If you need to practice an encouraging exercise for artists, today is your day. I’ve got just the thing!

I started watercoloring in 2016 – in advance of a trip to Europe. I wanted to do some art while there, and wanted color….I figured I didn’t want to carry markers with me, but a tray of watercolors seemed doable. Oh my was I wrong! I didn’t know what I didn’t know. 

Within a year of starting, so many of my YT followers were asking me for a class on watercolor that I decided to do it; even though I really didn’t know what I was doing. ha. Didn’t stop me! But going back and redoing the paintings again in my current style, well that’s been fabulous for my ego, showing me what I’ve learned since then!

A few days ago I tackled the Barn – check that out here.  Today: the lighthouse!

Tutorial: Encouraging exercise for artists

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Tips to pay attention to


Choose a previous painting or drawing. Then it’ll be something you’ve already studied and completed. When we start something entirely new, we’ve got a lot more to think about the approach for; if it’s a redo, you can limit the list of things to think about.

Keep your eye on the prize: techniques you’ve mastered (or often done really well at! none of us “masters” watercolor). That’ll help you CELEBRATE success rather than trying new techniques.

Plan well. If you need to make a tiny thumbnail first before a larger painting, do it! I painted this twice in my thumbnails sketchbook first to work out colors. (That one doesnt have the nice Arches paper in this one, so I picked a cheaper one for color testing.) Practicing first also let me practice drawing a lighthouse and getting the house angle the way I wanted it.

That Inlaid Long Needle Brush

The inlaid long liner brush is one that generates questions every time I use it! I still like the one that’s not available the best – however, there are some others that I’ve listed in the supplies at the end of this post that are similar. They’re synthetics – which means they won’t release paint quite as nicely, but they do function. I’ll be testing them out in comparison to each other sometime next week, so hang tight for that if you want a demo before shopping.

Free Paintalong Class for beginners

Paintalong Watercolor was created ages ago – with much easier paintings than today’s lighthouse! There are sketches in the class, so you can just trace those onto your paper and start painting. Give it a try if you just want to see what it feels like to paint a watercolor—then you can try out some deeper learning in something like Watercolor Jumpstart

Watercolor courses and resources

Check out the new watercolor page! It’s got more info than just the classes – there’s even a vocabulary list!

Does this sound like an exercise you’ll try?

It’s made me feel a lot better – and I bet it would do the same for you. No matter your medium, no matter the level you’re at….you’re better today than you were a month ago! Celebrate that….and prove to yourself that you’re learning! 


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  1. House of Hoffman Palette 
  2. Daniel Smith Watercolors:
  3. Artist tape 3/4″ 
  4. Brushes:

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1 Comment

  1. Gab

    I never knew that’s how you started with watercolour! So fun!


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