The stars aligned when I crossed paths with Stephanie Fehrenbach on Instagram. Her gorgeous oil and watercolour florals could catch anyone’s attention…but I was so in love with her work that I HAD to message her.
It’s been a couple of years since then and our friendship quickly grew into a work relationship!
We’ve since taught calligraphy and watercolour workshops together (in person and online!), and have a collection of watercolour workbooks.
But jumping into watercolour painting can be a little intimidating- what supplies to use, how to mix colours, how much water to use, etc etc.
So I convinced Stephanie to do a free BASICS lesson for us!
The links below may be affiliate links where appropriate. This means that your purchase through these links may result in a few cents in payment to me, to support creating further resources like this one! That being said, I will never suggest supplies that I do not personally use and fully recommend.
If you’re tight on time, here is a little look at everything Steph covered:
- Vibrant right out of the tube
- You can squeeze a small amount and just add as you go (and leave it to dry right on the palette until the next time you need them!)
- The tube last a long time
- Keeps colours separated and use the middle to mix colours
- Easy clean up – just wipe clean and reuse
- Soft synthetic bristles
- Don’t worry about the size of your brushes. Steph used a size 0 and size 6 for the lesson, but so long as you have a medium and small brush to start, you’re good!
- Cold press has more texture than hot pressed watercolour paper
- Works well for studies and tests
- Better quality paper for finale pieces
- Paint blends more even and you get less water marks
Two Water Containers/Jars
- One container is for rinsing your brush and the other is kept clear for cleaning up mistakes
“Experiment with your colours” – Stephanie Fehrenbach
How to prep your paint and “load” your paint brush:
Pro tip: never add paint to the paper without mixing it with water first (it won’t blend properly)
- Wet your paintbrush and then dip it into your paint
- Make a little “puddle” in the palette well by adding water
- Use this paint as is or mix it/dilute it in the centre of the palette
Now you are ready to paint!
Steph shows us how to paint a few holiday wreath elements in the lesson, but you’ll need to tune in to catch them all.
- Water determines how light and/or how dark the paint colour shows up on your paper. Less water will give you a deeper more opaque colour and the more water you add will lighten (dilute) the colour.
- Start light and ADD colour as you build your flowers, not the other way around
- Made a mistake? Dip a clean paper towel and blot (dab) it right onto the error while it is still wet! (This works best if you work quickly before the paint dries)
- Use delicate light strokes and movements
In the live lesson Steph also shows us how to make a colour swatch of our paints, how to make pastel colours, how to mix colours, why good quality paper makes a difference, how to build colour gradients to add shading and colour bleeding to name a few.
Seriously, this was meant to be a “basic” lesson, but I think it’s safe to say you got a bit more bang for your buck with this one.