10 Easy Abstract Watercolor Painting Steps

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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, texture, lines and different patterns with wonderful colors altogether. You don’t need to worry if you are just a beginner with this method as these steps will help you not just with watercolors but with almost any painting media that you wish to create your abstract painting with.

What are the basic 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 You Can Use Even With Other Painting Media

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

Watercolor is one of the easiest painting media for an artist because of their amazing and unique composition. 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. Though there are no certain painting rules as to how to start your abstract watercolor painting, and what to put in there.

With this article, we will help you master the basic methods on how to create an abstract watercolor painting. These basic methods will not only be applicable for watercolors but even with acrylic paints, oil paints and even pastel paints.

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

Essential Materials For Abstract Watercolor Painting

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

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

Watercolor paints

These can be on what the artist preferred to use for colors. Since there are different types of watercolors to choose from, all of these are great to use for your abstract watercolor painting. If you are working on a small painting surface then watercolor palettes are a great option for you. 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 to always 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/or ruler

Though it is not required, it is best if you have it somewhere easy to get in the case. There may be instances that you’ll be going to 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 to you. They will help you with fine marking and later o can be erased. Or you can just 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 lots 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/or rags for cleaning or wiping off 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 painting 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.

La Petite Aquarelle Watercolor Paint  

Sennelier La Petite Aquarelle travel watercolor sets offer freedom for painting on the go.
Sennelier Artists Watercolor but gives you efficiency with its practical features.
It comes with an inside tray with different sized mixing areas and space to store your brush (brush not included).
Includes 24 half pan colors


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 designs that you have made, then it is time to add colors to your designs.

Step 4 Use watercolors in pans

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 like before applying them on your watercolor paper. If you are new to abstract watercolor painting, pans are the best options 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 colors

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

To maximize the colors that you’ll use, you can use the primary colors first and once you are done with two colors, you can just 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 color 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 just continue adding more details if you prefer.

Step 8 Fill up the patterns

Filling up with patterns if you like to. Fill up the spaces with a pattern as 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 plain if you wanted as well. The thing is you are enjoying every details, colors, shapes, patterns, 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 there are some areas that missing with designs, you can add more.

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Komorebi Watercolor Paint Set  

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Step 10 Protect fixatives

Once you have decided to stop and is happy with your painting than its time to protect it with some fixatives. However, that also depends on your preference. The most artist uses a final fixative for their watercolor if they feel like everything is done with the painting. 

The fixatives not just only seal all the colors on the painting surface but it also protects the overall painting from getting damage by accident. For example, since watercolor is waterbased, anything that is 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 you apply 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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Tropic Drawing
Tropic Drawing
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