13 Easy Watercolor Ideas for Beginners to Try

May 7, 2021 | 11 comments

This post will be all about easy watercolor ideas that every beginner can paint with ease. If you want to learn more, then continue reading!

As someone who just recently discovered the joy of watercolor painting, I have always been on the lookout for easy watercolor ideas so I can practice this skill. The internet has been so helpful. A couple of clicks later, I have several tabs open to guide me on what to do with my brush and my blank piece of paper.

When you just started painting, your biggest enemy would be overthinking. You stare at the blank canvas, unsure what to do, and afraid that you’ll mess it up. Art is all about imperfections and I will never tire of saying these words again and again. Making mistakes is an experience in itself so you’ll learn what to improve the next time you do it again.

To make it easier for you, I’ve compiled 13 of my favorite watercolor ideas that I’ve tried myself. These are simple exercises to practice and can get you inspired to create your own art.

Materials You Need

  1. Watercolor Paints
  2. Brushes
  3. Watercolor Paper
  4. Water
  5. Cloth or Tissue Paper
  6. Washi Tape or Masking Tape

13 Easy Watercolor Ideas for Beginners

Dandelion

An easy rendition of painting a dandelion using watercolor is to have fun painting the background first using the wet on wet technique. Make sure to leave a circle in the middle unpainted. Let the paint dry and then using a pen, draw the lines for your dandelion, and you are done!

Balloons

You can paint a balloon or two without painting the background. But as for me, I went ahead and had fun creating a colorful backdrop. I used a combination of pink and purple. Experiment with different color combinations and don’t be afraid to make mistakes! I did a couple in mine, fortunately, I managed to fix them. Look closer and tell me what mistake I made.

Trees

Trees can be a bit intimidating to paint at first look. It just looks too complicated and as a beginner, you might not know where to start. I’ll give you a tip. Start painting the leaves. You don’t have to make them perfect, just blend in some analogous colors at random. Let the paint dry before you draw its trunk and branches. 

Sunflower

Wet your brush, get some brown paint, and start by painting in the center of the sunflower. Next is to paint on the petals and for this, I recommend using a round brush. Let the shape of the brush make the petals. To draw the outline, get a small-tipped brush and create the details you want. Draw the stem and leaves, and you have a sunflower!

Sunflower Watercolor Painting

Watermelon

With a wet brush, make a triangle at the center of your paper. Fill it in with just the right amount of water because we are using the wet-on-wet technique here. When you are happy with your triangle shape, it’s time to fill it in with color. I used two shades of dark pink to get this output. Leave some parts without color to make it more realistic. For the bottom part, start by painting on a light shade of green and then blending a darker green in between. Let the watercolor dry and paint on a scatter of seeds. For the highlight, I used a white-ink pen to finish the painting with details.

Popsicles

Now, these are fun to paint! Start by sketching out your outline and then fill it in with water. At the top half, paint it in a bright color of your choice, and paint the bottom half with another complementary color. You can practice the lifting method here to create wonderful effects for your painting. The last step is to paint the popsicle stick and you are done.

Silhouettes

Painting silhouettes is another fun watercolor idea to make. You can experiment with what colors you’d like to go in your background. Have fun painting your sky and don’t forget to let the paint dry first before painting your silhouette. I found this silhouette of a girl in a side view with her hair scattered by the wind on google and decided that it would be beautiful to make it into a painting. Paint your silhouette over the background you just painted and you’ll have your own masterpiece.

Simple Flowers

Paint a light shade of color for the background and let it dry. Make several simple flowers all over your paper and that’s it! Simple and very easy to make!

Night Sky

There are so many options on how you can paint a night sky. I opted to paint this with the large moon and rabbit silhouettes featured in it. 

Here are other examples you can get inspiration from.

Mountain Range

I’ve been practicing painting gradients and creating mountain ranges is the perfect exercise for it. Of course, I didn’t miss out on painting a nice sky with hues of purples and pinks. For the mountains, I started with a light blue and then gradually making the shade darker until it goes to black at the very bottom. To complete the painting, I added details like a single pine tree and a scatter of birds.

Landscape

Technically, painting a landscape is not easy, especially those very elaborate ones. However, you can always start small and worry about the details later. Just get your brush, watercolor, and paper, and find a landscape photo you want to paint. And just paint. There’s really nothing to it, you just have to start.

Sunset Sky

Sunsets are usually in hues of red and orange, but I decided to make mine in blue, pink, and purple. I used the wet on wet technique here again and before painting the palm trees, I made sure to let the paint dry first. This is a simple exercise any beginner can make. Just have fun with the colors and don’t let overthinking get ahead of you.

Galaxy

Painting a galaxy using watercolor is very satisfying. You can never go wrong with this activity. Get creative with your color combination. Let the paint dry and flick white paint all over it for stars, and voila! You have your own galaxy.

Watercolor is a medium well-used around the art community and learning its basics is satisfyingly enjoyable. You learn the art of waiting for your paints to dry and you get your creative juices flowing when a mishap happens.  

It can be intimidating when you see experts showing off their gorgeous works of art but always remember that nobody was born an expert. Every artist started from step one. Practicing is the only habit that will make your hard work pay off. 

We hope that these watercolor ideas will inspire you to pick up your brushes today and create something. Have fun making art!

Renee Alexis

20-something Filipina, an introvert who loves young adult fiction, brush pens, Taylor Swift, and Mobile Legends. Coffee runs in my bloodstream.
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