Beginning Watercolor Class With Don Helmstetter

Practicing painting technique

Practicing painting technique

Deborah Dougless

On May 10, a small, socially-distanced group learned various introductory techniques of watercolor.

Using just a few colors and one brush, participants learned to float (layering wet paint) yellow for the leaves of a tree and then add bright blue to turn the color green. For the tree trunk, they floated brown and added blue again to give shadow and roughness.

The group next wet another sheet of paper, adding smears of brown, red and blue colors. Using a strip from a credit card, they scraped in a circular motion to make a series of rock shapes, next adding some shadowing and producing a full field of rocks.

This class was an ambitious introduction to watercolor that demonstrated not only basic techniques but also the problems encountered when trying to mix colors that do not blend well together. It is valuable to see success and obstacles one will encounter using this painting media.