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How to teach a watercolor class for beginners

How to teach a watercolor class for beginners! Last December I led a group to San Miguel Allende, and one of the activities was a watercolor corazón workshop. I thought I’d share the experience with all of you! This is a great craft to do with a group of friends, family, or you can make these to give as gifts. They come out so stunning!


My inspiration to teach this class was the fact that San Miguel de Allende is know for sacred hearts. Located in the middle of Mexico, it’s considered the heart of the country, therefore hearts are EVERYWHERE! And they are so supremely gorgeous!


One of the many stores that sells handmade corazónes in San Miguel de Allende.

I owe a huge thanks to two companies for sponsoring this class – Marabu Creative for gifting each participant a beautiful set of Aqua Pens; and Royal Brush for gifting a high-end set of watercolor brushes!

Side note: See my post on the tutorial I did on Aqua Pens, and the interview I did with a Royal Brush specialist about caring for your brushes!​​​​​​

Special thanks to Royal Brush for sponsoring this beautiful brush set for our guests!

paint brushes

Basic of working with watercolors

watercolor set
Watercolor sets and paper and brush from Royal Brush!


Watercolors are a great medium for beginner artists. They’re super versatile. You can use them to paint all kinds of things, from landscapes to portraits. Plus, watercolors are easy to use and don’t require a lot of expensive supplies. Use them in your journal pages, mixed media, lettering and more.

When it comes to painting with watercolors, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind to share with your students in your class.

Choose the right type of paper. Watercolor paper is different from regular paper in that it’s thicker and can handle the wetness of the paint. If you use regular paper, it will likely buckle and warp.

Select  the right type of brush. A good watercolor brush will have a pointed tip and be made of natural fibers.

Mix your colors properly. When mixing colors, it’s important to start with a small amount of each color and gradually add more until you get the desired shade.

Now that you know the basics of using watercolors, let’s talk about some techniques for beginners:

Wet-on-wet painting. This simply means wetting your paper before adding any paint. This will create a softer, more blended look.

Dry-brush painting. This is where you load your brush with paint and then lightly brush it over the paper. This will

Supplies to teach a watercolor heart class

5×7 watercolor postcards

8×10 mat frames with backing and plastic sleeve (makes the end result look really nice)

Marabu Aqua Pens

Royal Brush watercolor brush set

Pencil and eraser for sketching

Masking tape


DIY Watercolor cards #craftychica #diywatercolor #watercolorpainting

I found it’s much easier to have a class sample to inspire people. That way they can see a finished piece and stay motivated. What I also did for the class was to have our group visit the different shops. I asked everyone to snap pictures of hearts they loved, so they could try to recreate them during the workshop.

First, you want to sketch out your design with a pencil – lightly.

DIY Watercolor cards #craftychica #diywatercolor #watercolorpainting

Erase any mistakes.

Fill in all the areas with your colors and then dip the brush in the water and apply in strokes to “spread the color.”

Rosalie working her magic with the pens!

You can start by outlining the areas to fill and then dipping a liner brush in water and guiding along the inside of the color, that way it won’t spread out beyond the lines (unless you want that effect!).

Even if you draw a straight line, you can keep watering your brush and guiding it along the color and it will spread across the paper.

Once you’re done, let everything dry and then use the liner pen to outline it all in black. It really gives it a nice, finished look.

TIP: If you don’t let your paint dry, it will ruin the black marker and make it run and mess up your hard work. So set aside your piece, and come back in 30 minutes. Maybe go for a walk, do the dishes, craft something else, or watch a TV show, then come back and outline!

Everyone was so creative!

I really loved teaching this class because everyone made at least two paintings and they were very happy with them! Some people did a heart and then ventured out with other subjects like margarita glasses and cacti!

Before I leave this post, I want to share some more inspiration from San Miguel de Allende! One can never have too many hearts, correct?

These were our swag bags (pre-filled), they even have the heart on them!

Here I am sketching out the sample for the class!

Check out this amazing wall of shrines, hearts and crosses. I love how they used a piece of chicken wire cut in the shape of a heart, then lined it with flowers, then filled with hearts!

Corazon jewelry was everywhere!

Wood hearts painted and embellished with milagros.

Painted metal hearts.

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