Strathmore Online Workshop – Watercolor Sketching, Week One

I’m taking a free online workshop with Cathy Johnson called Watercolor Sketching.

Learn how to sketch from life using watercolor, pen and ink and more. Cathy Johnson will share numerous tricks and techniques, covering topics such as ink and watercolor, watercolor pencil, gouache and other mixed media. Learn how to start a sketch with pencil guidelines or jump right in with watercolors. Add interest and meaning to pages using a few select collage elements. Put all of these techniques to work in your nature, travel, urban or journal sketching adventures.

I didn’t buy a journal to work in, I just plan on using up a pad of hot press watercolor paper that I don’t like.

Lesson one went over the supplies and then talked about doing different washes with watercolor. I took a watercolor class years ago as part of my graphic design certificate at PNCA and I was hopeless. It was nice to get some pointers, as well as put a name to practices I already do with gouache.

We then did a sketch of whatever we wanted (Cathy did a basil plant) using the wash techniques we’d learned.

I cut a couple of flowers from my hellebore and painted them. You can see some of my wash practice off to the side!


I was nervous, at first, and it was hard to not try and copy it exactly. Once I got into the mindset of looking at light and shadow, it was easier.

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