Getting started

When I was a young, fledgling blogger-wannabe, I asked a fellow blogger how she learned how to design her website. I asked, hopeful for a hand to try to grasp what I was struggling to master.

Her response was less than gracious.

It left me dejected, feeling like I was on the wrong side of “cool” crowd. I watched her grow upwardly mobile, and I learned a lesson much later in response to who I was back then.

There is always room at the table for your gifts.

Perhaps I rarely write anymore, and I don’t sew much either. In fact, my season still looks a whole lot like laundry and Mickey Mouse clubhouse. What constitutes as “me” time right now is watercolors. I’ve found a medium that I really love regardless of the periods of struggle and doubt I have with it. I share my work with the #naptimewatercolor hashtag on Instagram, but I don’t really share it for any other purpose than it fills me with happiness. In fact, I feel weird that people like it at all. I see my flaws and the things I can ultimately do better while also loving the progress I’ve made. I consider myself a novice. I’ve had no art training, no classes, just a steady hand and a natural instinct that sometimes leads me wildly astray.

That said, I’ve had a few friends all reach out to me and ask me how to get started. I love that you also want to try something that is healing and soothing to me!


This is my space this very second. Yes, I end up dipping my brush in my tea or coffee most days. No, I don’t take the minute to pick up the dirty napkin from the floor. I’ll have all afternoon to clean it up. I keep my computer nearby to get inspiration or learn a video, and this is literally the sum of my products I use. I don’t even use the bulk of them! Watercolors are relatively inexpensive and don’t take much space.

Here are the links for the things I use. Some I purchased specifically on Amazon, other things I’ve picked up at Hobby Lobby or even Walmart!

Tube watercolors (you can use a pan set or whatever you like. This is what I prefer. It lasts forever!) Winsor and Cotman are practically the standard, but I’m cheap, and I really like this set that I discovered from another website (that I will share in a minute)! https://www.amazon.com/SHINHAN-Professional-Watercolor-Paint-7-5ml/dp/B00E6KGIBK/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1550604179&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=shinhan+professional+watercolor&psc=1

A few brushes designed for watercolor. 80% of the time I use only one brush — a size 6 round. I really like the Princeton brand. I purchased mine at Hobby Lobby but I’ve also bought several from Amazon. I would say for you to get a size 2 round, a size 6 round, a size 8 round, and perhaps a couple large filbert or flat ones for washes. Velvetouch is my favorite! https://www.amazon.com/d/Paint-Brush-Sets/Princeton-Velvetouch-Mixed-Media-Watercolor-Professional/B01N6XB5BQ/ref=sr_1_7?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1550604608&sr=1-7&keywords=princeton+watercolor+brushes

Inexpensive but sturdy watercolor paper. It’s vital you get a paper that can handle water. Canson XL watercolor paper is inexpensive, but holds up extremely well. I can get 30 sheets of the 9×12 at Walmart for about $5! Here is a link, but seriously, it’s cheaper at Walmart. https://www.amazon.com/Canson-Watercolor-30-Sheet-12-Inch-X-Large/dp/B01FIJB2J0/ref=sr_1_7?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1550604869&sr=1-7&keywords=canson+watercolor+paper

Palette for mixing watercolors. You can also get this at Walmart or the dollar tree. Don’t waste your money on something crazy!

Other supplies include a water cup or two and paper towels. You can also get something like masking fluid and pencils and such, but this is 95% of what I use on the regular!

Now, onto my inspirations. If you’re going to get started with someone who is going to make you feel SO good about yourself (and I have NOT taken her watercolor course, because I’m cheap, but I think it would probably be a great asset), I’d go with Dana Fox. She’s also known as The Wonder Forest. She’s going to teach you some loose watercolors. You can also find her on YouTube. Here is her link. She has given me the bulk of the information I have used to get started.

Jay Lee Painting is my second one. He’s amazing. I could listen/watch his videos all day. He has some different techniques and I enjoy trying them out. Here is the link to his YouTube channel.

My third inspiration is Pinterest. I just get on, search for what I’m looking for, and get inspiration.

I also like soft classical music when I paint. Just my thing.

I hope this gives you some ideas and helps you get started on your own journey! If you have any questions, feel free to ask me and I can point you in the right direction.

Blessings,
April

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