Watercolour Primer for All: Beginners & Seasoned Painters Welcome


Registrations for this workshop are now closed.

Timothy James Standring
Monday to Friday , September 18 – September 22, 2023
9:00am – 4:00pm

Image: © Timothy J. Standring

With wit and whimsy, filled with a passionate knowledge of the history of watercolour painting, Dr. Standring will hold your attention during this five-day workshop in which you’ll cover all of the basics. Fundamentally, you’ll learn with hands-on exercises that techniques are closely aligned with the materials and tools that you are using: brushes, paper, and even the pigments themselves have interesting properties that lend to the final painting. You’ll experiment with cold and hot press papers, natural and artificial brushes, different brands of watercolour pigments. You’ll learn how set up your portable kit for painting on site while traveling for pleasure or for work. And most of all, you’ll learn how to discern what constitutes a true watercolour painting.

Students Should Bring:  

  • Watercolour pad (Recommended: 9 x 12 inches, Chanson XL). Watercolour blocks are more expensive if your budget can afford them: [9 x 12 Saunders Waterford White (20 sheets), or Fabriano 20 sheets—both 140 lb—or panoramic size, for example by Sennelier, 9 x 4 inches]
  • Watercolour pigment kit (Recommended: Sennelier, La Petite Aquarelle Watercolour, set of 12 tubes or set of Half Pans; but other inexpensive kits by Windsor Newton are fine)
  • Watercolour brushes (Recommended synthetic brands: Silver Black Velvet are my current favorites; da Vinci Casaneo, Princeton Aqua Elite, Princeton Velvet touch, Raphael Precision, rounds, sizes 8 to 14, perhaps even a smaller one, but sizes vary according to manufacturers; an inexpensive boars’ hair 1inch flat brush); and an oil painter’s brush, number 4 bright (it is a small stubby brush on a long handle)
  • Two containers for water
  • Watercolour palette—the flat rectangular box for mixing colors (Recommended: Holbein enamelled palette, but a broad porcelain white dinner plate purchased at a thrift store will do. Plastic clam palettes are also perfectly fine, but sand the plastic palette to prevent the watercolours from beading up)
  • ½ inch artist masking tape
  • Art Graf watercolour graphite (black)
  • Plastic ice cube tray
  • 2 oz pump spray bottle
  • Graphite pencil (Recommended: Faber Castell 3 H “grip 2001”)
  • Roll of soft paper towels
  • Equipment for open air painting, and if inclement weather, we’ll paint indoors—but these equipment items will be discussed in the workshop. You will not necessarily need an easel to paint standing up; a camping stool with a small table nearby is preferable. Pic-nic tables are perfect for this.
  • Enthusiasm, curiosity, courage, and questions!


Registrations for this workshop are now closed.

Timothy James Standring

Timothy James Standring is Curator Emeritus at the Denver Art Museum in Denver, Colorado. Since he initiated work there, he has striven to make art and art history accessible to a broader public and has served the museum in many capacities. Prior to his work at the Museum, Standring spent much of his career in academia. He has been a Fellow at The Clark Art Institute, a Guest Scholar at the J. Paul Getty Museum, and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts (CASVA) at the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, DC. He has received degrees from the University of Notre Dame (B.A.,1973), and the University of Chicago (M.A. 1975; Ph.D. 1982).

Though small in scale, Timothy James Standring’s watercolors pierce the assumed poetics the medium aspires to express. Over the past decade, Standring has brought a gimlet-eyed attention to a painterly parity of close observation and delight in his material. Deft material sensitivity and technique, both traditional and radical, register in the recurring themes he paints. Just as they resonate with Standring’s influences in a line of artists extending from Edgar Degas and John Singer Sargent to Joacuìn Sorolla and Andrew Wyeth.

His recent watercolor works reflect a preference for painting with the pigment-loaded sable belly instead of the brush’s tight point which results, surprisingly, in marks and images reminiscent of dry brush oils on unprepared paper. Such heavily pigmented watercolors enliven the poetic statements his compositions sustain. Standring conveys in his meditative observation of intimate scenes and settings a challenge to the fickle attributes that watercolor encompasses.

Standring’s works are held in numerous private collections across North American and Europe. On three occasions his works have been included in the prestigious 10 x 10 x 10 juried exhibition in Tieton, Washington. In 2022, Standring was included twice in the Coors Western Art Exhibition. His recent monographic exhibitions were reviewed by the national critic Ray Rainaldi; another was cited in Fine Art Connoisseur.

His legacy as an artist and scholar has influenced generations of artists. Many around the nation, and indeed, the world are indebted to his generous mentorship.


Registrations for this workshop are now closed.