How Big Should My Picture Be? | "Learn to Watercolor" Lesson
from the Learn to Watercolor Index
If you are just getting started with watercolor painting, it's best to start small. Here are a few reasons why we think so:
1) If you took our recommendation to purchase a medium-sized brush, working at this scale will make your painting look best.
2) If your paintings are small you can fit more on the page. You get more practice per page and you save paper.
3) The spontaneous brush strokes that make watercolor paintings appear so lively happen more often when working on a small scale.
The cute little fairy that you see on the right side of this page was painted just a little bit bigger than you see her here. The watercolor washes that fill her dress and wings, and make watercolor artwork magical, couldn't have been painted as well on a large scale.
Working at this small scale also allowed the areas to be easily filled with paint before the paint dried. Watercolor paint dries fast. If you wait too long before your next stroke of paint you wind up with brush marks and/or backwashes (an effect caused when water is introduced to a drying area, causing an unwanted feathered edge.)
Paint small. Be spontaneous. You'll be great!