The ultimate 10 Watercolor tips I wish I knew before

Hello, it’s been a while hasn’t it? If you are new to this blog, Hey! I am Hope, I illustrate and welcome to the blog! Today, I am going to share with you the ten ultimate watercolor (or watercolour 😗) tips I wish I knew before I started out. I illustrate digitally and traditional, here I use more of watercolor paints, and I have gathered some tips and hacks over time that are very helpful. Of course, I’m going to share these tips with you!

1. Get good brushes, watercolor paper and paint

It’s best to invest in good supplies –not over the top, but good tools for painting. Some brushes fray, and it will be annoying to paint with them because those stick outs have the paint and will scatter paint where you don’t want it. For watercolor paper (300gsm) is the ideal. GSM represents the thickness of the paper. If you are just starting out (150gsm, cardboard paper) can be okay. Just don’t expect to be able to do techniques like wet on wet, scratching out paint, as you might reap the paper apart 😬. Also, cheaper paint is mixed with more chalk than pigment and as the price goes higher, it is more pigment (color) mixed into it than chalk. If you are just practicing, you can use the cheaper ones. However, you will still notice how it comes out paler and chalky compared to less cheaper watercolor paints.

2. Do not rush to put your mixed paint on the paper.

Try it out on a paper towel or normal paper before you use it to see if it comes out how you pictured it. I can’t stress this enough! Do not rush to put your mixed paint on the paper.

3. The shade of your yellow and blue determines the green.

You don’t want muddy colours. It will be better to have some visuals to explain my point better. I found a video of this tip on YouTube by Makoccino that adequately explains it.

4. Know your brushes.

know your brushes The ultimate 10 Watercolor tips I wish I knew before

Brushes soak up water and others, not so much. You don’t want puddles in your paintings. Know if your brush absorbs much water so you know how frequently you should deep it in clean water and if you should dry it before making an independent stroke.

5. Your hand posture is important

Your hand positioning needs to come in mind especially when you are starting out with painting, as you practice more, it becomes part of you. The posture of your hand can determine how large or thin a stroke is and how stable your hand is.

6. You can go for larger brushes.

I use a size 7 artist brush even for the little details. It is OK to have those detailing brushes. Still, if you have only a chance to pick one brush, I’ll say go for a medium sized brush. You can make both large and small strokes with that brush by positioning your hands differently. Better too big than too small.

The ultimate 10 Watercolor tips I wish I knew before
This is a size 7 brush

7. Mix in more colour pigments.

When mixing your colours with water or with another colour, use more paint. The more your paint, the more vibrant the art comes out. You can always water the mixed paint down if you want a wash look/technique. Even better, you can leave the excess for next time and just activate the paint with water!

8. Start with the light colours

When painting with watercolors it’s best to start by painting in the lighter colours that will be in your artwork. Using the lighter colours, you are able to cut out shapes and even if you make a mistake, the darker colour will cover it up. Making a mistake with dark colours is quite hard to cover up, except you are using the wet on wet technique where the paint is still cleanable. There are some times when we start with darker colours —that’s, when we have drawn out the shape already with a pencil and we are coloring the dark background, making sure we stick to the lines.

Good news below!

9. Clean your brushes well before painting with another colour.

It’s easy to throw your brush into your cleaning water and bring it out the next second. The problem is some paint can still be in the brush and when you get another paint, it mixes with that pure color. This goes along with number 2.

10. It is okay to sketch out the art before painting.

You might be putting paint directly on paper without sketching because you think that’s how it is meant to be. I felt that way initially. Why some artists just paint on without sketching, it is okay to do a simple loose sketch so you can tell where the shapes go. Most artists do this, and their work comes out great!

For more of these tips, follow me on Instagram @hopeasfro and on Twitter @hopeasfro to see how I apply these tips and hacks! I also post my art on these platforms.

Hello, my coloring pages are HERE! Get these detailed and heartily made colouring designs for less. They are family friendly so kids can join in too. Printable so you can start colouring!

Get 10 pages of fun now click here

My art journey | I talked on my art style and its metamorphosis through out the years.

…More like the past three years.

The other day, I was going through my Instagram feed. You know, I found it again interesting and like an interesting lifestyle magazine, I was flipping (scrolling) over.

I just finished four digital paintings that together make up a series of illustrations that tell one story. In them, I experimented on lighting and a different mood I did before, and they were more realistic than my impressionist style. It was nice to do something different and finally finish up something you had been doing for weeks. However, I don’t think I enjoy spending that much time on one digital art.

Art from last year
Pot belly goons by Hopeasfro

Mood and lighting

Like I wrote earlier, I experimented on mood and lighting. Currently, there has been more of subtle tones, a laid back mood. I don’t know how to describe it but it’s not hard to see the difference. my art style woman of courage
Woman of courage by Hopeasfro. Tap the picture to see the series.

