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Sketchbook Practice: Back to Basics Watercolor Fundamentals

via Skillshare


As a self taught watercolorist I know what its like to be a beginner. I pretty much learnt through trial and error over the last three and a half years, and 16 sketchbooks. As you can imagine there was a lot of frustration and overworking as it was pretty hit and miss. In this informative and fact finding class we are going to look at the basics of the wet on wet technique that I often use in my sketchbook these days

There will be a series of 5 'timed experiments' which will look at how the:

- quality of paint

- brand of paper

- water pigment ratio

- water load on brush 

with affect the drying time, and when subsequent layers are added.

Time is crucial factor in determining the outcome when using watercolour, whether you're blending or adding another wash. If you add pigment or water at the various times - anywhere from 5 - 150 seconds from when the paint first touches the paper you will achieve quite different results.

If your a beginner to watercolours or if you just want to investigate wet on wet further please join me in this class to sidestep some of the guesswork involved.

You will need

2/3 brushes : medium and large

Watercolours  - pans or tubes ( even if you only have 6 colours)

Watercolor paper or watercolour sketchbook

A TIMER or count very carefully in your head

The way I've set out this class ensures that you are able to find out for YOURSELF exactly how your own paints and chosen paper with work throughout these experiments. I'm going to be changing up the paper, and paints I use as they will most likely give different results, along with the different drying times. Both you and I will achieve varying effects and outcomes and thats fine as we're both learning together. 

At the end of the experiments you will have several sheets of paper with your notes, times and swatches (of sorts) Armed with working knowledge from these you will have laid the foundations for using wet on wet and become more comfortable with it.

I'd like to say a very special mention to Karina Petersen who very kindly let me use some of her work in the Final Thoughts video

You can follow her amazing work on IG HERE

Below are a list of the papers, warercolour and brushes I use in my class BUT PLEASE use whatever you have handy ( its better to do these experiments than wait for the 'right' paper)


- Canson Cold Pressed 300 gsm

- Arches Cold Pressed 300gsm

- Winsor & Newton Cold Pressed 300gsm

- Hahnnemuhle Hot Pressed 300gsm


Winsor and Newton Cotman Pocket Plus 12 half pan

Winsor & Newton Professional 24 half pan


Daler Rowney Aquafine Round No12

Daler Rowney Aquafine Round No14

Winsor & Newton Cotman 111 series No10

Winsor & Newton Cotman 111 series No 8


If you enjoyed this class then please check out the other Watercolor classes I have on Skillshare


  • Introduction
  • There Are No Mistakes
  • Materials - Paint
  • Materials - Brushes
  • Materials - Paper
  • Loading The Brush
  • Timings and Note Taking
  • Wet on Wet / Wet on Dry Explanation
  • Experiment 1 - Pigment in Water
  • Experiment 2 - Blending
  • Experiment 3 - Overlapping
  • Experiment 4 - Edges
  • Blooms/ Backruns/ Cauliflowers
  • Experiment 5 - Cauliflowers
  • Avoiding Blooms
  • Final Thoughts
  • BONUS - Misty Treeline Study

Taught by

Ohn Mar Win


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