Watercolor Sketches – Anyone Can Paint

With the exception of finger painting as a child, I always found working with paints intimating. I always expected my work to look like Van Gogh, and when it didn’t, I’d get frustrated and discouraged. It was until I hit my early 20s that I started to realize that art is whatever you make of it. Look at the joy a child gets in showing off their paper with some crayon scribbles on it. They love it!

With that thought it mind, I began exploring different mediums to occupy my time. I taught myself to draw cartoons, I learned to do basic sketches(even though I still can’t do people) & most recently, I’ve been breaking out the paintbrushes and giving it a whirl.

The thing you need to remember is that ANYONE can do art. Yes, even you. The biggest things I can tell you, is #1. Don’t be critical & #2. Even if you make mistakes…KEEP GOING!

To show you what I mean I decided to put together a watercolor sketch of a barn. Go ahead and give this a shot, no matter what it looks like, I bet you’ll still have fun trying it out.

Water Color Sketch

Supplies Needed:

  • Watercolor paints(I literally bought mine for $3 at Alco in the kids department. They don’t have to be anything fancy)
  • Paintbrush
  • Gel Pen
  • Paper
  • Water(obviously)

First find a photo that you would like to use as a starting point. Remember that this picture(unless you are a phenomenal painter) is just a very basic guide of what you want to see on the paper. I chose a photo of a barn with flowers.

Next begin using your paints to get your picture started. With these sketches, I always use just big shapes of color and plan on filling in the “detail” later with the pen. I find it best to work in different parts of the paper because watercolors run so much. If your water colors DO end up running together(mine do ALL THE TIME), don’t get frazzled, just pretend you did it on purpose and keep going! Feel free to take “creative liberty”(aka, do what you want) when choosing color (such as changing the flowers from white to purple or adding/omitting objects – it’s your painting!

Remember that not everything needs to be painted, for example in this painting I didn’t worry about painting every single piece of the barn red or the sky blue. All you need is some of it there to get the point across.

Once you have the basic design painted, it’s time to move onto the sketch. This part is actually my favorite. There are no rules and its all very general. Think of when you plan dictionary. It doesn’t take much to get the point across. I prefer the black gel/glide pens, I just feel that they are easier to work with. Work throughout the painting adding as much or as little detail as you prefer.

So the final product doesn’t look a whole lot like the original picture, but most people could probably guess that this was a barn and you know what, I had fun making it. If you don’t take anything else away from today’s post, I hope you at least understand that it doesn’t have to be perfect or art gallery worth…it just needs to be FUN!

Here is another watercolor sketch that I made…this one was done entirely one handed because I was nursing Maverick at the time.

There is no right or wrong in art. It is simply what you feel at any given moment.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. G Whittaker
    Feb 05, 2012 @ 14:01:02

    Turned out nicely. And your whole attitude about it is the best part! <3


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