Thursday, October 9, 2008

Welcome to Watercolor Painting!

Welcome to my blog! Let me introduce myself. I have been interested in art – drawing and painting - since I was in school. And, although I was not an art major in college, I never quit taking art classes and pursuing my art. I started out painting in oils, but as my life became busier, I moved into acrylics, and finally into watercolors. Although I still use oils, acrylics, and charcoal/pastels, my main concentration is in watercolor paintings.
I work a full time job in addition to teaching watercolor classes on the weekends. Therefore, watercolors are perfect medium for my busy lifestyle….and can be for yours too! Watercolor painting is a fun and relaxing way to express your creativity in a media that requires less cleanup time than other art forms, dries quickly, and can fit easily into a busy schedule. In watercolor painting, once a watercolor palette is setup, all one has to do is spray the dried paints with water to “bring them back to life.” Brush cleanup is a breeze, and the painting can be worked on for short times to fit into a busy schedule. Unlike oils and acrylics, watercolor painting can be spontaneous and enjoyed for 15 minutes and not take up an entire evening, day or weekend. But, once one gets into the watercolor painting, time flies!
What I would like to accomplish in my blog is to introduce watercolor painting to those of you who would like to get started and to assist watercolor artists who would like to learn new techniques. I plan to post one “lesson” or “tip” per week, more if time allows. Please feel free to email me with questions or comments at
For my first post I would like to help new watercolor artists get set up. The following is a list of supplies. Watercolor painting can be relatively inexpensive and one can start with basic supplies and add additional supplies as interests and finances allow.
PAINT: 1 set of TUBE watercolors (Windsor Newton is a good brand)
Find a set that contains primary colors (6-12) tubes of paint which will probably include the following colors:
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Alizarine Crimson
  • Burnt Umber
  • Sap Green
  • Sepia
  • Windsor Blue
  • Paynes Gray
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Van Dyke Brown
  • Lemon Yellow
  • White
  • #1 round brush or liner brush for details
  • 1-1/2 flat brush
  • #5, #6, or #7 round brush
  • Small pallet knife (optional)
  • Palette (large palette with individual sections for paint and room for mixing colors) Note: A large white plate or tray or Styrofoam plate can used for a palette. The palette must be white or the watercolors will reflect the colors on the palette and cannot be mixed property.
  • Water container (old jar or plastic container)
  • Masking Tape
  • Paper towels and/or Kleenex tissues
  • Spray bottle (empty)
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Drawing Pencil
  • Natural sponge
  • Old toothbrush
  • 12 inch ruler
  • Liquid masking fluid for watercolor
  • Travel size liquid soap
  • Old credit card
Paper: 140# 11 x 15 watercolor paper (one pad)
Painting board (field sketch board) or large cookie sheet. Do not get a nonstick cookie sheet.
See you next time....ready to paint!


Jim White said...

Hi Karen, I'm glad you started a blog!!! I'll add a link to it from my blog when Dad and I get back home.

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen. Mary and I are so proud of you. I am going to add a link to it from my blog. We wish you good luck. DAD & MARY

Becky said...

Hi Karen, I am so excited to find your new blog (thanks to Dad!). I am 54 years old and have always wanted to try doing some watercolor painting, and I believe your friendly guidance will help me a lot! I hope we get to see more of your work, and is there a way to enlarge it?

Becky in southern California

Brush Strokes said...

The photos included within the text of the blog can be enlarged; however, the painting on the left side of the blog cannot. I plan to include photos of my work to demonstrate techniques.

Nikki said...

Hi, I really enjoy reading your blog. I just started learning to draw and paint a few months ago and am so enjoying it, although a bit afraid of spoiling a nice pristine piece of papers still. I have read some of your earlier posts so far and you give very good tips. Thank you and I would come back often.

Nikki said...

I really enjoy reading your blog. I have just started to learn drawing and painting and find your tips really practical.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I'm a beginner with watercolor paints and love it. I just found your blog and wanted to start at the beginning. I can already tell I will learn a lot from you.