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9 Best Online Watercolor Classes | To Enhance Painting Skill

Modern Watercolor Techniques course offered by Domestika is best for beginners because it’s a self-paced course that walks through watercolor basics before proceeding to complex techniques. Even the Udemy Watercolor Paintings For Beginners is excellent for polishing basic skills.

Best Online Classes For Watercolor Paintings

No other medium is as remarkable as watercolor painting, as lots of supplies aren’t needed for this art medium. But creating realistic watercolor paintings takes practice, so enrolling in a watercolor course is a great way to learn basic painting skills or improve advanced techniques.

However, not every online watercolor course is worth your money. Whether you’re looking for a free online watercolor class or paid courses, I’ve got you covered with the best watercolor tutorials in this guide. 

Best Online Watercolor Classes
© Homesthetics - Dylla Setyadji

1. Domestika Modern Watercolor Techniques

Everyone who has just ventured into the world of watercolor painting would benefit from the Modern Watercolor Techniques course offered by Domestika.

A painter and illustrator, Ana Victoria Calderon, teaches watercolor artists to paint with watercolors creatively and technically. Because the videos are pre-recorded, you can learn at your own pace and watch them as many times as you want. This flexibility allows learners to focus on whichever skill they lag or are interested in learning.

In this course, a beginner watercolor artist will learn how to use watercolors, i.e., laying the foundation for watercolor painting. What I like the most about this course is that Ana Victoria first walks through basic watercolor techniques before moving to more complex illustrations or skills.

Where other watercolor classes teach beginners to paint a single scene, this online course will help you learn the fundamentals of watercolor art. For instance, absolute beginners will learn about gradients, water control, transparency levels, and paint saturation.

Not just that, but this course arms watercolor artists with the understanding of the precision and weight required to hold the brush to achieve fine details.

What makes it one of the best watercolor classes is that it teaches artists unique techniques to create watercolor art. You’ll learn to mix watercolor paints with other materials, namely chlorine, salt, nail polish remover, alcohol, and so on.

Toward the end of the course, learners will have to create a nebula design, galaxy, or other complex illustration using any technique they like the most.

2. Udemy Watercolor Paintings For Beginners

If your last watercolor painting was a soggy mess, Udemy Watercolor Paintings for Beginners course is for you, as it covers watercolor basics. 

Broderick Wong, an award-winning artist, has designed this course keeping in mind complete beginners, so you need not feel intimidated. Divided into 17 sections, the 117 lectures delivered by Wong are insightful, teaching you watercolor skills progressively. 

Starting with the essentials and gradually moving to the basics, in this little more than 4-hour content, you’ll grasp techniques that will help you progress to the intermediate level. 

Wong shares tips on drawing and sketching, essential watercolor techniques like going dark with paints, preparing puddles, layering, glazing, blending washes using 1 color, and avoiding washed-out paintings. This online watercolor class stands out for teaching beginners landscape painting from the get-go, like painting grass, wood, trees, leaves, and the background. 

After teaching the basics, this course helps learners focus on mastering basic techniques. For instance, it teaches the right way to paint land and sea animals (marine art), do a wash (visual arts), and blend it using 2 colors. Likewise, you’ll learn how to paint fine details, features, and shadows without making them obscure, using masking fluid, color mixing, and so on. 

Best of all, you’ll learn in-depth about color theory, which will help you use the right colors whenever you start watercolor painting. Even tips and tricks are shared to avoid mistakes while painting. 

Unlike in-person or other watercolor classes online, you get lifetime access to this online course. And Udemy is among those few platforms that offers a certificate of completion to learners after the end of the course.  

3. Skillshare Learn To Fearlessly Mix And Use Color For Watercolor Painting

Knowing which watercolor paint to use, understanding how to mix a limited color palette, and mixing paint on paper can seem daunting if you’re just starting out with watercolor painting. 

