Project 1 — Spring Chickadee

What Will I Learn?

In this project, you’ll learn how to

  • mix watercolor paint to the correct consistency
  • mix two colors together in a controlled, consistent way
  • explore the various marks your brushes can make
  • use brushmarks to build an image (instead of the “coloring book approach” of filling in a drawing)

Suggesting something with a few quick brush marks is one of the hallmarks of watercolor painting. It takes practice, but pays big dividends, especially if you aspire to paint on location.

Supplies you will need:

  • supplies listed in the Required Materials list for Watercolor Jumpstart, set up and ready to paint
  • pencil and kneaded eraser
  • woodless pencil or graphite stick (optional, but handy) or a regular pencil
  • a 1/16th sheet (approx. 5 1/2 x 7 1/2, 14 x 19 cm) sheet of watercolor paper for the project (a bit smaller or larger is fine—use your printer to scale the template up or down in size)
  • at least five 1/16th sheets of watercolor paper for the project lessons (a bit smaller or larger is fine)
  • several scrap pieces of watercolor paper for testing and practicing colors and brushstrokes (if you are just starting out you may not have any scraps yet; as you go along save all your exercise and practice sheets and use the backs for testing and practicing)
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