Basic Watercolor Skills for Beginners

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Effective January 1: Masks are Optional in VisArts’ Classrooms and Studios

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The goal of these series is not necessarily to represent a scene or a still life realistically, as a photo-realism. What the goal is: to practice handling gradations of tones (blending on the paper), mixing colors off the paper, shadows, proper use of brushes; drybrush technique, wet-on-wet techniques, and laying on a wash. To create a pleasing harmony of colors in abstract shapes at first, and then depicting a simple landscape and a plant.


  • Blue “painter’s tape”
  • 140 lb. watercolor paper – Three 9” x 12” sheets, Two 11” X 14” (approximately) for Part 1 as well as Part 2.
  • Watercolor pans or tubes  (
  • 3 watercolor brushes: Two pointed, small and medium (sizes 6 and 8), one flat (for washes) size 12 recommended. Your painting will only be as successful as the tools you use, so I recommend the “Princeton Velvet Touch” or “Wonder White” from Blick Art (“Scholastic” series is fine), or any fine quality watercolor brush sold at Plaza Art Materials. Watercolor brush bristles are soft; acrylic brushes are bristly.
  • A plastic palette or re-use old yogurt cups for mixing
  • Paper towels, Q tips.


Instruction will be provided through the Zoom platform. Students will need to have a webcam and the ability to download zoom on their computer, phone, or tablet. Once you register for the class, you will be sent an e-mail with the Zoom URL to log in to the class. Please provide a correct and viable e-mail address when registering as this is how you receive your link.

Please use the Notes section on the registration form to list any accommodations you will need during the class.


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