How Should I Learn Watercolor Painting? (5 Best Pieces of Advice)

It can be very hard to learn a skill by yourself. Watercolor painting especially done alone can turn into a complete mess.

In this article, I am going to talk about every advantage you can take to learn watercolor painting as well as some tips for better detail. I will also talk about how to stop watercolor from curling on paper

Where to Learn Watercolor Painting?

There are tons of resources online you can learn from. You can literally learn any skill from A to Z online nowadays. A few recommendations are Udemy and Skillshare.

These are platforms that allow instructors to teach students any skill. Just search what you want to learn, watch the videos, and learn the skills.

When buying courses from the instructors, choose the best rated as they are the most professional. They will teach you how to watercolor from A to Z.

If you don’t want to use this option, YouTube is free.

There are channels and playlists directed to water painting to help beginners start well. Also, there are plenty of guides and manuals 

Typical Watercolor Errors That Beginners Make

Watercolor painting is a very hard skill to master.

There are some masterpieces done by professionals, but takes years to master the skills. If you are willing to learn, and put in the time, I believe anyone can become a professional.

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The watercolor painting will take lots of trial and error simply because the mistakes are very hard to correct.

You see, when all the colors of the rainbow meet at one point, it actually forms white. When you put all the colors (or not even all) in one point, it becomes black because it’s physical. This is why it’s so hard to correct.

You can see that in a prism when light beams through, a rainbow forms. Try and mix paint in all the colors of the rainbow. It doesn’t happen the same. This means it takes a lot of time and works to master this skill. 

What Types of Brushes Should I Use For Watercolors?

There are many things to know about when starting a watercolor hobby. To start, there are many types of tips for paintbrushes that are used in watercolor.

There are round brushes, flat brushes, wash brushes, Mop brushes, linear brushes, and more. Don’t get too caught up in this.

For the beginning, It is recommended to use the round brush and the flat brush. The round brush is what you think it is.

The flat brush is better for making sharper lines as the round is better for broad strokes. There are a few tips for beginners to know about their brushes.

When you are storing your brushes, don’t leave them in water as this spreads and weakens the brush. Also, make sure every time you’re done with your brushes, rinse them in cold water and dry them. The paintings should not be shaken after done.

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Dry them in the sun or air dry them. 

Different Types of Special Watercolor Paper 

For beginners, It’s important to try different things. You don’t have to stick with round and flat brushes, but it is recommended.

Try different types of paper – hot-pressed, cold-pressed and rough. Hot-pressed paper is best for artists who want the finest detail. Hot-pressed peppers are hot-pressed making the grains smooth.

They are also not as absorbent as the others, so the color comes out very well. Cold-pressed has a nice texture and is the most popular with water painters.

Rough paper isn’t pressed and it allows pigment particles from the paint to settle giving it a rougher texture.

Beginners are welcome to just use normal printer paper for practice. Printer paper doesn’t hold water very well, so it may be harder to paint. If you want a more fine practice paper, I’d recommend cold-pressed. 

What Do I Need to get Started with Watercoloring?

There are a couple of must-have tools when water painting. Of course, you need the brushes (round and flat) and the palette.

This is the paint board used. You also want water containers used to clean brushes after being used.

You also want sponges used to clean and remove excess water that might ruin the painting. A Paper towel is recommended to dry brushes.

Also, a spray bottle is recommended to prevent the palette from drying out as well as adding nice effects to the painting. 

How to Stop Water Color Curling on Paper

The first tip to stop your paper from curling with watercolor is to use less water. Water can break down the paper when you are painting caused by friction.

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The friction is unavoidable when painting, so you want to use less water. You also want to have enough paint and water mix where your brush doesn’t dry out.

Another tip is to use more heavy paper. A stronger paper is less likely to break thus it won’t curl or will only curl a little. Buying hot-pressed, cold-pressed or rough paper shouldn’t curl.

A good way to know if you are using enough water or too little is to get a painted board. If you use gravity, you could cause the paint to run down your work.

This means you are using too much water. Using gravity and getting a painting stand will show you if you are using enough. Another thing you can do is to coat the opposite or both painting sides with gesso.

According to expert Pam Carriker, painting your page with gesso makes the paper feel heavier, and will flatten the pages. If you find it harder to paint with curly pages, this one might be useful.

Again, watercolor is a very tricky hobby, but it can be done. Beginners should stick to the basics and develop the skills before trying harder projects.

If beginners move to advanced projects too quickly, it can be very stressful. There are many places you can learn water coloring from especially online.

Take care of the brushes in a proper manner and don’t mix the paint on the palette. If you have any questions about watercoloring, reach out to a professional. Hope this helps.