Introduction to Watercolour

This course will provide the student with a solid foundation for pursuing an interest in watercolour painting.

With watercolour, the artist’s knowledge and skill are not disguised through elaborate technique or mechanical means. It is an intimate process. The artist’s expressions are conveyed in a very personal manner both through intention and accident.

Topics for investigation will include: composition, form, light, colour, pigment, and grounds. Each class will include both theory, notes and hands-on experiences. At the end of the six week process each student will have created four to six compositions based on still life arrangements provided in class. A landscape experience is a possibility provided that students are willing to commit to a Saturday afternoon session. In addition to their watercolours, students should also complete this program with a much clearer idea of form and colour for the artist, and an awareness of how to successfully progress within the medium.

Wednesday Evenings 7-9pm • April 24-May 29, 2019 (6 weeks) • Cost: $95

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Supply List
  • Soft pencils (B or BB)
  • Vinyl eraser
  • Masking tape
  • Several pieces of watercolour paper * (see notes below)
  • Minimum 2 brushes suitable for watercolour ** (see notes below)
  • Watercolour palette and pigments *** (see notes below)
* Notes on papers

Good w/c papers are made in standard sizes of which the Imperial  – 22”x30” is the most common. I will normally tear a standard sheet into quarters giving me very convenient 15” x 11” pieces to work on. Watercolour paper is also available in pads which can be quite useful. I’m not as impressed with the Watercolour Block format although I have purchased 12” x 16” products on occasion. They tend to be a bit pricey and can pull apart when very wet.

** Notes on brushes

A round #2 or #3 and a round #10 or #12. I have used nylon brushes in addition to my collection of red sable brushes. A recent market development which I have found very useful is the Winsor & Newton Golden Sceptre line created using a mix of nylon and sable hair.

*** Notes on paint

*** There are many w/c kits on the market that provide spaces for colour storage as well as colour mixing. Be sure to obtain transparent water colour paints and not water soluble gouache which would contain a white chalk base. For colours I use  a warm and cool version of Red, Yellow and Blue as well as a couple of earth colours. Bright greens can be difficult to mix, so I often include a couple of greens, usually Viridian and Phthalo. Unless you are buying a package of beginner colours, I would recommend Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber, Aureolin (or Lemon Yellow), New Gamboge (or Cadmium Yellow), Cadmium Red Light , Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, and Phthalocyanine  Blue. Additional purchases could also include Viridian, Phthalo Green, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Blue and Cerulean Blue.

About the Instructor

Patrick Conway is a Saint John native who taught Visual Arts at St. Thomas More High School in Hamilton, Ontario. He studied at St. Thomas University in Fredericton and at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. His final year was spent in an off-campus independent study program in Florence, Italy.

In the spring of 2015, Patrick gave up a studio in downtown Hamilton to work in Saint John exploring its dramatic landscape and rich architectural heritage.

Patrick was initially represented by the Alice Peck Gallery of Burlington, Ontario. His work has been selected for juried exhibitions in both Dundas and Hamilton, and has also exhibited in many group shows including the DVSA’s Art Auction, the James North Life Drawing Show, 2012 & 2013, and the Hamilton Artist’s Inc Member’s Show, 2012 & 2013. In 2016, he mounted a solo show at Saint John’s Millennium Artplace and in 2018 he mounted a solo show at the Saint John Arts Centre.

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