Here’s How You Can Learn to Paint With Watercolors in Just One Hour
I have a confession to make: I don’t have a hobby. Unless you count watching Netflix or scrolling through Instagram at the end of a long day’s work, there’s not a whole lot that I do just for me, simply because I enjoy it.
It’s not that I wouldn’t enjoy another outlet: I’m certainly open to taking one on, should I ever find the time. But that’s just it, isn’t it? Learning a new hobby or skill set takes time. And it can be daunting to jump into something you’ve never tried before with no clue about how to even start, let alone actually do. Take, oh, I don’t know, painting, for example. Celebs like Katie Holmes or Piper Perabo make it look so organic and effortlessly cool on Instagram: I could never do something like that! After all, making art has to be something one is born with, like Noah’s Ally in The Notebook; a need to create that permeates your soul until you just can’t keep it in any longer.
OR, it could be a fun, relaxing way to pass the time, right? It could be one of those creative skills that you pick up in an hour with just a little online guidance, as I quickly discovered after stumbling upon Brit + Co’s Watercolor Painting online class.
Taught by artist Jenna Rainey, the class literally holds your hand through watercolor 101. Starting with some basic principles of the medium, you begin to really get a feel for not only what it is (because, as you’ll quickly learn, there are multiple styles of painting with multiple sets of rules), but how to begin to get comfortable doing everything from prepping your supplies to learning how to “get an eye” for colors that will work well together to mixing up your very own custom paint colors.
First things first: You’ll need some supplies. With a handy list of materials, it’s easy enough to find everything you’ll need to get started.
- round tip brush – size 6
- round tip brush – size 14
- flat tip brush – 3/4 inch
- cold pressed watercolor paper (Fabriano)
- watercolor paint – Opera Rose (Winsor & Newton)
- watercolor paint – Vandyke Brown (Winsor & Newton)
- watercolor paint – Mars Black (Winsor & Newton)
- watercolor paint – Hookers Green (Winsor & Newton)
- watercolor paint – Prussian Blue (Winsor & Newton)
- watercolor paint – Lemon Yellow Deep (Winsor & Newton)
- watercolor paint – Scarlet Lake Red (Winsor & Newton)
- travel paint palette
- painter’s tape
- paper towels
- 2 cups of water
- flowers (optional; for reference)
From there, Jenna will walk you through everything from how to wash your brushes and ready your paper to how to actually, you know, use your new tools — it’s not quite as simple as slapping paint on the brush and going to town. Different brushes can create different strokes, and just the right amount of pressure can mean all the difference between a super thick line and a more thinly defined one.
By the end of the lesson, you’ll not only be mixing colors and making brush strokes with ease, you’ll have moved on to painting not one, but two different watercolors using both a print and real-life inspirational source. In one hour, you’ll be creating real-life works of art — just like Katie Holmes and Piper Perabo. 1,000 percent sold.
Pocket doors are so delightful in and of themselves. They appear when you need them, get tucked away when you don't, and make it easy to define rooms while keeping an open floor plan. Add to the pocket door a joyful patterned wallpaper surprise, and you will be sent right into fits of visual jubilation! Or something ;) Today we're sharing two simple and impactful pocket door makeovers that zhuzh up your space in a jiffy.
Anjelika Temple here, co-founder of Brit + Co and proud owner of several pocket doors! When I moved into my first real grown-up house a couple years ago, I knew I wanted to incorporate wallpaper so reached out to our friends at Chasing Paper to see how we might collaborate. It felt like a total lightbulb moment when I realized I could create a surprise pop of pattern on a couple sets of pocket doors.
Not only is it a whimsical way to bring color into a space, but the doors double as picture-perfect backdrops for all your SFH (selfies from home, obvs).
A few pro tips about install:
- Removable wallpaper is miraculously forgiving! You can take it on and off multiple times without it losing integrity (or mucking up your surface).
- I ordered this adhesive wallpaper installation kit with a squeegee and xacto knife and it worked super well. I also recommend a sharp pair of scissors for cutting longer lines.
- This is a two-person job! Get a friend, put on a playlist, and get ready to bond.
- Wild, organic patterns like Tally are great because it's challenging to spot any imperfections in pattern alignment; keep pattern choice in mind if you've got a lot of corners to match up. More geometric patterns and larger shapes leave less room for error (but are awesome in their own right!).
BATHROOM POCKET DOORS
In our primary bathroom, we chose the wallpaper pattern Tally, designed by Kelly Ventura, in White and Navy. In our space, the navy reads as a soft black, which is perfect for the space. It's easy to combine an ever-rotating collection of linens with the Tally pattern.
I love how the white trim becomes the perfect frame around this pocket door piece of art.
My favorite moment in this space is the fact that you actually get a third pop of pattern thanks to our serendipitously placed mirror!
And yes, this one works pretty darn well as a backdrop too ;)
LIVING ROOM DOUBLE DOORS
This set of doors is definitely a focal point of our home. It separates our living room from our primary bedroom which opens onto our backyard. The doors are pretty much always open, but when they're closed we wanted to evoke a fun, nature-inspired vibe. With that in mind, we selected the Lines and Moons pattern by Thimblepress in Green and Brown.
Earth mama vibes up in here! I love how the shapes and colors echo the ferns you see through the windows and the acorn wood details throughout the house.
Love this pattern moment, and xacto-ing out the door handle is def on the oddly satisfying DIY list.
For a pattern lover like me, I love that now I have this instant photo backdrop!
Thanks to Chasing Paper for providing these rolls of pure pattern amazingness. Head to chasingpaper.com to find our own favorites and start adding patterns to your home!
(Wallpaper wingwoman: Kayla Haykin; Photography: Kurt Andre)