An introductory course for nature journalers
Master the basics of painting in nature using a portable watercolor set in this self-paced, online course that will give you the skills and confidence to illuminate your nature journals in the great outdoors.
Have you always wanted to learn to use watercolors but were afraid to try?
You shouldn’t be. Watercolors are fast, easy, and non-toxic compared to other painting media. They yield beautiful results once you learn a few simple techniques and use good quality materials. I have been painting with watercolors, teaching art courses and leading nature sketching holidays that incorporate watercolor techniques for over a decade and I love to watch my students gain the skills and confidence that allow them to begin a fun and rewarding hobby.
Many folks find watercolors to be quite intimidating but I will reveal their characteristics and best techniques for using them in a straightforward manner. Like cats, they sometimes have their own minds and can be unpredictable but their bright colors and ease of use is unparalleled!
Who this course is designed for
No prior experience in painting is needed. I designed this course primarily for the following audiences:
- Nature lovers who sketch but have never before explored the medium of watercolor.
- Travelers who would like to incorporate the use of watercolors into their journals when outdoors or on the road.
- Parents and environmental educators who would like to teach their middle school and older kids about color theory, mixing colors and foundational painting techniques, which they could use to embellish their nature observation journals.
There’s something so meditative about getting outdoors, observing nature and creating something beautiful. Everything else seems to melt away while your attention is focused on your subject, and in the end, you really feel a sense of renewal. It’s such a great way to get your mind off of work for a few minutes, and can make all the difference in the remainder of your afternoon.“
-Tabitha Stevenson, Pennsylvania
About this course
In this course, Welcome to Watercolors, I provide a solid foundation giving you the basic skills and confidence to paint using the medium of watercolors. I focus on quick and loose methods for depicting living subjects in the field. In other words, you won’t be setting up an easel and creating a ‘masterpiece’, rather you’ll gain the ability to take your portable set of paints out on a hike, sit at a picnic table or boulder and paint a subject or scene in your sketching journal with confidence and joy!
Topics included in this course
- My recommended art materials with suggestions for where to purchase.
- Pros & cons of choosing your color palette and palette of colors.
- Color theory, and how to accurately mix the desired color to match your subject.
- Basic techniques of applying paints to the paper.
- How to make a portable watercolor set for working in the field or while traveling.
- How to paint a variety of plant and animal subjects in the field.
The format of this watercolor course
- Video Tutorials: Video demonstrations leading you step-by-step through my favorite foundational watercolor techniques and bonus videos on how to choose a color palette and how to make a portable watercolor set for the field.
- Guides: Printable guides to the materials and techniques presented in the course.
Topics not included
This is not an exhaustive course in every aspect of painting, rather an introduction focused on helping folks interested in learning basic techniques for using watercolors in order to capture the beauty of the natural world, especially in a field sketchbook. I do not cover the use of myriad types of brushes, paper, nor advanced techniques or special effects one might use when creating detailed paintings in the studio. I do not cover techniques for tight, fussy renderings of subjects in a scientific illustration style.
Rather, I focus on mastering the basics of watercolors so that you can confidently use this medium in the field in order to observe and appreciate the colors of nature found in the great outdoors.
“Christine helped me really appreciate watercolors. At first, I was intimidated, but she made nature sketching and painting such a mindful experience and took out any of the intimidation out of the picture. Her video tutorials were incredibly detailed and resourceful. Christine covered things I didn’t even know I needed like blending colors to match what I find in nature and understanding how letting go of control is one of the key factors of success with watercolor painting. I felt calm, empowered, and focused on my art. Thank you, Christine, for bringing your expertise and knowledge to make things simple and easy. Oh, and to have me let go of controlling the watercolors – just letting them flow!”
-Isabelle Rizo, Illinois
“You are a great inspiration, Christine. For years, I’ve been avoiding art. Something happened, I’m not sure what but I just could not bring myself to conceive of creating. The color had gone out of me. I’m so happy that I’m open to painting now and look forward to stepping into the flow. So, I hope to soon be a child just playing with watercolor, enjoying it and reveling in it. I’m introducing it to my life and folding it into place. I am hoping to make it a big part of my life. Thanks, Christine for being a nature lover. I am very glad to have met you. I think you may be a kindred spirit.”
-Cindy Howard, Oregon
About your instructor and why I developed this course
I am a naturalist, educator and visual artist who loves helping folks develop a deeper connection to the natural world through the practice of nature sketching, painting, and journaling. My advanced degrees in both biology and illustration and 20+ years of teaching experience inform my work as an instructor of live workshops, international nature sketching retreats, and online programs.
Supplies you’ll need for the course
In the course, I go over my recommendations for materials, all of which are simple and inexpensive, and some you may already have at home. In my teaching philosophy, I don’t believe there’s any ‘magic’ in certain art supplies. Rather I focus on general techniques of painting and of observing nature’s colors regardless of the exact materials you have.
Learn more about this course
Click HERE or on the image below to learn more about the course and purchase it.