Watercolor I

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ART 145

       Course Name: Watercolor I

       Credits: 3 (0 lecture; 6 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

ART 105, ART 131, or ART 132, or consent of instructor.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course provides basic understanding and working practice of watercolor as a painting medium. Content includes use of watercolor and component materials, tools and techniques associated with this medium, development of line, shape, spatial characteristics, color mixing, and their use in terms of the concept of the work. Studio work outside of scheduled class time required.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Student will paint and produce original works of art that indicate an understanding of:
    1. Color mixing
    2. Enlargement via grid
    3. Preliminary compositional studies
    4. Value relationship studies
    5. Paper selection, preparation and use
    6. Brush selection and use
    7. Watercolor “effects”
  2. Student will perform basic skills related to watercolor, i.e., stretching, matting, mounting and framing.
  3. Student will explore watercolor painting techniques as related to style, mood, and approach.
  4. Student will evaluate and discuss through class critique his/her own, as well as other’s art work.
  5. Student will demonstrate verbal articulation using art and watercolor related vocabulary.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Introduction to Watercolor:
    1. Introduction of media
      1. Watercolor make-up
      2. Pan, cake, verses tube color
      3. Traditional supplies needed
    2. Introduction to support i.e., paper
      1. Types: rag verses pulp
      2. Sizes
      3. Weights
      4. Surface: “Tooth” finishes
    3. Brushes: (quality verses cost)
      1. Types
      2. Sizes
      3. Shapes
      4. Functions
  2. Color
    1. Color Theory
    2. Color Mixing (pigment)
      1. Hue
      2. Tints
      3. Shades
      4. Chroma, brilliance, intensity
      5. Transparency
      6. Granulation
  3. Paper
    1. Paper stretching techniques
    2. Media: watercolor manipulations
      1. Washes
      2. Wet into wet – graduated washes
      3. Wet over dry – glazing
      4. Dry brush
      5. Resist
      6. Seraffito
      7. Salt
      8. Lift out
      9. Tickled edges
    3. Paper stages
      1. Wet
      2. Moist
      3. Damp
      4. Dry
  4. Subject Matter
    1. Painting from still-life
    2. Painting from photographs
    3. Painting from nature
    4. Painting from self-directed internal interpretation

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Methods of instruction include lectures, demonstrations, films and/or PowerPoints, Internet searches, problem solving, class and individual critiques, and practical art studio painting time.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Course is taught as a face-to-face course.

  1. Studio work: paintings made during class
  2. Field work: paintings assigned as homework
  3. Oral response: participation in critiques
  4. Attendance: mandated by instructor

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Students are given a list of what materials and specific supplies are needed at the beginning of the semester.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

  1. Evaluation methods include class critiques of each major area of concentration, class critique of individual paintings, and a final overview critique. Individualized and personal day-to-day evaluation of student’s progress during the art studio section.
  2. Attendance: attendance policy is mandated by the instructor.

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.