Most of us have fond memories of learning to paint watercolour with children’s paint by numbers sets when we were much younger. Usually, these experiments were short-lived and painting kits would be relegated to a dark cupboard under the stairs.
Today, regardless of your age, you may want to take the notion of watercolour painting for beginners a lot more seriously. If so, then this article which includes important information on gouache (a kind of enhanced watercolour), is for you. Fortunately, today’s gouache which contains a gum Arabic binder that makes your colour more predictable can make learning to paint watercolour far easier.
If you’re searching watercolour painting courses near me, chances are that you will be leaving the paint by numbers concept behind and unleashing your creativity on a blank canvas where a tutor can help you to avoid rivers of colour running into each other as well as saturated and wrinkled paper.
So if you want to learn to paint in watercolour and receive all the right tips and guidance along the way, then choosing a private tutor like those found on Superprof could be the answer to get you started and keep you motivated every step of the way.
Let’s get started!
Once you have completed your search for watercolour painting courses near me, your next step will be to buy the right supplies.
Watercolour painting sets for amateur artists are very different from those designed for children, so make sure that you are not looking for your kit in a kids toy shop. Whether you decide to shop online or walk into an art supply store, the array of choices can seem overwhelming.
Unless you have done extensive research or can rely on your painting teacher to help guide you, you may not know where to begin.
Here are some tips to help you purchase the right kit.
Choosing Watercolour Paper
When it comes to watercolour paper, not all are created equal.
Not unlike washi paper intended for origami being distinctly different to onionskin paper that is used to make kites and gliders, copy paper and notebook paper are not the same as sketching paper. The same can be said for watercolour paper which, even if a little more costly, is a necessary expense that will be worth it.
Choosing Brushes for Watercolour Painting for Beginners
Whether you are choosing to do beginner watercolour painting lessons online or in-person, remember that your choice in brushes should really reflect the level that you are at. Therefore, it is not necessary to invest in a set of Kolinsky sable brushes until you are more proficient.
Having said that, just because you are taking up watercolour painting for beginners doesn’t mean you should scrape the bottom of the barrel either. In fact, inferior brush quality can create poor results and possibly turn you off painting altogether.
Some artists advise that before you go all out on materials, that you first spend a little time with artificial-fibre brushes while you ascertain whether or not you really want to learn to paint in watercolour.
By the time you get to sable brushes, the difference you experience in both feel and result could mean that you never turn to an artificial brush again.
So which brushes should you buy if you are new to learning to paint colour?
Perhaps the best investment would be a set that contains small, medium and large round brushes, a mop brush and a flat brush.
One other tip would be to avoid craft brushes where bristles tend to be too rough for the delicate consistency of watercolour paint.
Selecting Watercolour Paints
If you are new to watercolour painting lessons online or in person, your investment in different colours is one place where you could potentially save. This is because when it comes to watercolour painting for beginners there is no need to purchase every colour under the rainbow to get you started.
Consider starting with the basic primary colours of red, yellow, blue and black while you decide whether you want to continue to learn to paint in watercolour or not.
Watercolours come in cakes and tubes. Why not mix up your selection while you find out which ones suit you best by buying a tube of black and the rest of the colours in cakes, or vice versa.
There is also always the option of a kit. These can contain tubes or cakes from 12 to 24 colours.
Other potential art supplies to add to your shopping list.
- A palette: a flat, shallow surface where you can mix your paints.
- Drafting tape: drafting tape is needed to keep your paper on the drawing board and it has the useful knack of not tearing your paper.
- Tote boards: very big clipboards in a variety of large sizes.
- Pencils and rubbers: you’ll need these for outlines and correcting your mistakes.
Other tools of the trade like tools for texturing and masking fluid can always be purchased at a later stage once your search for watercolour painting courses near me is proving to be fruitful and you have learnt some good watercolour techniques for beginners!
Prepare Your Space
Somehow, an artist’s space is synonymous with a messy space. While this might be acceptable with oils, the nature of watercolour painting demands a cleaner, more organised approach.
Watercolours are fast and fluid so make sure that you have access to paper towels, sponges and clean water. One thing you will quickly find out, whether you take your watercolour painting lessons online, or in someone else’s studio, is that your space should be as clean and uncluttered as possible.
So once you have made sure that you have enough space, carefully position all of your tools, water pots and colours within reach of your dominant hand! Tip: if you are too close you will risk knocking over that jar of water.
You could also hang a small towel from your waist or any other convenient place to dry brushes when needed. Another neat trick is to keep a wad of paper towel in your sleeve for ultra-fast access.
Even if your search for watercolour painting courses near me has been successful, make sure you check out the many other resources and tutorials for watercolour painting too.
Two Indispensable Companions
Learning to paint watercolour should come with two indispensable companions: spare paper and clean water.
Clean water will keep your brushes clean, help you to mix your paints, and wet your paper using the dry brush techniques. Consider using two jars, one for washing brushes and one that stays clear for wetting paper and mixing paints.
When you only use one water jar, beware that you will often have to change dirty water!
Why would you need spare paper?
It’s very tricky to gauge colour depth while mixing paint but there is a way to know how to achieve the right shade. The best way to do this is by making a few sample strokes with your brush on spare paper that is comparable in texture to the one on which you are painting.
You could take a couple of sheets of watercolour paper and cut them into smaller squares for all this testing.
When you learn to paint in watercolour, these are all tips and tricks that you can expect to learn early on in your course, even if you decide to take watercolour painting lessons online.
Learning to paint watercolour is full of important little idiosyncrasies like making sure for instance, that you mix enough paint to not run out while you are in the middle of your creation.
If you are at the beginning of your learning to paint watercolour journey, it can be challenging to know how much paint you will need and almost impossible to know how to match a colour with perfect accuracy.
The tip for overcoming both of these challenges is to err on the generous side when you mix paints.
The Last, Most Important Ingredient
If you have decided to learn to paint in watercolour then make sure that you do it with gusto!
Bear in mind that there is a lot of technical information and this is best discovered through the guidance of a tutor. Whether you decide to do this through watercolour painting lessons online or in-person, a private teacher or class is by far the most effective way to progress.
Also, we hope that whatever your reason for searching watercolour painting courses near me it includes the goal to have a lot of fun!
Remember that mistakes, like colour bleeds, will happen, but use these as an opportunity to experiment. Those are times where colouring between the lines, or painting by number can be thrown out the window in favour of unleashing the watercolour painting genius inside of you.
The platform that connects private tutors and students