How to Prepare for Easy Watercolor Paintings for Beginners
The enjoyable art of watercolor painting can be very challenging but also rewarding for beginners. While the difficulty level of painting watercolors can be high, there are actually a few good practices that newbies can follow in order to create their first work of art.
But before anything, it would be great to get all your materials ready. This post will be divided into two parts. For part one, we will be talking about the necessary supplies that you can use to get started.
Watercolor Painting Materials
- Watercolor Set
The first one in our list, and very top priority is to purchase your own watercolor palette. There are two grade sets to choose from: the student-grade set and the artist-grade set of watercolors.
For beginners, we suggest starting with a student-grade watercolor painting set. This is more economical for studying the basic strokes and washes for easy watercolor paintings. Most palettes sold in the market yield pigmented washes that are quite close to their professional counterparts.
- Color Chart
After purchasing your watercolor set, start working on your color chart. Cut a piece of watercolor paper in square or rectangular shape smaller than your watercolor case or container, swatch each color, and write down their names under each wash. This will help you easily locate the colors of your choice for your watercolor painting. There are a lot of color chart ideas available online that you can look up.
Apart from learning how to use watercolor paint, choosing the best watercolor brushes will take time and research, but you can start with a good few ones then just add more to your supply as you go along. To get started in watercolor painting, you may get one flat brush, 2-3 round size brushes (numbers 000, 03, and 10 for bigger paper coverage). It would still depend on your grip and watercolor painting style, but round brushes are safe bets.
Watercolor painting brushes also vary in material. If you’re starting out, nylon or synthetic Sable brushes will be the best ones that you can use.
Organize your brushes upright in a light plastic container, and for easy access, mount them close to your workstation using this one.
- Watercolor Paper
Watercolor painting requires a particular type of paper that sits out and absorbs well. For those who are starting out, you may opt for a 300gsm paper at 140 lbs. Cold pressed paper is rougher than a hot press type, but both will work just fine for beginners.
- Painter’s Tape
For a more stable working surface for your work, use a good painter’s tape. Once it is placed on the edges of your watercolor paper, it also prevents the paper from curling when it dries up. There are a lot of tapes available online, but we highly recommend this Blue Painter's Tape for this particular project. Other than watercolor, you can also use it for other mediums of art such as oil and acrylic.
- Clean Water
Prepare two glasses or jars of clean water. One will be used for mixing, which will look more murky, and the other one for cleaning up your brush. Your brushes will tend to pick up more paint, so it is very important to dip it clean before using another color.
- Tissue paper or clean rug
To produce more interesting watercolor washes and to clean up accidental paint and water spills, use a kitchen towel, a paper napkin or a clean rug. We will be going into this further in the second part of this blog.
Preparing for your first watercolor work can be a bit confusing, not to mention it requires a bit of your budget. But we hope this quick list would help you find the basic materials you’ll need to jumpstart that project you’ve been wanting to do for so long. On our next blog on watercolor painting, we will be talking about the basic washes and strokes you can work on.
If you have something in mind you’d want to ask, other tips and tricks related to watercolor painting for beginners, or watercolor painting ideas, we would love to see them in the comment box!