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Where, when and how to start with Watercolors

Updated: May 7, 2021

I want to save you guys some heartache before starting on watercolors. Watercolor is a tricky medium, but once you master it, it can be quite fulfilling. Watercolor pigment consistency is very hard to master. In his book, Mastering Atmosphere & Mood in Watercolor: The Critical Ingredients That Turn Paintings into Art (2002), master watercolorist Joseph Zbukovic discussed consistency in terms of tea, coffee, milk, cream, and butter. For those starting off, I would highly recommend buying his book. That said, no amount of reading can replace practice and perseverance.

Let's jump into how to start with watercolors.

- Always start small: small canvas/watercolor paper.

- Choose simple subjects: look for something like a fruit or simple shape

- Most watercolor palette doesn't come with White and Neutral tint.

- Values in watercolor controlled by pigment consistency: Less pigment and more water results in lower in value scale and more pigment and less water results in a darker Value

- Start with this pocket box: It is a good starting platform

-Once you get comfortable with watercolors, consider purchasing this intermediate palette:

Note: When you get student grade watercolors don't get discouraged by the pigment being dull.

- Once you are even more comfortable, grow to a bigger canvas with professional paints

- Practice drawing: drawing is the skeleton of your painting

- Doing value studies helps a lot to train your eye and also helps in drawing

Here is the video, how to do value studies.

If you have any other questions, you can email me at and comment below. Happy painting!!!!!!

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