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Beginning Watercolor Resources

ABOUT

I started a Nature Journal last year and have opted to use watercolor & ink, but this is really something I have had to teach myself as I go. I remember doing some watercolor in high school but definitely have needed a refresher.

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NOTE: I have several of my nature journal resources listed on this post under the “Nature Journaling” section.

I found the following book on Amazon to gift to myself at the start of 2018. It’s a 30-day self-directed “course” on watercolor techniques. This book is wonderful!! It is concise and practical: from color theory to brush stroke techniques to composition … it has it all! Each lesson (“day”) takes only between 20-60 minutes. The book is meant to be done in 30 days but you could certainly pace yourself to go longer if doing 30 minutes of art every day for a month is not practical for you. And, obviously you can repeat and spend more days on any one of the lessons.

The author provides tips for supplies in her book, but I will also share below what I have been using to get you started.

THE BOOK

Everyday Watercolor: Learn to Paint Watercolor in 30 Days by Jenna Rainey

Here are some examples of my exercises from the book:

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PAINT SETS

I have two personal watercolor sets: the first one is my favorite. It is a large set so it doesn’t require as much mixing. The second set listed below is born out of practicality: I needed a compact set I could easily travel with since the top set is quite large. For some of the exercises in the Beginning Watercolor book, I have used this compact set to practice color mixing.

Click on the images below to be taken to the product on Amazon

PAPER

I will say I think the Strathmore brand paper (yellow cover) listed below is better quality so I reserve that for when I have a true art piece I’m working on.

For going through the “Everyday Watercolor” book for 30 lessons I needed sheets of watercolor paper that I cared less about (but still decent quality because poor quality paper lends to poor quality results). So, I picked this Canson brand (blue cover). Many of the exercises in the book are just that: exercises. They are not meant to be final art pieces to be framed because the idea is that you are not worried about making the piece perfect—rather, that you are working on brush stroke and color mixing and composition. I’ve been happy using this Canson paper for the book exercises and will go to the Strathmore paper when I want to work on more of a true art piece.

Click on the images below to be taken to the product on Amazon

BRUSH SETS

Round brushes are key! I prefer the set listed here and use it the most often because they are smaller brushes. The watercolor tutorial book often suggests using a size 6 brush but personally I don’t like using anything bigger than a size 4 brush. It’s just preference. I do like having options, though, especially when playing around and learning new techniques!

Click on the image below to be taken to the product on Amazon

 ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

  • This notebook is what I use for my nature journal
  • I almost always use these pens for adding detail
  • For more nature journaling resources you can visit this post and find the “Nature Journaling” section!

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