7 Best Watercolor Classes Online

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Are you looking for the best online Watercolor classes and tutorials? We’ve put together a list of the best ones on the web, below. We’ve included both free and paid courses to give you a variety of options.

But first, lets answers an important question – why use watercolors? Watercolor paintings are distinct in the art world, with their delicate detail and bold colors. They are used by everyone, from children as fun activities, to practicing artists to make an income. However, despite the popularity of watercolor painting, it is a medium that is notorious for being tricky to use. Many artists, even those what are really experiences, find it hard to get the right paint consistency, to find the right color or to to blend the paint right.

Some illustrators turn to online tools to create designs to avoid these issues. However, I am sure there are many illustrators out there who are keen to keep the beauty and delicateness of watercolor painting alive in order to produce bespoke images.

To understand how to use watercolor paints a little better, you don’t need to spend hours at a college or expensive art school training to be an artist. Although watercolor can be a complicated skill to learn, there are plenty of online classes and courses that cover everything you need to know. Suitable for those of all levels, I have spent the time researching the best watercolor tutorials out there. If you’re looking to progress your watercolor painting skills, either for an illustration career, or to just to enhance your creative skill set, there will be an online course for you.


1. Modern Watercolor Techniques: Explore Skills to Create On-Trend Paintings (Skillshare)

  • Level: Beginner
  • Completion time: 1h 20m
  • Cost: 14-day free trial
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 43,344
  • Course rating: N/A

Instructed by Cat Coquillette, a Skillshare top teacher and an artist, entrepreneur, and educator, this Skillshare class is very popular. Suitable for those with little experience with watercolor who are looking to explore their creativity and expand their painting skills, this class teaches you everything you need to know to start producing successful watercolor paintings.

In this class, you will begin by learning about what art supplies Cat recommends (e.g., brands, paper and brush types). You will also then learn about tips for sketching out the perfect composition, how to mix vibrant color palettes, different brush control techniques, how to blend hues together, how to fix mistakes and how to add tiny details to your painting. You will also get a bonus video, that shows you how to weave gold textures into your final watercolor painting! After completing this course, you should be able to confidently pick up a paintbrush and begin to explore the different ways to create beautiful illustrations.


2. Anyone Can Watercolor: The Basics for Creating Magical Pieces (Skillshare)

  • Level: Beginner
  • Completion time: 24m
  • Cost: 14-day free trial
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 31,342
  • Course rating: N/A

 Taught by Yasmina Creates, who is a watercolor artist and a Skillshare top teacher, this class will take your illustration skills to the next level allowing you to have the skills to produce wonderful watercolor paintings.

Watercoloring is notoriously tricky – it is a loose and unpredictable medium and Yasmina knows that this can make many people reluctant to try it. However, she also knows that with good practice, watercolor becomes a lot more controllable and far less scary!

Yasmina goes into a lot of detail about watercolor to kickstart your never-ending journey of discovery. Throughout this class, you will learn what watercolor supplies to get, six different wash techniques, how to layer, how to blend, the water and paint dynamic, how to work light to dark, how to add white, and many other tips and tricks. By the end of this short tutorial, you should feel confident enough to begin producing illustrations using watercolor paint!


3. BEGINNERS Watercolor. Get clear on the BASICS and just paint (Udemy)

  • Level: Beginner
  • Completion time: 4h 19m
  • Cost: $99.99
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 13,181
  • Course rating: 5 (out of 2,993 ratings)


If you have never picked up a paintbrush but you are open minded and are looking to progress your skills so that you can create beautiful illustrations by hand, then this class is for you!

Taught by Nicola Blakemore, who is a self-taught artist seeking to make people more confident about being creative, this Udemy class extensively covers the watercolor basics! Throughout this course, you follow Nicola one step at a time whilst she shows you how to paint. You will learn about how to think of interesting painting ideas and how to set up for your paintings. You will then discover how to paint fruit, because it’s easy to paint and therefore an excellent starting point. After, you are taught how to paint greeting cards and how to take all your newfound knowledge and techniques to the next level!

After completing this course, you should have the basic skills to begin practicing, and improving, at watercolor!


