How to teach a watercolor class for beginners! Last December I led a group to San Miguel Allende, and one of the activities was a watercolor corazón workshop. I thought I’d share the experience with all of you! This is a great craft to do with a group of friends, family, or you can make these to give as gifts. They come out so stunning!
My inspiration to teach this class was the fact that San Miguel de Allende is know for sacred hearts. Located in the middle of Mexico, it’s considered the heart of the country, therefore hearts are EVERYWHERE! And they are so supremely gorgeous!
I owe a huge thanks to two companies for sponsoring this class – Marabu Creative for gifting each participant a beautiful set of Aqua Pens; and Royal Brush for gifting a high-end set of watercolor brushes!
Side note: See my post on the tutorial I did on Aqua Pens, and the interview I did with a Royal Brush specialist about caring for your brushes!
Basic of working with watercolors
Watercolors are a great medium for beginner artists. They’re super versatile. You can use them to paint all kinds of things, from landscapes to portraits. Plus, watercolors are easy to use and don’t require a lot of expensive supplies. Use them in your journal pages, mixed media, lettering and more.
When it comes to painting with watercolors, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind to share with your students in your class.
Choose the right type of paper. Watercolor paper is different from regular paper in that it’s thicker and can handle the wetness of the paint. If you use regular paper, it will likely buckle and warp.
Select the right type of brush. A good watercolor brush will have a pointed tip and be made of natural fibers.
Mix your colors properly. When mixing colors, it’s important to start with a small amount of each color and gradually add more until you get the desired shade.
Now that you know the basics of using watercolors, let’s talk about some techniques for beginners:
Wet-on-wet painting. This simply means wetting your paper before adding any paint. This will create a softer, more blended look.
Dry-brush painting. This is where you load your brush with paint and then lightly brush it over the paper. This will
Supplies to teach a watercolor heart class
8×10 mat frames with backing and plastic sleeve (makes the end result look really nice)
Pencil and eraser for sketching
I found it’s much easier to have a class sample to inspire people. That way they can see a finished piece and stay motivated. What I also did for the class was to have our group visit the different shops. I asked everyone to snap pictures of hearts they loved, so they could try to recreate them during the workshop.
First, you want to sketch out your design with a pencil – lightly.
Erase any mistakes.
Fill in all the areas with your colors and then dip the brush in the water and apply in strokes to “spread the color.”
You can start by outlining the areas to fill and then dipping a liner brush in water and guiding along the inside of the color, that way it won’t spread out beyond the lines (unless you want that effect!).
Even if you draw a straight line, you can keep watering your brush and guiding it along the color and it will spread across the paper.
Once you’re done, let everything dry and then use the liner pen to outline it all in black. It really gives it a nice, finished look.
TIP: If you don’t let your paint dry, it will ruin the black marker and make it run and mess up your hard work. So set aside your piece, and come back in 30 minutes. Maybe go for a walk, do the dishes, craft something else, or watch a TV show, then come back and outline!
I really loved teaching this class because everyone made at least two paintings and they were very happy with them! Some people did a heart and then ventured out with other subjects like margarita glasses and cacti!
Before I leave this post, I want to share some more inspiration from San Miguel de Allende! One can never have too many hearts, correct?