Debunking the 5 Most Common Misconceptions About Watercolor

Watercolor is a wonderful medium, which explains why so many people of all ages are interested in learning more about it! With more artists pushing the boundaries of what watercolor can achieve, it seems the medium will remain relevant, helping painters realize their visions no matter what they are.

Indeed, watercolor can bring the most magnificent works of art to life! However, even with its reputation, some can’t help but fall victim to the myths surrounding it. Unfortunately, watercolor is as misunderstood as much as it is admired—learning about watercolor basics involves unlearning the misconceptions about the craft.

Here are some of the most common misconceptions about watercolor painting that can hold you back:

Painting With Watercolor Doesn’t Allow For Any Mistakes

No artist sticks with the concept they started with until the end—creating a work of art involves changes in ideas and making a few tweaks that align with your new vision. Painting is a process where nothing is set in stone; one element may seem like a good idea at first, then suddenly it isn’t.

The great thing about painting is that your vision evolves with your art, but some believe that you can’t modify your artwork when you work with watercolor. Contrary to what some think, painting with watercolors doesn’t mean not being able to alter anything at all.

Acrylic and gouache paint is thicker and dry with a matte finish; they are easier to cover up. However, this doesn’t mean that the characteristics of watercolor make it impossible to make a few tweaks here and there.

Like with other mediums, you have the freedom to tweak your paintings as you go—the key is in knowing the proper steps on how to do it well. Of course, scrubbing out an element will leave an imprint, but it’s all up to your technique and how well you can correct your mistakes. No alteration is impossible as long as you know the watercolor basics!

Painting With Watercolor Is Challenging

If you’ve seen a watercolor painting before, you’ll know that they are breathtaking—there’s just something about the medium that gives a delicate-breathtaking finish to a work of art. So, does this mean that to create stunning beauty, you have to endure the grueling process of using watercolor?

Watercolor is actually a much easier medium to work with than people make it out to be! Controlling the water to point ratio is tricky at first, leading you to an unpredictable journey. However, as long as you take regular watercolor lessons and practice regularly, you’ll be able to master this medium in no time.

Aren’t all mediums challenging to master at first? Watercolor may be more challenging than others, but once you develop some skills, manipulating watercolor to your desire will be as easy as any other everyday task!

How easy or difficult mastering watermedia will depend on your capabilities. Some artists have a harder time learning how to paint with watercolors, while others have it easier. You never know what your learning experience will be like if you don’t try it out first!

Beginners Should Start With Student-Grade Supplies

Honing your talent and developing your skills is crucial to becoming the best artist that you can be! Some artists may be born great, but to tap into your potential and make the most of your abilities, you must practice, practice, practice. 

Indeed, taking watercolor lessons and learning about the fundamentals lay the groundwork for your foundation. However, besides taking classes, it’s also crucial to paint with the best quality tools for the best results!

Delving into watercolor painting with high-quality tools may seem like you’re getting ahead of yourself, but you must change your mindset. Many artists who wish to learn how to paint with watercolors think that they first have to work hard before using better tools, but this isn’t the case at all.

You’re not required to work with student-grade supplies—learning about watercolor painting isn’t a game where you have to get to a certain level before you’re entitled to a specific set of tools. Just because you’re a beginner doesn’t mean that you should start learning with lower-grade brushes and watercolors!

Keep in mind that your supply-purchasing decisions will affect how well you master watercolor painting. When you use no-name supplies and paint them on lightweight, low-quality paper, you won’t go very far.

Although we’re not saying to send an insane amount of money for the best supplies and tools possible, we recommend using the best materials that work for your budget. Don’t let your supplies hold you back!

The More Pigments, the Better the Palette

When shopping for quality watercolor palettes, you’ll come across various options at different prices. Watercolor materials are undoubtedly expensive, so, understandably, you’d want to save on money as much as you can, but trust us when we say that buying a cheap 24 color set for $12 isn’t as wise a smart move as you think.

Contrary to clothing and other everyday items, purchasing more for less doesn’t mean good when selecting watercolor materials. Unfortunately, the paint in big cheap sets doesn’t dissolve easily in water, looks pale and streaky when applied on paper, and mixing the colors creates a muddy color. 

Rather than getting a bang for your buck, you’ll only end up wasting your money when you buy the most affordable and biggest watercolor set available! When shopping for watercolor, less is more—focus instead on purchasing a modest watercolor paint set.

When you use a paint set with fewer colors, you’ll be able to save money without sacrificing quality. Moreover, you’ll also be able to learn how to mix colors and boost your creativity!

Watercolor Painting Is Only for Creative People

If there’s one misconception about watercolor painting that could significantly limit your potential and hold you back, it would be believing this to be a fact! There’s nothing more wrong than in mistaking watercolor painting to be only for the artsy type.

Whether you believe it or not, watercolor painting is for everyone who shows interest in it! It doesn’t matter if you didn’t take art classes as a child or invested your formative years in learning about art. No one can dictate what you can and can’t learn, so don’t stop yourself from achieving your dreams!

Sure, you’d have to learn more than artists who began taking watercolor lessons much earlier than you, but everyone has to start somewhere, right? Don’t stop yourself trying watercolor painting before you’ve even picked up a brush—who knows the masterpieces you’re bound to create?


The only obstacle hindering you from taking up watercolor painting is you. When you believe in the wrong things, you won’t be able to tap into your potential and become the best artist that you can be. Just because you don’t think you have the talent or that watercolor is challenging to control doesn’t mean you’ll fail. 

Of course, you’ll make mistakes, but with constant practice and learning, you’ll be better at your craft and become successful in manipulating the medium. As long as you put your heart and mind into it, you’ll be able to master watercolor painting!

Are you interested in learning how to paint with watercolors? Then, perhaps you’d like to take lessons from one of the best, E. John Robinson! Through our online watercolor classes, you’ll be able to hone your skills and eventually paint beautiful seascapes and landscapes in watercolor that will sell. Enroll in our watercolor lessons today!

Share this post

← Older Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published.