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How to start Watercolor Painting - Beginners Start Here!

What hindsight has taught me about becoming an artist:

If I could go back several decades what are the things I wish I had known? That's the subject of this first video, and I am not just talking about practical skills. I am talking about the difficulties of finding a style and the dead ends it took me down. 

And I also talk about the real pressure we all feel, the idea that we are not doing art 'properly.' Are you even an artist if you don't sit outdoors in the rain putting your craft above all else, if you don't have a sketch pad in your pocket at all times, or a professional certificate that affirms you are qualified. At the end of the day, trying to fit into stereotypes and other people's expectations will only bring you heartache. I hope this video can help you with things that I took decades to learn.

What colours should you start with?

It is generally accepted that for beginners to start understanding how to mix colours and also afford paints which can be expensive then a ‘split primary’ set or collection of colours is the way forward.

A split primary set basically contains a warm and cool version of each of the primaries (Red, Blue, Yellow) and a few neutral (Brown and Grey) colors. This enables the mixing of all secondary colors (Orange, Green, Purple), neutrals, just about everything. This does not mean it will mix every colour in existence, color is complex and some single pigments cannot be mixed. For example a split primary set will mix you many greens, but it will not mix every green in the world. But those limitations aside it’s just what you need to get started. I have my own branded split primary set which comes with a color mixing guide (link below), and you can find out more about how to build your own split primary set from any brand in this video:

How to apply paint to paper; basic brush strokes

Materials are all very well, but what about how to actually apply paint to paper? In this video tutorial I walk you through 7 basic brush strokes, and I use just two of the most common types of watercolor paint brush – as well as a couple of old scruffy brushes. Watch the video to see how simple it is to place your beautiful watercolors onto the paper. If you are still struggling with applying the paint, try my Basic Watercolor Techniques for Beginners Course, link below:

Questions complete beginners in watercolor have!

Often I have found that beginners complain that even the most basic tutorial is too advanced for them. Blending techniques are all very well, but if you don’t know how much water to add to the paint and only have a vague idea which end of the brush to use then all of the information available online can seem overwhelming. So in this video I have answered some really (really) basic questions; like which paper to use, how much water to use, if you should put your tube paints into a palette and let them dry, and which brushes you need. In fact 7 of the most basic questions I hear often from complete beginners! So if you are not even at the stage of learning to paint, and more at the stage of taking the paints out of the packet, this video is for you!

Watercolor mistakes beginners make (and you can avoid!)

I have been teaching for nearly two decades and the truth is that with thousands of students, I don’t see thousands of different mistakes; I see the same ones over and over again. So I am well placed to predict what you might do wrong before you have even done it. So give this video a watch and save yourself some heartache: 

Watercolor beginner lessons (20 tips for FAST improvement!)

Looking for some quick, fast tips that will help you improve? Try this video, because lots of small adjustments add up to big wins: Watch for some super valuable tips on how to avoid beginner mistakes and master this awesome medium a little bit faster. With tips on technique, materials, working practice and easy hacks, this watercolor tutorial could be a beginners’ best learning resource.

5 Things to stop doing now!

If you have been painting for a little while you may be making some of these mistakes. This video is about some of the things I see artists doing that I really think they shouldn't - it's not a technical video, it's my opinion about some of the ways that amateur artists work that I think are misguided or hamper their progress:

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