Hearding, Catherine – Painting Water on Water (Plein Air Workshop)


This class will have limited space, so our supply kits will necessarily be small. Each person will have space to sit comfortably and there will be a small circular table, shared by 4 people, to set out water and supplies. The boat has a canvas covering in the rear, but no covering on the forward seats. Students will change seat locations during the day so that everyone has a chance to sit in the shade.  


  • A hat, preferably with a broad brim 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Sunglasses will be a good idea, even though they can be problematic when painting, due to color shifts. But if we cannot get the paper in shade, they will help more than hinder. 
  • You are welcome to wear a swimsuit if you wish, but make sure you have cover-up clothing to protect from the sun. 
  • Bring a bag lunch and any other food that you will need. Water will be provided. 
  • Bring a camera or cell phone to take a picture of your subject for reference later. 

Art Supplies

  • 9 x12″ or smaller Arches cold pressed watercolor block. You will be working on your lap, so using a watercolor block will be more efficient than single sheets.
  • Small watercolor sketchbook: there are many spiral bound books, including Arches, Kilimanjaro, Daler-Rowney, American Journey or a Moleskin bound notebook. Just make sure that you get professional grade paper.


  • A small pocket watercolor field kit set of half pan colors. I use an American Journey empty metal palette and 12 empty full pans, which I fill with my own tube colors.
  • Make your own outdoor kit from your tubes by squeezing some paint into small bottle caps and gluing into a small box or container. The lid must be large enough to mix your paint.
  • You will need a warm primary triad of red, yellow, and blue and a cool primary triad of the same hues. Six pigments are all you need, but you can add more if you have favorite colors.

Suggested colors: select one from each line

  • Permanent Rose or Alizarin Crimson
  • Brown Madder, Burnt Sienna, Winsor Red or Cadmium Scarlet
  • Winsor Blue (phthalo blue), Prussian Blue or Antwerp Blue
  • Cobalt Blue or Ultramarine Blue
  • Winsor Yellow or New Gamboge
  • Aureolin, Hansa Yellow or Winsor Lemon


I would suggest a #10 or #12 round with a good point will do everything you need to do. You may include a slightly larger wash brush if you wish. It is easy to lose brushes when painting outdoors, so keep the number to a minimum.

Other Supplies

  • Water container + extra water.
  • Sponge, terry towel or paper towel to wipe the brush.
  • Drawing pen, if you want to do watercolor and ink sketches. I use Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens, but any drawing pen with permanent ink will do.
  • Drawing pencil – 2B   
  • Artist’s tape, if you want to tape your edges.
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Posted on

June 17, 2019