What next?

I want to do more of the editorial book style illustrations. I love those illustrations with grainy shadings and not much saturation —just like the ones in books. I’ve tweeted about it, since, that I want to go into book illustrating. I love telling stories, my artworks have a back story, so it will be good to do a couple of illustrations for authors or even my book.

Neighbours by Hopeasfro

Will I toss out other art styles? The answer is… Nope, of course not. My art style is almost similar to what I described before so I don’t think I’ll have a problem interchanging the two, incorporating simplicity and mood.

Email detox: Clear out and organise your email inbox and emails

This is the time to get your email together! Those messages in inbox you haven’t opened yet need to be checked.

Practical steps to clear out and arrange your email inbox and emails

  1. Check out those promotion emails in your inbox. Sort out ones you might be interested in. Advice, be careful about opening links with addresses you aren’t familiar with. Open the email and if it contains links to purchase sites verify first online from the business’ website. You need to make sure it is legitimate.
  2. For newsletters you didn’t subscribe to, unsubscribe to them if you are not interested. Organise your emails into promotions, updates, social or forums. This is helpful when you receive lots of emails and you want to prioritise ones and open them first.
  3. Read unread messages and star the ones that are important.

The story of this art

Lampshack got the things together; the blanket, the large woven basket, the stove. They were going to fly. He saw it for the first time, when he got to watch the television.

“What is that up there!”

“An air balloon”

“Are there people inside?”



Even though Tito’s air balloon gave way in the sky, and the fun had to end.
He was glad. Who would have thought he could fly an aircraft?

How to import psd files to autodesk sketchbook

Things like mockups or unfinished artwork come in psd format, because of the layers. With psd format, you can transfer a file with its layers still intact and that allows you work on each individual one later on.

I got some mock ups for a book cover I designed, they were on Pinterest and they looked lovely so I downloaded them. Sadly, I couldn’t use them after I finished downloading the bulk. The file wouldn’t open when I shared it to the autodesk app. I eventually deleted all but one. Recently, I found how I could share this psd file to autodesk sketchbook, with the layers still intact. It’s quite a simple way, which I did by accident lol.

Instead of clicking on the file from your device’s file organizer, and sharing it to the app directly, go to the app instead.
Open autodesk sketchbook. You are given the option to open new sketch, new from image, new from camera , scan sketch. Pick ‘new from image’ and choose the psd file you want. Make sure you know where you saved the file. Once you click on the file, it appears on your autodesk canvases, with its layers intact.

Then I just import the image of a part of the book cover to the part of the mock up I’m working on. Say, if it is front cover, I import the front cover I made, and use the adjusters at the top of the screen, to pull on edges and get the right perspective.

This is a mockup psd file I downloaded. The layers are in tact.
The adjustment tool after importing an image, can be used to put it in the right angle.

Unlike apps like canva, i can’t edit the layer itself. Perhaps the good thing here is that the background, the woman holding up the book and outline of the book can be used in representing your design. The outline can be a guide.

Peanut butter chocolate oats cookies — Food is art

I made some really delicious cookies and I want to share. Baking and working with chocolate is something I like doing.

Here’s how to make peanut butter chocolate oat cookies


1. Cocoa powder
2. All purpose flour
3. Baking soda
4. Almond milk (it gives the cookies a nice taste)
5. Peanut butter
6. 1 large egg
7. Sugar
8. Oats


1. In a large bowl, add 3 cooking spoons all purpose flour and 2½ cooking spoons of cocoa powder, 2 cooking spoons of sugar and 1 table spoon of baking soda.

2. In another bowl, whisk the egg, peanut butter and almond milk. Just enough almond milk. Your dough should be thick.. Not too thick.

3. Add the whisked egg, peanut butter and almond milk into the flour and cocoa mix.

4. Add the oats (any amount you want)

5. Mix them together with a spatula or cooking spoon and leave to set for 25 minutes. Lets all the ingredients get in there.

6. Get your oven tray and coat it with butter and place parchment paper on it. Parchment paper will prevent your cookies from sticking to the tray.

7. Scoop and arrange your cookies on the tray.

8. Preheat the oven at 250°

9. Then oven for about 10 minutes. This is if you want your cookies to be chewy.

Coat them with chocolate syrup for extra flavour.

My Art Prints store is live!

Yes it is, my store is now live. I have been planning this for a long while. I have had some enquiries about selling my art and finally it’s here! Digital download art prints are here and they are ready to find a new home Learn more about digital downloadable art prints.

Available are my art prints of my original watercolor, acrylic paintings.

