Watercolor Works! – Online Painting Class

Great For Beginners or Anyone Struggling With Watercolor

Tuesdays, February 9 – March 2, 2021 – 6  to 8 pm Eastern Time

Fee $225

This online class is for anyone who wants to learn watercolor  or improve their watercolor painting.  There are pre-class assignments and online group work. 

You will learn the important basics and create a solid foundation of watercolor painting skills.

My Online Classes are hosted on WATERCOLOR METHODS – my online watercolor painting video lesson site. Clicking Register Here Button will transfer you to WATERCOLOR METHODS to complete registration.

The Watercolor Painting Class To Get You Started

 Watercolor is a beautiful but tricky medium! Its unique beauty is an expression of the combination of water and the paint which is meant to ‘flow’ and be transparent when dry.  Getting the best from watercolor means learning to handle this dynamic. Learn that and some important basics of color and composition.

Class Info

Each class includes some pre-class work that is submitted for instructor critique, the in-class work and access to a recording of each class.

Class Overview

Week 1 – BasicTechniques – This class focuses on three important basic techniques. Getting a handle on these makes everything else much easier! Pre-class work includes practice exercises for each technique. In class, we’ll work through a painting project, using the basic techniques. We’ll use these same three techniques every week.

Week 2 – Color Learning about Color is an overwhelming task. This class eases us into two important concepts about color and the benefits of working with a limited palette. Pre-class assignments will have you practice some color mixing and paint a couple small landscape scenes.  During online class, we’ll look at color mixing and landscape painting exercises.

Week 3 – Basic Composition – In this class we learn a couple easy composition “rules” that will strengthen your paintings from right from the start. Pre-class work introduces the simple rules and a couple exercises to re-inforce the principles. In class, we’ll review pre-class assignments and paint a well-composed landscape scene.

Week 4 – Making it work – The first three classes focused on the important basics of watercolor painting: solid basic techniques, a basic understanding of color and value, and two simple composition guidelines. It’s not always evident in the finished work, but you can bet that any dynamic, eye-catching painting is a combination of good technique and solid composition.  This week, we focus on a simple way of developing solid and dynamic compositions using small preliminary studies.  This is one of the most important and most-often overlooked parts of the painting process.

This class focuses on three important basic techniques. Pre-class work includes practice exercises for each technique. In class, we’ll work through a painting project, using the basic techniques. We’ll use these same three techniques every week.

Pre-class Work

Watch and practice the techniques in these online lessons:

Wet-in-wet watercolor painting technique

Dry-in-wet watercolor painting technique

Drybrush watercolor technique

Download this layout – https://tonyconner.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Watercolor-Works-Painting-Layout-1-scaled.jpg – and transfer to a sheet of 140lb cold press watercolor paper.

Materials:

Download a comprehensive suggested watercolor materials list. Use it as a guide – no need to purchase everything on the list. Working with what you are used to will help your learning.  I’ll make suggestions for good supplementary materials during class.

Our first class is focused on  the important basic techniques for painting in watercolor.

Working From A Photo

Many people like to work from photos and that is fine. But be aware that working from photos presents challenges, not the least of which is that they are demanding masters! When working from a photo, it is often our impluse to create a painting that is an exact replica of the photo down to the last detail.  As the famous watercolorist Frank Webb is known to say – “If it looks good as photo, then take the photo and be done with it.”  Otherwise, try to use the photo as a reference and starting point and impose your reality onto the photo, not vice versa.

 In Class

We’ll do some quick practice and review of basic techniques and then paint this scene together. 

Download Class Info Sheet here.

This class eases us into two important concepts about color. Pre-class assignments will have you practice some color mixing and paint a couple small landscape scenes.  During online class, we’ll look at color mixing and landscape painting exercise results and expand our understanding of color with a simple still life painting.

Pre-class Work

Download and make three copies oThese Drawing Templates:

Primary Triads Color Wheel

Value-Shape-Form Layout

Color Wheels

Use Primary Triads Color Wheel to explore the colors on your palette. Start with any set of “primaries” – one red, one yellow, and one blue. Place each in the large space labeled with it’s name.  Make a note of the exact color you used from your palette.  Place these color swatches with lots of color and lots of water so that you get a nice even and transparent layer of the paint.

After you have finished placing the Primary Colors in their spots, it’s time to add the Secondary Colors.  You probably already know that mixing two Primaries gives you a Secondary color. Mix each Secondary color has a spot located between two Primary colors.  Mix the two Primaries to get the Secondary, and place it in its spot. It’s best to mix the Secondaries on the palette first. There is a good chance you will get a Secondary color you don’t expect! Do the best you can to get ‘real’ Secondaries’; color that looks orange, green or violet.

Once you have the Secondaries in place,  it’s time to move on to the Tertiaries.  Teriary colors are those with hyphenated names; red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, etc.    As their name suggests, these are essentially secondaries with a little more of one primary or the other.  Again, mix these on the palette.  It’s easy to mix these by adding more of the Primary color from the hyphenated name – red, yellow, or blue – to the secondary.

