Instructor demonstrating watercolour technique

Introduction to Watercolour

This course introduces the basic skills and concepts of watercolour painting. We will cover the application of washes, the building of a composition from back to front and general to specific, traditional wet on dry or wet-into-wet approaches, brush handling and color mixing, color temperature and layering. Subject matter to include landscape, botanical, still life, portraiture, and abstract compositions. 

This course is suitable for all skill levels. Meet in the Dr. Anne Tanenbaum Gallery School.

Terms and Conditions of Participation 

Please review the Terms and Conditions prior to the start of class. 

Participants must be 18 or older. 


Week 1: Technique building. Flat wash, graduated wet blend, layering washes, wet on dry, splatter, masking fluid use, scratching into the surface, wax resist, dry brushing, colour bleeding, stippling, wet on wet, and more. Still life painting: you will need to set up a light source and have some folded paper and fruit.

Week 2 & 3: Botanical painting. Botanical elements: petal; leaf; stem, etc. Contour and composition. Wet into wet and glazing. 

Week 4 & 5: Elements of landscape. Skies and clouds, trees, painting water and shorelines, recession into depth. Looking at tonal value and murky colours. 

Week 6 & 7: Abstract Painting. Masking fluid, torn paper and wax, saran wrap and other textural techniques to develop layers and depth.

Week 8: Positive and negative. Reading depth and painting layers.

Week 9 & 10: Portraiture. Studying the features of the face, including geometry and proportional relationships, skin tones, hair, and clothing.



It is important to buy artist or professional quality paint, i.e.: Winsor Newton, Da Vinci, Holbein or Turner. 

Option 1: This field kit Winsor Newton/Cotman.    

A student grade option you can consider is Staedler’s.


Option 2: A bigger investment but worthwhile for the keen watercolourist is to create your own palette. Small tubes (5-15ml) of the following colors, which you can load the palette with: Da Vinci, Turner, Windsor Newton, Daniel Smith are all great brands.

  • Cobalt Blue
  • Ultramarine Blue 
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Prussian Blue
  • Hansa Yellow or Aureolin Yellow
  • Quinacridone Gold
  • Permanent Rose
  • Winsor Red or Turner Red or da Vinci Red or Cadmium Scarlet equivalent
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Burnt Sienna
  • A white ‘wells’ hinged palette *if buying individual tubes. 


  • 2H ideally or HB
  • pink pearl eraser or vinyl eraser
  • wax crayon or candle


This set: 6 piece synthetic gold taklon 


  • 1” flat taklon
  • 1/2”flat taklon
  • Round tip watercolour, sizes: 2, 4, 8, 10 taklon

Paper, Medium, Tape, Surface & other:

  • Pebeo drawing gum masking fluid, 45ml
  • 2 sheets of 22 X 30 inches Arches 140 lb. cold press
  • Masking tape 1 inch low tack (sometimes green or blue in color) 
  • small sketchbook for taking notes and making thumbnails

These are the recommended materials for this course. All sizes are approximate. On your first day of class, your instructor may recommend additional optional materials. Our Instructors will do their best to accommodate alternative materials whenever possible. 

Some suggested retailers for purchasing your art materials:

Aboveground Art Supplies (discount code: AGOSTUDENT10), Curry’s, DeSerres, Gwartzman’s, Michaels, or any other art supply or discount craft store.



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