Watercolor Blooms & Basics

Have you always been interested in watercolors but don’t know where to start? Join us as we go through some basic, easy to follow techniques for watercolor beginners.


  • Watercolor paint
  • Watercolor paper
  • Watercolor paint brush
  • Paint palette 
  • Cup of water
  • Optional Supplies: paper towel, salt, rubbing alcohol, washi tape/painter’s tape, Q-tip


To paint with watercolors, you always have to begin with wetting your brush and paint. If you have tubes of paint, squeeze a small amount of paint onto a paint palette, then carefully drop water on your paint using your brush. If you have a pan set of watercolors, simply drop water into the pans of colors you will be using. The more water you add to your paint, the more diluted the color will be.

A Wash – a coat of watercolor paint diluted with water

  • Flat Wash –  when there is an even coat of paint across an area
  • Wet-on-dry Wash – wet paint applied to dry paper
  • Wet-on-wet Wash – wet paint applied to wet paper
  • Gradient Wash – when you dilute your paint with water as you paint in a certain direction. The wash becomes lighter and more translucent as more water is added.

A Glaze – layering a new wash of paint onto watercolor that has already dried

A Bloom – “dropping” or “tapping” color onto a wet surface. Blooms can be created by dropping paint onto a pool of water or a wet wash of paint.

Other Materials to Experiment with:

  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Q-tip
  • Salt
  • Paper towel
  • Washi tape or painters tape


Try out these different techniques with a simple glazing exercise. As you paint, you will see the transparency of different color combinations. 

Start by painting circles that cover your paper. Paint some circles with more diluted water, and others with more pigment. As you do so, your circles will begin to dry, some being more transparent, others being more opaque.

After these circles dry completely, paint a second layer of circles, making sure they overlap with your first layer. If you add your second layer before the first has fully dried, colors will mix and bleed together. Try using different colors and different water-to-paint ratios. You’ll notice some circles from your first layer show through, while others become hidden by the second layer. 

By the end, you will have created a colorful painting and hopefully learned a little bit along the way!

Music Credit:

Music by Jahzzar