Loading... Please wait...

CPT 050-W23| Introduction to Watercolor and Gouache

CPT 050-W23| Introduction to Watercolor and Gouache

2/25-3/18 Sat 9-12 pm 380 Cumberland Ave Portland

Maximum Enrollment: 12 LBS

Course Description



Watercolor seems so simple at first, yet many people try it out and quickly abandon it. The truth is it’s a hard medium to master. Get off to a good start with this class. You will learn characteristics of transparent and opaque watercolor, brushes and paper; practice a range of basic techniques; learn what you can and can’t do with watercolor; study examples of great watercolor art; watch demonstrations; and make your own paintings. You will leave this class understanding how to confidently include watercolor and gouache in your own lifelong art practice.

Prior drawing experience (still-life, landscape, figure) and color theory is helpful.


Weekly Class

Tuition: $175 + $25 Studio Fee

2/25-3/18 Saturdays 9-12 pm (4 sessions)

CEUs: 1.2



Jean Wiecha is an artist and writer in Portland Maine. She uses watercolor and gouache extensively for sketchbooking and preliminary studies for larger oil paintings. Her paintings focus on industrial and coastal landscapes as well as portraits. 


All students + faculty are required to:

  • provide proof of vaccination + booster immediately after registration by emailing an image of their vaccination card to cstudy@meca.edu.


1 full sheet of 15x22 inch 140# water color paper, cold press, acid free. Arches or Winsor & Newton or other high quality brand.

A pad of watercolor paper at least 140 lb , cold press, acid free, between 8x10 and 9x12. I recommend Winsor & Newton’s 9x12 inch spiral bound watercolor pad, 140 lb, 12 sheets, 25% cotton, acid free, cold pressed.

1 roll clear removable Scotch tape (just regular size tape) and ¼ inch opaque artists tape

4-6 assorted round brushes, from very small, size 2 ish, to ½ inch or so in size. If this is your first watercolor experience, get good but not fantastic brushes. Princeton and Winsor & Newton are good brush brands that offer a range of price points. Please don’t get a set of cheap assorted brushes at a craft store—they won’t give you the control or longevity you want.

A small palette knife if you’re using gouache, 1 to 2 inch blade.

Something to mix paints on for tube paint: palette paper or a plastic plate, and a plastic palette for watercolor with 6-8 wells in it.

Paints (see below)

A plastic cup or two for water

Small spray bottle (8 oz ish)

Paper towels and a roll of toilet paper

A drawing board or other rigid support for your paper

A couple of water-soluble graphite pencils of different hardness, should be labelled medium and dark wash.

Graphite pencils (not water soluble), #2, #4 and #6 hardness



Paints: Don’t skimp on paints. Cheap paints tend to behave badly. I highly recommend artist or professional grade—not student grade-- paints. Watercolor comes in tubes and pans, and either format is fine for this class. Sennelier, Winsor & Newton, Daniel Smith and Van Gogh all make excellent watercolor paints.

Note you can buy pans a la carte if you already have a case for them. If you buy a pan set, I recommend one with 12 colors. Look for one that has a dark brown, 2 blues, 2 reds, and 2 yellows. If it includes some earth colors (umbers, ochres and sienas) all the better. Your set will also likely have some greens and a violet or two.

Everyone should bring a TUBE of black WATERCOLOR (ivory or bone black), and a TUBE of white GOUACHE.

My go-to kit is a 12-pan set. I’ve used up and replaced many of the original Sennelier colors with other brands listed above. I also work from tubes.

Here are the colors that I generally use:

1. Ivory or bone black

2. Burnt umber

3. Davy’s grey

4. Neutral tint Intro to Watercolor

5. Raw umber or yellow ochre

6. Hansa yellow medium or spectrum/primary yellow: something not leaning to green or orange.

7. Burnt sienna 8. Spectrum/primary red or similar neutral red: something not leaning to purple or orange9. Alizarin crimson

10. Ultramarine blue

11. Cerulean blue

12. Indigo

13. White gouache While everyone needs to get a tube of white artist-grade gouache, getting a whole set of gouache tubes is optional. If you want to explore gouache, please get the white plus a dark neutral, ultramarine blue, and a red and a yellow or two. Here’s a short list—these are colors I carry around with me: Burnt Umber Ultramarine blue Raw sienna or yellow ochre Primary or spectrum yellow Burnt sienna Primary or spectrum red 

This course has reached maximum enrollment.

Wait lists are available by calling our office.

Sign up for our email newsletter

•Find out when new course listings come available
•Learn about special events
•See what people are making

Or if you prefer a physical catalog, CLICK HERE
Thank you to our Media Sponsor, Maine Today Media – Press Herald.