Thanks for your question! I get questions of this nature somewhat frequently so I figured now’s a good time to do another watercolor info post. (You can find more info about the materials I use in my FAQ and a previous post about watercoloring here.)
I learned what I know about watercolor mostly by just playing with it on my own. You’ll need the right materials to start. I use Prang watercolors which are inexpensive and easy to find, but are still of decent quality. Synthetic brushes are fine as long as they’re not scratchy. For paper I always use watercolor blocks. If you try to paint on drawing paper, it will disintegrate. Blocks are great because the paper is adhered on all four sides so it won’t warp when wet.
I do have some watercolor pencils, but I mostly only just use them for details or for small spaces where I’m afraid I’ll mess up if I use paint.
As far as watercolor tips or resources are concerned, I can give you some tips but I don’t know of any resources beyond what a google search will find you. I made the above time lapse video of me painting a little thing (when I should’ve been sleeping and not photoboothing and bourboning) to illustrate some of the things I do when I paint. If you watch it, you’ll notice a couple things besides the terrible quality of the video:
- I apply water first, before the paint.
- Then I add paint by tapping the surface of the paper or dropping the pigment onto the wet paper. Don’t treat your paintbrush like a crayon or a marker. It is not those things.
- I let the paint spread into the water. Don’t mess with it too much or the colors will get muddy.
- I use a smaller brush for details. Don’t paint everything with one fat brush.
Leaving paint alone is essential to achieving a certain look, and it can be really hard to leave something alone! That’s why I often have two pieces going at once; then I can work on one while the other dries a bit.
I hope that’s all helpful. You’ll learn the most by doing and making mistakes. I didn’t learn all of this overnight. I’ve been paint-doodling for years now, and I know there’s still room for growth and improvement. Have fun experimenting!