Easy Watercolor Painting Ideas

4 ideas to copy and have fun with

Easy Watercolor Painting Ideas

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Painting with watercolors can be very easy - and it should be when we are beginners. Nothing robs you of the joy of painting with watercolor faster than the feeling of not being good enough. In this post, let’s get inspired by four simple ideas, all with short instructions, that will help us ease into watercolor painting. After all, if you know how to do it, no motif is too difficult to paint!

Easy Watercolor Paintings for Beginners

The best way to get into watercolor painting is with easy pieces of art to allow yourself to make mistakes. We will realize very quickly when painting that we will learn an enormous amount from the first mistakes. That alone makes these paintings especially valuable, even if we don’t end up liking any of them.

Below we’ll go through ideas that beginners can repaint, copy, or be inspired by.

1st Idea: Simple Tree

This is probably the easiest way to paint a tree.

First, we draw the trunk of the tree with a pencil and add as many branches as we want. Then we dip our brush in clear water and wet the spot on the paper where we want the treetop to be.

While the area is still wet, we soak our brush in green paint and give the wet area on the paper a generous dab of color. The pigments immediately make their way and spread over the wet spot, creating interesting color gradients. This is by the way called the wet on wet technique.

Depending on our mood, we can add multiple dabs of color or use different colors.

Beginner Easy Watercolor Painting Tree

2nd Idea: Sky with Black Outlines

This idea consists of two simple elements: The colored sky in the background and the black outlines in the foreground.

We choose one or more colors with which we want to paint our sky. In my painting, I used blue and red, which in some places created a soft purple.

The entire sky will be painted using the wet-on-wet technique that we already learned about in the first idea. Therefore, the first thing we have to do is to work the entire paper with water and then dab paint into places.

Don’t worry if the sky doesn’t look like one right away. Once we draw the foreground, the blobs of color will look like a sky!

Simple Watercolor Painting: Sky with Birds

The sheet should be completely dry before we turn to the foreground. We can draw it with a black pen, ink, a pencil or similar.

Whether we draw a house, a tree, or a windmill is up to us. The important thing is that we have access to a reference.

My reference is a photo of birds sitting on cables that I took on my trip around the world in Yerevan.

Photo from World Tour: Birds on Cables

3rd Idea: Simple Mountain Landscape

The mountain landscape is a great subject to experiment with colors. Before we start painting, we should choose one color for the sky and one or two more for the mountains.

For my painting, I chose vermilion for the sky and cobalt blue for the mountains, which I mixed with umber burnt for the foremost mountains.

It is important that we paint the individual mountain ranges evenly and with sharp edges. So, unlike the first and second ideas, we’re not using the wet-on-wet technique. A large, at best even broadly shaped brush is the best tool for an even application of paint.

We start off with the transparent mountains in the background and gradually work our way into the foreground, increasing the color intensity.

Easy Watercolor Painting Mountain Landscape

4th Idea: Foggy Forest

For this idea, we have to paint a little more detail, which makes it the hardest of the four simple motifs. Still, it is very simple to paint and looks more complicated than it actually is.

All the individual steps about how we can paint the foggy forest are explained in more detail in a separate tutorial.

Easy Watercolor Paintings

Tips for Beginners of Watercolor Painting

  • Always paint from light to dark! Otherwise, the dark color can dissolve and shift to where the paper should have remained light.
  • Always have a tissue handy when painting, in case you need to quickly soak up an accidental spill or dab your brush dry.
  • It’s definitely helpful to read up on a new hobby, but it’s best to just get started and not think too much about whether the painting will turn out well.
  • Feel free to draw a sketch in advance for your watercolor paintings, but use an HB or harder for pencils.
  • Watercolor paints are water-based, so they can be washed out of your clothes if you have an accident.
  • Clean your brushes thoroughly after painting so they will last you a long time.

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