Great Courses: Watercolor

Work In Progress

This post is a work in progress. I am posting now, rather than waiting until I have more things to report, because I have gotten three questions about this course in the last week. I thought that it might make sense to put something quick and dirty up now and then plan to update when we have finished the course.

Last month I purchased a Craftsy watercolor painting course from The Great Courses Company when it was on sale. After the initial setup lectures, we are watching one lecture per week on Fridays and then painting two or three times a week to build up our skill.

So far, Kateri Ewing’s “Painting With Watercolors” is perfect for my family. Ewing presumes that the viewer knows absolutely nothing about watercolor painting (Great! We know nothing!) and leads us through the jargon, supplies, and technique of this beautiful artistic medium. She is friendly, clear, and generally a very good teacher.

Ewing’s target audience is probably a group of adults who are interested in developing a hobby. As such, the supplies she recommends are appropriate to someone who has the money and flexibility to invest in what could be a solid foundation of future painting. As a mother of three small children, the material costs were prohibitive for our purposes. I do not want to handicap my children by giving them inadequate tools, but I also don’t expect my six year old to truly care for his brushes as an adult would. I took to Facebook to ask my artist friends what they would recommend. Their advice was golden and their recommendations have served us well.

Paint: it would be really nice to be able to color match the video perfectly. However, the paint she recommends is anywhere from $7-12 per tube. My friends recommended a student grade paint that will serve us well until we have more skill. I bought one set of this paint and plan to just get close enough (in terms of color matching) for this school year.

Paper: I think that Ewing is right about the paper. So, we purchased this double pack and use 1 sheet per person per week for skill work. For practice and play, we use economical bond paper. It isn’t perfect, but since there are 4 of us painting, I needed to compromise on the  play paper.

Brushes: I splurged on brushes. I think that brushes will make or break our experience. So, I bought several packs of these and each of us use one flat brush and one round brush. As we go on we may need to get smaller brushes. I will wait and see. These brushes are very luxurious for student brushes and they have performed very well for us beginners.

So far, the course has been nothing but fun! I will do an in-depth review in a few months when we have completed it.