4. Paint Realistic Watercolor and Botanicals – STUDIO BASICS (Udemy)

  • Level: Beginner
  • Completion time: 3h 8m
  • Cost: $69.99
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 13,181
  • Course rating: 4 (out of 2,527 ratings)


Suitable for those who have never even picked up a paintbrush before, this Udemy class will teach you the foundations you need to produce realistic watercolors and botanicals.

Taught by Heidi Willis, a renowned natural history artist, botanical illustrator and watercolor painting tutor, this course will help you to find your watercolor style! Heidi will take you through what materials she recommends, and how to set up your workplace. You will also explore basic work practices, basic painting techniques and, at the end, you will have worksheets to go through. This class is predominately informative. However, there are some chances to practice your skills! By the end of this course, you should feel confident using various watercolor techniques to produce eye-catching illustrations.


5. The Mechanics of Watercolor Painting (Udemy)

  • Level: Beginner to intermediate
  • Completion time: 3h 59m
  • Cost: $29.99
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 3,974
  • Course rating: 8 (out of 678 ratings)


Taught by Jill Poyerd, a professional artists and fine arts educator, this Udemy class is highly rated. Although it is not strictly necessary to have any watercolor experience to complete this course, it will be helpful to understand some of the fundamentals – you can take another online course to learn these if you don’t already know them!

During this course, you will learn how to properly grip and manipulate your paintbrush. You will also learn a color chart, so that you can easily understand your paints better and know how to mix paints together. You will also learn how to apply water color and the best way to dilute the paint. Jill also takes you over brush pressure, brush strokes, how brushes differ, before finally talking about color wheels and methods for communicating white in a painting.

Overall, it’s a great class for illustrators who are wanting to get better at painting and be able to produce excellent quality products for their clients.


6. Getting Started with Watercolor & Gouache Paints (CreativeLive)

  • Level: Beginner
  • Completion time: 2h 37m
  • Cost: $29
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 3,974
  • Course rating: 100% of students recommend


This CreativeLive class is designed to help you get up to scratch with watercolor so that you can start practicing producing beautiful illustrations today!

In this class, artist and illustrator Mary Jane Begin, will introduce you to the world of watercolor and gouache paints. In this class, you’ll learn about the different types of watercolor and gouache paints available on the market and how they work. Mary Jane Begin will also take you over which brushes and papers are best matched with each paint. The class wraps up by showing you how to make simple marks, so that you can familiarize yourself with watercolor paints.

Overall, this class is suitable for complete beginners. It is a ‘steppingstone class’, in which you will need to take more classes to get yourself up to the ability to produce beautiful illustrations.


7. Dry Scratching Watercolor Technique for Painting Fur (watercolorpainting.com)

  • Level: Intermediate to advance
  • Completion time: Less than 1h
  • Cost: Free
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: N/A
  • Course rating: N/A

Based on the YouTube video created by Yong Chen, this intermediate to advanced watercolor class is short, efficient and a great way to advance your skills for free.

This guide offers a quick overview of some advanced watercoloring skills. You will get an introduction that tells you exactly what materials you will need to complete this class. After this, you will learn step by step how to add ‘fur’ to images. Each step is backed up with a clear drawing demonstration so you can see exactly what you’re looking for!

Although not the most in-depth class, it is a great class for experienced watercolor artists and illustrators who are looking to take their skills one step further. Furthermore, it is backed up by Yong Chen’s YouTube video, which gives a more hands-on and visual lesson.



So, there you have it… the seven-best watercolor classes online.

There are lots of options available for you to advance your watercolor skills! There are free courses that take less than an hour, and there are more expensive courses that take over five hours to complete! Some courses are for complete beginners – those who have never even picked up a paintbrush! Whereas other tutorials are for those who already have an excellent understanding of how to use watercolors

The above classes are the best of the best. Each is taught by an experienced and dedicated teacher and they all have lots of satisfied and happy customers.

So, which course you decide take depends on you experience, funds and spare time. Are you a complete illustration newbie? Or have you got years of experience in the creative industry and just want to refresh your knowledge? Do you have a huge amount of money to spend on your skill development? Do you have a lot of spare time, or are you just looking for a quick, but effective, skill top up?

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