Watercolor: Aqueous Media

Instructor: Susan Cowan


First class of each Session will review Optional items to be used this Quarter, so you need not buy these items until after we’ve met!

• Sketchbook/Journal: something to do your creative brainstorming in each quarter, this need not be expensive! Alternately, you may cut up W/C paper into postcard size pieces: 3 x 5 or 4 x 6.

• Acrylics: Golden fluid acrylics work very well for monotype beginnings and the pours we will be doing, but any acrylic paint can be used for the class. Bring as many colors as your heart desires, but at least a basic palette plus titanium white. (Golden, Liquitex, Daniel Smith and Utrecht are all good brands.)

• Black/White Gesso: : (OPTIONAL) - Bring a small jar/bottle for our project coating paper or cradle -boards.

• Caran d’ache water soluble crayons: : (OPTIONAL) - We sometimes use these on our black gesso surfaces. A small set is fine or a selection of colors from open stock is fine. I will have some to share in class.

• Alcohol Inks: : (OPTIONAL) - I occasionally demonstrate these and you can decide after if you want to purchase them!

• Charcoal Powder: : (OPTIONAL) -t class will occasionally experiment with this technique (General’s Charcoal Powder-small jar).

• Gloss Medium: 1 small jar - 1 quart depending on how large and how many starts you wish to produce in the class. The medium is used to coat the paper we will print the monotypes on and as glue for collage elements. (Utrecht is my favorite brand, but Daniel Smith and Golden are also very good.)

• Gel Medium: (OPTIONAL) thicker than most gloss mediums, useful in mounting paper to cradle boards and for adhering heavier objects to panels in collage work.

• YES paste: (OPTIONAL) good stickflat glue for magazine papers that tend to warp.

• Paper: my favorite paper is Strathmore Aquarius II, an 80lb cotton fiber paper that stays beautifully flat with repeated glazes and prints very well. Also good is YUPO, a synthetic paper that requires no coating with gloss medium to print on. Regular 140lb cold press watercolor paper warps more and is a little stiffer when mono printing. I recommend 3-5 sheets depending on how many starts you wish to produce in the class. Masa paper : (OPTIONAL) is a lightweight paper that we sometimes use–plan on bringing a couple of sheet for experimentation and special effects, if desired.

• Canvas or Birch cradle- boards: (OPTIONAL) or the Gallery wrapped, deeper cradled canvases: (OPTIONAL) that don't need to be framed are also great surfaces to create paintings on.

• Printing plates: I will provide several large Plexiglas printing plates (approx. 28 x 36) for monotypes, but if you prefer your own pristine surface: (OPTIONAL), use 3 mm clear Acrylite to print on (or 1/8 inch) cut slightly larger than the size of paper you will be printing. (Remember, due to table size restrictions, smaller work will be encouraged in class.)

• Brushes: I use the softer, watercolor type brushes for my acrylic work (one flat wash brush 1” or 2”, or flat angle brush, depending on the size paper you prefer), a few large rounds (#12 or #14) or angle brushes and some smaller rounds or angle daggers with good points for painting details).

• Palette: I use the small Masterson Stay -Wet palette (or, white styrene meat trays and zip lock bags to put them in, save your acrylics quite nicely).

• Small containers with lids (Optional): snap top 2 - 4 oz. plastic containers are nice for saving juicy acrylics that were mixed up for pours instead of wasting the paint, or just some small cups for mixing our pour colors.

• Miscellaneous extras: Roll of shop towels or good paper towels, rags/sponges for clean up, 1 bottle of rubbing alcohol for clean up and special effects, Saran wrap, waxed paper, rice papers and tissue papers for collage are great for picking up extra paint, spray bottle is a must, sponges & stamps : (OPTIONAL) - store bought or make your own…safe cut blocks work to carve your own printing designs), and then of course you need an Exacto knife and extra blades or a linoleum carving tool set to create the designs. Stencil : (OPTIONAL) and clear contact paper to cut your own...again, optional but fun: letters, numbers, etc., apron as this class gets messy, and photo references of images you would like to include in your painting development (or as designs for stencil and stamp making). I will have many stamps and stencils for you to use!

• If you enjoy drawing directly on your under paintings you will need a soft graphite pencil (for light values in your under painting) and a white charcoal pencil (for a dark valued under painting) or, watercolor pencils or water soluble Caran d'ache crayons (my personal favorite!). If you prefer to draw on tracing paper and transfer your drawing to your under painting you will need a roll/tablet of tracing paper, and SARAL transfer paper, either graphite colored or white depending on the values in your monotypes.