Startup Library: Painting with Watercolors

In partnership with
Instructor Kateri Ewing, Watercolor Expert
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4.8 out of 5
58 Reviews
93% of reviewers would recommend this product
Course No. 4063
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What Will You Learn?

  • Which brushes, paper, paints, palettes, and extra supplies you will need.
  • Advanced brushstrokes and wash techniques.
  • How pigments interact with one another to mix more luminous, harmonious colors.
  • Explore the two primary watercolor methods: wet-in-wet and wet-on-dry.

Course Overview

Color your world with watercolors! Join expert Kateri Ewing in this comprehensive beginner’s class as she helps you navigate all the basics. You’ll explore a range of tools and supplies, essential techniques, plus hands-on demonstrations and so much more.

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14 lectures
 |  Average 25 minutes each
  • 1
    What You Need: Watercolor Paints
    Meet Kateri Ewing and ground yourself in the fundamentals of watercolor paint. Kateri examines key topics, including staining and granulating effects, lightfastness ratings, pigment numbers and more. x
  • 2
    What You Need: Brushes
    Kateri goes over the different types of brushes and their various qualities, including the best beginner-friendly ones, as well as care and storage instructions. x
  • 3
    What You Need: Paper
    Explore the various aspects of paper and the formats it comes in, from pads and blocks to giant tearable sheets. Kateri helps you choose the right kind of paper for your project, then shows you how to stretch it to avoid warping and bubbling. x
  • 4
    What You Need: Palettes & Extras
    Kateri reviews the last few items you need to start painting, including palettes, erasers, masking fluid, easels and more. x
  • 5
    Methods: Basic Brushstrokes
    Explore a number of mark-making techniques with two types of brushes: flat and round. Kateri demonstrates how to lift pigment, create sharp edges and make a variety of lines, including twisting, flat, thick-to-thin and more. x
  • 6
    Methods: Washes
    Harness the power of water and pigment for stunning results every time! Here, Kateri teaches you the basics of creating washes. Find out how to make, or avoid, blooms, how to fade edges and more. x
  • 7
    Methods: Paint Application
    Explore the two primary watercolor methods: wet-in-wet and wet-on-dry. See how to drop in and lift out color, use masking fluid or salt to create unique effects, and explore a dry-brush technique to create hard and soft edges. x
  • 8
    Methods: Color Mixing
    Understand your colors so you can better predict and mix the shades you want! In this lesson, Kateri shows you how to create essential mixing tools: a color wheel, color chart and value scale. x
  • 9
    Methods: Color Harmony
    Make the most of only six tubes of paint! Learn how pigments interact with one another to mix more luminous, harmonious colors. Then practice working with a limited palette to create triads and achieve clean results every time. x
  • 10
    Projects: Basic Landscape
    Watch as Kateri demonstrates painting a basic landscape step by step, including planning and selecting colors, breaking down the subject, foreground, middle ground and background, and adding final details. x
  • 11
    Projects: Basic Seascape
    Build on your skills by painting seascapes! See how to create new textures and shapes, such as rippling water, and apply masking fluid. Then practice lifting techniques to create waves, depth, drama and other final details. x
  • 12
    Projects: Expressive Mixed Media
    Explore a more expressive, gestural watercolor style. Start by dropping color into a water glaze on paper and see if any shapes or subjects emerge. Then lift, push and pull the pigment to refine the shape, using colored pencils and pens to define your subject. x
  • 13
    Projects: Botanical-Style Flower
    Put your wet-on-dry skills to work with a botanical-style painting! After planning and palette selection, move on to targeted water-glazing and color-dropping. Add depth and contour, then finish up with dry-brushing and final details. x
  • 14
    Projects: Detailed Bird
    Finally, create your most detailed work yet: a bird portrait. Begin with the eye, applying initial washes, then build the form, contrast and various textures. Finish up by adding a glazing wash and final details. x

Lecture Titles

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What's Included

What Does Each Format Include?

