Watercolor Painting Class Checklist: Session 1

  1. Portfolio Slideshow
  2. Artist/Style Examples
  3. personal paint, palette, paper, brushes
  4. extra paper, palettes, brushes
  5. watercolour books & magazines
  6. whiteboard or chalkboard
Tonight I'll be teaching session #1 of my Beginning Watercolour Painting class and so this afternoon I'm putting together the materials I'll be bringing, as well as refining my lesson plan.
I like to start with an introduction, of course, sharing my watercolor history, a bit of my portfolio, and why I love watercolour painting.
Demonstration of salt on wet watercolor wash.
Item #2 on this list is something I believe is important. Not everyone in the class will want to copy my style or be drawn to the florals and landscapes that are my favourite subject matter, and many will be timid about picking up a brush for the first time. So by showing images of watercolour paintings done in a variety of styles and with varying complexity, I hope to encourage them to relax and have fun with the medium - to explore the possibilities and enjoy the process - and to allow themselves room to discover their own visual voice.
No one will be going home with a completed painting on the first night. I like to start with a "cheat sheet," demonstrating a variety of techniques used in watercolour, like glazing, dry brush, wet in wet, hard and soft edges, spatter, even bloom (or backruns). This also gives the students a chance to try out the individual colours in their palettes without any pressure to get hue and value correct. We will also go over value and colour mixing - really just a quick overview of watercolour basic techniques before we start a step-by-step painting next week.
I'm excited about the class. I'm hoping my nine students will catch my enthusiasm for watercolour painting and really enjoy "going with the flow" and enjoying the fluid transparencies of this lovely medium.