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On Watercolor Painting Tutorials

date: 2022-02-04
update: 2022-10-17

In order to complete the article on watercolor material, we provide here links to some watercolor painting YouTube video tutorials, by established artists/instructors.

There is an abundance of literature and video courses covering this topic, to the point that having a few cherry-picked courses might be helpful for beginners.

Were you to want to dig deeper, most of the artists quoted here provide more complete materials, books of video tutorials, usually on their website.

Watercolor tubes and pans, including non-standard Gansai Tambi Kuretake pans

Watercolor tubes and pans, including non-standard Gansai Tambi Kuretake pans by M. BivertCC-BY-SA-4.0


The following by Frank Clarke might be a good introduction for absolute beginners:


As stated elsewhere, despite its apparent simplicity, the loose approach is actually quite challenging, and requires fine control over the medium. The tight approach may look harder, but is actually “easier”: the main difficulty being the time it takes.

Although not-only, the loose approach is often used for landscapes, plein-air sketches. The following videos is a demonstration by various renowned living artists in this field:

The three first being provided by the Color in your life TV show, by Graeme Stevenson.


Tighter rendering is often used for botanical art depiction. Keep in mind that botanical watercolorists are still hired for scientifical depiction of vegetals, a discipline for which photography still struggles to catch-up. See for instance those amazing photographies by Charles Brooks, made possible with a Laowa macro-probe lens (> $1,500).

Below a few videos by:

Loose and tight at once

Both approach are not contradictory: we could argue for instance that 미술부화실 (misulbu)’s YouTube portraits depicts a tight rendering through a rather loose technique.


Just to give the curious reader an idea of the loose/tight dichotomy in traditional Chinese painting:


Not sure this even qualifies as watercolors, nor as a tutorial, but for curiosity’s sake:


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