We have been seeing a ton of designers using watercolor landscapes when styling, whether in gallery walls or layering them in shelf decor.
While we provide original artwork that can be purchased; we also want to help our DIY followers create their own. Follow these beginner tips to create your own home decor masterpiece.
What you need:
Watercolor canvas (chose your desired size)
Two cups with clean water
The easiest paint is to buy a premixed pallet that has the colors you are looking to use. You can mix your own colors if you want to get fancy but that is a little more intense than what we are going to cover here. I use and LOVE the Prima Paint options. I think I have every one of their pallets. Bonus...they can be purchased on Amazon.
Other Supplies (not required but useful):
Pallet for Mixing
TIP ALERT: Why have two water cups?! One cup is your "clean" water and one is your "dirty" water. Each time you go to clean your brush or add more water to your brush, you first clean in the dirty cup and then clean in the clean cup. This thoroughly cleans your brush and keeps the color bold. If you use dirty water, it will make your color muddy.
After you have all your supplies collected, the first thing to do is to create a "key" of what colors are in your pallet. The color of dried watercolor is VERY different from what it will look like when you add water. Add water to each color using your eye dropper.
Get your brush wet, swish it around in your color to mix the water with the paint and dab a small area on your paint key. Clean your brush between each color.
Next, you can tape down your chosen canvas. Most watercolor canvas will start to bow as you put water on it. Taping it down stops that from happening as you paint. Keep in mind that watercolor canvas comes in larger than standard sizes for this reason (i.e. 6x8 watercolor canvas for a 5x7 painting). It is important to keep that in mind as you position your landscape. You don't want to spend all that time painting and realize that you have to cut some of it off when framing.
You can lightly sketch out your landscape with a pencil or just go for it! If I am doing a more intricate design, I will sketch it but I often just "wing it" because I enjoy imperfection.
TIP ALERT: Use a small brush for detail and the medium brush when you are painting a large area.
TIP ALERT: The more water, the lighter your color. The less water, the darker your color. I always have a scrap canvas with me so I can test out the color before applying it to my final project. Since some of the pallets are small, I will use an empty pallet to create my light colors. I do this by adding water to the empty pallet and slowly add the paint to get the light color I am looking for.
You will want to paint in sections so that you can stop the colors from bleeding. You will want the color to dry in a certain area before starting a different color right next to it. Some let the project air dry or you can use a heat gun. I usually have a couple projects going at the same time and let them air dry while I work on another.
This is what it looks like when you don't wait long enough before starting another color. If you catch it early enough, you can sometimes soak up the water.
Looking to create a gradient of color? Start with a thicker line of paint and add more water as you stroke down.
Practice makes perfect! Don't beat yourself up if it takes a couple times to get it looking acceptable. Turn on some music and enjoy. I find painting incredibly relaxing.
In order to test my teaching skills, we had a craft sesh on Friday to teach Jill and Melissa how to watercolor for the first time. We all cracked an alcoholic beverage and had a blast!
They each chose an inspiration picture and went to recreate the look. Here are their results!
You know you have the best team when work never feels like work!
Here are a few of my latest watercolor art for inspiration. They will be posted for sale soon!