The Skillshare Learn to Fearlessly Mix And Use Color For Watercolor Painting by Anne Butera, known for detailed botanical paintings, offers an easy approach to polishing your watercolor painting skills. Best part about this course is that it isn’t too long– there are only 10 lessons which equals 1 hour of video content. 

It starts with testing and playing with watercolor paints, where you’ll learn about comparing colors, testing them out with varying amounts of water, and mixing paints with 2 to 3 colors. Anne also shares a list of materials and supplies needed to get started with the watercolor art form. 

Video lessons focus on teaching students gradients and mixing colors in a palette (painting) and paper. By taking this beginner course from Skillshare, you’ll be able to paint landscapes, as the course teaches layering wet-on-wet technique. 

In this 1-hour course, you’ll also master the wet-on-dry technique. Because the videos are pre-recorded, you can learn to build colors and paint details at your pace, which wouldn’t be possible in offline watercolor classes. This course teaches the difference between warm and cool shades, which is what makes it among the best online watercolor classes. 

As the course comes to an end, students are taught to match colors for stem and flower. After that, students are encouraged to create artwork by using any of the watercolor skills taught in the course. This way, you’ll be able to understand how well you’ve grasped the concepts taught in the watercolor painting course. 

4. Domestika Botanical Illustration With Watercolors

Illustrating botanicals can be tough for a beginner or intermediate-level watercolor artist. Further complicating the problem is the unpredictable nature of watercolor paints. 

To help artists create botanical illustration, Domestika offers a Botanical Illustration With Watercolors. Taught by Paulina Maciel, a designer and illustrator, this course teaches artists specific techniques to create illustrated compositions with flowers and plants. 

So, cartoonists, illustrators, designers, or watercolor artists facing trouble navigating the watercolor illustration world should give it a go!

Designed explicitly for sharpening botanical illustration skills, the course consists of 17 lessons. Even though each video is short and to the point, the course is detailed and engaging. 

This less than 3-hour course contains 13 exercises, which include creating different textures and playing with light and shadow to add extra volume to artwork. You’ll also be taught about recognizing the geometric shapes of a variety of flowers and plants so that you can sketch them with ease. 

Paulina, in this course, teaches artists 2 ways to create botanical illustrations: using graphite for the grisaille technique and painting straight using watercolors. 

That’s not all; you’ll learn about digitizing and editing your artwork in Photoshop after it’s completed. Basic editing skills in Adobe Photoshop are required to edit the final artwork. 

Before you start with the course, keep in handy watercolor paper, brushes, watercolor paint in liquids, tablets, or tubes, and a selection of flowers, plants, and leaves. 

With this course, 13 complementary resources are provided for your convenience. Also, it’s available in multiple languages– English, Polish, French, Dutch, Italian, German, and Portuguese. 

Unlike other platforms, which offer 1-year limited access to their courses, this online watercolor course of Domestika can be accessed forever. That means it’s a one-time investment– you can refer to the tutorials as and when you want. 

5. Udemy FIVE Star Beginners Watercolor ESSENTIAL BASICS

For everyone fascinated with watercolor mediums but are afraid to try their hands, this Five Star Beginners Watercolor ESSENTIAL BASICS course by Udemy is worth opting for. 

Divided into 11 sections, professional artist, teacher, and creative entrepreneur Nicola A Blakemore, lets out the secrets of working with watercolor paints. Overall, the duration of the course is 4.5 hours; however, it’s segmented into 60 lectures for artists’ ease. 

Starting with the basics, this course gives learners an idea of how watercolor paints interact with water so that you can get the most out of them. Blakemore also equips students with the knowledge of layering washes to make objects appear 3 dimensional. 

Though a very basic course, this watercolor course takes a different approach, as it’s a learn-through play. 

After covering the fundamentals, the course teaches students to draw simple objects like a frame. Thereafter, 10 lectures of about 45 minutes show learners the right way to paint objects. It will show you how to add shadow and depth to the color, fill shapes, and make marks in 3 different techniques on the same object. 

