10 Easy Abstract Watercolor Painting Steps
10 Easy Abstract Watercolor Painting Steps

These easy abstract watercolor painting tips will help you create your first ever watercolor abstract painting while enjoying the process. Abstract painting is all about creating different shapes, sizes, textures, lines, and other patterns with beautiful colors altogether. You don’t need to worry if you are just a beginner with this method, as these steps will help you with watercolors and almost any painting media that you wish to create your abstract painting with.

What are the necessary steps for creating your abstract watercolor painting? Is abstract watercolor painting for beginners? What are the essential materials for your abstract watercolor painting?

Easy Abstract Watercolor Painting Tutorials (Mix Media Painting)

10 Easy Abstract Watercolor Painting Steps
10 Easy Abstract Watercolor Painting Steps

Watercolor is one of the most straightforward painting media for an artist because of its versatility. There is a lot of artists today from different painting media who want to create unique paintings with abstract techniques. However, they don’t know where to start sometimes. However, there are no specific painting rules for starting your abstract watercolor painting and what to put in there.

With this article, we will help you master the fundamental methods of how to create an abstract watercolor painting. These basic techniques will be applicable for watercolors and acrylic paints, oil paints, and even pastel paints.

The proper mixing of watercolor paints is also an essential technique for abstract painting.

5 Essential Materials For Abstract Watercolor Painting

Before you start your abstract watercolor painting, it is best to prepare all the necessary materials and tools for an easy painting session. These primary materials are the key to a successful abstract watercolor painting.

Since watercolor is an easy painting medium, you need a few materials to start. They are almost the same as the ones that you use for your watercolor paintings.

→ Watercolor Paints

These depend on what the artist preferred to apply for colors. Since there are different watercolors to choose from, all of these are great to utilize for your abstract watercolor painting. If you are working on a small painting surface, watercolor palettes are a great option. If you are working on a larger surface, then check for tube paints. They are easy to squeeze and can even be thinned with water.


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→Watercolor Paper

It is best always to get the required watercolor paper. The heavy the paper is, the more absorbent it can absorb the paints with.


For abstract watercolor painting, if you are working with a small canvas or painting surface, it is best to use a small round paintbrush.

→Pencil and Ruler

Though it is not required, it is best to have it somewhere easy to get in the case. There may be instances that you’ll draw patterns, shapes, or lines while working with abstract watercolor painting.

If you will be working with shapes and patterns, it is best to have them handy. They will help you with subtle marking, and later you can erase. Or you can use light pencil marks to avoid any possible streaks when working with watercolors afterward.

→Jar of water

These are essential, especially if you will be working with sets of colors. That way, you do not need to worry about any mix up of one color over the other.

10 Easy Abstract Watercolor Painting Steps
10 Easy Abstract Watercolor Painting Steps

Save some time with paper towels and/ rags for cleaning or wiping off the water, especially with your paintbrush.

Basic Steps For A Successful Abstract Watercolor Painting

Now that you have all the essential materials for your abstract watercolor painting, then let’s begin painting your first ever abstract watercolor painting;

Step 1.  Prepare the materials

Prepare your canvas/surface for your abstract watercolor painting. Make sure you get the right weight required for watercolors.

Step 2. Draw the design

Draw the desired design, pattern, lines, or shapes as the base mark on the background of your watercolor paper. Using your pencil, make sure that the pencil marks are just light enough to see but not that dark to get streaks when water comes on them.

Take note that the shapes or patterns do not need to have the same sizes altogether, make them unique and complex.


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Step 3. Add more designs and patterns

You can start to add more designs and patterns as you wanted with more details to the paper. Once you are contented with the techniques you have made, it is time to add colors to your designs.

Step 4. Use watercolors in pans (Ideal for beginners)

It is best to use watercolors in pans as they also come with a palette to mix your paints altogether. You can use the other side of your palette to see how the colors look before applying them to your watercolor paper. If you are new to abstract watercolor painting, pans are the best option as they are not that costly.

Step 5. Check main colors

Check for the main color that you will use. You can start paint the application with one color first. Use that one color to spread it on some designs, patterns, or shapes all over. When you are happy with the effect of the color that you use, then move on to the next color that you choose. Make sure to rinse off all excess paints first before you use another paint. Pat dry your paintbrush and move on with the next color.

Step 6. Maximize  your colors

10 Easy Abstract Watercolor Painting Steps
10 Easy Abstract Watercolor Painting Steps

To maximize the colors you’ll use, you can use the primary colors first, and once you are done with two colors, you can add water on them both to your palette to produce the next secondary color.

Mixing colors with watercolor is a great technique and time savvy as well. Learning how one color changes when adding different colors gives you the unique feeling of creating different colors along the way.

Step 7. Learn to stop

Learn to stop if you think you have painted most of the details that you wanted, or continue adding more details if you prefer.

Step 8. Fill up the patterns

Fill up with patterns the spaces (you wanted to).

Step 9. Don’t limit the colors

Don’t limit the colors, patterns, and designs that are present in your abstract watercolor painting. Let it be filled with details if you wanted to. Or make it explicit if you wanted as well. The thing is, you are enjoying every detail, color, shape, pattern, and line that you put in there. You can twist your painting surface f you wanted to to see the different sides of your painting. That way, if you think some areas are missing with designs, you can add more.


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Step 10. Protect it with fixatives

Once you have decided to stop and are happy with your painting, it’s time to protect it with some fixatives; however, that also depends on your preference. Most artists use a final fixative for their watercolor if they feel like everything is done with the painting.

The fixatives not only seal all the colors on the painting surface but also protect the overall painting from accident damage. For example, since watercolor is water-based, moisture or water will waken the paints, and a possible drip off with the colors will happen.

The fixatives act as a barrier for your painting and colors to be safe before framing or for preservation. To get the right materials like fixatives, always check the labels and on a sample paper before applying on your painting surface to see the effect it may cause.



Everything we recommend

Our Pick

GenCrafts Watercolor Palette

Expressing one’s creativity through something handcrafted. That’s why we’re passionate about art and want to share our love for cutting edge, high-quality products as well as new ideas to excel your creative and artistic visions. 



La Petite Aquarelle Watercolor Paint

This student grade set features paint that is less pigmented then the higher quality Sennelier Artists Watercolor but gives the artist practicality with it’s additional features. Each set includes a convenient elastic strap that allows the artist to keep the set in hand.


Budget Pick

Komorebi Watercolor Paint Set 

Each Komorebi set comes with a stunning sleeve with artwork created using the paints themselves. The watercolors are enclosed within a sturdy metal case with a color swatch sheet, perfect for travel.




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