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Session 1 of 4: Ink and Watercolor Sketching Series with Brenda Swenson's DVD

  • Aug 3, 2013 · 9:30 AM
  • Stacy's House

Brenda Swenson ( is a very talented professional watercolor fine artist, but also teaches ink and watercolor sketching. She has recently released a DVD called Sketching Techniques with Watercolor. For the first four Saturdays in August we will be watching and following along with Brenda as she draws and paints four specific demos.

Session 1 (August 3rd): The first meeting will be the longest DVD viewing period as we go first through the basic ideas and materials behind ink and watercolor sketching. Then we will watch Brenda demonstrate contour line drawing, then we will work along with her on a specific drawing and painting demo of a still life subject.

Session 2 (August 10th): In the second session, we will complete any unfinished work from Session 1, then we will move on to the second demonstration, which is on the subject of vignettes. After Brenda defines for us what a vignette is, we will work along with her on a vignette of a bridge.

Session 3 (August 17th): The third demo will be will be a portrait sketch of flowers. In this demo she shows us how the use of a water-soluble ink pen, combined with watercolor, provides a wonderfully loose and free sketch.

Session 4 (August 24th): The final demo is a fairly long one, where we will work along with Brenda as she paints a pastoral church scene. In this demonstration she teaches us that we are not necessarily limited to the content of our reference photograph, but can apply artistic license to our sketches to add and move particular elements.

Materials: For each of these sessions you will need watercolor paper (loose or sketchbook), a waterproof ink pen, a water-soluble ink pen, watercolor brushes, and watercolor paints. I have written a (rather lengthy) blog post regarding my recommendations for materials at:

For this particular series of demonstrations, I recommend watercolor paper on the order of 9x12" size, since that is about the size Brenda is using in her DVD. The exception is Session 4, where she is working on paper that has a panorama format. If you want to match what she is doing for that particular demo, you will need paper at least twice as wide as it is high. Regarding water-soluble ink pens, she does two demonstrations (Sessions 1 & 3) specifically with the Tombow Dual Brush Pen in Burnt Sienna (#947), so if you wish match more closely to what she is doing, it is recommended you get this pen. Regarding specific watercolor paints, I will not advise you to purchase anything different than you already have...I will try to assist if there is any confusion about what to use with your own kit while we follow along with what she is doing.

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  • Georgia C.

    Waiting for directions....hi you all.

    August 2, 2013

  • Lucy Y.

    What is the estimated time duration for today's meeting--video & sketching? Thanks!

    July 31, 2013

    • Robin Laurel F.

      Lucy - Stacy posted a condensed list of materials - I hope that helps - if you have any more questions please ask - Stacy is hosting this series so if I can't answer the question she can :)

      August 1, 2013

    • Lucy Y.

      Thank you very much, saw the list!

      August 1, 2013

  • Susan W.

    I've finished my masterpiece in the Traveling Sketchbook and will bring it this Sat. Someone better be ready!

    2 · August 1, 2013

  • Stacy E.

    Robin asked for a condensed list of materials to bring:

    - Watercolor paper (sketchbook or loose with support board, 7x10" or larger)

    - Waterproof ink pen (such as Sakura Pigma Micron, Faber-Castell Pitt, or Sharpie Pen)

    - Water-soluble ink pen (Tombow Dual Brush Pen Burnt Sienna #947 if you can find it; otherwise Pentel V5/V7/Razor or Papermate Flair in black are examples).

    - Watercolor brush (size 8 or 10 recommended)

    - Water container to rinse brush

    - Watercolor paints (if you're a beginner, I recommend the Winsor & Newton Cotman Pocket Sketchers Box at Arizona Art Supply; otherwise, bring a portable watercolor kit (paints in wells or pans with mixing space) you already have. A minimal set of paints for mixing a variety of colors includes a yellow, red, blue, and burnt sienna--for example (Daniel Smith brand) Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Rose, French Ultramarine, and Burnt Sienna. Some of you have a Koi set, which is great too.)

    August 1, 2013

  • Deb

    Would love to attend, but I am leaving town that day. Hope for another such ddemo/teaching meet-up.

    July 29, 2013

  • Susan W.

    Robin, will you be sending us directions to Stacy's house?

    1 · July 29, 2013

    • Robin Laurel F.

      sure will - was just waiting a bit incase we had late signups. : )

      July 29, 2013

  • Lucy Y.

    I'm a beginner & this sounds like a fun place to start.

    1 · July 28, 2013

  • Judy K.

    I'll be there! Thank you, Stacy!

    1 · July 28, 2013

  • Deb

    I would love to do this, but I will be in Seattle during all of those dates. I hope we can do it again sometime.

    July 9, 2013

    • Robin Laurel F.

      We will def. be doing more meetup similar to this series. Have fun in Seattle :)

      July 10, 2013

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