Video DVD
Instant Video Includes:
  • Download 14 video lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the course companion book
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
DVD Includes:
  • 14 lectures on 2 DVDs
  • Downloadable class resources
  • Downloadable PDF of the course companion book
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
  • Closed captioning available

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

Video DVD
Course Guidebook Details:
  • Downloadable class resources
  • Printable supply list
  • Reference images

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Your professor

Kateri Ewing

About Your Professor

Kateri Ewing, Watercolor Expert
For watercolorist Kateri Ewing, painting is all about capturing the awe she feels for the natural world. In preparation for painting, Kateri regularly walks and photographs the woods, meadows and waterways in two of her favorite places near her home in western New York state: Wyoming County and Knox Farm State Park. Kateri's passion for painting and drawing is infused in her teaching, and sharing her techniques with students...
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Startup Library: Painting with Watercolors is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 58.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Informative AND Inspiring Having taken several Watercolour courses these past few years I would consider myself at an intermediate level. But I have greatly enjoyed Kateri's clear and practical presentation of even the basics, and her tips, examples and hands-on demos have given me a wealth of new information. Kateri's projects are all ones I want to do and will do them - because in them she covers the full range between detailed realism and delightful abstract where the water and colourful pigments perform their own magic. I love watercolour because it is unique and Kateri, throughout her course, maintains it's simplicity and distinction and especial beauty. Her presentation is warm, engaging, natural and positive and I will watch the videos again and again, making this Teaching Company course one of considerable and excellent value.
Date published: 2019-05-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A nice, basic overview for those beginning in watercolor. Good detail on tools and how to use them as opposed to just watching the instructor without knowing why they're holding the brush a certain way, etc. The review with students after certain lessons is a handy thing, to see common issues beginners have in technique. The section on color theory and mixing was probably the most valuable part for any novice and worth watching for that alone. I am an artist myself and by no means a beginner, but watercolor is not my first medium and was looking for a refresher before tackling a tricky commission. I actually learned a couple things that were extremely helpful to remember later.
Date published: 2019-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great knowledge I bought this weeks ago and I love it. I love to draw and paint so this is helping me improve. I love the ceramic plate idea I'm using that now.
Date published: 2018-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Painting with Watercolor This is a great course for anyone who wants to get the basics of watercolor.
Date published: 2018-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Start to Learn Water Color Painting Here The teacher makes every step very clear and she has the kindest manner.Wish I could take private lessons from her!
Date published: 2018-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Startup Library! A great way to get beginners. I love the way this course is presented. One aspect of the procedures at a time. Ms. Ewing is excellent at explaining the tiniest detail. She covers EVERYTHING! I am anxious to get started even though I have to go back and remind myself of different things before buying anything. Thank you Ms. Ewing.
Date published: 2018-09-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Basic Course I brought this a few weeks ago for my wife who just entered retirement. She read a book, a few magazines, but this is what motivated her.
Date published: 2018-09-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Painting With Watercolors Nuts and bolts. A wonderful and concise introduction. Never boring!
Date published: 2018-09-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I learned many things I never knew I went to a large university in my younger years and obtained a BFA (fine arts) I took several watercolor classes and thought I had a basic understanding. This DVD has taught me a lot of things that were never brought up in university classes, especially the lesson on mixing colors within the color wheel Kateri had set up. It was amazing to discover the theory of mixing colors that made the difference between muddy colors and bright colors. I wish she had been one of my teachers while at university.
Date published: 2018-07-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from As Promised provided instruction as promised, easy to follow, interesting and fun
Date published: 2018-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great for those who love to create! I am recently retired and art has been an area of interest all of my life. With the help of Great Courses I am finally able to explore this are of interest with a great instructure!
Date published: 2018-06-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely great introduction to watercolor After a long time away from painting this helped spark my creative side come out !
Date published: 2018-06-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Teacher I am a beginner. I purchased several beginner watercolor courses from different websites and this was by far the best. The order of topics, the explanations, and the demonstrations were all very well done. Thanks Kateri.
Date published: 2018-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Startup Library : Painting with Watercolirs I bought this a couple of weeks ago and I love it. I've streamed it on my iPhone X, my tablet, and my ROKU!! And I've discovered the teacher's other videos on YouTube. She's easy to listen to and understand. And she's very good. I've learned a lot from her.
Date published: 2018-04-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I was happy to have received and gone through the material within. I tried watercolor many years ago without much gratification . This introductory lesson left me feeling that I could transfer to paper that which I saw within. In
Date published: 2018-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent instruction I am half way through this watercolor course and, so far, am very pleased with the instruction. I attended a local course in watercolor last year and did not receive the level of detail that this course provides. Kateri Ewing instructions and examples are very clear to follow. I highly recommend it to anyone who wishes to learn about painting with watercolor.
