Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2022
Units: 4
Hours: 3 lecture, 3 laboratory per week (72 total per quarter)
Advisory: This course is included in the Watercolor Painting family of activity courses; not open to students with credit in ART 47.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • A successful student can apply basic watercolor techniques in painting.
  • A successful student will be able to use artists materials to create watercolor paintings.


Study of beginning level transparent watercolor painting techniques. Emphasis on basic techniques of watercolor painting, composition and color theory.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Apply transparent watercolor paints and color theory.
B. Use color and design principles in developing basic compositions and subject matter.
C. Paint watercolors using a variety of glazing and spontaneous applications.
D. Share through discussion in student critiques the cultural and personal differences in their art work.

Course Content

A. Color theory
1. Value
2. Intensity
3. Saturation
4. Color wheel
5. Levels of opacity
B. Compositions and subject matter
1. Landscape compositions
2. Value compositions and the figure
3. Still life compositions
4. Portraiture
5. Sketchbook watercolor keeping
C. Brush applications
1. Spontaneous brush language
2. Dry brush
3. Wash
4. Wet in wet technique
5. Glazing and underpainting
a. Staining colors
D. Critique
1. Group discussions and critiques
2. Self critiques

Lab Content

A. Assignments and watercolor exercises that explore a range of brush applications such as brush language, wash, wet in wet or dry brush techniques.
B. Exercises related to value, staining colors and watercolor underpainting.
C. Application of basic quick watercolor exercise and short landscape painting.
D. Watercolor exercises that approach a variety of different subject matter such as landscape, still life, portrait or urban landscapes.
E. Exercises that use the drawing and transfer methods to start a watercolor painting.
F. Exercises understanding the limitations of the watercolor paint and the drying process.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. Tables, chairs or stools, sink area.
B. When taught via Foothill Global Access: on-going access to computer with email software and capabilities; email address; JavaScript-enabled internet browsing software.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Portfolio review: each watercolor painting will be evaluated for technical ability, craftsmanship and personal creative and conceptual approaches
Written watercolor class or self critiques
Written participation in lectures of historical and contemporary watercolors
Process watercolor students and paint mixing exercises

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Lecture presentation using the vocabulary of watercolor tools and techniques
Discussion using the language of color theory and water based painting
Demonstration of a variety of watercolor techniques, such as wet in wet technique or color glazing
Critique and group presentation of weekly in-progress watercolor projects followed by in-class discussion and evaluation

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Whyte, Mary. Watercolor for the Serious Beginner: Basic Lessons in Becoming a Good Painter. 1997.

Although this text is older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, it remains a seminal text in this area of study.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Copy of a master or historical or contemporary watercolor painting.
B. Research the artwork, the artist, the style, subject matter, content and context.
C. Write a self-critique describing the process of making an artist watercolor study from a great work of art.