Watercolor Art Lessons

Learn to Paint in Watercolors

Choose Medium: Art Books | Learn to Draw | Oil Painting | Watercolor | Acrylic | Pastel | Pencil | Charcoal | Pen & Ink | Other

It may be safe to assume watercolours are the most favoured of all media, which is interesting given watercolours are not for the faint of heart, and often has a mind of its own. The free watercolour painting lessons below cover realistic portrayals from a range of subject matters.

Painting Impressionism

how to paint leaves

An impressionist scene from Paris painted with gouache. Gouache is closely related to watercolor, and may be used like watercolor in a diluted form, or in a more opaque manner, meaning you can paint on supports such as wood as is the case in this art lesson.

Impressionism Art

Watercolor Blooms

watercolor blooms

Mary Ann Boysen was raised in Mississippi. Her interest in art started from an early age, but it was at college when Mary began to indulge her passion with increased devotion. In watercolor tutorial, Mary shows how you can turn watercolor blooms into wonderful works of art.

Watercolor Blooms

Chysanthemum, Watercolor Painting Lesson

how to paint flowers, Chrysanthemum, chinese painting lesson

Lian Quan Zhen is a watercolor artist and Chinese painter / teacher both in the US and overseas. Whilst practising medicine as a family physician in Canton Province, China, Lian emmigrated to the US in 1985, obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree from University of California at Berkeley in 1992 and a Master of Architecture Degree from MIT in 1996. In this floral watercolor lesson, Lian uses techniques such as blowing the paint to add spontaneity and interest to his paintings.

Chinese Flower Painting

Learn How to Paint Leaves

how to paint leaves

The artist works over a wet wash which sets the tone, and leaves two oval spots to later add a couple of water droplets.

Learn How to Paint Leaves

Learn to Paint Trees

how to paint trees

This watercolor lesson is three in one, and includes an autumn tree and a cluster set against a lakeside bank.

Learn to Paint Trees

Learn how to Paint Horses

Janet Griffin-Scott was born in Toronto, but raised in Midland, Ontario which procured her love for nature and the great outdoors. Her fasincation for horses started at an early age, and after ten years working as a commercial artist, Janet began her own equine and wildlife art gallery business. In this watercolour demonstration, Janet explains her process and thoughts.

How to Paint Horses

Make Your Own Watercolor Christmas Card

paint your own christmas cards

Marilyn peck Ballard is a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University with a B.A. degree in Art and Elementary Education and is now a retired art teacher and grandmother. In this watercolor demonstration, Marilyn shows how you can save money, and create personalised Christmas cards for friends and family.

Learn How to Make Your Own Watercolor Christmas Cards

Drahtahaar Dog Portrait, Using Four Pigments

dog portrait, free watercolor lessons

I first came into contact with Cyrille through his zany and endearing French humour, some time ago. His realistic portraits of dogs have now made him a sought after professional artist in high demand. This watercolour demonstration is composed of only four pigments and just goes to prove that less is more. Click below to view the free art lesson, and if you are looking for a commissioned portrait of your dog, Monsieur Jubert is the man to approach.

Learn How to Paint a Dog

Icy River in Utah

icy river, ronald lee

Roland Lee is a Californian artist, nationally known for this transparent watercolours of the southwest landscape, having won awards in over 40 invitational juried shows. In this watercolor lesson, Roland uses Arches cold pressed watercolor paper using wet-into-wet watches and scrumbling techniques to develop a beautiful icy river scene.

Icy River in Utah

Leopard in Watercolors

wildlife painting demo

Sue Dickinson studied Fine Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and creates paintings that celebrate Africa. Her work is exhibited extensively in South Africa. In this watercolour demonstration, Sue shares her palette, and shows her thinking and planning behind each stage of the painting.

Leopard Painting Lesson

Faded Glory, Painting Large Watercolors

nicholas simmons, painting large watercolors

Artist Nicholas Simmons studied with Valfred Thelin and Barbara Nechis, soon developing his own unique and bold style, later winning top prize at the National Watercolor Society 87th Annual Exhibition in 2007. In this demonstration Nicholas uses acrylic watercolor working large scale on Arches hot press paper.

