5 Online Watercolor Classes: Best Courses & Fun Free Stuff

Fully on-demand, and with as many replays as needed, these online watercolor classes should have you itching to start! While there is a lot of good to say about in-person teaching, both in general and when the subject is painting or art, it’s hard to beat the convenience and flexibility of digital learning.

All of these watercolor tutorials and courses are to be followed online. (If you’re still deciding on supplies, check out our take on the best watercolor paints for beginners.)

Though not very relevant, where applicable, I do like to include the location of the artist/teacher. It’s just plain fun to know where someone rests their head. Putting them on the map makes their profile a bit more colorful (pun intended).

Some of the online watercolor classes in this compilation come with traceable outline drawings. Their use is optional but it’s a great way to start out if you feel a lack of drawing skills is holding you back.

Billy Showell

Billy Showell is a UK-based watercolor artist, with a passion for painting mainly everything related to the plant kingdom. Browsing her site, the term ‘fully loaded’ comes to mind!

billy showell school of botanical art

There are over 190 video tutorials are available at the time of writing. A new one is added every two weeks.

You’ll feel right at home if:

You’ll feel in your element here if you like to improve on your realistic watercolor skills, with a heavy slant toward everything floral.

It’s called the Billy Showell School of Botanical Art for good reason!

Billy Showell’s flowers are of an entirely different caliber than the ones I’m doodling over here… But not to worry, there are tutorials for all levels of comfort, from beginner to advanced.

billy showell

How it works:

Billy Shower offers subscriptions for online watercolor classes and tutorials, some free stuff to test the waters, and even gear/paints/brushes/paper, etc. in an online shop.

The latter is perhaps interesting only if you’re also based in the UK since shipping costs quickly add up for international shipping.

More information:

Check out billyshowell.com for more info on the courses and the artist.

Udemy

Udemy is a platform for lots of different courses. There are over a thousand courses related to watercolors alone. It’s not all classic painting techniques, either. You can learn how to create watercolor finishes on furniture, watercolor nail art design, how to draw and paint hair and skin tones, or how to combine gouache and watercolor paint.

You’ll feel right at home if:

You like to browse options and have choices. It’s all on the same website. Obviously, with this many online watercolor classes available, there’s a wide variety of angles to this medium to explore. Whatever it is you are looking for, you’ll probably find more than just one well-suited course.

Udemy is also a great place to browse if you’re looking to develop watercolor skills to paint in a more illustrative style, instead of highly realistic.

I’m really crushing on this little bird right now:

Watercolor Painting For Beginners By Award Winning Artist Broderick Wong

How it works:

Through a straightforward checkout process, you purchase the course. This gives you lifetime access to the material, which typically includes a series of video fragments, sometimes downloadable files, and a certificate of completion. The videos can be accessed on mobile and TV.

New users can get courses at generously discounted prices. All courses have a 30-day money-back guarantee.

More information:

Because of how many courses are offered, it may take some digging to find the perfect one(s). The fact that so many courses have positive reviews doesn’t help with the triage… But it does speak to some quality content!

Head over to Udemy.com to explore the courses.

Angela Fehr

“Become your own favorite artist.”

With Angela Fehr, you’ll learn how to use and go wild with watercolors. Her style is best described as expressive.

You’ll feel right at home if:

You want to explore the boundaries of watercolor paints, but not be held back by conventional techniques. Because if you wanted a photo-realistic end product, you’d grab a camera instead of a brush, right? This is Art, not photography.

Sounds like you…? Then get ready to get to know or further nurture your artist soul.

How it works:

In the so-called “learning portal”, you can purchase individual courses of your choice or take a subscription a.k.a. community membership for a monthly fee.

angela fehr online watercolor classes

More information:

Sign up for Angela Fehr’s newsletter to get her free guide to the art of self-critique.

What exactly is a guide to the art of self-critique, you might wonder?