Because of this repetition, you’re sure to gain confidence, which will polish your painting skills. 

Throughout the course, you’ll learn to paint apples, cherries, a fruit bowl, greeting cards for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a little snowman against the backdrop of falling snow and winter sky. Note masking fluid is needed to create an illustration of a snowman, so keep it handy. 

At the same time, you’ll build your knowledge of watercolor paints, like primary colors, the translucency of colors, and so on. In the last lecture, a word search puzzle containing a lot of art-related terms is added to expand your knowledge. 

6. Watercolour Workshop

The Watercolour Workshop online course is designed to help beginners learn watercolor painting through short, actionable videos. 

As soon as you purchase the Watercolour Workshop course, you’ll have access to 30+ video lessons. Because the videos are already recorded, this online course offers a self-paced learning opportunity to beginners. Rest assured, you won’t miss even a single instruction or technique. 

In addition to that, you’ll be provided access to a traceable sketch library, Facebook group, and downloadable lesson add-ons. 

Dana, the creator and instructor of the Watercolour Workshop has segmented the course into 7 modules. This video library of lessons teaches each and every painting tutorial bit by bit. 

Wet-on-wet techniques, wet-on-dry techniques, splattering and lifting techniques, ink and wash style, shading and light, masking techniques, and layering are a few painting techniques Dana will walk you through. Between the tutorials, you’ll also find the supplies needed for successful watercolor painting. 

Other things that you will gain an understanding of by signing up for this course are color palette creation, digitizing your work, and pattern-making using Photoshop. Of course, water usage tips and painting exercises are a part of this online course. 

Upon the completion of the program or online course, you’ll receive a certificate that will testify to your skills. Anyone who wishes to polish their basic skills and progress to advanced techniques will find this course beneficial.

7. Domestika Creative Watercolor Sketching For Beginners

This Creative Watercolor Sketching For Beginners is the way to master the watercolor art medium. 

Rather than following the footsteps of other professional artists, Laura McKendry takes a different approach as she demonstrates unconventional techniques to create unique artwork. By doing so, she endeavors to awaken creativity, making the learning process enjoyable. 

Using such techniques, Laura has created artwork for companies like Papyrus and Laura Ashley. Consisting of 25 lessons, the duration of this course is 5.25 hours, so there’s plenty to learn. The course begins with Laura sharing her illustrations and discussing the forces that shaped her creative style. 

Moving ahead, materials are introduced, and playful techniques are shared so that you can pick up the brush and start experimenting on the watercolor paper. Creating tone and contrast and playing with watercolors are also part of the course. 

In regards to experimenting with colors, understanding the Color Wheel theory is important. Otherwise, identifying intensity, value, and hue or developing color combinations won’t be possible. That is why this course enriches artists’ minds by explaining the theory behind the Color Wheel. 

Mixing layers of color for landscape paintings and exploring how to achieve unconventional techniques with paint brushes is further taught by the course curator. You can complete the video lessons as slowly or quickly as you want because they are recorded, and you have lifetime access to them. 

8. The Art Studio NY

Offering online classes for people of all age groups, The Art Studio NY has a team of live instructors who teach a blend of artistic techniques. At the same time, they introduce artists to the freedom of self-expression. 

Where other online courses offer pre-recorded videos, The Art Studio NY stands out because of its live classes. Therefore, you can receive feedback from mentors, which isn’t possible in online courses. 

This highly-rated studio in New York conducts online classes via the Zoom app, allowing artists to join the classes from around the world. You can benefit from expert instructions from any nook and corner of the world, including India and Australia. 

One thing that appeals to me about The Art Studio NY is that it offers an array of courses that vary in scope and focus, meaning you get to decide which course will be the best for your needs. 

Not only do you get to choose between beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes, but you also get the opportunity to select between adults and kids. 

Once a week, professional artists conduct classes for up to 3 or 4 weeks, depending on the course you enroll in. Between online and in-person classes, there’s not much difference, as the instructors are focused on delivering quality lessons. 

