I do not have a formal art education . . . no BFA, no MFA, just a BS. My college education consisted of science, math, drafting and design, and more math. I learned to design and draw mechanical systems. I have a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Design Technolgy.
So how did I get to be an artist? My first love has always been art. After working as a technical illustrator for several years, I decided to start my own graphic design business so that I could be more creative. I bought a computer and taught myself how to design brochures, newsletters, and advertisement. After 6 years I grew bored with that also and wanted even more creative freedom.
For the past six years, I've been teaching myself the art of watercolor painting. I truly believe that one does not need to have a college degree to make wonderful, meaningful art. Since I've been homeschooling my children, I've learned that anyone can learn anything on their own.
I've read many, many books on watercolor painting and have learned so much that I would like to pass along. The first book that I used in my "art education" was "The Watercolorist's Essential Notebook" by Gordon MacKenzie. This is a great book for beginners to learn the basics of watercolor painting. He talks about different brushes, paints, paper and palettes to get you started. Then he moves into painting techniques and composition. His directions are every clear and concise. He teaches several techniques at once with step-by-step projects that are easy to follow.