5 Pro Tips for the Beginning Watercolor Painter

Get Better with the Right Knowledge and Right Tools!

In the past, we've taught you 5 Pro Tips for Beginning Acrylic Artists and 5 Pro Tips for the Beginning Oil Painter, and now its time for the budding watercolor painters out there! Watercolors, while typically thought of as light and fun, they can also be a bit harder to control and have a bad reputation for being unforgivable with mistakes. And watercolors might seem daunting to work with, with these five easy watercolor tips and tricks for beginners, we will show you how to improve your artwork and give your paintings professional quality watercolor effects!

1. Paint Backwards

Now I don't mean literally paint backwards, but this is a bit different. In most forms of painting, the artist paints with their dark colors first and then works lighter, however in watercolors, it's the other way around. When working with watercolor paints, you want to begin with the lighter colors and then work towards the darker ones. We do this because in watercolors,  the white comes from the paper, not the paints. So due to the transparency of the paints, your light colors wont "pop" when painted over darker colors. 

2. Don't Add Too Much Water

Even after you've added water to your watercolor paper, a common mistake made by many beginning artists is that they tend to add extra water to their paintings by not properly drying their brushes after washing them. This will make your paints spread more than you'd like them to and can create muddy areas. To avoid adding extra water, make sure you dab your washed brush on a dry cloth or paper towel before putting it back into the paint. 

3. Make Sure Your Watercolor Paper Wont Buckle

While many different types of paper qualify as watercolor paper, choosing the correct watercolor paper for your project is important. The differences in paper are important and and determine how your work will turn out. For example, the difference in shades of white might affect the brilliance of your colors. One important factor to note is how thick your paper is. If you like to use more paint, you might want to use thicker paper so the paper doesn't buckle. Using something close to 140 lb Cold Press Watercolor Paper will work well for most beginners and has an interesting texture for your artwork. 

4. Paint With the Side Of Your Brush

Watercolor paper is abrasive and can ruin your brush if you paint with the tip too often. You will preserve your brushes longer by painting with the sides of your brush.

5. Mix More Paint Than You Plan To Use

A lot of watercolor painting is planning and preparing. It is always a good idea to mix colors in greater quantities than you think you might need. This way, if you run out of your mixed paint in the middle of painting, you wont have to start over. If you're properly prepared, you wont have to try and mix the colors again drying out your paints. Therefore, always mix more than you think you might need so that you'll have enough to finish your painting!

Although these may seem like simple tips, they can save your painting! To find out more about watercolor painting products check out JerrysArtarama.com.



Did You Know- Paul Gauguin

This Weekend Celebrates the Painter's 167th Birthday

Although his birthday is technically tomorrow, June 7, we like to celebrate our artists. Although he was not overly appreciated while he was alive, the artwork Paul Gauguin is certainly appreciated today. And to recognize him as the genius he is, we wanted to share some fun facts about Gauguin and share some of his art! 

Did you know?

  • Gauguin's full name is Eugene Henri Paul Gauguin.
  • He was born June 7, 1848 in Paris, France and died May 8, 1903 in Atuona, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia. He was 54 years old. If he was still alive today, he would be 167 years old. 
  • Guaguin was not only a painter, but also was known for his work as a sculptor, printmaker, wood engraver, ceramist and even a writer. 
  • He was raised in Lima, Peru until he was 7 and moved back to France with his family. Even though he learned French after moving, his preferred language was Spanish. 
  • Gauguin first started painting in 1873 to combat the stress of being a stockbroker. 
  • Gauguin was a contemporary to artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro and even Paul Cezanne.
  • Vincent Van Gogh once threatened Gauguin with a razor blade!
  • Gauguin worked as a laborer on the Panama Canal.
  • He had ten children but only five of them were legitimate. 
  • In 1891, he moved to Tahiti to live among the natives and even took a native girl as a wife. They had one son.
  • Gauguin died of a stroke in 1903. 
  • In 1906, the Salon d'Automne in Paris held a show with 227 of his paintings.
  • Gauguin is rememered as a leader of the symbolist movement and a source of Fauvism.


The Swineherd, Bittany 1888


Les Alyscamps 1888

Night Cafe at Arles 1888

The Midday Nap 1894

Self Portrait 1885

Tahitian Women on the Beach 1891


Announcing New ArtBites Contest

What Can You Create With ArtBites?

Have You Heard About New ArtBites?

With New ArtBites, exploring your own creativity has never been easier! ArtBites are made from strong 2.3mm stock board mounted with a textured canvas paper that works universally for any kind of media. ArtBites are made for smaller works of art or combine them for fantastic collages or mosaics.

When inspiration hits, ArtBites are ready for any media and can be quickly transformed from canvas board to Masterpiece! They can also be used for all kinds of creative projects including paintings, letter tiles, magnets, wall hangings and even pendants. Whether you like to create your art work with oil, acrylic, watercolor, marker, colored pencil, charcoal, printmaking, or even collage, ArtBites are the perfect surface for the project of your choice.

ArtBites are available in a variety of sizes from 2x2" to 6x6", the perfect sizes for creating fun, fast art!

"What Can You Create With ArtBites" Contest

Jerry's is proud to introduce this new exciting contest where we give $100 in eGift Cards to JerrysArtarama.com to the artist that has most excitingly utilized their ArtBites to create something fun!

Each month we will select winners based on who used their ArtBites in the most creative way and every month we will also have a theme that you can decorate your ArtBite with to win. We want to see just how creative our artists can get with these. See our Contest Page for more details. 

Join the ArtBites Community

On top of contests, we want to give artists a place to share the artwork they've made with new ArtBites. If you want to see what artists can really do, plus interact and engage with other artists using ArtBites, join in our ArtBite Communities on Facebook and Pinterest and you'll have access to tons of fun activities such as:

  • ArtBites monthly theme contests for prizes
  • The most creative or innovative ways to use ArtBites contest
  • Other artist's works of art
  • School projects and fundraisers
  • Three dimensional fun
  • FAQs
  • Exciting murals and other projects made with ArtBites 
  • and much more!

Join our ArtBites community today on Facebook and Pinterest.

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