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Introduction to Watercolour Basics

Watercolours Made Easy

  • When you paint, are you frustrated with unwanted lines and streaks?
  • Are your watercolours dull, muddy, or overworked and you can’t figure out why?
  • Do you easily lose the light areas in your watercolour paintings?
  • Are you struggling with how much water to add to your paint?
  • Or are you too scared to pick up a brush because you just find watercolours so intimidating?

Imagine if all that could change.

What if you could take the intimidation out of watercolour so that it could be easy and fun?

This Introduction to Watercolour Basics course will do just that.

I can help you produce smooth and luminous watercolours with clear areas of light and shadow which bring your paintings to life.

When I first started painting I had no idea what true watercolour paints even were. I was using the same paints that kids use in elementary school.

When I finally discovered real watercolour paints, everything I did turned out streaky and opaque. I was so frustrated that I threw those tube paints in a box and I went back to painting with the kid paints.

The next summer I hesitantly signed up for a watercolour workshop.

I had no idea that this class would change my life.

The first thing I learned was how to mix water into my paints and we painted the paper blue...

That’s it, just blue, but I was amazed. The blue paint was so smooth and so bright and translucent, I couldn't believe it. From that moment I was hooked on watercolours.

You see, with the proper techniques, the feelings you experience when you paint will transform from frustration to inspiration.

Hi, it's Kendra

Hi, it's Kendra

I took my first workshop 22 years ago. My paintings have since been featured on brochures and covers across multiple ski resorts and festivals in British Columbia. I was also commissioned by the Royal Canadian Mint to design two coins for their O Canada silver coin collection.

Over the past 20 years I’ve had the pleasure of teaching hundreds of people how to paint with watercolours.

Now I want to teach you.

I'm so excited you want to learn to paint with watercolours. Beginners find my classes incredibly rewarding because there is so much progress in such a short time, and everything we do is so new and exciting.

Watercolour is such an expressive medium. It's magical how the colours blend on the paper and come to life with light and shadow.

In this Introduction to Watercolour Basics course you will learn all the techniques needed to build a solid foundation in watercolours and how to overcome common struggles that beginners normally encounter.

You will see each technique demonstrated in a step-by-step, easy to follow manner with a pace specifically geared towards beginners. I demonstrate everything twice so you can relax and watch the first one and then paint along with me.

Misty Mountains and Trees

Upon completion of this course, you will have learned how to:

Pen and Watercolour
  • steer clear of muddy washes
  • avoid unwanted streaks and backruns
  • mix the right amount of water into your paint
  • add details without overworking
  • keep the light
  • control your brush
  • "erase" an accidental splatter
  • make a smooth and blended wash on wet and dry paper
  • create gradients in a variety of ways
  • experiment with different textures using salt, wax, sponge, a utility knife, plastic wrap, and even a fork
  • paint clouds, trees, and grasses
  • create mist and sparkles on water

I am always amazed by what we can cover in 6 lessons. Once the course is complete, you will be able to take all the tips and tricks you have learned and let your own creativity blossom.

Here is everything you will receive when you sign up for this course:

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The welcome package includes a detailed supply list with descriptions as well as a summary suitable for printing, a video about the supplies we'll be using, and information about the course. For your convenience the supply list will also be emailed to you as soon as you enroll along with a description of how to set up your paper for the first lesson.

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Immediate access to all content. Six real time lessons, approximately two hours each, where I demonstrate everything twice so you can watch the first and paint along with me for the second. 

I taught in-person workshops for 18 years and then last year I moved over to teaching on zoom. It turns out there are a lot of advantages to taking lessons online rather than in person such as having access to an instructor across the world all while avoiding flights and hotels, following along from the comfort of your own home, not having to look or pay for parking, and especially being able to see what I am painting much better on a screen than in an open classroom setting. 

"I found I actually really like doing it this way as I can see everything better and my office is so nice and warm - always way too cold at the gallery!" Linda

All of the lessons are already recorded so you'll have immediate as well as lifetime access to the videos.

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My students have always appreciated that I also provide detailed notes for each lesson. So on top of the videos, you will also receive a comprehensive eBook loaded with images, describing every technique step by step. Every lesson. That adds up to 6 eBooks of step by step instructions which you can download and/or print for personal use.

