Watercolor Starter Kit
6 mins read

Watercolor Starter Kit

Dip your toes in the water(color) with materials, resources and programming from Plano Public Library.

Plano Public Library offers everything you need to learn a new skill, develop a new hobby, and pursue a new career. This month’s Starter Kit will get you ready to pick up your paintbrush and try out watercolor painting. Watercolors produce such beautiful and dynamic paintings, but don’t let them intimidate you! With patience and practice, you might discover a knack for the subtle techniques necessary to embolden yourself.

Upcoming Events

Get ready, get set, draw! Plano Public Library’s 2023 Bookmark Contest is live until June 15, 2023. Compete within your age category using your artistic skills, such as those you learn from this blog post. Winners will be announced at our Community Art Celebration and will be printed for the community to enjoy! Check out rules and additional information on our website.

Here are some other library programs to develop your watercolor painting skills:

Watercolor Works (grades 3-5)

Follow along with us to create a bold outline, then add a burst of color as you fill in your creation with watercolor. Come 30 minutes beforehand to pick up your free ticket.

Intro to Watercolor (adults & ages 13+)

Learn basic and easy Watercolor techniques in a hands-on learning session.

This program will be held at Haggard Library on Monday, July 31 from 6:30-8pm. Come 30 minutes beforehand to pick up your free ticket.


DIY Watercolor Flowers: The Beginner’s Guide to Flower Painting for Journal Pages, Handmade Stationary and More by Marie Boudon: Boudon shows you how to paint beautiful flowers in simple steps. Whether you’re looking to decorate your journal pages, create unique wall art, or make personalized cards and gifts, this guide will teach you all you need to succeed. | Print |

Go with the Flow Painting: Step-by-step Techniques for Spontaneous Effects in Watercolor by Ohn Mar Win: A new, spontaneous approach to watercolor that shows how to paint beautiful loose and expressive florals, fruits and vegetables, animals, travel motifs, and more in vibrant watercolor with touches of pen and ink. | Print |

Everyday Watercolor: Learn to Paint Watercolor in 30 Days by Jenna Rainey: A contemporary paint-every-day watercolor guide that explores foundational strokes and patterns and then builds new skills upon the foundations over the course of 30 days to create finished pieces. | Print |

The Watercolour Companion: Techniques and Tips to Improve Your Painting by Matthew Palmer: From best-selling artist Matthew Palmer, this indispensable reference book is like having an artist on your shoulder to help you achieve great results. Designed to aid your painting whilst painting either indoors or out, the small journal-like format makes it easy to transport and to store with the rest of your painting kit. Combining top tips, handy hints and useful tricks-of-the-trade for artists from beginners to intermediates. | Print |


Watercolors by Alix Wood: Watercolors are a wonderful way to explore the magic of colors. Layering and bleeding watercolors together can lead to breath-taking works of art. This informative guide to watercolors is perfect for young artists who want to try their hand at this versatile art form. They’ll learn the fundamentals of painting with watercolors as they complete engaging projects. Step-by-step instructions with vivid full-color photographs ensure each project is accessible. | Print |

Paint It: The Art of Acrylics, Oils, Pastels, and Watercolors by Mari Bolte: Any master starts at the beginning. Dip your brush into oil, acrylic, and watercolor paints, and sharpen your pastels. Develop essential techniques that will propel your art from scribbles to masterpieces. | Print |

Online Materials
The Great Courses via Kanopy

How to Paint – Practice painting in the company of an award-winning artist and professor. Not only will you learn how to select tools and apply techniques, but you’ll develop the visual skills and muscle memory that make painting an infinitely adaptable form of artistic expression. These 24 lessons feature hands-on demonstrations that bring the art school experience into your own home.

Plano Public Library Program Recordings

Watercolor Floral Still Life Step by Step Workshop – A guided step by step process on how to paint foliage and floral still life.

Watercolor Painting: Landscapes Workshop – Learn the basics of watercolor by painting outside environments from photographs or from your own backyard. Learn techniques with a beginners course on outdoor painting. Explore paper, brushes, and pigment to best use in an outdoor setting, while painting from the comfort of your backyard.

LinkedIn Learning

Drawing Foundations: Sketching the Landscape – Learn how to quickly capture the atmosphere and mood of a landscape like an artist, and take the next step from sketching at home to sketching outside. This course includes an introduction to the materials you’ll need to draw outdoors, as well as 7 practical principles to creating successful landscape sketches, combining drawing theory, on-location drawing demonstrations, and studio-based drawing tutorials. Author Will Kemp, founder of the Will Kemp Art School, shows how to capture, compose, and balance the scene in front of you and take your ideas back to the studio for further refinement.

Graphic Design Foundations: Color – Color is a fundamental element of our lives. Understanding how to use it for visual communication in a variety of contexts is essential for designers and artists. This course is about learning how to use color, not only to create more effective designs, but also to tell a story. Illustrator, professor, and author Mary Jane Begin explains how color intertwines with brand identity, how it affects the mood of a piece and directs the viewer’s attention to areas of interest, and how it can connect images or create space between elements. She removes the mystery surrounding the color wheel and color relationships; shows how to layer, mix, and digitally alter color; and use light to integrate temperature, translucency, and contrast.

We hope this resource list is beneficial to your personal and professional goals. View other Starter Kit blog posts to explore more ways to enrich your life. You can find all of this and more at your local Plano Public Library

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