Summmmmmmmmmer time and the living’s easy!
The summer of 2020 is the perfect time to engage your brain in something other than scrolling social media in a paralyzed panic. Being a teacher in 2020 has stretched my limits of anxiety and I vowed this summer to let go, relax and paint fun things for myself.
This post has four of my favorite watercolor tutorials that are beginner friendly with full step by step verbal directions. These are adaptable for kids, true beginners, or more experienced artists looking for inspiration.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn commission if you click through and make a purchase. I only recommend art supplies I personally love and use myself on in the classroom.
Let’s start painting!
Let’s start with the EASIEST of all easy watercolor tutorials.
This wet-on-wet technique is really quick and provides that popular watery color blend that everybody knows and loves.
This one is a blast and is very beginner friendly. This would be great for kids or a painter with little experience. That being said, I could do this all day long and I’ve been painting for years. I love this subject matter because of the vibrant colors and simple shapes. You can keep things really simple and stick to one color, or try blending several colors in each Popsicle. If your paint gets a little messy or drips- that’s perfectly okay! It only makes your painting look more realistic and expressive.
If you are in the market for a travel watercolor set, I LOVE the Winsor & Newton Cotman compact set. It is a great mid-level set for artists who want to invest in nicer watercolors without breaking the bank. I’ve been using this set for cards and illustrations for years and I am always happy with the results.
I love painting flowers. There are so many variations to choose from and each season brings it’s own inspiration. I love the simplicity of wet on wet watercolor blending and it helps me not overwork my painting. This video will show you two simple flower shapes with the same leaf pattern. I will also show you how to blend colors before your paint even dries.
You only need one paint brush and even inexpensive paint looks great. I love to make a whole page of floral patterns and I’ve used these flowers for cards and wedding decorations. This tutorial is step by step and approachable for beginners as well as satisfying for the more experienced painter.
I’ve added my Amazon affiliate links below if you are interested in the inexpensive Prang watercolor set I used for this tutorial and also use in my art classroom.
I am very fond of seascapes thanks to my dad. He always brought his watercolors and painted on the beach during our childhood vacations. I never realized how lucky I was growing up in South Carolina until I moved to the land locked state of Oklahoma. Oklahoma may have gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, but nothing is better than the beach!
This tutorial is a great jumping off point if you have limited landscape experience. I start painting wet on wet and then let it dry so I can go back and add a few sharper details with a smaller brush. You can change your color scheme to a sunset or you can use blues like me.
My goal with this seascape was to KEEP IT SIMPLE. I am a plein air oil painter in my other life, when I’m not in full public school teacher mode, and I am always working, reworking and changing my landscape paintings. It was so satisfying to finish a painting in thirty minutes and call it done. I feel like once I got warmed up I could paint dozens of these in a row. My dad still paints a little landscape or seascape on all of his trips and mails them to me.
Painting watercolor galaxies is my new therapy. It is so stinking easy and you get a different sky every time! My husband and I dreamed of getting an RV this summer and this sky is exactly the vision I have for this imaginary experience. Maybe one day.
I saved this one for last because it has a few more steps than the first three tutorials. The sky itself is actually the easiest technique on this post. You don’t have to worry about painting something that represents an object. It is simply swirls of whatever colors you are drawn to. Add too much water? No problem, just use a paper towel or let it dry!
Once the sky dried I use liquid acrylic to splatter stars in the sky and add a moon. You can use white watercolor if you have it, but I have found that tempera or acrylic work way better.
No acrylic paint? Try white out! A student showed me this a couple years ago and my mind was blown.
The tree silhouettes are really easy to paint with black acrylic and give such a magical finishing touch.
I taped my paper off with artists tape to create my :::imperfect::: diamond composition. Masking tape did NOT work for this. It works well with acrylic because you are not using so much water. I painted this twice before I finally got it right for this step by step tutorial.
I used my inexpensive set of Prang watercolors for this tutorial, but I recommend not skimping on paper when using such a water wash heavy technique. I added my two favorite splurge watercolor paper pads, Fabriano and Arches, below! You can use the link to purchase them from Amazon or you can find them in any art supply store.
I so miss the days of walking to City Art in Columbia SC to pick out art supplies in person and locally.
If you are looking ahead to Christmas, this Christmas lights painting is SO easy and fun!
I’d love to hear from you! Let me know what worked for you and any questions you have.
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Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
As an art educator and enthusiast with years of experience in teaching and practicing various artistic techniques, I am well-versed in the concepts and skills required to engage in watercolor painting. My expertise extends to not only traditional classroom settings but also to creating art for personal enjoyment and relaxation.
The article "Summmmmmmmmmer time and the living’s easy!" beautifully encapsulates the essence of unwinding and embracing creativity through watercolor tutorials. The concepts covered in this article include wet-on-wet watercolor technique, floral patterns, seascape painting, and creating watercolor galaxies. Each tutorial is designed to cater to beginners and experienced artists alike, offering step-by-step verbal directions and encouragement for artistic exploration.
The wet-on-wet technique, as demonstrated in the first tutorial on painting watercolor popsicles, showcases the popular watery color blend and provides a fun and accessible project for beginners and children. The use of the Winsor & Newton Cotman compact set exemplifies the recommendation of quality art supplies for achieving vibrant and expressive results.
Moving on to the watercolor flowers tutorial, the simplicity of wet-on-wet blending is emphasized, allowing for the creation of beautiful floral patterns with minimal resources. The recommendation of the Prang watercolor set highlights the accessibility and affordability of materials for both personal and classroom use.
The watercolor seascape tutorial delves into the emotional connection to landscape painting, emphasizing the simplicity and satisfaction of capturing the essence of the beach through a straightforward approach. The personal anecdote adds depth to the tutorial, showcasing the sentimental value of artistic expression.
Lastly, the watercolor galaxy landscape tutorial introduces a more intricate project, demonstrating the versatility of watercolor in creating celestial scenes. The use of liquid acrylic for adding stars and the recommendation of quality watercolor paper pads underline the importance of using suitable materials for specific techniques.
In conclusion, the article not only provides practical tutorials but also reflects the author's passion for art and the joy of sharing knowledge with others. The personal touch and genuine enthusiasm for watercolor painting make the tutorials engaging and accessible to a wide audience, inspiring creativity and relaxation during the summer months.