Watercolor: The Expressive Medium


This seminar has met its participant maximum. Please call 920-839-2216 with any questions or to join the waiting list.


This seminar is for novice through experienced artists. Drawing skills are useful but not required. Participants will be a part of a creative community that invites them to experiment with a wide-range of traditional and non-traditional watercolor techniques and learn to create strong individualized artistic statements. Participants from previous summers are welcome to repeat this class and are welcome to focus on independent projects or work with the instructor to figure out next steps. 

Helen Klebesadel was a member of the Lawrence University faculty from 1990 to 2000 teaching studio art and gender studies. She has offered her summer Björklunden watercolor seminars annually since 1996.  Known as an engaging teacher and effective creative coach, she has been invited to teach watercolor and creativity workshops from Texas to Alaska. Klebesadel is best known for her highly detailed narrative watercolor paintings and exhibits her paintings nationally and internationally while maintaining her art studio in Madison, WI.  She also holds a position as the director of the University of Wisconsin Women’s and Gender Studies Consortium at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Committed to community engagement, Klebesadel served on the Wisconsin Arts Board from 2006-2013, and she is a past national president of the national Women’s Caucus for Art.  Learn more about her artwork, her collaborative activist art projects, and her exhibition schedule at www.klebesadel.com.

Class maximum: 17

Suggested Materials:

  • One set tube watercolors - an ideal range of colors would include:
    • permanent or alizarin red
    • cadmium red
    • ultramarine blue
    • cerulean blue
    • new gambage yellow
    • lemon yellow
    • violet or mauve
    • For this workshop student grade watercolors are fine.  Good brands of paint are Winsor Newton (Cotman), Grumbacher, Daniel Smith, Holman, Liquitex, M. Graham, Holbine, and many others. 
  • A range of at least four brushes:
    • ROUNDS #10 or 8 for large areas, #5 or 6 for basic work,#1 or 2 for details,
    • FLATS #2 or 1-inch flat for washes
    • Any size fan brush (optional)
  • 5-8 sheets good watercolor paper (preferably bring some full sheets of some good paper like Arches 140 lb 22 x 30 inch paper, but a good 20 x 28 watercolor pad can work.  Cold press or hot press paper will work.  Bring some of each.)
  • Two water containers (quart containers)
  • A white plate, enamel butchers tray, or watercolor palette
  • 3-6 small ½ to 1-cup sized cups/bowls or baby food jars
  • A roll of masking tape
  • Liquid mask (Winsor Newton, Frisket, Misket)
  • Metal nib and ink pen holder

Optional Materials:

  • A small plastic spray bottle with adjustable nozzle
  • A 4x6” absorbent sponge + a smaller one
  • Paper Towels
  • Sketchbook and Pencils, B & softer or a #2
  • An eraser, Art Gum or Kneaded
  • A rubber cement pick up (found at office supply stores
  • Any additional supplies you enjoy working with.

You can get almost everything via one of these two online art stores, much of it at discount:

Helen Klebesadel will bring a lot of supplies too so you can try things out and see if you like them before investing in them.  The most important purchases are your paint, brushes and paper.  Good quality supplies are expensive initially as you get set up, but if you purchase good enough quality materials you will have much greater expense in your experimentation with watercolor. Please do not hesitate to check in with Helen if you have questions about what to purchase. Helen’s email is klebesadel@tds.net.

Sunday, August 12, 2018 to Saturday, August 18, 2018
$995 double; $1,350 single; $450 commuter
Art & Art History

Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube