Introduction to Watercolor
  • The Basics Of Watercolor Painting
  • Adding Color to Black & White Drawings
  • Bringing Your Drawings To Life

Your black & white drawings look great by themselves, but adding color will really make them jump off the page. Don't be intimidated, coloring is easier than you think and I have simplified it to make it fun. You have done an extraordinary job up to now and this will be a piece of cake.

Paints and brushes can be found at your local Artists Supply store or on-line.

Basic Paints (Purchase transparent watercolor paints and get these colors in small tube form)

  • Ultramarine Blue and Cobalt Blue for sky and water
  • Payne's Gray and Indigo
  • Hookers Green Light and Hookers Green Dark (deep) for trees and bushes
  • Yellow Ochre, Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, Raw Sienna and Burnt Sienna for earth colors (most all building colors are derived from these basic colors)
  • Red and Yellow
  • Optional for now: watercolor pan set (includes a variety of colors in solid cake form, see below)

Brushes (prices range greatly, work within your budget)

  • #12 round watercolor brush for big areas
  • #1 round watercolor brush for details
  • #2 or #3 Round watercolor brush
  • #2 flat watercolor brush

Materials found around the house

  • A ceramic plate or dish (white) to use as a palette (I use my wife's quiche pan--she has never made quiche!) 
  • A coffee cup of water to mix with paints and rinse brushes


  • Make 4-6 copies of one of the building drawings from a previous lesson. Try to get the copy as dark as possible without looking muddy or including background scatter. Play around with the contrast adjustment on the copy machine. One trick is get a copy as clean as possible and then make a copy of a copy at a higher contrast setting.
  • Place some newspaper or paper towel over you drawing board because watercolor can get messy.
  • Place a blank piece of copy paper over the newspaper to practice on. 
  • Squeeze out a little of the Ultramarine Blue and Cobalt Blue onto your plate or dish (just a dab, a little goes a long way as you will soon see).


Dip the tip of the #12 round brush into your cup of water. Bring it over to the paint and touch the tip of the brush to one of the dabs of blue paint. The water from the brush mixes with the concentrated color and liquefies as in the above photo. The color has been transferred onto the brush. Now make some practice strokes on the blank paper as in the example. This will give you a feel for how the paint reacts as it touches the paper. The paper will wrinkle a bit so don't be concerned. You will notice as you paint a few swipes, the color gets lighter. When this happens re-dip the brush in the cup and go back to the palette and get some more paint. Mix the Ultramarine with the Cobalt Blue to see what happens. The result will make the color more intense. Practice as long as you want, copy paper is pretty cheap. As the samples dry you will notice the color lets a little of the white of the paper show thru. The blue is transparent and this will be more evident when you apply paint to a drawing. When you are comfortable with the technique, move onto More Introduction to Watercolor.

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