 

Sample Primary Triad Color Wheels

You can download some samples of completed wheels:

Primary Triad For Winter

Primary Triad For Summer

Cube Studies

Use theValue-Shape-Form Layout for the next three studies.  The point of these studies is to try to change the color and the value of the color to show off the light that is falling on the cubes from the upper left.   Download these two images and use them as a guide

Form And Light With Value

Form And Light With Color

Paint the Value version first.  Get your shades of gray with Paynes’ Gray or Ivory Black or a combination of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna, or a combination of Alizarin Crimson and Thalo or Viridian green

Try to match the shades of gray that you find on the downloaded sample.  There’s nothing real surprising here – you expect areas where light is striking to be lighter and shade and shadow areas to be darker.

After you have completed the gray cubes, paint two more studies using primary colors – ideally, two different sets of primaries.  Use combinations from your color wheel exercises.  Again, try to get the change in color and value to show the difference between light, shade and shadow.

Class Painting Project

We’ll paint this project in class together

Download drawing layout for class painting project and transfer to a sheet of watercolor paper.

Bring your color wheels, cube studies and layout for the class project to class

 

IN CLASS

We’ll take a look at your color wheels and cube studies and discuss the results – especially what you found surprising and difficult.

We’ll work through the painting project in class.

Materials For Class Project

Paint: Cobalt or Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow

Brushes – the largest ones you have!  A few Rounds, large to small will do – sizes 14 or 16, an 8 or 10, and a smaller size 4, a rigger if you have one will be a help.

This class focuses on what makes a good composition. Pre-class work introduces simple rules for good composition and a couple exercises to re-inforce the principles. In class, we’ll review pre-class assignments and paint a well-composed landscape scene.

Pre-class Work

Download this layout https://tonyconner.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/WW_layout3.pdf  and transfer the layout to a piece of watercolor paper.

Basic Composition

This week, we’ll cover two easy and basic rules that will strengthen any painting composition.   They are really easy to understand and apply.

Golden Sections

The image at left shows a flat picture plane roughly divided into thirds both vertically and horizontally.  A red cross marks the spot where two of the dividing lines intersect. The dividing lines are “golden means” and the intersections are “golden sections”.  It happens that the lines that represent the golden means are great paths that help draw the viewer’s eye into the picture.

The intersections of those lines   -the golden sections – become great locations for your focal points and main subjects.

Powerful ‘El’

You might have already noticed that the each golden section (red cross) occurs at what could be the ‘corner’ of an L-shape. It’s already been mentioned that golden sections are great places for your main subject and focal point.  It is great practice to lead the eyes to your subject along two paths – a short one and a long one.  In essence, creating an L-shaped arrangement of objects, shapes, textures, or edges that lead the viewer to the subject.  These L’s can be turned rotated into one of four directions and orientations.   Remember the “L” and use it often!

Look at at some paintings you admire.  Can you find an ‘L-shape’ the composition with the main focal point at the corner?  Take a look at the painting from our last class.  Do you see the “L” in that painting?

 In Class

We’ll talk some more about the ‘L’ composition and paint this scene.

Tinkham Road Farm - plein air watercolor landscape painting by Tony Conner

Our first three classes focused on the important basics of watercolor painting: solid basic techniques, a basic understanding of color and value, and two simple composition guidelines.

It’s not always evident in the finished work, but you can bet that any dynamic, eye-catching painting is a combination of good technique and solid composition.

This week, we focus on a simple way of developing solid and dynamic compositions using small preliminary studies.  This is one of the most important and most-often overlooked parts of the painting process.

The process is simple and involves making small – postcard size or less – studies that are focused on the overall composition and color choices.   The process is simple, but the mental challenge is significant! Creating these studies, especially the value composition studies, requires a change in our thinking about our subject and in the actual painting process.

Questions About the Class?

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About The Instructor

Tony Conner is an accomplished watercolorist and and experienced instructor. His  energetic approach to teaching and enthusiasm for the watercolor medium are combined to create classes that are both fun and informative.  He excels at providing information and insights to individual students – meeting them where they are and helping them get to where they want to go.

Professional Memberships

  • Signature Member - New England Watercolor Society
  • Signature Member - Vermont Watercolor Societies
  • Artist Member - Salmagundi Club
  • Artist Member - North Shore Arts Association

Tony works from his studio in Bennington, Vermont.

What Other Students Say

I've take several workshops, some taught by prominent and well-known artists. Tony's was, by far, the best in it's quality, approach and teaching style. The small class formate facilitated learning.” - Jane C. , Setauket, NY

Of all the instructors I have seen, you are the most informative. Your method of teaching is so easy to follow and absorb. I wish I lived close enough to attend your classes. You are also a very patient, approachable person . All excellent, Tony!” - Catherine M. , Ontario, CN

I have learned more in this two-day workshop, than in all other watercolor classes I’ve taken” - Rita S. , MA

" Thought there was a perfect balance between theory & practice.  The points you wanted to stress were given clearly & concisely.  You are so passionate about your work.  I have come home energized & enthusiastic - which is exactly what I wanted from the workshop.  " - S. H., Saline, MI

"I've taken several watercolor workshops, some taught by prominent and well known artists. Tony's workshop was by far the best in its quality, approach, and teaching style. The small class format facilitated learning." - J. C., Setauket, NY

" Tony is a wonderful, knowledgeable teacher who shares with warmth and humor" - J. M, Astoria, NY

" Overall, the three days were amazing. I find myself looking at everything in terms of value. " - A. C., Bloomfield, NJ

"...but, Tony Conner has thought of it all, organized it perfectly, and made it fun and inspiring." - G. B., New York, NY