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How to Make Time for Painting
Watercolor Painting Lesson

by Jennifer Branch
YouTube Painting Video

Make everyday painting part of your life with a few simple tips.

How to Make Time for Painting Watercolor Painting Lesson

Painting Lesson Level


Skill Building

Everyday Painting

You can make painting an everyday joy in your life. Painting is something you feel passionately about. It's something you love doing, but I know you have things in your life that get in the way of just sitting down and sketching. I do too. We're all busy people.

It's time to make painting part of your everyday life, not something you save for holidays and weekends.

Painting time doesn't need to be hours long. If you just have a few minutes a day to take back for yourself, use them. Take that time and make something beautiful for just you.

It's so tempting just to crash in the evening after I've finished my work for the day. A few minutes watching tv sometimes feels like all I'm up to doing. However, if I take 15 minutes just for me, I feel rejeuvenated instead of exhausted. Painting something I see or something I saw during the day gives me renewed joy in life.

I have a busy life, like everyone else today. These are the things I do to make time for painting, even when I have no time.

1. Limit Your Equipment.

Too Many Paints

If you limit your supplies to just the essentials, you'll be able to start painting in a lot less time.

By the essentials, I mean ALL the supplies you need to paint. Don't pare your kit down to where you're not going to be happy and enjoy painting. That's ridiculous. Even if you're hiking, there's a certain amount of art supplies you need to carry with you to be comfortable painting.

2. Have a Go Paint Bag.

If everything is ready to start painting already, it only takes a minute to pour your water and start painting. If you have to find everything first, it can take a lot longer.

I repack my Go Paint bag as soon as everything is dry from the previous painting.

I usually have my car Go Paint bag with me when I go out. If we stop by a playground or lake, I can paint 15 minutes while my children play.

A ziplock bag will hold everything in your work bag so you can take advantage of your lunch break. A few minutes painting will recharge your batteries!

I always pack painting gear when I go hiking. My little kit fits easily in my backpack, with plenty of room left for a picnic and other essentials. After all, the whole point of hiking is to paint something you don't see from the car, right?

3. Bring 2 Papers.

I bring either 2 journals or a journal and a small Arches block.

Watercolor always has some drying time built in and I prefer to paint at least 3 washes. On a humid day, that can be a lot of time watching paint dry. I always bring a second paper to play with - and often my back up sketch is much better than the one I started on!

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What about when you don't have 15 minutes to paint?

4. Don't Forget Brush Exercises.

Scribble on the paper! Just play with your paint and brush.

A few quick brush exercises gives you perfect control over your brush so your painting will be not just better, but faster!

A few minutes just playing with paint, exploring how different pigments mix is well worth doing. Practicing perfect circles, seeing how big and how little that brush stroke can be and getting your dry brush to be exactly what you think should be there are all things that improve your painting dramatically.

You'll be surprised at how quickly a few "scribbles" improve your painting.

5. Pause Between Washes.

You should never spend more than 15-20 minutes on one wash. The end of a wash makes a perfect stopping point!

6. Paint Every Day.

It just takes a few minutes a day to improve your painting. The more you paint, the more fun painting is to do!

Remember, every painting shouldn't be your favorite. Most of my sketches and paintings simply don't work out. What I always strive to do is learn something new on every painting. If you learned something, even what not to do, then that painting was a great success. The only failure is in not trying.

I am so excited about the Everyday Painting series. I'll be painting lots of quick demos. These won't be finished paintings, but fast sketches I hope will inspire you to paint your own daily sketches.

Snow Tree Sketch Watercolor

Snow Tree Tutorial
This Snow Tree Sketch only takes 20 minutes!

Watercolor Flowers Sketch

Kitchen Flowers Painting Tutorial
This Flowers Sketch only takes 22 minutes!

Watercolor Orchids Sketch

Orchids Painting Tutorial
This Orchids Sketch only takes a few minutes!


Take just 15 minutes for you to paint something wonderful!

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Happy Painting! Jennifer Branch

How to Make Time for Painting painting lesson by Jennifer Branch
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