Learn to Paint Large Scale Watercolor Painting

New York Twin Towers, Lower Broadway Watercolor and Gouache

watercolor and gouache, new york, city

Doug Purdon is a Canadian artist and elected member of the Society of Canadian Artists and Ontario Society of Artists. For the past eleven years he has been the Educational Advisor for Winsor & Newton in Canada, running demonstrations and travelling across the globe. This art demonstration in watercolour and gouache shows NY Lower broadway in 1982.

Twin Towers New York Art Lesson

Painting Metal, Silver Plated Teapot

painting metal, silver, watercolors

John Fisher was born and educated in England from the Luton School of Arts (now Barnfield College) and became a reluctant carpenter after world war two, rather than pursue art due to the the tight availablity of jobs after the war. John emmigrated to Canada in the 1950's and started a new career as head of his own graphics art company. In this watercolour painting demonstration John Fisher shows how to tackle the problems of painting silver metallic objects.

Painting Metal Silver Effect

Learn How to Paint an Onion

how to paint an onion

Rod Webb demonstrations the painting of an onion with step-by-step photographs, and a touch of black watercolor pencil to add darker touches.

Free Watercolor Art Lesson

River Avon, Christchurch New Zealand

christchurch new zealand, watercolour tutorial

This watercolor lesson depicts the River Avon in Christchurch NZ.

Christchurch New Zealand

Hill Farm, Wales

welsh farm, painting instruction

John Wood started painting seriously in the 1970's, and by the end of the 70's was painting and teaching watercolour for a living. In this watercolour tutorial, John paints an old Welsh farmhouse, building up weak washes of colour before increasing the watercolour pigment and shadows over the course of the painting.

Farm Painting Lesson

Irish, Connemara Hills

irish hills, painting lesson online

Billy Campbell began painting in 1967, and moved from oil painting to watercolours in the late 1980's. This watercolour demonstration is based on Connemara, Ireland, capturing The mountains known as The Bens or The Twelve Pins.

Irish Hills - Landscape Demo

Watercolor Drybrush Technique

watercolor drybrush technique

Ottorino de Lucchi, born in Ferrara, works in Folgaria (Trento). In recent years, he has developed a painting technique based on watercolor drybrush which allows to mantain the brightness of the watercolor.

Watercolor Drybrush Technique

Learn How to Paint a Boat

how to paint a boat

This watercolor demonstration is executed on Saunders 300gm paper, using a tracing method to transfer the photo to the watercolor paper.

Learn How to Paint a Boat

Painting a Mountain Landscape

painting a mountain

Artist Rod Webb uses washes, tilting the paper to create a smooth graduated sky, before progressing with the mountain and finally the misty pine forest.

Learn How to Paint a Mountain Landscape

Alyssa's Portrait (Includes Two Bonus Speedpainting Art Videos)

watercolour portrait tutorial

I first came across Margaret's website during my own first experiences of learning to draw, and I remember being inspired by her work.
Margaret Crowley-Kiggins began painting since the age of twelve and has exhibited in nearly one hundred juried exhibitions, having won numerous awards. In this free art lesson, we are taken step-by-step through the processes of painting a watercolour portrait.

Learn to Paint Portraits

Watercolor Color Wheel

watercolor color wheel,art theory

Mara Mattia draws, paints and teaches whilst raising a family, writing and illustrating children's books and is currently working on a cookbook. This watercolor color wheel tutorial explores primary, secondary and tertiary colors.

Watercolor Color Wheel

Heidi Klum Rose

eidi klum rose, painting a rose

Doris Joa is an artist from Germany working primarily in watercolors and oil paints. Doris' favourite subject is roses (alongside flowers in general), so it comes as no surprise that this demonstration shows the stages of painting an idyllic Heidi Klum Rose.

Heidi Klum Rose

Learn How to Paint Rocks

painting trees, watercolour tree lesson, free art instruction

Starting with a sienna wash, texture is added with a paper towel, wet into wet shadows are added and a rigger brush used to scumble and produce further texture.

