Monday, July 5, 2021

Painting Koi -- A Virtual Workshop on Zoom!

I'm teaching a 2 - day virtual workshop on Zoom -- Painting Koi in Watercolor! This workshop is August 14 - 15, 12:30 pm to 4 pm EDT (Eastern Daylight Time) each day. (Can't make our workshop dates? No problem! Register anyway and you'll be sent a link to a recording to watch for 30 days.)

The host is Helen Beacham of Workshops in Charleston. Contact Helen ASAP to sign up, as this will fill up fast! The price is $125 per person. The day before the workshop, you will receive an email with the Zoom link. You will have access to a recording of the workshop for 30 days. 

Slipped Away, 9x12 watercolor by Annie Strack

Using the reference photo provided, students will draw the koi onto their watercolor paper and have all their supplies ready to go before the class begins. The first day of the lesson will start with layering an underpainting of shadow color on the fish to depict dimension or “roundness.” Then we will paint the background water. This is painted very wet and is done in layers with lots of paint. We will do at least one practice painting of the background techniques, so have at least one extra piece of paper to practice upon. The practice sheets can be small student grade WC paper, but at least 8x10. We will use masking fluid to mask out a few scales on the fish. On the second day of the workshop, we will paint the details of the koi using bold brushstrokes and bright colors on top of the underpainting, which allows the shape of the fish to show though the colors and completes the painting. 

Garden Jewels, 9x12 watercolor by Annie Strack 


Cold pressed watercolor paper. Either blocked or mounted, at least 140 lbs. At least 9x12 in size, up to 12x16.

Making fluid, Paper towels.

Scrap paper for testing brushstrokes, and at least one piece to practice the background upon.

Paints:   You must have Indigo, Green-Gold, New Gamboge, Chinese White, Payne’s grey (or any other black), Cadmium Red (or a similar bright red), Cadmium Orange (or similar bright orange), Lemon yellow (or any bright yellow), Alizarin (or any similar cool shade of red). Also, bring along any other colors you like to use. I will use a lot of different colors of blue and maybe even some browns and purples or other greens, but it’s mostly about value and chroma not so much about color! So, bring your regular palette of colors in addition to the necessary ones I listed. The colors of the fish are spontaneous – I only use the photos as reference for the basic shapes and never match the colors exactly!

Brushes:  You’ll need a big soft mop to paint the background. I use squirrel mops, about a size 5 or 6. For the fishes, I use a smaller mop – about a size 1 or 2. I also use some kolinsky rounds in smaller sizes about 4 or 6 for the details in the fish. The size of your brushes will depend on how large is your painting. If you are painting a 12x16, you might want to go up a size or two on the brushes.

Reference photo for workshop!

This is my reference photo that we will be painting in this workshop. If you have any questions about the workshop, the supply list, or about preparing for the workshop, contact me! 

posted by Annie Strack @ 4:40 PM   0 Comments


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All images and content copyright Annie Strack 2021 Although I occasionally receive compensation for some posts, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own.