Free Art For All - Basics of Watercolor - Primary Colors

A simple wash with Hansa Yellow Medium and Perylene Red with a little salt

A learning exercise.  Do all of the colors like this.

Click here for the free art tutorial 

You have gotten your watercolor paper, click here for the link, and watercolor brushes, click here for the link, and now you are ready to jump into colors.  Today we are working on Primary Colors (red, yellow and blue).  I have chosen a primary set by Daniel Smith Watercolor.  They have a pre-packaged group of the paint at a special price.  It is cheaper to actually buy the set of colors as opposed to each color individually.  There is also another set of colors that has the primary and secondary colors.  The advantage to buying colors in these sets is that all of these colors work together and you don’t have to worry that they will clash and in set form they are cheaper than individual colors.  


  1. Canson watercolor paper
  2. Water
  3. Daniel Smith Ultra marine blue
  4. Daniel Smith Hans yellow medium
  5. Daniel Smith Perylene red
  6. Size 10 watercolor brush
  7. Salt
  8. Watercolor tray

I know that many of you think of the color wheel when putting primary colors together.  Today we are playing with our paints without pressure.  Therefore, we will not try to put the colors in a circular formation.  The goal here is to play with these 3 colors and discover what makes them the same and different.  There are some key words mentioned in the video: transparent, opaque, staining, lightfast, granulating, lifting and wash.  We are learning while we play with the watercolor and discover the different characteristics of the colors.  I demonstrate different ways we can learn,  different ways to mix the colors and different ways to let the colors work together.  A fun book to read is “Paint Yourself Positive” by Jean Haines.  She is a watercolor expert and her love of watercolor encourages you to let your chosen colors sing.  My goal is to take the pressure off of your learning a new hobby.  I want you to love to play with water and color.  Be a child and enjoy the wonder of color.