Learn How to Paint Rocks

Birch Trees

painting trees

Peter Humeniuk lives on the shores of Lake Superior, and at school was taught by Carl Schaefer, a second world war artist who painted with Canada's famous 'Group of Seven'. Peter begins his birch tree watercolour instruction by detailing the materials and preparation required and then follows through with clear and concise explainations of his techniques.

Painting Birch Trees

The Control of Water in Watercolour

South Wales artist Arnold Lowrey has been painting for 35 years, and is a painting demonstrator for major material suppliers including Winsor & Newton and Art Profile. Arnold's paintings cover acrylics, patels and oils, but watercolour is Arnold's normal medium of choice. Watercolours are a difficult medium to control, and in this lesson Arnold explains both problems and techniques to better your painting skills.

Control of Water in Watercolors

Watercolor Values

watercolor values

Steve Fleming is an artist and teacher who works in both watercolor and acrylic, conducting workshops around the USA. In this watercolour lesson, Steve stresses the importance of planning and sorting out your arrangement of lights, darks and midtones.

Watercolor Values

Koi Carp Watercolor Batik Lesson

koi carp, large watercolor demo

Artist Nicholas Simmons studied with Valfred Thelin and Barbara Nechis, soon developing his own unique and bold style, later winning top prize at the National Watercolor Society 87th Annual Exhibition in 2007. In this lesson Nicholas shows how to use a Batik style technique, using the unpredictable properties of the medium to great effect.

Koi Joy, watercolor batik

Flamenco Dancer - Life Sized Watercolor Painting

life sized watercolor

This watercolor lesson is painted at 49" by 22" using acrylic watercolor and various techniques described and illustrated in detail.

Life Sized Watercolor Painting Lesson

Waterside Balcony - John Lovett

watercolor demonstration, john lovett

John Lovett is an Australian artist raised on a cattle ranch in the Australian Bush. He studied art in Newcastle and after a few years of hardship, became a professional artist and a regular contributor to the International Artist Magazine and Australian Artist Magazine. This demonstration features an Italian waterside balcony and finishes with a thin gesso coat to add some mystery and added interest.

John Lovett Watercolor Painting Lesson

The Tourist - acrylic and watercolor

watercolor and acrylic

Gurmeet Singh is an Indian artist. This demonstration uses both acrylics and watercolour. Gurmeet starts with the 'germ' of an idea, sketching and planning before commencing with glazed layers of transparent painting. Acrylic gel is also used to create texture.

Watercolor and Acrylics combined - The Tourist

Seascape, painting a beach scene

seascape in watercolor

Debi Watson went from an operating room nurse to a full-time watercolor artist, and experimented with many different styles before settling on contemporary realism. This watercolor demonstration uses masking fluid and a toothbrush to create random patterns and salt to add extra textures.

Learn How to Paint the Sea in Watercolors

Dark Eyes Fairy Fantasy

watercolour portrait tutorial

Linda Ravenscroft lives in Cheshire England, and loves the unpredictable nature of watercolours. Her inspiration comes from dreams an dinner feelings alongside her passion for nature. Linda states that the concept of faerie folk (or earth spirits) represents the natural world we live in.

Linda Ravenscroft - Fairy Watercolor Lesson

Fox Spirits

fantasy painting lesson

Stephanie Pui-Mun Law is a well published artist whose inspiration comes from mythology, legend, and folklore. This watercolour lesson describes Stephanie's personal progress, making use of a large Chinese brush and pan watercolors.

Fox Spirits - Fantasy Watercolor Demonstration

Creating Textures

creating textures in watercolor

Beth Mcrorie demonstrates how to add depth and drama to your watercolor paintings by introducting textures in fun ways. Her methods include, dabbing with tissues, strokes and washes, toothbrush spraying over fabric, scratching with a razor blade, wax paper, sponge, salt and dry brush.

Creating Textures

Painting Blackberries

painting nature

Learn to paint nature with this watercolor lesson on painting berries. The tutorial describes which colors and brushes to use, and how to paint each segment to create the whole, with a luminous three dimensional finish.

Painting Nature - Berries in watercolor

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