a watercolor of a small, single story, white clapboard house, with black shutters and an american flag hanging on the front, and a red car parked in the driveway in front of a single car garage with a small wreath on the door

How to Paint a Portrait of a House in Watercolor Tutorial

I’ve listened to your requests for a full-length, real time video tutorial in watercolor. I’m glad to post that I published how to paint a portrait of a house in watercolor on my youtube channel here.

It’s a bit over 40 minutes, and I’ve narrated the process from start to finish.

I hope it’s helpful to those of you who emailed to say how much you hate speed-painting demo videos. ??‍♀️

painting a house portrait in watercolor
Here is a step by step video tutorial to show you how to paint a portrait of a house in watercolor

Online Watercolor Tutorials

If you are brand new to watercolors, this house portrait in watercolors project might be ambitious. My narration assumes you already have an assortment of brushes and you’re familiar with your palette, color mixing and pigment to water ratios.

Even if you’re a novice, you can still watch the tutorial and follow along. I dearly hope you’ll harvest some tips from watching the painting process. If you’re just starting out, here is a playlist of other watercolor tutorials on my channel.

The Forgotten Benefits of Drawing

We hear all the time that drawing is the foundation of all good painting. We think of the drawing underneath watercolor as a scaffolding, or the bones of the painting body. In a way, the structure of a good drawing under watercolor allows us to be more fluid and loose with our brushes, because of that map we can follow of graphite or watercolor pencil lines between the paper and the pigments. And on the subject of drawing, did you see this great article from the Scientific American blog about the forgotten benefits of drawing?

Over a century ago, the ability to draw was a necessity. No cameras, printers, copiers, or online images – if you wanted to convey information visually, you had to do it yourself.

Drawing lessons were standard in school curricula. Teachers had to pass tests in essential subjects like arithmetic, history, and… drawing. College students studying biology were required to take a daily drawing class their freshman year. Why? To “learn to observe”. (read the rest of this thought-provoking article here.)

a square glass container with rinse water on an artist's table and a paint brush resting across it's top
Beginning Watercolor is a delight. Stay with it. And keep your inner critic locked in a cupboard.

On Being a Beginner Artist

Wherever your drawing adventures take you, I hope you’re feeling some progress in your sketching, and advances in your watercolor painting. This lovely exploit of making art is a great meditation inside a fast-paced world.

If you find yourself frustrated that your skills aren’t moving as quickly as you’d like, take a deep breath, and steer your mental ship towards curiosity over criticism. It’s best to stay curious when we’re learning. Criticism is a flame-douser on creative skill building.

It’s okay to be a beginner, even though it’s uncomfortable to be not-so-good at something. Grownups are supposed to know things, so it’s been a long time since we were figuring new stuff out, right? Keep at it, and notice the little advancements.

Thanks for stopping by today, and I’ll see you in the next post!


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Art Quote

Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your objective. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
how to spend more time making art
Get this free online course for six tips to paint more often here.

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8 thoughts on “How to Paint a Portrait of a House in Watercolor”

  1. Hi Belinda, It was interesting to see a long version versus the short ones. I found it helpful to watch you mix colors and talk about the pigments you choose for different stages of the painting. Color lifting was helpful to watch. Also, your choices about when to leave the paint alone versus retouching. Thanks!

  2. Just in case some viewers are not aware of this YouTube feature: if you click on the black frame around the video, the bottom part, you will see a little cogwheel. Click on this and it will bring up a little box where you will see “speed”. Click on it and you can select to slow down the video to either half (.5) or quarter (.25) time. Very useful to view sped up demos. This setting will revert back to “normal” when you exit the video.
    This was a super demo. Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Gayle, Thanks so much for taking the time to lay out the instructions. I’m working on a video tutorial that goes over all the options for operating youtube – especially for watching art demos and tutorials, and this function is definitely included. Thanks for adding the details here! And thanks for the compliments!

  3. I really enjoyed your full-length video–East Coast Cottage. You impart a wealth of knowledge this way that you, the instructor aren’t even aware of. Thank you so much.

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