Nelson Mandela Watercolor Hand Lettering Tutorial

Watercolor hand lettered quote

A watercolor hand lettering tutorial celebrating Nelson Mandela International Day!

Hi everyone, Mou Saha here with a tutorial to create a quote art using Watercolors in Pans to celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day on July 18th. According to, “Every year on July 18th, Nelson Mandela International Day pays tribute to this anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and activist. The day also encourages people to do their part to make the world a better place.”

I have compiled the materials list for you.


Goldfaber Aqua Watercolor Pencil - #273 Warm Grey IV - #114695

Kneadable Art Eraser - Grey - #127220

Watercolors in Pans 48ct - #FC169748

Watercolor paper


 Hand lettering with a Goldfaber Aqua pencil

With the Goldfaber Aqua Watercolor Pencil - #273 Warm Grey IV and a ruler, mark some lines to place the words. Make a quick and light simple sketch of the quote to have an outline for the watercolor hand lettering. Using a watercolor pencil will ensure that the pencil lines will dissolve neatly when you use watercolors. You can also use the eraser for any leftover pencil marks.

Watercolor hand lettering and a Watercolor Pan

Fill your water brush from the Pan Watercolors set with water.

For this quote, I am staying with the cool colors of blues and purples. According to color psychology, blues convey stable tranquil power and purples stand for wisdom, bravery and spirituality – all of these were qualities embodied by Nelson Mandela. While you can use any color scheme, I feel that these specific colors capture the vibration of these words and their author most powerfully.

Take your time to hand letter the first three words of the quote, with one word on each line.

Watercolor hand lettering and a watercolor pan

One of the most important words in this quote is ‘impossible’. To give it emphasis, I hand lettered it in all caps.

Hand lettering and a watercolor pan

Finish hand lettering the quote staying with the blue color palette.

The other and even more important word is ‘done’. I wrote it in caps and underlined it twice.

Be sure to add the by-line.

Watercolor hand lettering

Add some starry shapes in purples to add a painterly touch while filling up the space around the words to finish.

I hope you enjoyed today’s Pan Watercolors hand lettering tutorial and do something uplifting on this day!

Artist Biography - Mou Saha - Mou Saha Studio


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