Watercolor painting is a technique in art where paints made from pigments suspended in a water-based solution are applied to paper. It’s known for its transparent layers, delicate washes, and vibrant colors. Watercolor allows for a range of artistic expressions, from detailed and realistic to abstract and fluid.

Description and How to Do It

To start with watercolor painting, you’ll need watercolor paints, watercolor paper (which is thicker to absorb water without warping), brushes of various sizes, and water. Begin by practicing basic techniques like wet-on-wet (applying paint to a wet surface) and dry brush (painting on a dry surface for more texture). Experiment with mixing colors on a palette or directly on the paper to see how they blend. Use lighter washes for the base layers, gradually adding darker tones for depth and detail.


  • Expressiveness: Offers a wide range of artistic expressions and styles.
  • Skill Development: Enhances understanding of color theory, composition, and brushwork.
  • Relaxation: The fluid nature of watercolors can provide a meditative and stress-relieving experience.
  • Accessibility: Requires minimal setup and materials to get started, making it accessible to beginners.

Best Age to Start

Children can begin experimenting with watercolors as early as age 4 or 5, using simple techniques and playing with color. More sophisticated techniques and understanding of the medium can be developed in the teenage years and beyond.


  • Websites: Online tutorials and courses covering basic techniques and advanced strategies.
  • YouTube: Channels dedicated to watercolor painting offer demonstrations and project ideas.
  • Books: “Everyday Watercolor” by Jenna Rainey (available on Amazon) introduces beginners to the fundamentals of watercolor painting in an accessible way.

Equipment and Costs

  • Watercolor Paints: $10-$50+ for a basic set of student or professional quality.
  • Paper: $5-$20 for a pad of watercolor paper, depending on size and quality.
  • Brushes: $5-$30 for a set of watercolor brushes in various sizes.
  • Additional Supplies: Palette, water containers, and masking tape, $10-$20.

Starting Tips

  • Keep a paper towel or sponge handy to blot excess water or paint.
  • Practice controlling the amount of water on your brush for different effects.
  • Begin with simple subjects to focus on technique, such as landscapes or still life.

Recommended Practice Frequency

Regular practice, such as daily or several times a week, is beneficial to experiment with techniques, develop your style, and gain confidence in the medium.

Requirements/Tasks for Mastery

  • Develop a deep understanding of color mixing, layering, and water control.
  • Create a portfolio showcasing a range of subjects and styles.
  • Explore personal expression and thematic work through watercolor painting.

Famous Watercolor Artists

  • Winslow Homer, known for his landscapes and seascapes.
  • John Singer Sargent, is celebrated for his vibrant and fluid watercolor portraits.