Date published: 2018-03-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I painted the tulip today and I'm pretty happy with it! The lessons are easy to follow and well-paced. I'd be interested in a second watercolor course with more projects.
Date published: 2018-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Beginners Course! The instructor explains EVERYTHING about paint, brushes and paper. In addition, there are a number of lessons to demonstrate all of the approaches to watercolor painting in a fun and non- judgemental way! I am going through the course again to reinforce the lessons! I hope she will teach a more advanced course in tghe future!!
Date published: 2018-03-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Terrific instruction! I purchased the dvd edition and find the content to be awesome. I am a rank newbie to watercolor and this was just the ticket. I very much like the style of instruction and course layout. The only thing I was disappointed in was the fact I am accustomed to getting a very nice printed comprehensive book with the dvd selection but this only came with a small pamphlet stored in the dvd case. I did not deduct any stars for that as I did not feel it would be fair to the overall instruction review, just be aware of that fact and happy painting!
Date published: 2018-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great for Beginners at Watercolor This is actually a secondhand review and I've never done that before--therefore I will keep it short. I bought this course for a friend who wanted to learn water-coloring. He had gone to a couple of local "adult education" classes, bought a few paints and brushes, and that was about as far as he'd gotten before viewing the course. But he's no novice to visual art: he's been a dedicated amateur photographer for many years, so color theory, for example, was not a new subject to him. He thought the first couple of lectures were pretty slow--details like what brushes to buy, kinds of paper etc, although I note that some other reviewers who were novices at water coloring found these quite useful. After those first three lectures, he found 4 through 14 extremely interesting. He took detailed notes, designed his own color wheel, thought the "projects" were great exercises, and said that the course made him feel that he actually can paint in watercolor--something he lacked any confidence in at the outset. In short, he felt it very good for what it was meant to be: as an introduction for the novice trying their hand at water coloring. I note some other reviewers had criticisms like: too many brushes, more colors in the painting than were discussed, or the projects were too hard. For whatever reason, he wasn't bothered by any of these issues.
Date published: 2018-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Teacher! I have taken several art classes over the years and I really like this instructor. She has taught me so many things about watercolour that no one else has along the way. I am on my fourth lecture and keep going back to review techniques but having so much fun and really "getting it" this time.
Date published: 2018-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Information The presentation of information and examples are very clear and easy to follow. The sequence of information takes you from the basics of the tools you will need, to color theory and on to examples of how to use this information. I was able to follow along with the artist as she demonstrated by example several paintings and was very pleased with the result. I will be reviewing these DVD's with pleasure to add to my skills with watercolors.
Date published: 2018-01-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from 4 casettes about WC The time was too short for the price. One of them is not an artist but a "color aplicator" I got some useful things here and there. Don't waste sooooo much time on painting squares. I need a pastel class but straight to applying the tech, how to paint small areas, how to maintain from pastel coming out. How to fix it! NO squares ever more. Besides she didn't use then in her pictures. 2 casettes werw almost identical. You NEED people that know what they are doing and that they know how to paint.
Date published: 2018-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent course for a beginner! I'm brand new to watercolor painting, and this course explained the basics, step by step. The exercises were fun and easy to follow. The instructor has a very pleasant style. I'm so glad I took this course!
Date published: 2018-01-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Intro to watercolors I am a novice at painting and watercolors. This course held my interest, taught me the intricacies and characteristics of using watercolors, and gave me reason to experiment further. I would have enjoyed more time trying the ideas presented, perhaps more small assignments in the first seven lessons. The manual list of materials are a necessity since the DVD does not go into much depth on this topic.
Date published: 2017-12-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful instructor Felt like a friend was teaching the course. I’ve been painting for a while, and still learned new concepts. yet the course is such that a complete novice would feel comfortable.
Date published: 2017-12-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Painting with Watercolors Just finished the course. An excellent introduction on how to paint with watercolors. The instructor is an excellent presenter and takes you through the process step by step. I'm ready to start painting!
Date published: 2017-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great for beginners! I bought this course to get myself started on watercolors and it is doing the job. The lessons make sense for the beginner but are also useful for those who have started painting but want some focus or structure to their techniques. I'm nearly finished with all the lessons. While the projects are helpful, landscapes are boring and everyone seems to start there for beginners. My only suggestion would be to have one exercise for painting more precise and lifelike objects, such as birds.
Date published: 2017-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Entertaining and informative The presenter is very easy to listen to and gives great information. I have watched this course several times and have learned a great deal from it.
Date published: 2017-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great way to learn and improve technique I bought this course for my friend who is an amateur painter and mostly self taught. She is ecstatic. She tells me that she loves the instruction because it is so clear and helpful. It taught her tips about brushwork which she never knew. She enjoys learning new things and loves painting. The course is really improving her skills, and I can't wait to see her new paintings.
Date published: 2017-11-15
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