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Watercolor paintings illustrating different watercolor ideas and different watercolor painting techniques
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Watercolor Painting Lessons For Beginners
Creating Winners

If we listened to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. Well, that's nonsense.
You've got to jump off cliffs and build your wings on the way down. (Annie Dillard)


Beginner watercolor painting A First Watercolor Lesson. It's about paint handling, and "value"
A First Watercolor Lesson. It's about paint handling, and "value" Here is a simple "coloring book" exercise which will equip you to dig into your first painting. You will learn how to make a "wash", and how to adjust the "value" (the relative difference between dark and light) of your wash.

The color wheel for watercolors. a lesson on mixing every color there is. Color For Beginners - Mixing Colors

A lesson on how to mix any color at all, and how to mix it for maximum effect.
Color is my favorite subject. Here you will learn to use the dual primary palette, ( I use it ), and why. We can make every color at all with only 6 tubes of paint. We can also darken them, even to a black, and lighten them to almost white.

Watercolor painting of a small barn. A small barn makes a nice beginner landscape painting
IA small barn makes a nice beginner landscape painting In this simple yet far ranging painting will cover the beginnings of perspective drawing. You will become conscious of light sources and the shadows that result from them. There will be some easy, yet sophisticated concepts, introduced. These include implied edges, and massing objects to solidify composition. Its also the first leSking out like mad. )

Drawings of trees. Painting Trees – Part 1
You need to get a “handle” on trees. They are fairly easy if you know how to approach the task.
Tree color is also, an issue. In reality, I paint trees in any color I feel like at the moment, but the beginner is going to want at least a little credibility. You need to know how to get the right kinds of greens. And greens can also mean reds or blues or yellows when it comes to trees. This lesson is full of tips and tricks for watercolor painting of trees.

A watercolor painted tree Painting Trees – Part 2
It’s good to know how to approach painting a tree, but that’s not enough. Part 2 is a demonstration of how I do it, at least at the beginner level.
You will see how to paint in the leafy areas and then how to handle the trunk, branches and twigs.
We will examine “Sky holes”, and the general “look” of a realistic tree painting.

Picture of a blue sky wIth white clouds and birds. Skies -Smooth and Blue - Blue Realistic Skies With Birds And Light Fluffy Clouds
This anything but simple lesson demonstrates how to paint realistic skies. We cover smooth graded washes, lifting clouds out of the background, and painting birds into it. We can use clouds and birds as design elements or to cover blemishes in the otherwise perfect sky. We are going to use our sky to paint a with a wet in wet marsh.
Then we will finish off the painting with a lesson on white. That's right, white watercolor. We will use it if wee need to to accentuate our clouds.

Wet piece of watercolor paper. Preparing paper for wet in wet painting
It sounds easy, but you gotta do it right.
it is easy, but its not intuitive and the lesson is really short. Give it a watch unless you are very confident in your wet in wet watercolor technique.

Welcome to your watercolor adventure.

This school is designed to put you on the shortest path towards watercolor competency. It is also designed to guide you on one of the great journeys of your life; the study of your own thought process. (More on this)

Before we begin our first lesson, there is stuff to know. Read this, then take the lessons below.

Art supplies

  • The cheapest place to buy art supplies is Online.  if you are new at this, don't buy very expensive materials.  
  • A medium priced watercolor paper will be fine. As long as it has an uneven surface (Not flat), and it's labeled watercolor paper.
  • Stay away from cheap brushes. Brushes do the actual painting. If your brush cannot hold it's shape, it cannot do what you want.
  • “Artists” quality paint will last for centuries. It is lump free and settles into the paper to yield gorgeous fields of color. It is creamy and wonderful to work with, but at this point, it’s not worth your money. Stick to “Student” quality for now. You will know when you are ready for the good stuff.
  • Tube paint is superior to “pan” paint, but not by enough to matter at this point.
  • Anything flat white and waterproof is a palette.

If your budget allows, you can just buy everything on my teacher's list. It's quick and easy. Just check off one of everything. You will have an inexpensive, yet “Professional” quality rig. Here is the link. (You will still want a sheet of something as a paper support and  clips to keep it in place.)

The biggest obstacle to most beginners is the cost of materials. You must not care how the painting comes out. If you are tense about ruining it because of the cost of materials, you will ruin it. How big you paint matters a lot. Small paintings use smaller brushes, smaller paper and less paint.  Small paintings take less time. The cost of the paper and paint must be less than you care about. The time it takes to paint it, must be less than you will miss.

I know you want to get onto painting, and that it's boring to take lessons on materials. Nevertheless, I do have a section with six such lessons. In the long run, you'll be better off to take them.


Take my first beginner lesson “Coloring Book”. In less than an hour you will be competent to start watercolor painting.


You're going to need some experience before you can make great paintings. I advise that you do not agonize over your first efforts. Paint them small, paint them quickly, enjoy doing them. Little children think they are playing. We know that they are in the deadly serious business of learning how to deal with the world. Take a lesson from little children. Play with your paints. It's the fastest route to achieving real art. And By the way, do not throw these first efforts out; even if you hate them. You may hate them now, but years from now, you may be quite proud of them.

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”   Lao Tzu


There is an awfully lot of bad advice being given out under the guise of watercolor lessons. If someone tells you to tape your paper to a support, (It's counterproductive.) run away. if someone is showing you shortcuts to nowhere, such as salt, alcohol, crayons and the like, take a hike. It is not that these gimmicks don't work. It's just that they are a distraction rather than a valuable learning experience. Gimmicks are great when you are so good you don't need them.

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