that painting should be a joyful and therapeutic experience. You’ll get where you want to be eventually – like all things, it just takes time.
Watercolor painting isn’t a skill you perfect overnight, but if you want to improve your watercolor painting skills, the 5 simple tips in this article will help you to do so.
The key is to make sure your colors are well-integrated by planning your painting at the start and layering your colors as you go. You can avoid hard edges by painting on wet paper or going over your painting with a wet brush afterward. If you don’t want to risk ruining your watercolor paper with an eraser, transfer your drawing from another piece of paper before painting over it.
Thank you for reading and good luck with your watercolor painting journey!