Available Now – A Free Beginner’s Guide to Watercolor Painting!

By admin in Art Tutorials > Painting Tutorials

Welcome back to EmptyEasel everyone! This Saturday we’re helping to give away a ton of FREE downloadable copies of Antonella Avogadro’s Beginner’s Guide to the World of Watercolor, available right now at Craftsy.

Use the link above to go directly and get your own copy, or keep on reading below for a look at what’s inside!


What’s in this free guide to watercolors?

Unlike some of the other eGuides we’ve linked to, this one focuses quite a bit on color theory, blending colors, types of materials to use, etc. Antonella presents everything very clearly (with a LOT of illustrations) so it’s still fairly quick read—only 27 pages, but they’re full of information!

In short, it’s a wonderful starting point for anyone interested in learning more about what kinds of watercolor paints to buy, and how to start getting comfortable using them.

Let’s see exactly what’s included, shall we?

1. Picking your watercolor paper

Instead of assuming that new painters already know the best kind of watercolor paper to buy, Antonella gives an excellent rundown of all the different types of papers available. She explains the different weights of paper and the various textures of paper, as well as what they’re good for and when to use them.


She finishes this section with a few additional tips on stretching the paper before painting, buying acid-free paper whenever possible, and what to do when you need a cheaper alternative.

2. Choosing your own color palette

In this chapter Antonella provides a complete list of colors that she always recommends for beginning painters, and recommends the Cotman watercolors from Winsor & Newton as a good starting point. (She explains why in the eGuide, so I’ll let you read that there.)

Then, using the same 17 colors from her list, Antonella demonstrates how to make a helpful “swatch” page that can act both as a reference later on, and as a simple excercise to get to know the colors you’ll be using.


Some of the benefits of making a swatch page are seeing which colors may be unnecessary for your type of paintings, and then replacing them with others (or leaving them off your palette entirely – it’s very easy for your painter’s palette to get crowded, quickly!)

3.Seeing transparency, value, temperature & intensity

In the last four sections of this eGuide, Antonella delves into some EXTREMELY valuable tips on how to see and use the colors in your palette. For the section on transparency, she demonstrates how to make—for lack of a better name—a “transparency” swatch page.


While it may seem time-consuming, this kind of hands-on experience with your paint colors will help build your confidence in knowing exactly what your paints will do. Some colors are more transparent, others more opaque, and knowing which are which in the middle of your painting is very important.

Some of that knowledge just comes with time, of course. . . but having a cheat sheet in the meantime is pretty handy too. :)

The remainder of the eGuide is filled with more learning exercises and illustrations demonstrating value, temperature, and intensity.


Antonella also includes some artwork from Craftsy’s fine art community (which is amazing, by the way) in order to explain the way that temperature affects how close or far a particular object will appear in a painting.

By contrasting warm colors against cool colors, you can intentionally push your subject matter farther away, or, if you prefer, make it POP right off the page—and that’s just one example of what you can do with it.

All in all, this eGuide is really about a lot more than just watercolors. In my opinion it’s worth a download just for all the color theory tips alone!

For those of you also interested in watercolor painting, however, it’s definitely a must-read. And since it’s free, what are you waiting for? Head on over and grab your copy today!

Editor’s Note: special thanks to Craftsy for sponsoring this post with a free download. Click this link to get the Beginner’s Guide to the World of Watercolors for free!


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