For adult students


Thursdays, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.

June 30 and July 7, 14, 21, 28 & August 4, 2022


A survey of the basic techniques in the luminous medium of transparent watercolor.

*Pre-registration is required for Art School classes; classes will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Students will be registered ONLY on receipt of payment. Enrollment requirements: 3 students minimum. Classes with low enrollment are cancelled 48 hours before the class is scheduled to begin.

Refunds and Cancellation Policies: If a class is cancelled due to low enrollment, a full refund will be issued. Otherwise, no refunds will be issued.




Colors    Any kit of 12 or more colors should suffice. Be sure that the paints are transparent watercolor, not “gouache” or “bodycolor”.

Tubes are preferable. Dry colors will do, but they lack the advantage of enabling you to place colors on the pallette where they work together most effectively.

Several kits of 12 or more tube paints are available. The best brands are Van Gogh, Winsor & Newton and Grumbacher.

If you prefer to buy tube colors individually, I recommend these:

Ivory Black (Since black is by nature a warm color, I prefer this warm black to colder blacks like Mars Black or Payne’s Gray, which are not necessary to a basic palette.)

Yellow (Cadmium Hue, Hansa or Medium Azo)

Yellow  Earth (Yellow Ochre, Yellow Oxide, Turner’s Yellow or Bronze Yellow)

Warm Blue (Cerulean or Phthalo)

Cold Blue (Ultramarine, Cobalt Hue or Brilliant Blue Purple)

Warm Red (Cadmium Red Medium Hue, Cadmium Red Light Hue or Scarlet Red)

Cold Red (Deep Brilliant Red and/or Deep Magenta)

Raw Sienna

Burnt Sienna

Raw Umber

Chromium Oxide Green

Avoid genuine Cadmium or Cobalt colors. If the word “Hue” is on the label, it means the pigment is an imitation hue–which is satisfactory and much less expensive.

Some kits contain white (pan kits sometimes include it in a small tube). You may wish to add a tube of white, but the effect of mixing it with your colors is to make them opaque, thereby defeating the purpose of watercolor. In small quantities, however, it can be useful to correct errors.

If you can afford more colors, you may wish to add Brilliant Orange, Red Oxide, Brilliant Purple, Phthalo Green, Alizarin Crimson, Prussian Blue, Burnt Sienna or Burnt Umber.

If you buy your paint in tubes, do not squeeze all your colors into your palette trays.


 Brushes  Some kits come with one or two brushes. The brushes supplied with children’s kits are usually unsatisfactory.

Good watercolor brushes are quite expensive, but if you take good care of them, they can last much longer than the brushes used in other painting media.

The best brushes are pure sable, which can be dauntingly expensive in the larger sizes. If you can find synthetic brushes with bristles that are soft but springy, they’ll probably work. For the smallest brushes, I recommend sable/synthetic blends, or pure sable if you can afford them.

Unfortunately, there is as yet no standardization of brush sizes from one manufacturer to another, or even from one line to another by the same manufacturer, so it is impossible to recommend brushes by size number. You should have:

2 Flats, preferably ¾ inch (the Grumbacher Aquarelle is excellent, but costs upwards of $20) and ¼ inch. Buy larger sizes only if you intend to do large paintings with broad fields of color.

3 Rounds–one approximately one inch long, one app. ¾ inch, and one app. ½ inch. Buy larger brushes if you intend to do large, broad work,  and smaller only if you like to work in finicky detail.


Surfaces   Watercolor paper ranges in price from $5 for a pad of 15 sheets to $20 and up for a single large sheet. Avoid any paper of less than 140 lbs. and any paper stamped with a regular pitted pattern. The best watercolor paper is 100% rag content and acid free. Watercolor blocks are expensive but make mounting unnecessary. So do cold-press illustration boards, which are usually sold in large sizes. A clerk at Spokane Art Supply could cut them down to size for you. You can also buy individual sheets of good paper in large dimensions (which a clerk can cut down) or find a set of large sheets on sale.

If you buy paper by the sheet, either individually or in pads, please be sure it is 300 lbs. or more.

Palette   Even if your kit contains a palette, you may wish to have a larger flat surface to mix your colors. Butcher trays and china plates are excellent.

If you buy paints in tubes, consider investing in a circular palette or a square one with wells around the perimeter. Those with lids to facilitate transportation are even better.


Vessels  A plastic brush basin with a grate on the bottom.


#2 Pencil


Kneaded Eraser