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Three Ways To Watercolour Your Day… for the Artistically-Challenged! It’s World Watercolour Month!

Three Ways To Watercolour Your Day… for the Artistically-Challenged! It’s World Watercolour Month!
Three Ways To Watercolour Your Day… for the Artistically-Challenged! It’s World Watercolour Month!

Watercolour painting may appear to be one of the more serious and inaccessible of the art forms, reserved for those with, well, talent. But it truly is not something to be intimidated by, and you would be surprised at how easily you could produce something beautiful.

Here are three things you don’t need in order to watercolour:

  • Talent
  • Fancy paints
  • Watercolour paper

And here are two things to get rid of before you start:

  • Rules
  • Perfectionism

The joy in watercolour comes from plopping down some paint on a piece of paper, and seeing what happens. Whilst being perhaps one of the more forgiving mediums to work with, watercolours do have a mind of their own so once they leave your paintbrush, you have little control. But that too is where the magic happens!

Here are three simple and relaxing ways the amateur watercolourist can discover the joy of this most fluid of mediums, and add some colour to their days!

Three easy tips for beginners to start using watercolour, world watercolour month


  1. Colouring in

The peak in popularity may have passed for the adult colouring book trend, but this relaxing pastime is here to stay.

For some, colouring provides a creative outlet that requires no artistic ability, yet allows the artist to produce a beautiful image.

For others, colouring a repetitive pattern induces a meditative mindset, and the benefits of focusing the mind on this simple task helps calm a stressed, anxious or busy brain.

Did you know you can use watercolours in colouring-in books?

There are no limits to what mediums you use in colouring books, although you do need to take care in how much water you apply to the paper. Some types of paper will handle water better than others.

Watercolour can be applied by various methods:

  • Take your wet paintbrush, dip it in your watercolour paint (either tube or pan), then paint on the page
  • Using a watercolour pencil, you can colour in the image as you would with regular coloured pencils, but afterwards apply a wet paintbrush to the pigment and watch it come alive! This is a fun method to blend colours together.
  • Using watercolour pencils again, but this time take your wet paintbrush to the tip of the pencil to transfer pigment from the pencil to the paintbrush, then apply the colour to the page.

Watercolour is a great way to cover a large area with colour quickly, for example the sky, water, or greenery.

You can then use coloured pencils on top of the dried watercolour to add more colour, texture and details!

Adult colouring in book, watercolour


2. Art journaling

Art journaling can mean different things to different people, but essentially it is a visual journal combining words with images and art to record your thoughts and memories.

This is great for

  • People who already keep a written journal, but want to add colour, drawings, or photos to their pages
  • People who want to journal but haven’t been interested in, or able to maintain, a written journal

This is also a wonderful way for the beginner artist to try out different mediums and techniques, without the pressure of keeping a more formal sketchbook or art book.

Watercolour is a quick and easy way to apply some colour to your journal pages and is one of my favourite things to do.

Simply wet your brush, add watercolour and plop it on the page! Spread it around, add different colours, mix colours together, and simply see what happens. This does not require any special techniques or talent, but the watercolour effect can be beautiful!

Art journal, watercolour


3. Pretty paper planning

In case you have missed the craze that is pretty planning, let me tell you now – paper planners are back.

I never completely made the transition from a physical diary to an electronic calendar and, being a shift worker, I always keep a diary to record my shifts, as well as my to-do lists and appointments.

But no longer does your diary have to remain plain and colourless! Simply search ‘pretty planning’ on YouTube or Instagram and you will see what I mean. There are many different styles of diaries or planners to keep, from Kikki K ring binders to Travellers Notebooks, to bullet journals and the Japanese Hobonichi, as well as a vast range of accessories for decoration – stickers, paperclips, charms and matching pens.

Planning itself has become a creative outlet, as a way to stay organised and scrapbook, do art and keep memories at the same time.

Whilst I haven’t gotten very involved in pretty planning, I do like to add some colour to the pages to brighten things up. And once again, a quick and easy way to do this is by applying a wash of watercolour!


One important thing to note is, if you are planning to combine watercolour and writing, make sure you use a waterproof ink!


Watercolour is nothing to be afraid of! Embrace the uncertainty and the mess and just see what happens!

Check out some of my favourites on YouTube and Instagram for inspiration!

Ali Brown, art journaling, watercolour Little Raven Ink, art journal, watercolour, illustrationInkie Quill, Let's Get Inkie, art journaling, scrapbooking James Burke, art journaling, watercolour









I’d love to hear if you enjoy watercolour, colouring in, or art journaling! Let’s discuss in the comments below.

Hi! I'm Julia, a lifelong reader, an aspiring writer, medical doctor, and now book blogger, from Queensland, Australia! Go to 'About Read and Live Well' to learn more!

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