"Gosh Kendra, I'm so happy you sent the video. I'm going to watch it again and try the painting a couple more times for practice, and the notes are amazing. Thank you so much!" Karen Thompson

“Hi Kendra thanks again for a really great course! I learned so much and really enjoyed taking every class. You had a good variety of subjects and I really appreciated all of the notes and videos. I also printed off the notes, such a great reference... Thanks again for the great course...” Linda

"I have taken a few beginner series from different teachers and Kendra was hands down the best. What I also very much appreciated was her amazing notes so I did not have to work from memory after the classes." Diana

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Plus, get instant access to bonus videos in my Extended Lesson Library which you will receive for free. They include videos on:

  • Why Buying Good Quality Paper is Worth it
  • How to Tear Down your Watercolour Paper
  • How to Tell if you have a Good Watercolour Brush
  • Watercolour Paints and Palettes
  • How to Tell if your Watercolour Paints are Transparent or Opaque
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There is nothing more freeing than knowing where to start.

Here is a summary of everything included:

Introduction to Watercolour Basics CourseValue
6 Week Online Watercolour Course with Lifetime Video Access$197 Value
Six Comprehensive eBooks with Detailed Notes & Pictures of Each Lesson$114 Value
Lifetime Access to Extended Lesson Library$47 Value
A Sturdy Foundation in Watercolour BasicsPriceless
Total ValueOver $350

Introduction to Watercolour Basics Course ~ To Be Announced

This course is currently under production. All of the lessons have been filmed and editing is well underway. Sign up for free below and I'll email you as soon as the course launches. Thanks!

You do not need to know how to draw to take this course.

You don't need talent or skills.

You just need a willingness to try, a desire to learn, a little patience, and a love for watercolour.

Introduction to Watercolour Basics
Watercolours Made Easy

This workshop is perfect for those of you who have only dabbled in watercolour painting, or never even picked up a brush. Emphasis will be placed on the very basic techniques and skills needed to develop a foundation of watercolour, and how to avoid the struggles that most beginners face.

Through demonstrations and practice we will take the intimidation out of watercolour and make painting easy and fun. Learn how to produce clear washes, textures, clouds, trees, mist, water, snow and more.


This course will be released soon. Once you purchase the course you will have immediate access to all the content.

Kendra teaching watercolour
Kendra Instructing at a Workshop
Kendra Teaching a Workshop
Kendra Dixson
But wait, I'm not sure I have time to watch all the videos.

That's ok, everything will already be in the course area when you join and it will always be there for you, so you can take your time and watch the videos at your leisure. 

What if I don't have the right colours?

The colours I will be using will just be a suggestion. Since we are focused on learning the basic techniques and not producing masterpieces it will be fine if you substitute different colours.

What if I can't afford expensive paints?

Surprisingly the paints are not the most important supply. I recommend saving money on paint and splurging on paper. You can get a super high quality huge sheet of watercolour paper for around $10 whereas a good tube of professional watercolour paint can cost you $10-40 per colour.

If you want to start with the minimum cost, look for a set of 18 Pentel Watecolours. They cost about $15 total for the whole set and they have vibrant bright colours which don't crack or separate. PSA: Do NOT buy Reeves or Maries paints though, they are not nice to paint with.

What kind of paper should I buy?

I will be using 140 lb (300gsm) Arches cold press watercolour paper. It comes in bright white and natural, both are fine. I really recommend that you use Arches 140lb cold press watercolour paper so that we are all on the same page, literally. It really helps with consistency of results. If you don't have access to Arches, look for a 100% cotton paper. Cellulose or pulp papers will be difficult to work with and cause frustrations. 

What kind of brushes do I need?

Watercolour brushes have long bristles that come to a point when you flick the brush while wet. I will be using a 1/2" flat, a #6 round, and a #1 script/rigger/liner brush.

You could get away with a larger sized round brush if it comes to a nice point. You could also get away without a rigger brush if you have a small round brush which comes to a nice point.

What other supplies do I need?

