How to Become a Better Watercolor Artist

Watercolor Art Painting with watercolors can be relaxing and rewarding, as you create scenes that intrigue people. Those scenes can include stately homes, like the ones Deb paints for homeowners, as well as nature scenes, people’s faces, and more.

If you’re an aspiring watercolor artist, Deb has some tips for you…

First, be careful with how much water you use. Beginners tend to use too much! For example, after you wash brushes clean, make sure they’re totally dry before you start to use them again. Otherwise, you end up adding extra water to paintings– water that doesn’t need to be there. When too much water hits the paper, it spreads paint outward creating what artists would call “muddy” areas, getting rid of definition. A simple way to combat this problem is to use a dry cloth to dry your brushes well.

Next, watercolors are unique in that you should start off applying lighter colors first and then add darker colors as you progress. Yes, this goes against the way most people think about painting, but if you’re going to be successful with watercolors, it’s the right way to do it.

Thirdly, be smart about the paper you use. Thickness matters, especially if you plan to apply a lot of paint (thus needing thicker paper). Texture also matters. For most painters, something like 140 lb Cold Press Watercolor Paper works well. Basically, you don’t want your paper to “buckle” so it needs to be strong enough to contain the paint you put on it (rather than overwhelming it).

Finally, when you mix your colors on a palette here’s a smart tip: mix them in greater quantities than you think you’d initially need. It’s a lot easier to have too much of a mixed color to work with than to have to start over mid-painting and try to recreate a mixed color, again, to match what you’ve already used.

With House Portraits by Deb, beautiful watercolor paintings are completed and shipped to homeowners all over the country. Then they’re hung proudly, displayed for all to admire for years to come! If you’d like one for your home or to give to a loved one for a gift, please email