5 watercolor techniques that every beginner must know.
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5 Simple Watercolor Techniques That Every Beginner Must Know

Do you ever see Watercolor pictures & think “geez that’s gorgeous, but I could never do it?”

It can be overwhelming to see something & then that you could never live up to those expectations.

When I first started out on my creative coping journey I really wanted to do watercolors. I thought it would be as simple as dipping the brush in water & paint & going with the flow.

I was kind right but mostly wrong. I did get an image on paper, but it just looked like a blob.

Turns out that there are watercolor techniques that you need to use.

These techniques are designed to help you get comfortable with painting with watercolor.

Once you get comfortable with them then you can add those techniques to your own watercolor art projects.

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5 Easy watercolor techniques to get you started.

Wet On Dry

The wet on dry method is generally the most used technique. Mainly because it allows you to be more exact in your painting.

For this method you will wet your paintbrush & add watercolor paint to a dry surface.

Wet On Wet

The wet on wet watercolor technique creates a flowing look to your art. Generally you would use this method for landscape type projects.

For this method you need to first wet your paint surface. Normally watercolor paper.

Then you will wet your paint brush & add your paint.

It’s important to remember that when painting on a wet surface, it can be hard to control how your paint will spread. Once it’s dried, you’ll see the various colors & even textures that have come through.

5 watercolor techniques for art journals.

Building On Color

This technique is a practice of the ombré effect. Where you use the lightest shade of a color & build it up to the darkest shade.

In order to do this start by placing a drop of water onto the paper then add a small amount of paint. Slowly, swipe by swipe, add more paint.

Be mindful to add the slightest bit of paint to each swipe. You want the color to subtly change each time instead of drastically.

For more of a challenge you can use 2 or more colors to do the same thing. For example you can fade from light blue to dark purple. Or from light pink to dark orange.

Dry Brush

Using the dry brush technique is pretty much like it seems.

Using a brush that is barely dipped in water & draw on your paper.

The outcome is more of a textured look.


Being precise with your watercolor simply means that this is the time to start making exact movements.

If you want to create a starry night time sky then you need to make precise stars & a moon. You will also need to carefully paint the sky around them.

This will give you practicing with painting shapes & along edges.

Tips To Remember:

  • Once your watercolor dries, the color will appear lighter.
  • The color of your paint will vary depending on how much water that you use.
  • Make sure you get actual watercolor paper. Using regular paper will not give you the desired effect.
  • Keep a cup of clean water handy to thin paint colors & clean your brushes as you work.
  • Use scrap paper to test your colors before adding them to your final project.
  • Don’t be afraid if your colors start to bleed. Part of the beauty of watercolors is the mix of color.
  • For a loose watercolor look, use a brush that is bigger than you think that you need.
  • Watercolor can look extremely messy when it’s wet. Let it dry, you’ll be surprised at the beauty it creates.

Be sure to experiment & don’t take it all so serious. Any kind of art is an amazing outlet for you. Make mistakes, get creative, express yourself!

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5 watercolor techniques that every beginner must know.