Watercolors are a very good thing for beginners because everyone has them at home! But only a few people are able to use them with joy. This article explains how to use watercolors as beginner! It explains the basics and shows you how to have fun using your watercolors!

Opaque vs. Aquarelle

You all know both of them but what’s now the difference? That’s easy!

  • When you paint opaque color onto a sheet of paper you won’t see the paper through it. Opaque color is meant to cover up the paper fully.
  • Aquarelle color is always transparent in some way. Also when you use it in an intense way it’s made to see the paper through it after it’s dry.

This means these are 2 fully different types of colors. Opaque colors are the colors you normally use as a child in school.


The paper is very important when using watercolors. You can’t use the normal paper you are using for your printer. As you already did in school you need to use special watercolor paper. Normal office paper cannot absorb the water. Therefore it’s not drying well and you cannot use the layering technique.

You can try out different watercolor papers and compare them. Or watch some youtube videos to get an idea about the differences.

Paper towel

Paper towels are helpful friends when you want to clean your brushes.


You will have to use a palette. So check if your watercolor set has a palette included. Often also the watercolor case has a palette inside.

Otherwise make sure to buy one additionally.

The palette is used to mix your colors together to get new ones or only control the intensity. If you have to color a bigger space in the same color you can also mix up a special amount of the color you want to use. So there’s no additonal mixing needed.

Clear water

You need to have one glass with water which you use for cleaning the brush. This is the water which becomes dirty with the time. You clean your brush using this water and the paper towel.

But you additionally need to have a glass with clear water. Only take this water before you go into your colors to mix them. So you make sure not to bring any unwanted color into you pans. Make sure this water stays clear. Otherwise you need to replace it by new water.

Layering is the key

Doing watercolor paintings is about layering. You always do a layer, wait until this is dried and then paint the next layer on it. So you can create painting with a depth that it’s really looking realistic.

In this video you can see the layering technique *

Here I have collected some different videos for you to watch about watercolor *

I hope these inspire you to do your own artwork 🙂

Lettering using watercolor

It’s also very popular to use watercolor for lettering.

In this video you can see how to do that *

Mixed Media

Many artists also use other supplies in combination with watercolor to make it look more realistic. The most popular one I know is to use it in combination with colored pencils.

Have a look at this video to get an idea about what I mean *

I hope you enjoyed this article!

♥ Keep on drawing! – Starlene ♥

* these videos were not done by me. You can find these videos on youtube. 

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