• Alicia Kidd

Watercolor Books & Courses

Updated: Jun 27, 2020

Where did you learn to use watercolors? I have gotten asked that question a couple of times, and here is my answer. I used gouache during art school, I thought it was better than watercolors and my only experience with paints was acrylic. So, I never actually used watercolors until 2016. And I fell in love.

My favorite brand so far is Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolors but that can change. I find that my technique and pigments can improve. It's good to experiment with different paper, ink, materials & watercolors.

When I first got into it, I learned by experimenting for a couple of months. I signed up for workshops in SkillShare, and completed two so far. I also took a course called Sketching Now Watercolor taught by Liz Steel an amazing urban sketcher and teacher. Recently, I took another of her courses called Sketching on Location. Currently, I'm reviewing both courses by Liz Steel, to improve my skills and my kit. But her style, isn't the style I want to have or emulate, I just want to learn how she tackles a scene and gets it on paper. Her way of thinking, working and her consistency -sketching everyday keeps me motivated and inspired.

Books I recommend reading on Watercolor technique or Urban Sketching:

The Urban Sketching Handbook:

Working with Color by Shari Blaukopf

The Urban Sketching Handbook:

Understanding Perspective by Stephanie Bower

The Urban Sketching Handbook:

101 Sketching Tips by Stephanie Bower

(Reading Now)

The Urban Sketching Handbook:

People and Motion by Gabriel Campanario

The Urban Sketching Handbook:

Reportage and Documentary Drawing by Veronica Lawlor

The Urban Sketching Art Pack:

A Guide and Sketch Pad for Drawing on Location Around the World by Stephanie Bower, Gabriel Campanario & Veronica Lawlor

5-Minute Sketching Architecture, Super-Quick Techniques for Amazing Drawings by Liz Steel

The Urban Sketcher, Techniques for seeing ad drawing on location by Marc Taro Holmes

Sketch Now Think Later by Mike Yoshiaki Daikubara


France Belleville-Van Stone

Draw your Day

by Samantha Dion Baker

The last three books are not in the picture because I purchased the kindle version. As you can see, I am a big fan of the Urban Sketchers Series, they are great fast reads with loads of tips and information.

In terms of courses and workshops, I suggest Liz Steel's courses. All of them.

These are the main courses available year around. And I suggest enrolling on the Watercolor and the Watercolor on Location when it's available. Join her mailing list for updates on those specific courses. They are well worth the investment. In fact, I would dare say they are worth so much more. The amount of information and dedication from Liz is impressive. She also updates them, adding hours of even more things to learn. Once you purchase a course you have unlimited access to it at all times. I mean, just reading through her blog, is a huge resource. I suggest to read her blog everyday and subscribe for updates and recent posts.

Try these too:




There are 2188 results for watercolor, as of November 14th 2019. when I am writing this.

Skillshare's membership is also well worth it. There are so many courses and workshops to join!

Let me know if you know of any books, courses or workshops that I should take a look at. I'm always down for learning!

Good luck with your watercolor adventure!

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