Watercolour Koala

A while ago, I posted about some ways that we, regular people, could help the people and animals of Australia. One of those ways was to purchase an online class through The Watercolour Academy.  The great news is that this fundraiser was a huge success, with over $15,000. raised!! While this particular fundraiser has ended, you can check out how to continue to help – see their page HERE.  I did purchase the course, and this is my first attempt at painting the watercolour Koala.


Disclaimer – my lack of skill is not a reflection of The Watercolour Academy or their teaching! I did watch the video – about a two weeks before painting! Then, being the person I am, I just went ahead and painted with just the reference photo as my guide.

Watercolour Koala

Yeah – I need to watch the video again! Maybe more than once more, even! Ha Ha! Honestly, I could make every excuse in the book, but my biggest issue is lack of practice. The only way to get better at painting, or any other type of art, is to practice. And practice some more. And when you’re tired of practicing – practice some more!


With the course, you receive access to the video, list of tools needed, a reference photo and an outline of the koala. Use graphite paper to transfer the outline of the koala to your watercolour paper. I use Arches Cold Press 140 lb.  After tracing the koala, remove the outline and graphite paper. Tape the watercolour paper down to a board (I just use a piece of sturdy cardboard) with Purple Tape, or painter’s tape.  Now you’re ready to start painting. I use a combination of wet-on-wet and dry techniques. For the body of the koala, I first wet the area with clean water, and then add the paint. Start with a light over-all base, and then go back and add your shadowing and details.

You can use whatever your favourite paints and brushes happen to be. My favourites are Daniel Smith paints. The colours I chose are Payne’s Gray, Sodalite Genuine, Lunar Blue, White and Buff Titanium for the koala. The tree is done in Raw Umber, Indian Red and a bit of Black. For brushes, I used what I have, which is a variety; Escoda Versatil #4, Silver Black Velvet #8 and Grumbacher #3 Round.


Okay – here’s the truth! This is my painting, next to the reference photo.

Watercolour Koala


I still have 3 more animals in this course – a Platypus, a Kangaroo and a Kookaburra.  I don’t know how great I’ll ever be at watercolouring, but I really enjoy it. And to me, that’s what counts! It was enjoyable hour and a half, painting this little guy.  Before I try again,  will watch the video again, and try again (and again).  I hope that you have time to do what makes you happy, today! Thanks for spending some time with me. Let me know if you have any favourite watercolour sites or products that you love to use or visit!

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I've always liked to create things, but I'm not a great artist, or sculptor, or any type of 'traditional' artist - but I love to create! I love the satisfaction of a completed project. Whether a card, painting or other project - as long as it can create a smile, evoke a feeling, or some type of reaction in the recipient. I hope you will enjoy sharing my creations, and occasional ramblings; I'd enjoy having you create with me! :)

4 thoughts on “Watercolour Koala

      1. This is amazing, Deborah! I love your little koala! I cannot imagine doing that great a job. I cannot paint or draw. At all. I found a card I made for my older cousin when she was in grad school and I was in elementary school. I drew a dog, a cat, a horse, and a cow. Fortunately, I labeled them all, because -except for the tails – they all looked alike. And none looked like animals. *sigh* I’ll stick to rubber stamps.

        1. Oh, you’re too kind, Buffy! You’re very talented; I know you could paint if you had time to practice. That’s what we all need – someone to do all our chores, so we have more time to paint! 😉

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