Get started watercolor painting blog

Getting Started with Watercolors: A Practical Guide for Beginners

Welcome to the world of watercolor painting! If you're anything like me when I started, you might be feeling a mix of excitement and fear. Don't worry, I've been there. The key is to JUST START! Honestly, just start. My hope is that I might be able get you off to a smoother start by suggesting some basic tools that worked for me. DO NOT be like me by going out and buying EVERYTHING you might need right away. You will regret this later. You do not know what you like yet, how you like to paint, where you like to paint, what accessories may work for you and what might not. Start basic. Then build.

Watercolor painting is actually way easier and more fun than you might think!!

Why Watercolor Painting Rocks

  • Super Easy to Start: You don't need a fancy studio. A corner of your kitchen table? Perfect.
  • Happy Accidents: Watercolors have a mind of their own, and that's the fun part. You never know what cool effects you'll end up with.
  • Relax and Unwind: It's like yoga for your brain. Seriously, painting with watercolors is super soothing.
  • Always Something New: There's always a new technique or effect to try. Boredom? Never heard of her.

First Steps: Get some basic tools: a couple of brushes and some paper.  No need to dive into complex stuff right off the bat (again - which of course is what I do when I start a new hobby. I spend hundreds of dollars getting EVERYTHING and end up using 1/3 of it. DON’T be me!!)


Brushes are the foundation of your painting toolkit. You'll need a few types to cover the basics: a round brush for versatility, a flat brush for broader strokes, and a mop brush for washes. Think of them like the essential utensils in your kitchen – necessary for a variety of tasks. When you are ready, start buying different brushes to try out. You will start to have a preference for brand, material, style, etc. 

best beginner watercolor brush set

This is a great starter set. Has the main shaped brushes used in watercolor. Benicci Professional Artist Paint Brush Set of 12 - Painting Brushes Kit for Kids, Adults Fabulous for Canvas, Watercolor & Fabric 


beginner watercolor brush set rounds

I started with this one. I liked using round brushes. Dugato Artist Watercolor Paint Brushes Set 13pcs - Round Pointed Tip Soft Anti-Shedding Nylon Hair Wood Long Handle


Paints: Choosing Your Palette

Next up, paints. You have two main choices: tubes or pans. Each has its benefits, and it really comes down to personal preference. I started with pan paints because they were super easy to get started with, less intimidating, usually cheaper and less messy, but feel free to choose what suits you best.

I STILL am using this pan. I LOVE it.

ARTISTRO Watercolor Paint Set

ARTISTRO Watercolor Paint Set, 48 Vivid Colors in Portable Box, Including Metallic and Fluorescent Colors

Here is a super affordable beginner set. Colors are pretty dull, but you will still get a good feel for the paint.

Beginner watercolor paint set affordable

Watercolor Paint Set, 48 Colors



Paper does matter, but don’t worry too much about it to begin with. There are SO many choices it is overwhelming. As you are going to use A LOT of paper practicing, you are better off (in my opinion) buying a lower grade paper to start. This made it easier for me to throw the sheet away (after I practiced on both sides first 😊). Although…

BIG TIP! Save the mistakes for when you start practicing acrylic painting! You can paint right over the watercolor and not waste extra paper! I did not. I wish I had.

BASIC watercolor paper, totally fine for practice. 

 beginner watercolor paper pad

Amazon Basics Watercolor Pad, 9"x12", 140 lb / 300 gsm, 30 Sheets, White

Another lesson learned: when it says "white", it is cream. I have found NO watercolor paper to be white unfortunately.

 beginner watercolor paper pad affordable

 I have bought a TON of this paper. It's not bad. UCreate Watercolor Paper, Bulk, 140 Lb., White, 9" x 12", 50 Sheets


Accessories: The Extras That Count

Lastly, let's talk about the extras: a palette for mixing colors, a container for water, and some masking tape. While not as glamorous as paints and brushes, these accessories significantly impact your painting experience. 

Palette. You definitely need something to mix your water and paint on. You can use almost anything glass, ceramic, plate, coated paper plate. Remember also, you can rewet your paint! Don't toss your mixing palette unless all your colors have blended and become muddy. Here is what I bought after using coated paper plates for awhile. Still use these.

affordable watercolor paint mixing palette

4PCS Paint Pallet Clear Premium Acrylic Paint Palette


Water: I used solo cups, 2 at a time. I liked having 2 water jugs near me. You can use anything! I use 2 glass water pitchers now, I just like the shape of them :-)

Tape: any painters tape. I did not use tape, and really still don't. I DO like the clean lines when you remove the tape and how flat is keeps the paper (more on that in a later post).

So, there you have it! Watercolor painting isn't just an art thing; it's a fun, chill way to express yourself. Grab those brushes and let's get those colors flowing. And hey, if you use the links I shared, it helps me out too, at no extra cost to you! Remember, it's not about being perfect. It's about having a great time and seeing what happens. Let's paint the day away! 🎨🖌️✨

Thank you for reading! Show me your stuff!!!




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