Hopeasfro online art prints store

Link to my store Here

My art is specifically tailored for people looking for vivid and astounding art for their homes, living space or little corner for an affordable price.

One thing I love about the art made is their openness. I work with the principle hope and this can be easily seen. They are enthralling, distinctive and Invoke optimism.

Draw your visitors with these eye-catching prints. Shop Now!

Scarlet Macaw art print hopeasfro

A non-lockdown related post

Hi! Thanks for stopping by, if you’re new here welcome to hopeasfro, I’m Id. The blog is on lifestyle, Art and literature.

I decided to make this interesting, and this post is packed with content concerning these three themes.

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Food, thoughts and diys, check out these lifestyle-related blog posts!

Things you will likely find in my bag

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The life on Campus series…

Life on Campus

Something lovely is here!

Hopeasfro online shop is live!

If you love colourful, modern nature art, animals and flowers, this is the right place. Our prints are high quality, a mix of the minimal and vivid.

Visit Hopeasfro store

Relax and watch how art is made

Instagram TV hopeasfro painting process
Watch ‘Wish you were here’ painting process on Instagram tv

Why downloadable art prints are a thing

Downloadable art prints are a thing. If you didn’t know, I’m telling you now. It’s like having the art print of your favourite artist or a painting you felt drawn to and love. They carry the same benefits as normal posted art prints have, and even more.

Downloadable art prints which can most times be tagged printable are placed on an artist’s website or the artist’s online store and people who love their art can purchase and download the digital file format of their art.

Benefits of downloadable art prints

1. They are instant

Once you purchase the print, a message automatically pops showing you a botton to click and download. Rather than wait weeks and even months to get what you paid for, you have it with you immediately you purchase it, then you can send it to your local printer.

2. You can be flexible with it

Once you purchase this print, you have the option to print it on anything you want, so far it’s according to the artist’s terms of purchase. You can print it on any paper you want, frame it and give your corner or space a spark of art!

3. They are affordable

Art prints are affordable. Art prints are less expensive than the artist original. If you plan on just decorating your home, then art prints might be the way to go. Art prints are scanned originals of the artist.

Places to purchase art prints

1. Check out the Hopeasfro prints store!
If you love colourful, modern nature art, animals and flowers, this is the right place. Traditional watercolor and acrylic paintings. Our prints are high quality, a mix of the minimal and vivid.

2. Online store like Amazon, Ebay, paper collective, Etsy and many more.

3. An artist’s store
Most artists sell prints of their art. It’s a way for their fans or people who love their art to still have it, even when the original has been sold.

Thanks for reading.

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Finding your purpose and choosing a career

While choosing a career and degree, let’s look at things differently. Choosing based on skills is the norm but it’s more than that.

On this post, it will be on purpose and more on choosing a career for yourself. These are my opinions. I will be suggesting better ways to choose a career or degree by looking at ‘skills’ differently.

Finding your purpose according to the Christian faith is easy. It’s been stated out already what the purpose of we humans, why are we on earth? What am I here to do? It’s simply serving God and serve man (neighbour) according to the ways of God (how He would like you too).
Ecclesiastics 12:13, Jeremiah 29:11

Choosing a career through skills

Now the issue is (not really a problem anyway) how are your skills and talents going to be used to make a living. That brings us to choosing a career.
The well-known way of choosing a career these days is by your skills, what easily comes to a person. This doesn’t always include what that person will like to do. Yes, someone who is a good photographer might actually enjoy photography but another person, say, Toni, Toni is being told to study culinary arts because she’s really good at cooking and learning new cuisines. Although Toni will be really good at it and make a wonderful chef, that’s not what Toni will love doing, she wants to be involved in her community through being a social worker. However, because she loves cooking and probably isn’t too good in psychology, she’s being pushed to something she has a chance of being good at but not actually liking.

A certain YouTuber Millennium gamma addressed this on her channel and made a point which I agree on, which is, selecting a career you’ll be happy in, even though you do not have the skills at that moment. Through tutoring and staying motivated, you’ll be able to learn.

That’s good, but, what are really skills? We can look at skills in a general broad sense as like Toni’s, a culinary skill, but let’s break down what a culinary skill is and we will actually find out that Toni has the skill for being a social worker.
To be good at cooking (I know this isn’t all that culinary entails but we concentrate on Toni’s aspect of being a great cook)
1. Organization
2. Time management
3. Attention to detail
4. Patience
5. Selective and divided attention
6. Problem-solving
as well as loves to see an end product.

choosing a career through skills hopeasfro

As we can see here, these are some of the major skills a social worker possess. Toni has a chance of being a social worker and doing well at it. Now she needs to improve in numeracy, teamwork, administrating and communicating (if she isn’t good at these already).

Your choices don’t have to be based on just one broad skill. Break it down and see what you really can do.

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