Divin into Watercolor with a Splash-World Watercolor Month

July is World Watercolor Month! It's a month to inspire people to paint with watercolor while raising awareness for the importance of art and creativity in the world. Join us in celebrating by donating watercolor supplies to support underprivileged young artists worldwide!- Blick Art Supplies

World Watercolor Month was founded by Charlie O'Shields, the creator of Doodlewash.  Doodlewash has some great tips for how you can celebrate World Watercolor Month this year:

Ways To Celebrate


Grab some watercolors and make a watercolor painting or sketch each day during the month (or whenever you can join in), and share your work online for others around the world to enjoy! Use the hashtag #WorldWatercolorMonth when posting your art and use it to meet other watercolor artists around the globe!
  • TAKE THE ULTIMATE CHALLENGE: 31 Watercolor Paintings in 31 Days!
  • It’s even more fun to paint with friends, so plan a picnic or sketch walk in your local city and paint outside together
  • Haven’t tried watercolor before? Give it try for the first time this month!
  • Have your kids try watercolor painting (and paint with them, of course!)
  • Support a watercolor artist you enjoy by purchasing one of their beautiful paintings or products for your home
  • Share the watercolor work of other artists you love
  • And please consider making a donation to our charitable partner The Dreaming Zebra Foundation!

I want to make sure you guys get started with a big splash! For over a year, I've worked hard on the Watercolor Basics series, with the hopes of helping readers feel confident in picking up a paintbrush and beginning their watercolor journey, especially creators who are interested in watercolor illustration or watercolor comics.  This series was inspired by my own comic, 7" Kara, as well as the myriad of watercolor questions I've answered over the years.

Recommended posts to get you started:

Assembling Your Supplies:
The Great Brush Off
Materials You'll Need to get Started
All About that Paper
Pick a Palette (paints)
Selecting a Paper for Your Comics

Basic Techniques:
Top Techniques in Watercolor
One Layer Watercolor
Glazing Techniques

Step by Step Tutorials:
Planning Your Watercolor Illustration
Stretching Tutorial
Blocking In
Adding Shadows
Adding Details

For more watercolor tutorials, check out my Watercolor Basics hubpage!

Recommended videos:
Introduction to Watercolor- 2014 Mechacon Panel
Selecting Brushes for Watercoloring Comics
Prepping New Watercolor Brushes for First Use
Wax Resist Tutorial
Perfecting a Travel Watercolor Palette
Dots for Eyes Chibi Watercolor
Removing a Watercolor from a Block

The vast majority of my work is currently in watercolor- from my comic, 7" Kara to the commissions I fill at cons.  If you enjoy my art, why not let July inspire you to begin your painting adventure?

Tips to Participate if You're Just Starting Out:

1. Work from reference!
Take the pressure of creation off, and get some studying in!  When I'm tapped from ideas, I find it relaxing to work from reference- and I always end up learning something new!

2. Work from an existing lineart
I have lineart available for sale through my Gumroad.  Just print it onto your watercolor paper using a toner printer (Office Max or Office Depot should be able to help you with larger sizes), and begin painting!  Now you can practice without stress.
Favorite Fictional Femmes coloring pack
31 Days Under the Waves Coloring Pack
Cuckoo Clock Kara

Here are a couple to get you started!  If you share them, please make sure you credit me, Becca Hillburn (Nattosoup) and share this link.

3.  Follow along with a tutorial

I have so many step by step tutorials designed to get you painting- load one up, and get started!  There are tutorials that demonstrate certain techniques which can be practiced on scrap paper, tutorials that go from sketch to finished piece that you can work along to, and even written tutorials that allow you to work at your own pace.  When you're done, share it to your favorite social media site, and make sure you tag me, so I can see it!

Here are some tutorials to work along to!
Succulents Step by Step with Ecoline
Awfully Faun'd of You P1
Awfully Faun'd of You P2
Watercolor Basics-Glazes
Detailed Chibi Commission Tutorial

4. Commission a watercolor artist who's work you enjoy

Commissioning an original piece of watercolor illustration is a wonderful way to celebrate and enjoy World Watercolor Month.  Not only is it an opportunity to support a watercolor artist you admire, but you end up with a beautiful piece or original art to display in your home.

My watercolor commissions are available in a wide range of styles, from very cartoony to realistic, and can cover a wide variety of subject matter.  If you have something in mind, email me for a quote.

5. Create a masterstudy

It's a practice as old as student and master- replicating the work of an artist you admire.  You can either do a direct study, where you copy the work as closely as possible to learn their techniques, or you can use their work to inspire a new piece- often called style studies.  When sharing master studies, make sure you credit the original artist, and not just with 'credit goes to original artist', but with a tag and a link, so others may enjoy their work.

I hope I've inspired you guys to pick up your brushes and paints and start painting this July!  Watercolor is fairly simple once you've gotten a feel for the paint and paper, so please don't be intimidated, and experiment freely! 

If you'd like to participate in World Watercolor Month, please remember to use hashtags like #worldwatercolormonth to make sure other artists see your work, and please remember to share my Watercolor Basics posts and video tutorials with anyone who might benefit from a lesson in watercolor.  Throughout July, I'll continue to share watercolor illustrations, tutorials, and more here and on my Youtube channel.  If you want more of my art, make sure you add me on Instagram for daily updates, and check out 7" Kara, now available as a webcomic!


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