“Learning how to critique your own work lets you coach yourself to better paintings without being overly dependent on outside praise, or devastated by criticism. This guide will help you examine different aspects of your work and allow you to learn from each piece in a way that will help you figure out what step to take, what experiment you want to try, or what direction you want to move next.”

And just because there are so many great statements on Angela Fehr’s website, I’d like to quote one more:

At the foundation of every painting I create is the love of watercolour. It’s a beautiful, maddening, accident-loving medium. What other medium has the ability to move and mix with such beauty, transparency, delicacy and complexity?

Angela not only has a deep love for this medium herself but also a passionate desire to share that love. If the description above isn’t spot on, I don’t know what is.

Anna Mason

“Learn to paint watercolors with wow!”

Anna Mason is a watercolor artist and online tutor specializing in nature-inspired realism, located in the UK (West Sussex). 

The term is pretty self-explanatory and her website definitely has the ‘Wow’ factor! We get flooded with images of stunning flowers, birds, insects, fruit, and even the occasional cupcake.

Anna Mason website

You’ll feel right at home if:

Your aim is to perfect your skills while painting natural scenes, and you have a soft spot for beautiful flowers.

Also not unimportant: if you value a modern, intuitive, and well-designed online environment you’ll for sure appreciate Anna Mason’s website.

How it works:

Get access to the online school for 18.99 euros a month, 89.99 for six months, or 149 for the year. Renewals come with 25% off (that’s after the first six months in the case of a monthly subscription).

Membership comes with a 7-day money-back guarantee. If within a week of joining up for these online watercolor classes you change your mind, all you need to do is (quote) “…email us and we’ll happily give you your money back in full.”

Anna Mason

More information:

The heart of the school is the library of over 80 video tutorials. Each one is complete with subtitles, reference photos, and traceable outline drawings.

Additional resources include a video library called ‘the Knowledge Base’. It covers fundamental techniques such as drawing, brush skills, color mixing, and a lot more. There are sketchbook exercises for skill-building and practicing, and there’s a library of quality reference photos for painting inspiration for your own projects.

You can share photos of your paintings with others in ‘the Community’ to receive support and feedback as you go from over 5000 other members. There are also forums for sharing struggles and accomplishments. Anna Mason’s watercolor painting school is a bustling environment!

Go to: Anna Mason Art School.

Free stuff:

Take a free class to feel it out if you’re unsure. It’s a 1-hour video tutorial, you’ll be painting a lifelike pear.

Rebecca Rhodes

Rebecca Rhodes is the name of the teacher/artist, in full these online watercolor classes are called ‘Realistic Watercolors with Rebecca Rhodes’.

Rebecca Rhodes online watercolor tutorials

You’ll feel right at home if:

Your thing (or goal) is to learn how to paint realistically using watercolors. A strong love for animals might be good, too. Goats, dogs, cats, turtles, deer… Every single course is about learning how to paint a certain animal or one of its features.

Of course, after working through the tutorials, the techniques acquired can be used on any kind of subject.

How it works:

There are two ways to go about these courses. Either you purchase an individual course, or you get a membership.

When purchasing a course, you’ll have access to it for as long as you like. You can view the course as many times as you wish, across any and all devices you own. Individual course prices range between $29 and $215. Most of them are $99.

Subscriptions can be monthly or annually. You’ll have full access to the courses until the subscription is canceled. It’s $20 monthly or $192 annually, which is a lot cheaper than full-on buying the courses.

If you are not happy with a course or membership, contact Rebecca Rhodes within the first 30 days of purchase, and you will receive a full refund.

Rebecca Rhodes

More information:

The videos each demonstrate a step in the process. They have subtitles and a voice-over by Rebecca Rhodes. Painting courses come with a downloadable materials list, a reference photograph, and outline drawing.

Go to Realistic Watercolors with Rebecca Rhodes.

Free stuff:

There are some freebies on the website: free tutorials and a free course on how to paint a dog’s eye.

Categorized as Art