Family First Workshop: Exploration of Watercolor

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Family First Workshop: Exploration of Watercolor

by Julia Hood, Coordinator of Education | @LearnReynolda

For the most recent Family First workshop, we explored how to paint with watercolor. Some participants had painted with the medium before, others had not.

After some preliminary playing around (getting used to mixing water with the paint, painting washes, adding salt to a painted section and so on), we traveled to the Written with Water bedroom exhibition to see some watercolors first hand. We learned what it means that watercolor is a transparent paint medium (transparent: allowing light to pass through so that objects behind can be seen). While we looked at Winslow Homer’s Watching from the Cliffs (1881), workshop participants surmised how Homer painted (or didn’t paint?) the clouds in the scene. Zoom in on the image and see what you think.

Other watercolors to inspire you:

John Marin, Downtown, New York, (ca. 1925)

Charles Burchfield, The Wood Pecker (1955-1963)

Andrew Wyeth, Farm Pond (1957)

Fairfield Porter, Autumn Tree (1964)

Some workshop participants hard at work:

The finished results:


See watercolors in person at the Museum! Visit Written with Water: American Watercolors from Homer to Close, on view in the Museum’s West Bedroom Gallery now through September 14, 2014.

Can't make it to the Museum? Visit our online gallery Keith/Six Drawing Series by Chuck Close to see upclose the work of one of the most famous living artists.


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