Last but not least, The Art Studio NY offers art supplies that you can order if you don’t wish to go through the hassles of ordering materials from multiple websites. 

9. Watercolor College

Watercolor College made its way into my list because it offers free courses along with paid ones. 

The Watercolor College free sample pack contains 1 full lesson from the beginner module as well as 1 from the supplies and best practices module. With the free pack, you will also receive complimentary video medleys highlighting all modules of the course. 

However, if you wish to learn about watercolor painting comprehensively, signing up for the Watercolor College core course will be the best bet. 

Comprising more than 200 videos, this online watercolor course features lessons in a logical and structured manner. In its thoughtfully designed video lesson, you’ll learn about the supplies to buy and where to buy them, from pigments and paper to palettes, 

Furthermore, you’ll receive lessons on graded wash, flat wash, dry brush, dry-on-wet, wet-on-wet, and tons of other techniques. Watercolor concepts such as composition, layering, and negative painting are well-explained in the course. 

This course encompasses everything that you’ll need to master the watercolor art medium. Be it landscape painting, portrait, floral, or animal, every brush stroke is shown and explained by the instructor. 

Not only video but written instructions and countless advice and tips on watercolor painting are also supplied, unlike other watercolor courses. 

To ensure you grasp every concept and technique, the instructors start with small subjects and gradually move on to bigger objects. They even teach students when certain techniques should be used and when they shouldn’t. 

Also, planning the painting sequence and choosing the best pigments is a part of the watercolor course module.

Watercolor Classes FAQs

  • Are there free online watercolor classes?

    Yes, Angela Fehr offers free online watercolor classes where beginners can learn the basics of watercolor painting at their own pace, thanks to the self-paced video instructions. Only if you wish to learn watercolor painting as a hobby should you opt for free courses.

  • Is it possible to master watercolor painting techniques by following the tutorials of Jill Poyerd on YouTube?

    No doubt, the tutorials of Jill Poyerd are great, but a beginner may not be able to grasp everything that she teaches. So, I suggest signing up for an online course to understand the fundamentals. However, professional artists may find the tutorials helpful.

  • What does Heidi Willis teach in her online watercolor course?

    Heidi Willis focuses mainly on realism (arts); in her online watercolor course, she teaches techniques required to create realistic botanicals. The duration of her video-on-demand lessons is 3 hours and 8 minutes, ideal for those interested in realism.

  • What supplies do I need for online watercolor classes?

    Instructors in online watercolor classes usually discuss the list of supplies during the first lesson. At times, teachers suggest a lot of supplies, and you’ll have to shell out more money to get them. But instead of heading out to get everything, start with the supplies mentioned below:

    • Sketchbook or watercolor paper
    • Paintbrushes
    • Watercolor paints
    • A palette for mixing colors

    Speaking from experience, only after completing the course will you understand what supplies are needed and what aren’t. This way, your hard-earned money won’t go to waste.

  • Is it easier to paint with watercolor or gouache?

    Although easy to blend, painting with gouache isn’t as effortless as with watercolor. However, gouache, unlike watercolors, doesn’t bleed. As such, you should go for it only if you’re a professional artist.

  • Tip

    Consider your skill level first– whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or expert when choosing a watercolor class. Beginners should go for classes teaching the basics, whereas professionals should go for advanced-level classes.

    Also, check if it’s a live class or pre-recorded video and go for the one with which you’re comfortable.

    Wrapping It Up The Online Watercolor Classes
    © Homesthetics - Dylla Setyadji

    Wrapping It Up

    Whether you’re looking for an online watercolor class for your child or to polish your skills, these classes will equip you with the skills needed to create engaging artwork. While self-paced courses are extremely popular, they aren’t ideal for procrastinators or experienced artists who thrive on feedback.

    Whichever class you sign up for will depend to a large extent on your budget and needs– so choose wisely! Whenever in doubt, read my guide and visit the website of these classes to make the right decision.