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Step-By-Step Painting Ideas

25 Step-By-Step Watercolor Painting Ideas You Must See

Painting ideas surround us. Look closely and you can find watercolor ideas wherever there’s beauty. But sometimes we all can use some inspiration, so this section is filled with all sorts of watercolor painting ideas. You’ll find easy watercolor painting ideas for beginners and harder ideas for experts. Try applying the watercolor techniques you’ve learned and don’t forget to have fun!


Pick up some tips and tricks on how to tackle a busy scene with artist William “Bill” Dunn as he takes on the many elements of an urban wharf.

It’s time for famous painting no. 5, where we’ll be studying a painting from Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies” series. In recreating this masterpiece, artist William “Bill” Dunn plays with color temperature to infuse the painting with an illusion of depth.

Welcome to famous painting no. 4, where we’ll be studying Edgar Degas’ “L’Absinthe”. Artist William “Bill” Dunn focuses on capturing this Degas painting with a cool-warm color palette.

Get ready for famous painting number 3, as we’re studying the nuances of an abstract cityscape! Artist William “Bill” Dunn shows how to paint Richard Diebenkorn’s “Cityscape I”, a painting that focuses on shape and color.

Learn how to reinterpret this quaint European scene of some watercolor flowers and a window, and tell a much more colorful and creative version of this painted story.

Join us in this smooth sailing watercolor sailboat tutorial! Artist William “Bill” Dunn demonstrates how to use different techniques to paint this scene of a harbor in Fort Bragg, California.

If you’re stuck on what to paint, why not try painting this watercolor wharf tutorial featuring a boatyard in Marshall, CA? Learn the secret to getting a good composition, and how to balance warm and cool colors to make a painting work!

Taste a bit of the summer fun in this watercolor beach scene of Del Mar, California! Follow along in this colorful step-by-step tutorial by instructor William “Bill” Dunn.

Raise some colorful flags in this watercolor building tutorial of the Fairmont Hotel! Artist William “Bill” Dunn shows how to use color to direct a person’s focus, and how to simplify a building in a way that still makes it look complex.

In this tutorial, you’ll be studying Wayne Thiebaud’s mouth-watering “Meringues” oil painting in watercolor. William “Bill” Dunn shows how to layer colors and create good value contrasts for these colorful pies.

Learn how to paint a bald eagle portrait in this feathery watercolor tutorial! Award-winning watercolorist William “Bill” Dunn shows a quick and easy way to paint this majestic bird (and any bird-like portraits).

Paint the Mission San Juan Capistrano 2 different ways in this historical watercolor painting session! Get an in-depth look into composition and value – aspects that make an interesting painting.

Capture Tokyo’s vibrant night-time cityscape in this watercolor scene, and learn how to utilize watercolor’s unique transparency to make your painting glow through the darkness.

This second painting study is of Winslow Homer’s The Sponge Diver. Award-winning artist William “Bill” Dunn traces the steps of this master watercolorist to better understand human anatomy and watercolor layering.

Capture the likeness of the human face in this beginner’s guide to a watercolor portrait! William “Bill” Dunn breaks this popular topic down to the basics through painting a picture of his son.