Watercolor Depth and Realism, Level 1 – Basics, Composition, Values, and Understanding Color

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Watercolor Depth and RealismHave you always wondered how to watercolor like the pros? Do you wish you could receive professional watercolor instruction from the comfort of your own home?

Well, Artist’s Network University has a new online watercolor course series for you! Add greater depth to your watercolors using watercolor techniques Laurie Humble has included in her book Watercolor Depth & Realism. This is level one of a new 3-part online watercolor tutorial and class.

Watercolor tips and lessons learned in these courses can be applied to any painting style and any skill level. You will be amazed at the new levels of dimension you will create!

Start Date:

April 15, 2014



Course Materials:

Workshop Length:

4 weeks


Laurie Humble (bio)

View Course Schedule


What You’ll Learn

  • Basic watercolor techniques
  • Composition tips
  • Using value to create dimension
  • Understanding color through layering

Who should take this workshop:

  • Beginners through more advanced painters who wish to create realistic work with a greater sense of visual depth


  • Indigo
  • Ultramarine Light
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Cyan
  • Cobalt Turquoise
  • Permanent Green, #1 (replaces Cinnabar Green Light in your textbook)
  • Olive Green
  • Burnt Umber
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Permanent Red
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Magenta
  • Gamboge
  • Lemon Yellow


  • 140-lb (300gsm) cold-pressed watercolor paper (will need stretched)


  • No. 12 or no. 14 synthetic round
  • 1- or 2-inch (25mm or 51mm) flat or a large hake
  • No. 2 flat synthetic with stiff bristles (for scrubbing)


  • Gator board
  • Stapler
  • HB or No. 2 pencil
  • White plastic eraser
  • Plastic or porcelain palette
  • 2 containers of water
  • Paper towels
  • Hair dryer


Course Syllabus

Session One

  • Read intro – pg. 19
  • Practice the basic techniques, especially the smooth and gradated washes,
  • Submit examples
  • Submit examples of physical vs. visual mixing using red & green, yellow & violet, and blue & orange in the manner shown on pg. 18

Session Two

  • Read pg. 20-29
  • Complete the duck demo two times, once using masking fluid, once by painting around the whites
  • Using the before & after painting on pg. 23 as a guide, create your own before and after by adding focal point to an old painting you have done. Submit a photo of both the before and the after
  • If you are a brand-new painter, try adding something to one of your duck demos to strengthen your focal point or to create a new one. Be creative

Session 3

  • Read pg 30-43
  • Submit three value scales, similar to the one on pg 34. Each one should be done in a different color (example – 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 blue) of your choice. Try to create as many values as you can by varying paint to water ratio. Start with the white of the paper and gradually get darker
  • Submit a painting done in any one color of your choice, (in your own or favorite style) striving for a wide range of values in the finished product. Submit a photo of your reference material as well

Session 4

  • Read pg 44-51
  • Do the sidebar exercise on pg 51
  • Create two separate still lifes (consisting of 3 or 5 objects, slightly overlapped). One should contain all white objects, the other all black objects
  • Paint the still lifes looking for color – reflected, exaggerated, and imagined
  • Submit photos of your set ups along with your paintings

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