Watercolor, Beginner and Intermediate

A watercolor painting of a meandering path through beach grass and wild flowers. Long Island Sound can be seen in the distance.

Watercolor, Beginner and Intermediate

Saturday, April 22, 2023 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Sterling House Community Center
2283 Main Street
CT 06615
$140.00 - $150.00
Mark Hannon
203-378-2606, Ext 351
A watercolor painting of a meandering path through beach grass and wild flowers. Long Island Sound can be seen in the distance.

Beach Scene painted by instructor Donna Brien

Ages: 16+
Skill level: absolute beginner

Cost for 5 sessions:
Arts Alliance of Stratford members: $140.00
Non-members: $150.00

Directions to Sterling House


  • Lesson 1
    • Basic watercolor paint application
    • Brushwork techniques; students will create swatches with their own watercolors
    • Color Theory: Understanding color basics
  • Lesson 2
    • Simple landscape using basic washes for sky and grass
    • Creating clouds
    • Painting trees
    • Mixing colors on the paper not on palette
  • Lesson 3
    • Still life with fruit and flowers incorporating all 3 lessons
  • Lesson 4
    • Basic beach scene. ( Instructor will provide examples or student may supply reference material.)
  • Lesson 5
    • Finish up any incomplete work or work from new reference material of students choice

Materials (students are responsible for bringing their own materials)

  • Basic Watercolors: Prang Half Pan Watercolor Paint Set
    • We have found the Prang half pan set gives us a good variety of colors.

  • Colors
    • Alizarin Crimson or Carmine
      Cadmium Red *
      Cadmium Yellow Medium*
      Lemon Yellow
      Sap Green*
      Viridian Green*
      Ultramarine Blue *
      Cerulean Blue
      Cobalt blue
    • *must have colors if buying watercolor paint in tubes.
    • Yellow will need to be replenished soon. You can use a tube of cadmium yellow medium to refill the paint tray.
    • Be sure you get TRANSPARENT WATERCOLOR PAINT, NOT GOUACHE. Gouache looks slightly different as it will look a little chalky in the pans, like tempera paint, and the paint cakes are often in round pans.
  • Brushes
  • Watercolor Paper: Michaels
    • 11”x15” XL Canson Watercolor Pad, 30 sheets 140 lb cold-pressed/acid-free**
    • 9” x 12” XL Canson Watercolor pad, 30 sheets 140 lb. cold-pressed/acid-free**
  • Mixing palette students may use the lid of the paint set to mix their colors. Students can also bring in a WHITE plastic dinner plate for an additional color mixing surface.

  • Gallon jug of water
    • Approximate cost: $2.00
  • If you prefer to shop locally for your supplies, you can purchase comparable items at Michaels, Jerry’s Artarama or any arts or crafts store of your choice.

Notes: we have found that some of the other watercolor pad brands have a pattern pressed into the paper that will cause you many problems.  Best to stick with the Canson XL, as recommended by another very good teacher, and I have also found it to be good. There are even better brands but they are more expensive, often a $1.00 per sheet per pad. As a beginner, no need to spend more, the Canson XL will be fine.

The main criteria to watch for is Acid Free/Cold Pressed 140lb at least.

It is recommended that you buy a Mixed Media pad for your compositional studies and testing paint colors as you are painting.

**Michaels rarely has these papers in the store. If you re going to pay shipping better to go to Dick Blick. Check out their sizes and styles of binding of Canson XL pads.

About the Instructor, Donna Osterby-Brien

Donna Osterby-Brien has had a love affair with watercolor since studying at Parsons School of design.  Though proficient with many other mediums she has been told “You shine brightly” when using watercolor.”

“My approach to watercolor is to use a fully loaded brush of beautiful color.  It is, after all, WATER – COLOR.”  Together we will learn to ‘tame this medium’ and allow its semi-transparent nature to really shine.”

Osterby-Brien is a member of several local arts associations including Arts Alliance of Stratford, BRAG and Artists Collective of Westport. She has won awards in juried exhibits and has had several solo shows in libraries, museums and other venues in the Tri-State area.

Register below: