Flat Washes in Watercolour

with Colleen Reynolds

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What you will learn:

Fundamental Concepts of Art

Class 1:

  • Overview of Composition Concepts

  • Principles and Elements of Design

  • Compositional Aids and Hints

  • Rule of Thirds & Golden Mean

Class 2:

  • Exercise #1 – Establish format, set up painting elements using “Rule of Thirds”

  • Exercise #2 – Complete three “thumbnail sketches” with different compositional ideas, using just one photo reference.

  • Color Theory

Class 3:

  • Color Wheel Basics, Color Relationships

  • Exercise #3 - Paint Color Wheel

  • Discuss Common Color Schemes

  • Discuss and demonstrate Negative Vs Positive Painting

Painting Technique – Flat Washes

Class 4:

  • Understanding pigment properties

  • Hue, Value, Temperature, Intensity, Granulation, Staining Quality, Lightfastness,

  • Discuss types of watercolor washes

  • Gradated, Variegated, Flat

Class 5:

  • Palette / paint preparation

  • Exercise #4 - Paint three (3) flat washes

  • Rough, Cold Press, and Hot Press Paper

Class 6

  • Exercise # 5 - Paint three (3) gradated washes

  • Cold press or rough paper, using 3 different colors

  • Exercise # 6 - Paint three (3) variegated washes

  • Cold press or rough paper, using 3 different colors

Complete Two Paintings

We will work two paintings at once to allow for drying times between layers. Source photos provided in student area.

Class 7:

  • Step 1 - Choose analogous colors

  • Step 2 – Mix Paint

  • Step 3 – Painting 1 – First Wash

Class 8:

  • Step 4 – Painting 2 – First Wash

  • Step 5 – Painting 1 – Draw initial subject layer on top of first wash

  • Step 6 – Painting 2 – Draw initial subject layer on top of first wash

Class 9:

  • Step 7 – Painting 1 – Paint Second Wash, using “negative painting” and flat washes

  • Step 8 – Painting 2 - Paint Second Wash, using “negative painting” and flat washes

  • Repeat Steps 5 -8 for at least two (2) more layers.


About the course

In this 3-day workshop, participants will learn about composition and color concepts and build skills to create beautiful washes by “pulling a bead” of paint..

Open Facebook Group to students of this course:

Curious Mondo: Flat Washes in Watercolour

Time table:
9 hours

Basic / Intermediate / Advanced

Target market:
Anyone who wants to perfect their watercolour painting skills.

Main objective:
Understand and apply the watercolour technique "flat washes".

Flat Washes in Watercolour Sneakpeak


About the instructor

Colleen Reynolds

Colleen Reynolds’ watercolor paintings feature a variety of subjects, including figures, portraits and botanicals. She considers her paintings of “furry critters” and “flower critters” an enjoyable version of the more “serious” focus on figurative pieces.

Colleen is an award-winning painter who shows her work regularly throughout Utah and other western states. She has a Master’s in Education and Bachelor’s degrees in Fine Art and Mathematics. Because of her teaching credentials, Colleen has also become an “in-demand” art workshop instructor.

Colleen paints out of her Cottonwood Heights studio (near Salt Lake City, Utah). She also teaches monthly watercolor classes at her classroom location in Millcreek, Utah. She is a Past President of the Utah Watercolor Society and member of the Intermountain Society of Artists. You may be interested to know, Colleen completed a 20-year career in the U.S. Navy! She is a retired Cryptologic Officer and maintains many friendships and contacts around the world as a result.