Colleen M.

read books, adventure often



Modern Watercolor Techniques

This class was a pleasure to take!

I did most of the projects two or three times for practice but I've selected a sample to share. After using many different materials (almost all student-grade) I've found that I favor certain paints and papers:

  • Paints: Dr. Ph. Martin's for vibrant colors
  • Paper: Blick Studio watercolor pad, 140lb for smoothness

Dr. Ph. Martin's watercolors were the key to the bright pinks and blues in my jellyfish and galaxy projects. I also used some pearlescent watercolors from Niji to add a bit of sparkle to those projects as well.

I've since learned more about paper and paint qualities, and look forward to trying 100% cotton papers and professional quality paints in the future.

Transparencies + Gradients

I used three sheets (both sides) to practice transparencies and gradients with different brands of paints. Pictured here, I used Reeves student watercolors. I really didn't like them at first, but with practice I became more familiar with their consistency.


Pulse & Precision + Monochrome



I didn't have bleach in the house, but I had a number of inks, including some Dr. Ph. Martin's iridescent inks which I enjoyed experimenting with. The watercolors I used were: Dr. Ph. Martin's radiant concentrated watercolors, Reeves student watercolors, and Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolors.

The white ink I used was Dr. Ph. Martin's Bombay India Ink, and it was very thin on its own (you can see it spread in the close-up below). When Ana used white ink in the video, it didn't spread, so I thought this might be interesting to note for anyone else who might want to know more about out this particular brand. 




I felt like my small brushes (#00 and #0) didn't hold enough paint to make long lines, but I probably just need to practice more. Overall I'm very pleased with how this turned out!




Again, the white ink I have is thin, and when I used it to splatter the first time it actually dripped on the paper in blobs. I mixed the ink with some of the white from the Reeves student watercolor set to thicken it and that helped.

The black watercolor (I don't remember which brand) dried quite dull; I did another layer to brighten the colors and used the Dr. Ph. Martin's black Bombay India Ink over the black to make it darker.


The painting below was my first attempt at this project, and I wasn't happy with how it turned out when it dried; the colors didn't blend well. I let it sit for some weeks and tried to work on a new version of the project (above). This time, I looked at space photos for inspiration. Eventually, I came back to my first attempt and gave it another layer or two. I liked it much better after that.

Also, I came to realize that once you do the white paint splatter for the stars, it immediately looks better!


I really enjoyed this class; thank you, Ana!


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