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1 & 3 - Thank you very much! But I’m still pretty new to watercolors, so I don’t have too many general tips or advice to give.  Since I did take a class in it, I don’t have any book recommendations or much advice on self-teaching it. I’d recommend finding a book that talked about general basic techniques, and then doing several photo studies, portrait studies, maybe some plein airs. We did about 2 studies a week in my class, one for homework and one during class time. I’ve posted almost all the assignments I did in my watercolor class, if you need examples.

My process on the last pieces I posted was to thumbnail a few compositions until I found one that I was happy with, then do a few small color and value studies on scrap paper, then draw out the lines for the composition in a light blue pencil. Then finally I start the final painting, making sure to try to do each area as much in one go as possible, to keep the vibrancy of the colors. And then a little digital editing if I lost some of the smaller details and whatnot. 

I’d also recommend getting good materials, even if you’re just starting out! Good brushes and paper make a big difference, for me at least. For my class, we had to buy a watercolor block for our final paintings, and two varying sizes of paper for our studies.

(Photo of my watercolor materials, & more answers below cut!)

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2 & 5 - Please look at this post of all the tutorials I recommend! I got a lot of my art fundamentals from those when I was starting out.

4 - Sure, go ahead! (:

6 - Sorry for the slow reply to this one - if you need a quicker response, please send me asks off-anon. Thank you. And, well, I have very mixed opinions about the program! It averages out to, I think it’s pretty good. (Otherwise I wouldn’t be here!) I’m very critical of how my education is going, and I disagree or personally don’t do super well with a lot of things that MICA’s illustration department does. But unexpectedly it’s made me think about a lot of important things, mostly broadening my ideas of what I want to do with my art, that I’m not sure if I would’ve considered if I’d stuck entirely to self-teaching/online communities for my education. I haven’t been to any other college art program so it’s difficult to compare, but for me one of MICA’s best aspects has been the supportive community, and from what I hear it’s a bit better than that at RISD or Pratt. If anyone has specific questions, (for someone who’s only been attending MICA for 2 years, by the way) I’d be happy to answer them!