Part 1 of 3 - Watercolor Painting Techniques For Beginners

Part 1 of 3 - Watercolor Painting Techniques For Beginners

Watercolor has existed for thousands of years but many of us are still enjoying and experimenting with techniques and are continuously finding new ways of using this medium. Watercolor is also incredibly accessible since it's the simplest medium we can use in terms of the art materials needed. You'll only be needing a few paints, brushes, a watercolor pad, and you are good to go!   

Today, we're bringing you a few watercolor painting techniques beginners can try, learn and possibly master in their creative journey. 

Read on. 

Wet on dry 

As the name suggests, this is a technique wherein wet paint is applied on dry paper or areas of dry paint. When done so, the pigment will spread less.  Artists are able to have more control over their brushstrokes and it helps to achieve precise shapes, definition, and detail. 

Wet On Wet 

Opposite the first technique, when paint is applied to wet paper or into a wet wash, watercolor pigments will merge and blur together naturally. This is one of the things that makes watercolor painting unique, no other medium can achieve this effect.  This technique is ideal for subjects where subtle transitions are needed. Ex. Skies, reflections, shadows, skies. 

Dry brush 

Dry brush refers to a technique where marks are made with a sparsely loaded brush. It results into broken edges, and textured effects.  By differentiating the angles and directions of the brush, you can represent complex subjects such as: texture of a rock, a bark, or even a broken light. It works best on rough paper.  

Note that the key to the dry brush technique  is the angle of  the brush; the flatter the better.   

Layering Paint 

Layering paint is another popular watercolor technique used by several artists.  With watercolors, the pigments should start from light to dark. Painting transparent washes of individual colors allows you to build them up and create mixes on the paper instead of on a palette.  As a result, paintings are usually layers with vibrant colors and have a unified and harmonious effect. 



Runs and drips on wet paper create textured edges as they dry. These are also known as runbacks. Beginner artists have produced runbacks by accident. With some practice, an artist can master this technique and use it to create stunning results. 

There’s a long list of watercolor painting techniques beginners can try.  Don’t worry! This is just part 1. To continuously support our creative community, we’ll be discussing the other techniques with you as well. Watch out for it!

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