Watercolor Painting for Beginners
with Ellen Fountain, N.W.S.
A Five-Volume Instructional Video Series on DVD
This series fully explains the concepts you need to know in order to get started successfully in watercolor painting. These DVDs are for those with no watercolor experience (beginners), or for those who have not painted for so long that they feel they need a complete review of the basics.
My solid teaching experience and the wealth of information I have learned 25+ years of painting with watercolor are the factors that make these videos exceptional, and that will start you off right with this exciting medium. Scroll down this page for a more complete description on what's on each video.
Each DVD is approximately 60 minutes long. My videos are NOT step-by-step "How To Paint a Barn, Boat or ". You will not see me working on just one demonstration painting, start to finish. Rather, my short partial demonstrations on several different paintings will teach you approaches, concepts and techniques that you can apply to any subject you choose to paint in any style. I show you lots of examples and finished paintings (mine and master watercolor artists) to help illustrate how you might use a given technique. A more complete description of the contents of each video follows the ordering information below.
Five, jam-packed 60-minute videos that are detailed and thorough, presenting a large array of beginner watercolor information, techniques and practice exercises! Finally I've found a set of instructional videos to help me seriously begin painting with watercolor without struggling through the learning of techniques from a book or sitting through a watercolor product sales pitch. Throughout each video, there are key points at which you, the student, are challenged to stop the video and "try it yourself," making the otherwise passive experience of video more interactive. I suggest, however, watching the entire set at least one time without pausing, as some information contained in the later videos may be of benefit as one explores the earlier exercises. And although I would have liked to see better overall production quality in these videos (they were shot in the home studio of the artist), I highly recommend the series for anyone just starting out in watercolor. Ellen Fountain has done a good job at simplifying, explaining and teaching something that once felt very daunting and complicated.
--- K. Dailey, Florida
...volume 2, which I have played over and over, is just wonderful. I'm ordering the rest of the series. I wish I had ordered them all from the beginning because I had no idea how to watercolor, I just knew I loved the finished product. Your communication & explanation of things was what I found most helpful in each of the step by step stages of the lessons.
--- P. Rygiel, New York
I wish I had known about Ellen Fountain's series first because I would have saved myself a lot of money and frustration on the many other videos and books for beginners that I have purchased. Ellen is really an excellent teacher; she begins the video with what I believe is a very important lesson - building confidence! I think this is essential when you are just starting out, especially with watercolor, which is very challenging. She explains everything, even the little details - like why you catch the bead of paint on a graded wash. Now I know why, and I remember to catch that bead. If you mess up, she shows you how to work with it - so you can go on - and not give up from frustration. Painting should be a fun and rewarding pastime and Ellen's video has certainly made watercolor more pleasurable and fulfilling for me. I really learned a great deal and I highly recommend it!
--- Y. DeMartino, Pennsylvania
I have received your first video [Volume 1] and am so pleased with it. It answers questions that I have never had answered in the several watercolor classes I have taken. I am so looking forward to the next one. The only time I have received such helplike a one on onewas when I visited my cousin who is an artist. I thought that hot pressed paper was inferior...now I see maybe it might be just the thing for me when I want to be very detailed...and brushstroke oriented.
--- L. DeMars, Georgia
I just looked at the video. [Volume 3] It is great. I have taken lessons for two years and learned more practical information in a half hour or so of your video. Instruction is very clear and understandable.Thanks!
--- S. Rich, Ohio
Volume 1: Tools and Materials
In this video, you'll learn:
All about paperweights, sizes, types and surfaces
Which paper surface works best for certain techniques
How to select and care for your brushes, and which ones you really need to get started
What to look for in tube watercolors, and the six colors you can begin with and still make colorful paintings
Pluspalettes, other tools, travel equipment and more!
Volume 2: Brushwork,
Washes & Textures
How to do flat, wet-in-wet and graduated washes
Brushwork with the round and flat brushes
How to create soft, lost and hard edges
Glazing or layering color
Textures for watercolor
What goes wrong and how to fix or take advantage of it when it does
Volume 3: Color Mixing (Hue, Value and Intensity)
Why the traditional color wheel doesn't work for color mixing and one that does
Color bias and how to use it
How to adjust color value and color intensity
The effect of light on color and the effect of surrounding colors, and how this affects what colors you paint
The function of white in watercolor, and how to keep it or get it back
Volume 4: Color Mixing
How to test your colors for transparency, sediment, tinting strength and staining qualities and why knowing these characteristics or qualities can help you make better paintings
How to select and use palettes of colors based on their particular characteristics to create a particular mood or feeling
New colors to add to your basic six and how to use them
How to avoid muddy or overworked color, chalky or shiny darks, and too pale color
Volume 5: Composition for
Landscape & Still Life Painting
Your subject matter and why you want to paint it
Using your Sketches and Photos as reference material
Choosing a point of view
Organizing and orchestrating your pictorial space
Movement / Entry and Containment
Focus / Center of Interest
Take a look at my abbreviated credentials below (or click to my shows and awards page)
Ellen Fountain, NWS, received B.F.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Arizona in Tucson, where she now lives. She was an artist-in-residence for the Arizona Commission on the Arts for 5 years, and also taught at the Tucson Art Institute. She now conducts occasional watercolor workshops around the country, teaches watercolor at The Drawing Studio in Tucson, and consistently gets rave reviews from her students.
In addition to dozens of national, regional and local awards for her paintings, Ms. Fountain has also received a Visual Arts Fellowship award from the Tucson-Pima Arts Council. Her paintings are in the permanent collection of the Tucson Museum of Art, and in private collections in both the USA and Europe. In 2003, she was one of 35 artists chosen to paint a life-size pony for the Ponies del Pueblo fund raiser sponsored by the Tucson-Pima Arts Council. Auctioned off in November 2003, these ponies raised nearly a half-million dollars for non-profit groups in the Tucson area.
Her work incorporates elements from the pattern and decoration movement of the 1970s, as well as influences from such diverse sources as Japanese stencil textile design, Native American art, and imaginative interpretations of her own daily life and activities.