watercolor painting tutorial

Tyrannosaurus jumped from
the firehouse to the gate
"what, how is that watercolor?"

A 5 step watercolor painting tutorial you can use for any watercolor painting.

Jump into painting with this watercolor painting tutorialStart Painting Watercolor

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jump into painting watercolors

what do you need?

A tablet of ad - watercolor paper is great to start painting watercolor.

One ad - watercolor brush is all you need to start painting watercolors. There is no need to buy numerous brushes. Many artists use a soft round brush for painting watercolor. 

paint colors

This watercolor painting tutorial uses the 3 primary colors.

A basic set of the ad - primary colors is the best place to start.

Learn how to mix paint colors and it will put you light years ahead on your painting adventure.

what else do you need?

You will need a container of clean water and paper towels.

ad - Masking fluid is used in this watercolor painting tutorial.

Don't be concerned with a palette when you are starting out. Just use a saucer or a styrofoam plate.

more info on watercolor supplies



5 step watercolor painting tutorial

  • Okay - Let get an easy game plan for watercolor painting.
  • You can paint any watercolor with these 5 easy steps.
  • Paint confidently because you know where you are and what is next.


get ready to paint

Draw your subject. Erasure on the watercolor painting surface can damage it. So do your drawing on a separate tablet.

Then transfer your drawing to your painting surface with ad - graphite paper.

Transfer your drawing to the painting surface.Transfer your drawing and apply masking

Use lighter marks, when you put your drawing on the painting surface. Heavy pencil or graphite marks can show thru into the finished painting.

Apply masking fluid to protect the highlight areas of the painting. Put masking fluid on the light spots on the tyrannosaurus and the gate.

Let the masking fluid dry before you do any painting. Then you may paint right over the masking and the paper stays white.

Find photos to paint from on Pixaby


#1 - Underpaint the subject

Underpaint the subjectUnderpaint the subject
  • Watercolor is painted from light to darker colors.

Mix your yellow with blue and add a touch of red to make a medium green. Then underpaint the tyrannosaurus with the medium green.

More about how to mix greens

Darker colors will be added later. They will paint right over the lighter colored underpainting.

The three primary colors mixed together make black. Mix a dark purple with red and blue, then add a touch of yellow to neutralize the purple.

Use the tiny tip of your round brush. Touch a spot for the eye, so its placement is not lost under the green. And paint the dark toenails for fun.


#2 - Underpaint the background

Underpaint the backgroundUnderpaint the background

Mix blue and yellow for the green grass color.

Paint a blue sky with your blue. Paint right over the gate with the sky and grass colors. Paint around the tyrannosaurus, including his teeth and the firehouse. The untouched paper makes his white teeth.

You may paint the firehouse now or in step number four.

how to paint watercolor -

Keep a container of clean water. Wash you brush between colors. Wipe the wet brush across a paper towel to remove the excess water. Too much water make wimpy, washed out colors.

Always use a clean brush to dip into the fresh colors. Mix your colors out in the center away from the clean paint.

If you are going to cover a large area like the sky, wet the intended area. Paint clean water across the area. Keep the other areas of the painting dry, so the sky color will not flow into those areas.

Let the water soak into the paper until the shine is gone, but the paper is still damp to the touch. Paint the color across the intended area in one application.

Let the sky color dry before you paint color on the adjoining areas, so the colors don't bleed together.


#3 - Paint the subject

Paint the subjectPaint the subject

The under paintings are dry, so now you can add more paint on top of the underpainting.

This is called glazing. More about glazing with watercolor

Paint the various shadows and colors of the tyrannosaurus. The shadow colors are mixed from blue and yellow with a touch of red to dull the green. More blue, than yellow with less water makes the darker green.

Paintings don't have to be perfect, just relax and enjoy doing this watercolor painting tutorial.

#4 - Paint the background

Paint the backgroundPaint the background

Remove the masking fluid from the gate. Just rub it off with a dry finger. Paint it with an orange you mixed from red and yellow.

Use your red for the firehouse. Mix the blue and red together with a touch of yellow for the dark roof.

  • Use less water with more paint to get brighter colors. This is one of the most important lessons you can learn in this watercolor painting tutorial.


#5 - Detail and finish the painting

Detail and finish the paintingDetail and finish the painting

Use the roof color to put the door on the firehouse. Refine the tyrannosaurus and paint any other details you wish to add.

Your painting is finished. Sign it and show it off to your friends and family.


If your painting is wavy -

Watercolor paper is normally stretched before using it. You wet the paper and tape the edges down on a board to hold it straight while it dries. Then when you put water and paint on it will not warp or buckle.

When you are just starting out you may not want the hassle of stretching the paper. What can you do?

While you painting is still a bit damp, but not soppy wet, place it between some clean pages of your watercolor tablet. Close the tablet and place a big heavy book on top. Give it a day or two to dry and when you take your painting out it will be dry and nice and straight.

Easy peasy, no stretching!


what have you learned?

materials for your watercolor painting tutorial

  • Tablet, pencil, eraser and graphite paper
  • Three paint colors
  • A watercolor brush
  • Watercolor paper
  • Clean water and paper towels
  • A palette plate



a 5 step plan for painting watercolor

  1. Under-paint the main subject
  2. Under-paint the background
  3. Paint the subject
  4. Paint the background
  5. Detail and finish

don't stop here - paint more watercolors

The more you paint, the better you will be and the more fun you will have.

What a joy it is to share this watercolor painting tutorial with you!

happy painting!

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