3 Reasons Watercoloring Is More Than Just Learning to Paint

3 Reasons Watercoloring Is More Than Just Learning to Paint

Watercolor, simply put, is water mixed with pigment which is then applied to paper. But painting with watercolors is something entirely different. It can be complex, confusing, and fun at the same time. 

Learning how to paint with watercolors is more than just watercoloring. Those of us who love it and want to keep getting better aren’t in it just to paint pretty pictures. Have you ever asked yourself why you want to learn, why you want to get better, and why it can be so rewarding? I’ve thought about it and here are 3 reasons why I think watercolors are so much more than just learning to paint.

3 Watercolor Brush Stroke Exercises to Practice Brush Control

3 Watercolor Brush Stroke Exercises to Practice Brush Control

I think of watercolors a little like modern calligraphy. It’s loose, there aren’t hard and fast traditional rules because it’s such an expressive and fluid medium. With watercolors, you can paint anything from a very loose abstract image to a super detailed photorealistic painting. No matter which style, however, there are still basic principles and techniques that we need to understand in order to be able to paint with watercolors.

One foundational skill in watercolors is understanding your brush, the strokes it can make, and how to handle it. In this post, I’m going to share 3 brush stroke exercises that you can do with a round tip brush to practice control get really comfortable with the strokes and shapes your brush is capable of

Which Watercolor Paints and Colors to Buy?

Which Watercolor Paints and Colors to Buy?

One of the questions that I get asked the most is what type of paints I use. I have to start by saying that the type of watercolor paints you use come down to personal preference at the end of the day - like most things in life. But, what I can do, is share with you what my experiences have been and what my preferences are.

Now, if you’re looking for someone who has tested out a bunch of paints from a bunch of different brands and is here to lay out all the nitty gritty details and comparison notes for you…you probably should stop reading right now.

Best Watercolor Brushes for Beginners & Beyond

Best Watercolor Brushes for Beginners & Beyond

After going through many brands and types of brushes, I’ve narrowed it down to what I like and I’ll share them with you here so you can steer clear of wasting your money and time and just grab one or a few of these below!

I am going to divide the brush recommendations into two categories: Beginner and Beyond Beginner. If you find that you’re really into watercolors, you might want to skip to the Beyond Beginner category because these brushes are the ones I still use everyday and you might as well start with them if you think you’ll keep painting.

Why Watercolor Is So Hard (and why you should embrace it)

Why Watercolor Is So Hard (and why you should embrace it)

Watercolor has the reputation of being difficult. It has been know to cause feelings of frustration, defeat, and disappointment. Especially for those who are just starting out and all they want is to paint something they can be proud of.

In the beginning stages of learning, we tend to take things very seriously and put our full concentration into that subject. With painting, this can manifest in the form of control. Control works well with mediums like acrylic - where the paint acts in a predictable way. It goes where you put it and the color you see on your palette is the color you get on your paper. Watercolors don’t act that way, which means that the more you try to control them, the more difficult the experience might feel.

Filming with Brit + Co | Watercolor Painting + Digitization Class

Filming with Brit + Co | Watercolor Painting + Digitization Class

When I received an email in my inbox from Sarah back in September 2017 asking if I’d be interested in teaching an online course for Brit+Co, I wasn't sure if it was real at first! I tend to believe that we all have some degree of imposter syndrome and it certainly is bound to kick in when a company like Brit+Co reaches out to you. I definitely had a few thoughts cross my mind like: 'Are they really asking ME?' and 'Can I really do this?' On top of that, anyone that knows me, knows I would much rather be behind the camera than in front of it and don’t prefer being the center of attention. But I gave it some thought and reminded myself that we learn the most when we feel uncomfortable and push our own boundaries - so I agreed. 

Gradient Watercolor Background Experiments

Gradient Watercolor Background Experiments

Hake brushes have been on my mind lately. I’m *this* close to buying one, it’s in my shopping cart on dickblick.com and I just haven’t let myself purchase it yet. If you don’t know what a hake brush is, they are large wash brushes that hold lots of water. In my dreams, I want to use it to prep a big sheet of paper with water so I can paint soft blue watercolor skies with fluffy clouds.

Until that happens I decided I should experiment with some gradient washes because it’s not something that I normally paint. These gradient washes make really nice backgrounds to letter on top of or can be scanned and used as backgrounds for digital designs too.