Getting Started

The first thing I want to start with is getting set up and ready to paint.

A friend from Africa was talking to me one time about insurmountable tasks.   He said they have a saying in Africa concerning how to eat an elephant  That saying is  "One Bite at a time!"
Watercolor painting is a good deal like eating an elephant, in that it takes a great deal of time and practice to become really good.    Being honest, I have to admit that I go through periods where my paintings stink!  Seriously, I've seen better work coming from beginners, but I've had the good sense to stick it out and to keep going to class.  Eventually, things seem to come together and my paintings start to look good to me again, and. when I get through it, I'm glad that I was able to ride out the slump.
 Everyone that I know who is a truly successful watercolor artist has experienced times when they were ready to give up.  But they stuck it out and ended up succeeding.   Take your time and truly learn whatever is being taught.  Ask questions.  Go back and re-do things as often as necessary.  Remember,  you do not have to race.  We should think of this as something that is enjoyable to us, not a task.
Watercolors require a certain amount of preparation before the first water or pencil line or anything else is applied to your paper.  The success or failure of a watercolor painting will probably be determined in the preparation stage more than anywhere else.

Now for naming the basic tools and materials needed, then we will move on to paper preparation, image transferring, and finally, actual painting.

Here is the list of materials, and supplies needed to participate in this class.  Without all (or at least most) of the things listed here, it will be difficult to keep pace with the rest of the class.   If you are working on your own and setting your own pace, you will still require these items.  Also, don't be overwhelmed by all of this at first.  We'll approach it slowly.  It will not be as difficult as it may seem.  This page will constantly be updated.  It will contain the most information.  I plan to have the instructions for every tool and product that we use, detailed in the "Getting Started" page.  If it is not in the "Getting Started" page, it will be in a separate page, but it will be contained on this website.  If you have questions about any tool, or product, or technique, you can always review this page and hopefully, find your answer.
For some experienced artists, this page  may seem repetitious.  Others may have a way they prefer to do things better than the way I do them.  The bottom line is, if you follow the instructions on this website, especially the "Getting Started" page,  you will have a background that is based on good solid practices of watercolor painting.  You can, and will, develop methods of doing things that really express your painting style.   Don't be afraid to try other things and don't be too fast to refuse good instruction when it is offered.

    1    Paper towels
    2    Watercolor paper.  (Arches 300 lb, cold pressed paper will be best.)
    3    Paper stretching board (explained later)
    4    Water color pigments (Here are the colors you will need)

All of the pigments listed here are made by Winsor Newton.  This brand is the one  we will always use.  Ask for or order Winsor Newton pigments exclusively.
    1    Burnt Sienna.
    2     Brown Madder.
    3    Payne's Grey
    4    New Gamboge
    5    Raw Sienna.
    6    Scarlett Lake.
    7    French Ultramarine.
    8    Cerillium (blue)
    9    Cobalt (blue)

           1.  # 10 round.
           2.  # 4, 5, and #6 round.
           3.  1 1/2" (inch and a half)  Flat Brush.
           4.  1/2 inch flat.
           5.  one "1 inch" white hog's hair brush.
           6.  Other brushes are optional and welcomed.

Finishing off our list of supplies

Brown carton tape.  (This tape is absolutely essential. It has water based glue and is about 2" wide.)

2 Spray bottles. One for coarse spray, and one "mister".

TRANSFER PAPER. (CHACO brand, watercolor transfer paper)

Gum Eraser

Mechanical Pencil

#2 Pencil

Watercolor Pallet (at least 16 wells for pigment and with a lid)

The type of pallett you choose is important, however, they can be expensive.  You can make a suitable watercolor pallett out of a plastic  organizer.   Either a pill holder or a fishing tackle organizer will work just fine.  They can be purchased at Bi-Mart or any similiar store.  They can also be picked up at yard sales.  Just label the wells with a black marker,  so you will be able to read on the pallett which pigment is which. 

If all of that is too much trouble, just order one from one of the Art Supply companies.   But you should get one with at least 15 wells or compartments to hold your pigments.




How to Find Us

Gene Drake

Cave Junction, Oregon 97523

Phone: (541) 592-4298


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