Watercolor Painting Techniques for Paint and Sip

Sharing is caring!

When most people think of paint and sip parties, they figure they will be working on acrylic paintings. But, there are other techniques that I teach at sip parties, including watercolor.

Watercolor tends to be a lot easier for some beginners than using acrylic paints. It is also easier to clean up afterward.

When it comes to watercolor painting, there are many techniques that you can use. I don’t teach all of these techniques in a single evening, because that would be virtually impossible.

But, I do like to teach several watercolor techniques to my students at sip classes. Keep reading to learn more about what you can expect to learn at a watercolor paint party.

Most Common Painting Techniques with Watercolor for Beginners

As I already mentioned, you can’t learn every watercolor painting technique in just one class. But, there are many techniques that you can learn easily.

In just a couple of hours, you can create your watercolor masterpiece using the following painting tips that I like to teach.

Wet on Dry

The first technique I want to talk about is wet on dry. This is a great way to get the finer details into a watercolor painting.

The watercolor paper will be dry, which means that the paint isn’t going to spread. It will only move in the direction you want it to move in. 

Keep in mind that the results will be different depending on whether you are using hot press or cold press paper. Also, the more the paint is diluted, the fainter the color will be.

For this technique, you will need to wet the brush with clean water, then dip it into the paint. Apply an outline for the shape, and then use smooth strokes to fill it in. Once it is dry, you can keep going over and over it with more paint until you achieve the shade you want.

Wet on Wet

Another technique I like to teach at sip and paint parties is wet on wet. This involves wetting both the brush and the canvas.

Use a large, flat brush to paint water onto the canvas. Then, just as you would with the wet on dry technique, wet the brush and pick up some paint.

When you apply the paint to the paper, it will spread or bloom. This is going to give you some really unique shapes. I love using this technique to create backgrounds for my own watercolor paintings.

You can also make lines with this technique. Your lines will have blurry or fuzzy edges, which can look cool on some paintings.

Check these easy watercolor paintings you can try.

Flat Wash

I always teach the flat wash technique to my sip and paint students. It is necessary to know in order to be able to master layering colors.

In order to get a smooth application, I recommend using dry paper. Then, mix the paint and water with a 50/50 ratio.

Dip the brush into the watercolor paint, and apply a stroke with a fluid motion. You will notice that there is a bead of color at the bottom. This is okay. Simply do another stroke, touching that edge to spread out that extra color.

Repeat this process until the color is evenly spread all over the watercolor paper. There will also be a bead of color at the end of the process. To remove it, soak up the excess paint with a dry brush.

Graded Wash

If you like the hombre look, you will love the graded wash technique. My students always have fun when learning how to do this.

The paint should be thick for a graded wash, and the paper should be dry. Load up the brush with the paint, and then drag it across the paper.

Dip the brush in water, and apply another stroke that touches the first stroke. Continue doing this until the entire area is covered. You will see that the color gets paler and paler with every paint stroke.

Just as with the flat wash, you will need to use a dry brush to remove excess color when you are finished.

Color Blending

Color blending is a lot like the graded wash technique, and it is a technique that I teach at all beginner paint and sip classes. I love this technique for painting sunsets.

Rather than using the same shade like you would for a graded wash, you will be working with different colors. Start simple with two colors.

Starting at the top of the painting, paint a stroke of the first color, moving down slowly, adding more water as you go. Then, do the same thing with the next color, working from the bottom up.

As long as the surface is wet, the colors will blend quite nicely. You can control the blending by adding clean water.

Fixing Mistakes

Finally, I want to talk about fixing mistakes. This can be done with both wet and dry paint, and it is pretty easy for beginners to learn. When I teach at paint and wine parties, I always show my students how to do this technique.

If the watercolor is still wet, dry the brush on a cloth and touch the areas where you want to remove the color. The bristles will soak up the color and lift it right up.

If the watercolor is dry, you will need to apply clean water to the area. Wait for a couple of seconds, and then use a dry brush or a tissue to lift the color.


Paint and sip parties are loads of fun, and quite educational. I enjoy watercolor sip parties, just because it is so much fun to work with.

I always tell my students to think about the process rather than trying to make their paintings perfect. In fact, watercolor paintings often look a bit messy, and I love that look.

If you are planning a paint and sip night, consider using watercolors instead of acrylics. You won’t be disappointed!

See more:

*image by Cavan/depositphotos