Are you tired of dull, muddy, streaky watercolors?

Learn from award-winning illustrator Vesper Stamper how to bring life and brilliant colors to your watercolor paintings.

This course will introduce you to a five-color palette which will enable more vibrant colors that granulate, bloom and crackle beautifully, can build up in glaze layers without turning to mud, and enable much more versatility, mixing a wider range of colors with fewer pigments.

In this class you will learn:

  • How different colors interact, from observation.

  • How to use a five-color palette that will result in a wide range of vibrant colors.

  • Why certain color pigment combinations work better together, while other create muddy paintings.

Materials needed:

 Watercolor tubes of the following colors (preferably Winsor & Newton or Sennelier. Student grade colors like Cotman will not work). The last five must be exact:

  • Cadmium Red Deep or Naphthol Red

  • Cadmium Yellow Light or Hansa Yellow

  • Viridian Green

  • Prussian Blue or Ultramarine Blue

  • Payne’s Grey

  • Raw Umber or Sienna

  • Burnt Umber or Sienna

  • Rose Madder Genuine

  • Aureolin Yellow

  • Cobalt Blue (genuine, not hue)

  • Alizarin Crimson

  • Pthalo Green (also called Winsor Green)

Good quality watercolor paper (preferably Arches or Fabriano 140 lb Hot Press), four (4) approximately letter-size pieces (you can tear down from a large sheet, or use a block)

Watercolor brushes, any kind

Several deep-welled palettes

Clean water

Cloth for drying brushes

For an optional, additional resource Vesper recommends the book "Making Color Sing" by Jeanne Dobie.

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    $35.00Reinventing Your Watercolor Palette

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About the Instructor

Illustrator

Vesper Stamper

Born in Germany and raised in New York City, Vesper Stamper has been an illustrator for over 20 years. She has a BFA in Illustration from Parsons and an MFA in Illustration as Visual Essay from School of Visual Arts. Her debut illustrated Young Adult novel, What the Night Sings, was a National Book Award Nominee, a Morris Award Finalist, Golden Kite Honor Book and Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner. She lives with her husband, filmmaker Ben Stamper, and her two children, in the Northeast.

Who should take this course:

Students should have some experience painting with watercolor and familiarity with terms like “wet-on-wet” and “glazing.” Even if you’re a seasoned pro, this will be a helpful course.

The following SVS Learn courses would be helpful, though not required:

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Reinventing Your Watercolor Palette

    • Introduction

    • Exercise 1: Optical Primaries

    • Exercise 2: Painting with Optical Primaries

    • Exercise 3: Five-Color Palette

    • Exercise 4: Painting with Five-Color Paltette

    • Conclusion

  • 2

    Downloads

    • Course Syllabus

    • Suggested Materials List

    • Drawing for Painting Exercises

    • Color Wheel #1 template

    • Color Wheel #2 template

  • 5

    Videos

  • 4

    PDFs

  • 4

    Painting exercises

Reviews

New Palette! Fresh Art!

Kim Batti

I think that the new five-color palette that Vesper introduced was very well-explained. Vesper showed through modeling how the palette was different from wha...

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I think that the new five-color palette that Vesper introduced was very well-explained. Vesper showed through modeling how the palette was different from what has been traditionally promoted as a great watercolor palette and also explained why it is different chemically. I would have loved to see a few more examples of the palette in other illustrations and I would have loved it if there was a materials list added to the documents so I could go out and buy the supplies before watching the exercises. Very informative!

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Illuminating

Mathilde Lebrun

Great tips, precious secrets revealed about watercolors. Thank you very much for sharing those !

Great tips, precious secrets revealed about watercolors. Thank you very much for sharing those !

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Thank you

First Last

Thank you for sharing the knowledge you have regarding chemically based colors. Thank you SVS for sending the notice about this video to my email. The timin...

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Thank you for sharing the knowledge you have regarding chemically based colors. Thank you SVS for sending the notice about this video to my email. The timing was perfect. I am struggling with my palette with my only standard being that the colors must be luminous and not streaky. This is paramount in my palette search, yet by glazing, I am getting dulled down colors in my shadows. I had just begun to think to myself that I would be safe using cobalt paints because they repeatedly glow and mix extraordinarily. This video came at just the right time to confirm my findings on cobalt but also to continue with the madders and copper based colors. I also recently saw a video from another artist who paired Brown Madder (madder root) and verditer blue (a cobalt) for her white shadows. They are coming from Blicks any day. This helps affirm the direction I'm going. Thanks so much.

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Reinventing Your Watercolor Palette

Lisa Rush

Vesper takes us through a side by side demo which really accentuates the difference in her palettes color choices and the result. Highly recommend.

Vesper takes us through a side by side demo which really accentuates the difference in her palettes color choices and the result. Highly recommend.

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