4 Resources For Starting In Watercolors

Last summer I started dabbling in painting in watercolors.  I took oil painting lessons when I was younger, but that was about 20 years ago, and I had never tried watercolors before.  For some reason, maybe inspired by the recent watercolor trends, I decided to give it a try.

It's not something I do every day, or even every month, but every now and then when the inspiration strikes, I'll pull out my watercolors and pencils and see what I come up with.  It's a fun way to be creative and a little artsy, and you don't even have to be good at drawing.  It's just as fun to slap some paint on the paper in splotches and see how it looks when translucent layers dry over each other.

Overall, I feel like watercolors are a really easy medium to get started in - you don't need a lot of fancy supplies - you don't even have to do much research.  I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a basic watercolor kit, and some watercolor paper, and that was that.  But if you are thinking about trying watercolors as a hobby, and you need an extra little boost to get you started, I have some resources for your inspiration!


1. Pinterest. 

Now that I'm thinking about it, I think what finally inspired me to go out and buy some paints was a watercolor project I found on Pinterest.  Specifically, it was these watercolor monograms from Jones Design Company.  They looked easy, and that post led me to a bunch of other posts on watercolors that made me want to give it a try!  Check out my watercolor Pinterest board for some tutorial links and inspiration.

2. Instagram.

You wouldn't necessarily know it unless you were looking for it, but there are a lot of watercolor artists on Instagram.  Just do a hashtag search for "watercolor" and see what comes up!  A couple of accounts to follow?

-Yao Cheng. She does a lot of simple patterns and florals, and they are all gorgeous.  I haven't painted any patterns yet, and I'm pretty sure mine wouldn't look as good as hers, but she makes it look so doable!  She does work for Minted and has such a pretty aesthetic!  She also teaches a watercolor class on Creative Bug.

-MonVoir Calligraphy.  She doesn't do just calligraphy.  I love her florals!

-Britt Bass.  She doesn't work just in watercolor.  Her paintings are more abstract, but they are so nice to look at!

3. Waterlogue.

This is actually an app, but I thought it was really helpful!  It takes your pictures and "paints" them in watercolors before your eyes, so you can see the step-by-step process.  You can also choose different styles of watercolor.  I tested out a bunch of photos with it and it gave me confidence that I could try it myself!  I used it as inspiration for the watercolor I did of Wyatt and Gwen for my gallery wall.

4. Books.  

I read a couple books on watercolors after I started getting more interested in it.  I really don't think any other resource will give you as much information on techniques as a good 'ole book.  

I read one last summer and got a lot of good information from it, so I picked out another book on watercolors this summer.  I am reading Just Add Watercolor by Helen Birch, and I am finding it really interesting so far!  This is a quick, easy book to read - each page has a painting, with the matching page including descriptions of the artists work and tips on techniques.

I like this layout for a couple reasons - first, including the descriptions of the work is really interesting to me in terms of art appreciation.  Are these paintings all my style?  Not all of them, but when I read about the process the artist went through, or the unusual choices they made, I appreciate each work that much more.  I think this book would actually be a handy little tool in our homeschool arsenal for art appreciation.  Second, I love that they don't end with just talking about each painting - they give you tips on the practical aspects of techniques and materials, which I found very helpful!

When I am reading a book about a specific topic, it gives me that motivation to try to apply some of what I'm learning - so books are one of my favorite things for that inspiration to get started!


For some reason, the summer time is when I am most interested in painting.  I think because I really like how peaceful it is to sit outside after the kids are in bed, while Derek is working on the yard or studying.  I listen to the sounds of creation, and do something that's purely creative.  Not something that I have to do, but something that is only for me, because I want to.  Having that little time of rest makes me feel more creative in every other area of life.

Have you ever thought about trying watercolors?  If you do paint, how did you get started?

Note: I received a copy of Just Add Watercolor from the publisher in exchange for a review.  But as always, this is my honest opinion!

You may also like:
Kaitlin @ Homemaker Design said...

I have an art and design background - I specialize in pencil and colour pencil portrait work but watercolours...they've never been my thing! I laughed when I read the part where you said, "I feel like watercolors are a really easy medium to get started in" because I always found them the most daunting medium! hahaha! I think I just over think it though...and because I tend to always lean towards super-realism, they are NOT the medium for that (well, unless you're one of those ridiculously talented watercolour artists! but no, I'd be more relaxed free flowing..)! But after reading this post of yours....if the rain does come today as they are calling for, I may pull out my paints and give them a try again! Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement! :)

Sarah Frazer said...

Love water colors - I do some myself. I love a girl on IG "@watercolordevo - She does some great work! :) Happy to have you at Blogging Mastermind!

Callie Nicole said...

I'll have to follow her! I love seeing watercolors come up in my feed. :-)

Callie Nicole said...

Watercolors are a lot of fun to play with! Thanks for stopping by, Shian!

Callie Nicole said...

Ha, see, I like the more impressionist-type paintings, so watercolors are good for that. They are tricky to work with though! I think they are just easy to start in because they are easy to pull out and clean up. That is so cool that you have an art background! I didn't know that!

© Through Clouded Glass. Design by MangoBlogs.