I will be sending you a detailed supply list when you sign up. In the mean time here is an example supplies list in summary:

  • masking tape or painter’s tape
  • old tea towel
  • paper towel
  • watercolour palette
  • 1 sheet of 22×30 ARCHES Cold Press 140lb (300 gsm) Watercolour Paper or other 140lb 100% cotton paper
  • 1 set of 18 Pentel Paints or 1 small tube each of cobalt blue, ultramarine blue, hooker’s green, transparent yellow such as aureolin yellow, raw sienna or yellow ochre, burnt sienna, and a dark pink colour such as permanent rose
  • 2 boards or thick card to tape your paper to
  • Watercolour brushes have long bristles that come to a point when you flick a wet brush. I mainly use a ½” flat, a size 6 round brush, and a size 1 rigger/liner/script brush.
  • a small utility blade with a ½” / 9mm wide blade with a lock mechanism 
  • a clear or white tealight candle
  • salt
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • white eraser
  • a water bottle to stay hydrated
  • a black pen with permanent ink such as a fine tip sharpie
  • sea sponge or torn pieces of a household sponge
What if I have never painted before in my life?

Wonderful, I love teaching beginners. You would be a perfect fit for this course.

I don't know how to draw.

That's ok, don't worry, no drawing skills required. Any drawings we do will be very basic and I will walk you through the shapes.

What if I have more questions?

Email me at I'm happy to answer any questions you have about the course.

I have never tried watercolour before. How can I figure out if I will enjoy this course?

In 19 years of teaching I've only had one student who said that watercolour was not for them.

Also, to encourage you, most of my students have raved about my classes and many of them come back time and time again to take my classes over and over. I think that speaks louder than any testimonial. But just in case you are unsure, have a look at what my previous workshop participants are saying below:

This is what my previous students are saying:

  • "Kendra, I have so many words to say! I was absolutely delighted with today's class...

    You did an amazing job of breaking it down step by step... You described so many things so well. How wet the paper should be, how wet your brush should be, how much paint, how wet the paint should be. I have a much better sense about all that now."

Karen Thompson

  • “I was looking for a place to take some art classes in Kelowna and Kendra’s watercolour class thru the Kelowna Art Gallery came up. I took her classes and finished up the first series just before everything got shut down due to Covid.

    Her method of teaching and all the little tricks she shared were fantastic! Her step by step instruction was so helpful and always encouraging. I really wanted to take more lessons with her but things were still shut down.

    When she offered her online tutorial in the spring I thought it might not be as helpful but I was wrong. It worked so well. I would highly recommended anyone wanting to try watercolour for the first time to give Kendra a try. You won’t be disappointed. I am waiting for her next sessions to start up!”

Brenda Jones

  • "Kendra Dixson offers an enjoyable course to learn water colour painting. She is a talented, enthusiastic artist and shares an easy approach to learning this art. I have always enjoyed Kendra’s classes and achieved some satisfying work in them."

Elizabeth Baxter

  • “Hi Kendra. Thank you for sending the original painting you did. Beautiful water-colour! So much detail that really shows the importance of preplanning.

    I am slowly learning that to acquire any proficiency in painting with water-colour I must also learn to slow down the process, preplan the desired result and be patient to let things dry.

    I am really enjoying all the different projects including this one… So thank you for giving us a variety of subjects. There is always something to learn from each painting.

    See you next Tuesday and thank you again for the follow up emails and videos. You are a wonderful artist and teacher!"


  • "Over the last couple of years, I have taken five or six sets of lessons from Kendra and always enjoy her enthusiasm and great way of delivering her ideas and instructions. She brings a diverse set of subjects to paint and to develop the techniques that are significant for watercolour painting. Whenever Kendra is teaching I will be happy to retake her classes if I am able, as I always take something more away from the classes to work on."

Jennifer French

  • "I really enjoyed all of Kendra’s watercolour classes. Using landscapes as a subject, she covers so many skills and techniques. Best of all, we got to see samples of her work before she began teaching. She uses clear directions, many times over, so we could achieve a similar result. In all four of my classes with her, Kendra made sure we understood the hows and whys of what we were doing.

    Through her careful instruction, I am now confident painting basically anything and have a solid understanding of why technical skills are the backbone of successful creative painting.

    Thanks Kendra!"

Leona Geber

This is what others are saying about Kendra's Video Tutorials:

Fabulous're a natural teacher and that's coming from a retired teacher. You made it quite simple and clear. Thank you for sharing and please do more. Heart Icon
Great explanation, Kendra! This will be really useful heart icon
Thank you Kendra for the detailed lesson. For the first time I think I really understood how to produce realistic water drops. Will practice this today.
Thank you so much! You made it seem so easy that I'm encouraged to try.
Another great video & a tricky subject to cover & you do it perfectly, this is amazing!!!!!

All the lessons have been filmed and the ebooks created.
Editing is underway! Registration coming soon.
Sign up for free to find out as soon as the course is available:

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