Just Add Water: “Watercolor Witchcraft” – 5-week Art Clinic with Mariana Kastrinakis
Tuesdays April 11 – May 9 – CLASS IS FULL
If there ever is proof that magic is real, it resides in watercolor. When in the right hands, color springs from the brush like fireworks, pigment meanders through washes like it’s alive, and accidents strangely become the most interesting part of the painting. You will learn everything you need to know from brush types, to pigments, to paper weights, so you will feel comfortable with this beautiful medium. This Art Clinic is geared toward beginning and intermediate level students.
Watercolor Witchcraft Schedule of Classes:
Class 1: What is Watercolor? Sharing goals for our class and student backgrounds, both in WC and in art.. Our materials and how to use them. Demos by MK, class color exercise for “breaking the ice” of WC.
Class 2: Color discussion and demonstration. Making own color wheels and how to use them
Class 3: Painting in watercolor, value sketches, showing “form”. Reference photos and how to use them. Bring photos for next class (floral, landscapes ok, no portraits)
Class 4: Possibly painting outdoors, demo WC “sketching” techniques (indoors or outdoors). Editing paintings with other common WC-compatible materials (eg nibs, white gouache, WC pencils, acrylic or WC inks)
Class 5: Demo using wet-in-wet WC and uses. Trying out different effects and their possible uses. Assessing water “wetness” and how to use for painting. Constructing different “looks” for our paintings
–Watercolors of choice in tubes, or dry cakes. I recommend artist-quality supplies, since “student grade” often disappoint and behave unpredictably. Bring what you have if you want. Alternatively, see below re colors:
IMPORTANT NOTE: i have purchased a set (enough for about 6 of us) of mostly “pure pigment colors” by Da Vinci, which i like and recommend. For those who don’t already have their favorite colors, i propose we go in on this together, which would come to about 50-60$ max per person to have a full set of colors in a palette and then let them dry.. If you decide to join me in this, you don’t need to worry about colors below. I will have these colors for the first day of class (please bring your palette so you can get your portion of the whole set of colors).
Preferred colors (but all other colors welcome if you have them):
A basic palette is good to have, including a primary warm/cool each of yellow, cyan (or blue) and red, examples follow:
-eg hansa yellow light and lemon yellow—a cool and a warm yellow
Ultramarine blue and cerulean blue (plus any phthalo blue or green if you have them)
Cadmium red light (or naphthol red or similar “warm” red) plus permanent alizarin crimson (or Quinacridone magenta or similar cool red)
Other pigments can also meet the requirements, feel free to ask me if you have doubts.
-tube of white gouache-not “chinese white” (any brand gouache, very helpful to have, as we will convert our wc into gouache for some effects)—i can provide this, so no need to buy it. I will dole it out to all who are participating in the “materials pass”—explained below. And the pass also includes all needed watercolor paper if you don’t want to buy your own.
Palette for watercolor paints: i recommend everyone to have a medium size metal folding palette like the ones at amazon (26 well palette) for 21$ or so. You can see one here: https://www.amazon.com/Color-Around-Aluminum-Watercolor-Palette/dp/B01N5OMPH8/ref=sr_1_4?crid=ODMJT8I4JOJJ&keywords=Watercolor%2Bpalette%2Bmetal&qid=1679258808&sprefix=watercolor%2Bpalette%2Bmetal%2Caps%2C93&sr=8-4&th=1, or anything similar.
They also make them in plastic, but metal is a bit easier to use and less messy. If you already have one of any material, just bring that. No point in buying new things until you know what you like.
Brushes: I recommend a couple each of synthetic round brushes (sizes 8 and 10) and a couple of flat ones to start (1/2 in and 1 in wide). A nice economical brand is KINGART sold on amazon. Plaza has some watercolor brushes too, you can ask them and compare prices, one of their economical brands is Simmons or the Plaza brand (i have not tried these) . But there are other nice ones too—too many to name. The best “high end brands” of WC synthetics are: Princeton Silver Black Velvet, Escoda Watercolor brushes, Da Vinci Cosmotops, and Princeton Neptune, if you want to invest in some. But abstain from investing a lot of money until you know you want to be a full time watercolorist. [Do not buy kolinsky sable or squirrel hair for now—too expensive and not useful at the start. But ok if you have them and want to bring]
Sketchbook and graphite pencils to make sketches and to take notes. It is also helpful to have a “viewfinder” (or make yourself one with 2 cardboard L-Shapes and a clip). I recommend a mixed media paper or watercolor notebook (=> 140 lbs paper), any size but best if = or greater than 8×10 in. You will use notebook to take notes and to make sketches.
-watercolor papers, 140lbs thickness minimum, loose sheets or block, any size but recommend no smaller than 9x12in. Best is Arches or Fabriano brands. Get at least 3-4 full sheets (but paper is included in the “materials pass” if you decide to join that option, described below)
“Materials Pass” : this is encouraged for most “Just Add Water” classes but is an optional fee that rents out most of the materials you would need for your Art Clinic class and provides the specific paper needed. For this session of “Just add Water” the materials pass is $35. Please see above for a few things (eg: colors brought or shared with teacher, palette, a few brushes and sketchbook with pencils), that I request you bring to the “watercolor witchcraft” class.
Please note that with Material Pass, you keep your artwork on the specialty paper but are leasing anything else you don’t bring to class yourself . If you select to pay the Materials Pass, please let Mariana know ideally ahead of class (firstname.lastname@example.org or text 301-467-2621). You can always email with any questions.