Celebrating World Watercolor Month with Heart-Led Beginner Watercolor

Since World Watercolor Month started three years ago, I’ve loved celebrating July by getting back to basics; back to the heart of why I love watercolor. It’s such an amazing medium!


No other medium can do what watercolor does, embracing the liquidity of water to dance across paper, mingling and mixing in luminous effervescence. The transparency of watercolor lets light shine from within, and creates rich, velvety darks in complex layers. 

Watercolor can surprise you; giving it some freedom to flow brings life to a painting, an energy that cannot be forced or skilled into being. This means even beginning painters get to experience the excitement of a “happy accident,” moments in painting that feel like true magic on the page.

Does learning the basics have to be boring?

I’ve taught beginner watercolor for fifteen years or more, and I believe in teaching good technique. Armed with the technical understanding of why watercolor does what it does, an artist can then make creative decisions that work with those techniques to create individual and authentic work. 

Most watercolor instructors teach beginner techniques, and we all do it in a very factual, linear fashion. I started thinking recently, “What if beginners could learn a heart-led, creative, “zen” approach from the very beginning of their watercolor journey?”

What if heart-led watercolor could be the starting point, instead of introduced as an intermediate transition toward a personal loose style? 

I think it can be done!

My goal as a professional artist is not to produce skilled and competent paintings. The word “competent” is boring to me. I want my paintings to show ME. I have learned that I do this best by creating a joyful, playful space to create; one that allows me to attune myself to what is happening on the paper and respond intuitively. It’s an approach that is very immediate, and very fluid, and it’s so much fun. I get to paint for fun, and I don’t think that idea should only be for advanced artists!

We rob beginners of joy when we tell them garbage like, “Watercolor is the hardest medium,” and “You can’t fix mistakes in watercolor.” It’s like we are planning for failure! 

So I’ve decided to change the way I teach beginning painters how to paint, and I’d love you to come with me as I develop this new series of lessons designed to help the heart-led beginning painter create a joyful, intuitive learning process. Yes, watercolor techniques will be taught, but our focus will start with the PROCESS, making painting a healing, inspiring place of self-care and acceptance. Join me all this month in learning watercolor the heart-guided way! 

How to participate: Sign up for the Heart-Led Beginner World Watercolor Month lessons here. They are available for free, but by signing up you’ll receive email notifications when each lesson releases so you don’t miss any!

Bonus Content: Members of my Fearless Artist community will receive access to the entire Heart-Led Beginner course, plus 21 more watercolor courses as a part of their membership. Find out more here.