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Watercolor Basics

at Trestle Workshops - Greenwood

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Greenwood, Brooklyn
62 18th St
Near Hamilton Ave
Brooklyn, New York 11232
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Class Level: All levels
Age Requirements: 18 and older
Average Class Size: 10
Teacher: Allison Maletz

What you'll learn in this watercolor class:

This transparent water-based painting medium has been enjoyed and used for centuries. Regardless of your experience level, you will learn how to use materials and all the techniques associated with watercolor. You will see demonstrations, and we will discuss composition, design, subject matter, and textures that lend themselves to this medium.

You will leave this course with a full knowledge of how to use materials such as brushes, papers, and paint-to-water ratio. Focus will be given to inventing the medium for yourself by learning to gain the right amount of control for your style. 
In doing this, we will explore different washes: wet on wet, wet on dry, dry on dry painting, in order to help you understand how to make different textures while learning to control the uncontrollable: water! 

Important Things to Note:
  • We will go over color theory and mix colors from the primaries while learning to address highlights and shadows by working without white paint. 
  • Projects within the course will focus on painting from observation. 
  • It is beneficial to build a strong foundation in an observational practice in order to understand composition and design, negative space, color changes from cool to warm, and using contrast and layers to build a believable 3-dimensional space on the paper. 
  • You will leave with a broad experience in the medium that will allow you to branch into any direction of your choosing, not simply the direction the water tells you to go!
Students will need to bring the following materials: 
  • 1 Pad of Paper: (Cold press, 140 lb (300 gsm), 11 x14, 12 sheets.) Great cheap papers: Canson Montval, or Strathmore Series 300 or 400. Other great papers: Arches,  Fabriano, Saunders. 
    * Avoid "Borden & Riley Vellum" and "Canson XL"
  • Hard Pencil (HB or 2H)
  • Kneaded EraserTray/Pallet: A metal travel palette with a lid and at least 12 wells for different colors.
  • Range of Watercolor Brush Sizes varying from round and flat For example: 0 round, 4 or 6 flat, 10 round, 20 flat (you will know them from oil brushes because the bristles on water-based brushes are very soft to the touch.) 
  • 1 Water Container, a plastic cup or coffee tin (anything out of the recycle bin will do.)
  • Watercolor Paint Tubes: I would recommend buying a box of 8-15 small tubes of all the basic colors (Cotman, Blick, or Koi are good starter brands). 
    *** At the very minimum you must have a primary colors: Cadmium Red Deep, Cadmium Yellow, Ultramarine Blue, Lamp Black, and Burnt Umber. (No White, Naples Yellow, or “Flesh Tint”) I recommend opening the tubes of paint in the store to make sure the colors look "primary" aka, that the red is really RED and not an orangey red, etc. Also please avoid Reeves Paints, very low quality and hard to work with.
  • Kitchen Paper towels
  • 1 Natural sea sponge 
  • 1 Pen-like Xacto Knife

Still have questions? Ask the community.

Refund Policy
Full 7 business days before class time for rescheduling. No refunds.


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Questions & Answers (2)

Get quick answers from CourseHorse and past students.

Question from Brittany H.
Hello there! I’m looking to take a class series. However, looking at the calendar there is 1 class I will not be able to attend due to a prior work commitment. Is there a way to supplement or make up a missed class? Thanks!
Answer from Brenda L. CourseHorse StaffCourseHorse Staff
Hi there! Trestle does not offer to make up classes, as many of the classes are full and they cannot accommodate student drop-ins from past sessions. That being said, if you inform your instructor, they will do their best to fill you in on missed material during the other class sessions.
Question from Tracy S.
What are the dates of the other 4 sessions?
Answer from Katie K. CourseHorse StaffCourseHorse Staff
You can see the other dates by scrolling down to the "Start Dates" section below, then clicking the drop down that says "This course consists of multiple sessions, view schedule for sessions." Hope that helps! :)

Reviews of Classes at Trestle Workshops (322)

(322 Reviews)
Watercolor Basics
Reviewed by Anonymous on 8/28/2019
the teacher is very talented and is definitely a professional. I think it would've been helpful to have a little more individual criticism by the teacher though. she could spend a few seconds or minutes throughout each class to give individualized observations to help the student improve on their weaknesses. Overall a good class.
Watercolor Basics
Reviewed by Kat R. on 8/9/2017
This was a wonderful 5 week session which enabled me to explore new techniques with watercolor. The instruction was masterfully given in an atmosphere of support and encouragement. I would definitely recommend this class to anyone interested in learning the basics or developing their technique.
Watercolor Basics
Reviewed by Laura B. on 12/21/2014
Really good class - came in with basically no watercolor experience and really came out knowing enough to practice and get better on my own. Allison is great at giving tips and information while creating a loose, positive atmosphere where you don't need to feel bad if a particular painting doesn't turn out well. Sadly I think it's too expensive for me to take the class again to try to improve in a classroom setting with guidance, especially as there's no intermediate level.
Watercolor Basics
Reviewed by Emma C. on 10/2/2014
Alison was a great teacher, very friendly and willing to help. I do wish that she did demos before each lesson so students can learn brush and color mixing techniques so that we can apply learnings immediately. Overall, I enjoyed the variety of things we painted in class and the course did enhance my understanding of watercolor.
Watercolor Basics
Reviewed by Athena S. on 10/25/2018

School: Trestle Workshops

Trestle Workshops

Trestle’s community classes program called Trestle Workshops offers instruction in a wide variety of artist techniques and theories, as well as training in professional practices. This program serves a dual purpose of educating artists in new media and creating jobs for highly-trained teaching artists....

Read more about Trestle Workshops

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