Getting Started in Watercolor

These short preliminary lessons will help you get your materials set up and ready to paint.  For more information about the supplies used in this class, see the Recommended Supply List.

How to Tear Watercolor Paper

You will need:

a sheet of 140 lb watercolor paper
clean flat surface
a plastic jar lid approx 3-4 inches in diameter

How to Make a Painting Support Board

Note: This support is a lightweight board only suitable for taping down small sheets of paper, not for stretching paper. If you have already learned how to stretch watercolor paper, feel free to keep using that method and whatever support you normally use. Stretching paper gives a better result, but I’ve tried to design this course so you can get away without stretching the paper. I’ve found most people just want to get started painting! (There is a video on stretching paper on my How-To Videos page.)

You will need:

a piece of corrugated cardboard at least 1″ larger in each direction than the paper you intend to paint on
roll of clear packing tape
scissors or knife for cutting tape

How to Properly Rinse (and Care For) Your Brush

You will need:

a watercolor brush
small terry towel or washcloth
water container around 1 pt to 1 qt size

How to Set Up Your Workspace

This is just one way to set up your workspace. It was designed for a class where we each had only a small amount of space, so it might help if you only have a small space in which to set up your watercolors. If you can find a small space where you can leave your supplies out and ready to go, you’ll paint more and learn faster!

(When I started out, I used a closet with a wide shelf, a stick-on light fixture and a long extension cord to create my kid-proof painting retreat.)

You will need:

supplies listed in the Required Materials list for Watercolor Jumpstart

How to Make and Apply Vibrant, Juicy Color

You will need:

supplies listed in the Required Materials list for Watercolor Jumpstart, set up and ready to paint
a 1/8th (one-eighth) sheet (7 1/2 x 11″) of watercolor paper for the project, taped to your support board