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Watercolor Painting

Watercolor Tips

Note that these tips are not requirements and we can work around just about anything. These are just some suggestions on how to paint with an eye towards making easier-to-sell prints.

Tip 1: Choose a paper size that scales easily to a common size

Watercolor paper comes in a wide array of sizes, not all of which are easy to frame. 

Our most popular size print, hands down, is 11" x 14". This is a size that is very easy to frame and big, but not too big.

We can work with any size original. If its too big to transport, we offer Onsite Service.

Also see our Guide to Print Sizes


Tip 3: Paint the background or have clear edges.

Large unpainted areas where the paper shows through can come out looking grey and dirty without further digital editing. The more heavily textured the paper, the more this is true.


We typically digitally cut out large areas of the original paper color, so that the new paper shows through instead, but because subjects in watercolor paintings don't always have well defined edges, this approach doesn't always work out well.

The best bet is just to paint the whole page (small detail areas of original paper showing through are fine). Second to that is to paint with clearly defined edges. 

Painting Boogie Woogie by Nikki Main

Tip 2: Keep important things away from the edges

Including keep your signature away from the edge. This is especially important if your original is not a standard size as it may allow us to crop the image slightly without losing any of your subject. As a basic rule, plan to lose at least 1/4" around your image on all sides to be safe.

Also see our Composition Tips

Painting of an oyster shell by Phyllis Beiser
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