International Watercolor Day

What day is it?

November 23 is a significant date for watercolor artists around the world. After all, on this day, the International Watercolor Day, started by the famous Mexican artist Alfredo Guati Rojo, is celebrated. We can say that this artist devoted his whole life to painting in the watercolor technique and its popularization in the world.

How did the idea to celebrate International Watercolor Day come about?

The name Aquarelle comes from the French language and means “watery”. It is difficult to find a person who has not painted with watercolor paints in his life. They are easily diluted in water, lie gently on paper, and allow you to create a variety of shades and clear graphic lines.

That is why working with this paint is taught from the 1st grade of secondary school. But despite their accessibility and ease of use, watercolor paints have long won their place in the field of fine arts.


From emergence to recognition

Watercolor first appeared in China in the 2nd century AD, as soon as paper was invented. In Europe, they started painting with these colors a little later, when paper had already become widely used. The first watercolor paintings in European countries date back to the 12th century.

Watercolor paints became a favorite of Albrecht Dürer, an outstanding artist of the Renaissance period. From under his brush came real masterpieces, executed using the technique of “water” painting. Many watercolor compositions, landscapes and sketches belong to his authorship

Dürer was supported by other artists in his love for watercolors, but for several centuries in a row, paint was not properly appreciated in the world of fine arts.

The year 1804 marked the establishment of the first Society of Watercolorists in Great Britain. It was headed by A. Benoit, a French and Russian artist, painter, art critic and art critic. Many exhibitions of watercolor works were held under the auspices of the society. After that, the technique of watercolor painting began to gradually establish itself in the world of fine arts as an independent type of painting.


Establishment of International Watercolor Day

The first mentions of a separate holiday dedicated to this type of fine art appeared in 1991. The initiator of the International Watercolor Day was the famous Mexican watercolor artist Alfredo Guati Rojo. Extremely talented and devoted to this painting technique, the artist devoted his life to spreading watercolors. First, he founded and headed the Society of Watercolor Artists in his country, and then began to introduce the idea of ​​creating similar societies in other countries of the world.

For a long time, aquarelle was considered a technique of graphic rather than fine art. Many artists of that time put this paint one step below oil paint. However, Alfredo advocated watercolor painting and put it on the same level as other painting techniques.

Over time, the artist created a whole museum dedicated to painting with this technique, and his efforts to create the International Watercolor Day were crowned with success. This holiday was celebrated for the first time on November 23, 2001. Since then, on this day, artists around the world pay tribute to the Aquarelle painting technique and hold exhibitions of watercolor works.

World famous contemporary watercolor artists

Valentina Verlato – the Italian artist is excellent at painting with watercolors. Her compositions are full of many colors and unique emotions. She loves to draw various flowers, fluffy tree crowns, bright landscapes, cafe tables with visitors. Valentina’s creations perfectly convey not only colors, but also the mood of goodness and warmth.


Joseph Zbukvych – Australian artist from Croatia. Well known to the international community of artists as a talented watercolorist.

Steve Hanks – small children and beautiful women come to life in his works. His paintings are imbued with sensuality, sometimes overtly sexual and photo-realistic.

Mary White – the artist of watercolor portraits. African-American women against the background of blooming meadows look especially beautiful.

Thierry Duval – developed his own technique of painting with watercolors, according to which the paint is applied in several layers. He is meticulous about details, brings every accent of his work to perfection.


Praful Sawant – a world-famous Indian artist, laureate of numerous international awards. The red thread in his works is his native India – its bright sun, full of hustle and bustle of the city, colorful streets of Delhi. Savant’s paintings are so sincere, sensitive and warm that you fall in love with yourself at first sight.

International watercolor day in history

  • II century
    not.
    Watercolor appeared for the first time in China.
  • XII century
    The first watercolor paintings in European countries date back to the 12th century.
  • 1804
    The first Society of Watercolorists in Great Britain was established.
  • 1991
    Alfredo Guati Rojo, a famous Mexican watercolor artist, proposed the creation of International Watercolor Day.
  • 2001
    November 23
    The International Watercolor Day was celebrated for the first time on November 23, 2001.

Frequent Questions and answers on International Watercolor Day

Who should be congratulated on International Watercolor Day?

On this day, artists who work with watercolor paint, as well as all fans of watercolor, are congratulated.

What to give for watercolor day?

The choice of gifts that can be presented to a friend, colleague or family member who draws or is fond of watercolor techniques is quite wide. If the culprit of the holiday is a novice artist, he will definitely need such items as brushes, paints (necessarily watercolors). You can make a wonderful gift to a loved one – buy an easel table.

What to present to an artist who already has everything?

Gifts do not necessarily have to be related to professional activity. The choice of a present can be based on the artist’s personal qualities. It can be a certificate for active entertainment, an invitation to a cafe, a delicious gift in the form of sweets, and so on.

What if a person is only interested in the watercolor technique?

What to give her? It’s very simple, you can choose a good picture made with watercolor paint or an invitation to an exhibition of famous watercolor artists.

🎁 Gifts on International Watercolor Day

An easel is a tripod with a palette holder An easel is a tripod with a palette holder
Watercolor paper 50 sheets A4 spiral drawing album Art Planet Album for drawing. A4 watercolor paper
Set of Royal Talens Van Gogh watercolors 12 A set of watercolor paints
A set of Marco Renoir Fine Art watercolor pencils of 48 colors with a brush, in a metal pencil case A set of watercolor pencils with a brush, in a metal case
Da Vinci Fit for Hobby & School brush set Set of brushes + pencil case
Gift ideas for International Watercolor Day

How to celebrate International Watercolor Day?

On this day, exhibitions of famous watercolor artists and novice artists who are fond of this technique are held all over the world. Thus, the technique gains even more popularity. However, today is not only a holiday of artists, it is a family day that you can devote to the cultural development of yourself and your relatives: visit a museum, exhibition, art gallery, etc.

This holiday can be very interesting for children. After all, who else but they are the first to experience the basics of watercolor painting, since it is the safest and most affordable paint that children learn to paint with as soon as they cross the threshold of their native school. In shopping and entertainment centers, promotions on watercolor painting for children are held. Schools and child development institutions can start a competition for the title of the best watercolor artist in a certain category.

When will we celebrate International Watercolor Day?

Year Date Weekday
2020 November 23 Monday
2021 November 23 Tuesday
2022 November 23 Wednesday
2023 November 23 Thursday
2024 November 23 Saturday

International Watercolor Day

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