How To Manage Water: Tips For Watercolor Beginners

4 Tips for how to manage water that will improve your watercolor art

Discover tips on how to manage water by knowing where to place your materials. If you’re just starting with watercolor painting, one of the most important things to learn is how to set up your space for optimal painting. This means arranging the palette, paper, and water in a way that makes it easy for you to work. In this blog post, we will teach you how to set up your space for successful watercolor paintings!

In this tutorial we will cover the following topics;

  1. Where to place water reservoirs
  2. Use a firm board that’s angled downwards
  3. Use two water reservoirs
  4. Why do you need a towel by the reservoirs
Manage your water and palette

#1; Let’s begin with where to place water reservoirs when watercolor painting

When it comes to how to manage water it all starts with where to place your water reservoirs. Here are a few things you need to consider. You will want to place your water reservoirs on the side that favors the hand you paint with. This way, you can easily dip your brush into the water and paint without having to reach too far. If you have a large palette, you may want to place your reservoirs at the back of your workspace, near your painting supplies.

watercolor tips for managing wate

#2; Another thing to consider is having a firm board that’s angled downward

It helps to tape your paper to a board to prevent unnecessary buckling. And having a firm board as a backing will allow you to raise the top of the artwork so the washes run downwards. This keeps the water from puddling up.

#3; Use two water reservoirs

It’s generally best to use two water reservoirs when watercolor painting. This way, you can have one for clean water and one for dirty water. Having a separate reservoir for each will help keep your colors clean and prevent them from getting muddy.

#4; It’s also helpful to have a towel by your water reservoirs

This way, you can easily dry off your brush before dipping it into the clean water. I can’t tell you how much this has helped me gain control of my palette, color and washes. Use a few small rags, roll them up and clean them when needed. Thanks me later 🙂


Now that you know how to set up your watercolor space for optimal painting, put these tips into practice and see how they help you with your paintings! Thanks for reading and happy painting!

Be sure to check out the Watercolor Fanatic youtube channel for more great tips.