How Long Does It Take To Learn Watercolor Painting?

Starting a new hobby is exciting, but it can also be scary. When it comes to art, you never really know how good you are going to be at a hobby until you start. What holds many people back from starting a new art form is frustration with how long it can take to learn. 

It can take you anywhere from two to six months to learn the basics of watercolor. How fast you learn will depend on teaching, previous knowledge, and how quickly you can understand the art. 

Let’s get into more detail about how long it takes to learn watercolor painting and how you can potentially speed up the process. How Long Does It Take To Learn Watercolor Painting?

How To Learn Watercolor Painting Quickly

While the process of learning watercolor painting can take a while, there are ways that you can speed up the process. 

Watercolor Painting Classes

One of the fastest ways to learn the ins and outs of watercolor painting is to join a class. Believe it or not, plenty of watercolor painting classes are available both in-person and online. Of course, online courses will require you to provide your own supplies. 

Sure, you can learn a lot about watercolor painting online or through trial and error. All the information you need is out there and ready to go when you are. However, taking a class will give you a unique opportunity for one-on-one discussions and even feedback on your progress. Feedback can help you better understand what you need to work on. 

Color References

Another way to speed up the process of learning the basics of watercolor painting is to create a referenceOpens in a new tab. for yourself. One of the hardest parts of learning watercolor painting is getting the colors right. You also have to consider what type of paper are you going to use; are you experimenting with different surfacesOpens in a new tab.? Not only do you need to know how the colors look on the page, but you also need to know how to create different colors with different combinations. 

Creating your own color reference sheet can save you a lot of time and effort. It can also save a lot of guesswork that comes with using watercolors. Use this sheet as a way to ensure that every painting comes out with the exact colors you originally had in mind. 

Get the Materials Right Away

Another way to learn watercolor painting faster is to dive right in. To do this, you need to have the right supplies to get started. You can read about the mechanics of watercolor painting as much as you want, but the real experience comes from actually doing it. So, get what you need to start painting right away. 

Now, this doesn’t mean you need to spend hundreds of dollars on supplies right away. Starting with cheap, beginner supplies will do just fine. No need to spend a ton of money on a hobby that you aren’t even sure you will enjoy. So, don’t hesitate to save money by buying cheaper materials to start and working your way up to better-quality supplies. 

If you want an all-inclusive starter kit, then we’ve got you covered. This NAWOD Watercolor Paint SetOpens in a new tab. (available on has everything you need to get started as it comes with brushes, paper, and 50 different colors to choose from. The only thing you need to provide is the water, and you’re ready to get started. 

This is a great set to get started with, or you can opt to buy your own supplies at a nearby craft store. Either way, do this before you get really serious about watercolor painting, as it will save you a lot of time. You can only learn the basics of a sport for so long before you need to get out there and practice, and watercolor painting is no different. 

Don’t Be Afraid To Make Mistakes

One of the most important rules of learning a new art form is to never be afraid of making mistakes. Not every watercolor painting you complete is going to be frame-worthy, and that’s okay. If you aren’t making mistakes, you may not take enough risks. So, mix those colors and paint over that tree. The more mistakes you make, the faster you will learn. 

Is Watercolor Painting Difficult To Master?

Watercolor painting is very difficult to master because there are so many aspects of it that are unpredictable. A little too much water or not enough can drastically change the color and overall quality of your painting. With so many variables, it takes time to master. 

If you’re wondering whether or not watercolor painting is going to be difficult, you’re not alone. There are many watercolor artistsOpens in a new tab. who will tell you just how difficult it is to master. Should this stop you from trying it all together? We certainly don’t think so. 

While it can be truly challenging, watercolor painting is one of the most beautiful art forms. One of the best things about choosing watercolor is how unique your paintings will be. Part of what makes it so challenging also makes it highly unlikely you will paint something very similar to another painting. 

You can make a lot of mistakes with watercolor painting–and you most definitely will in your journey. However, those mistakes and the little challenges that you face along the way only help you create something that is completely unique to you and your style. 

In fact, the nuances of watercolor paint make it impossible to always predict. So, you may notice that your favorite watercolor shade does not show up the same way on a different type of paper. So, creating the same exact watercolor painting again is nearly impossible. 

Final Words

Learning the basics of watercolor painting can take a lot of time. Taking a class and working with an experienced artist can help you save time in the learning process. So, we highly recommend that as a way to get familiar with the basics faster. 

But remember, lessons aren’t necessary. You can learn watercolor painting by yourself through trial and error just fine, though it may take more time. However, don’t let the time it takes to learn stop you. Pick up that brush and start learning! It’ll be worth it.

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Caraca's self-taught artist based in the UK, Ines explores unconventional materials and sustainability.

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