Learning to Paint in Watercolor

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Like most kids, I liked to draw, and like most adults, I stopped drawing. But recently, I was bitten by the watercolor bug. I’ve found a lot of great information in books–some of my favorites are by Zoltan Szabo. Youtube, however, has remained one of the best places to find  numerous, generous artists who publish free tutorials. Because there’s so much out there, though, one tip I can offer is to stick with one or two artists for quite a long time. Read a lot, too, and start numerous painting journals so each time you decide to sit down and paint, it doesn’t have to be an important painting. It’s practice. Another tip is try to avoid too much time watching reviews; it’s a bottomless pit of time comparing one brand to another. Get your gear and go! I’m using student paints (Cotman) and 140 lb. paper. My brushes are inexpensive. When I use it all up, I’ll consider upgrading, but in the meantime… It! All! Works! Great!

Here are my favorite Youtubers. Although I routinely find new channels and artists, I lean toward landscape artists:

  • Grant Fuller: These are some of the best tutorials I’ve watched. They can give you a lot of confidence to try the basics in landscape. Sadly, Mr. Fuller passed away in 2016.
  • Patrick Ley-Greaves: This artists offers up a ton of wonderful landscape tutorials. On his website, he even has a special set of lessons arranged for beginners. Start with “The Basics” and move forward.
  • The Mind of Watercolor: Steve Mitchell is funny and a wonderful painter. His style is inspiring. You will realize why watercolor is a medium meant for water. This sounds strange but watch this and you’ll understand.
  • Millie Gift Smith: From what I can tell, Ms. Smith is about 97 years old. She paints with watercolors and other mediums. Her abstract landscapes are gorgeous. She refers to her style of painting as “loose and easy.” Love the tunes.
  • The Painting and Drawing Channel: Other than the strangeness of having 30-minute tutorials broken into three sections, this is my favorite all-around channel for lessons. The artists featured here are awesome teachers. A few of my favorites are Geoff Kersey and Keith Fenwick.
  • Art Painting Workshop: This unnamed (I think) artist posts speed-painting videos. This is a fun way to watch a full painting come to life.

Categories: Art Watercolor

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