The aim of this course is to have fun and learn watercolour painting along the way and beginners and students with previous experience are both catered for. Whilst this is primarily a watercolour course, instructions on drawing and pen and ink will also be given as the need arises. Students will be given advice on equipment and on the techniques required enabling them to produced finished pictures at an early stage. Each session is worked around a particular subject with demonstrations of the methods needed. A colour picture with written instructions will be handed out each time so the student can build up a portfolio for future reference. The subject matter for each lesson will largely be guided by the student’s preferences, commensurate with the need to learn all aspects of the techniques required.
The following is not a comprehensive list but is designed to get you started.
1) A piece of plywood or MDF ¼ inch thick roughly 18” by 14” to fix your paper on.
2) Watercolour Paper 140lbs Rough or NOT. Bockingford and Langford are good but Saunders or Arches is tougher and better if you are using masking tape and masking fluid as the paper does not tear so easily.
3) 1” wide masking tape – this is useful for masking around the area you wish to paint as the paper is rarely the right size or shape. Don’t get low tack it is better to get regular tape and apply it to your jumper first to reduce the stickiness.
4) A 2B or 3B pencil to sketch in your picture and a cheap soft rubber to erase your mistakes! You will need a means of sharpening your pencil – a penknife is best but a pencil sharpener is convenient and safer!
5) Brushes – three would be useful to start with :A number 10 or 12 round; a rigger say number 4; and a 1” flat brush.
The quality you get will depend on the price you pay but types made of nylon or nylon mix are good to start with. I use a nylon 1” flat brush for big areas but for other areas I use sable (red sable in fact as they are cheaper than Kolinsky sable and seem to last longer).
6) Paints – I prefer to use tubes of paint as it is difficult to get a lot of strong colour from the pans in a paint box. It is also cheaper to buy a few tubes of paint than to buy a box with many colours, many you will rarely ever use. Winsor and Newton Cotman range are good to start with but as you proceed you will probably want to switch to the Artists range as these contain less chalk and give much more transparent washes.
The colours I currently use are as follows (all Winsor & Newton Artist’s quality):-
Light red; rose maddder; cadmium red; perylene maroon; brown madder; burnt sienna; raw sienna; cadmium yellow; aureolin; Naples yellow; raw umber; burnt umber; indigo; Winsor blue (red shade); ultramarine; cobalt blue; viridian and Payne’s grey.
7) A palette to mix your paints on. Some people use a plate but I find the colours all tend to merge to the middle and form “mud” so it is better to keep them separate.
8) Two plastic tubs (Ice cream ones are good) for your water. Glass jars are heavy and can break.
9) A kitchen roll (the cheaper the better) and a cloth (old tea towel) to mop up and wipe your brushes.
10) A box and a bag to carry it all in – cheap ones from the DIY stores are good.
I try and keep my gear to a minimum for ease of carrying around as for me lightness is essential – especially on holiday.