Intermediate Watercolor

Intermediate Watercolor


Program Start Date:


SINGLE DAY COURSE – Capture the beauty of Glacier National Park with the medium of watercolor.

(Summer Activity Level)

Intermediate Watercolor

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Intermediate Watercolor
Instructor: Karly Chin
August 13 at 7 a.m.

During this course we will aim to capture the beauty of Glacier National Park through the medium of watercolor. This one-day course will address the skill levels of both the beginner and intermediate student. Through exercises and demonstrations, students will learn the necessary skills to create beautiful watercolor pieces with stunning Glacier National Park as the subject. We will stroll through forests and along lakesides with easels and paint brushes in hand. Join us as we translate wildflowers, landscapes, and rugged mountaintops to paper, creating colorful art and images to last a lifetime.

Meeting Place: Glacier Institute Field Camp

Itinerary: (subject to change due to trail closures and weather) We will meet at Field Camp at 7 a.m. We plan to discuss watercolor basics with an introduction to the materials and a demonstration of techniques. Once acquainted with the supplies and materials, we will discuss landscape painting, and head to the Lake McDonald shore to practice our skills with natural subjects. Next we will travel to the McDonald Creek trail, where we will further practice our watercolor skills and paint moving bodies of water. We will have lunch on the trail. We will return to Field Camp by 4 p.m. where there will be a course wrap up and a comparison of artwork among the group. The course will then be concluded.

Food: Please bring a trail lunch, plenty of water, and snacks for the day.

Park Entrance Fees: Participants are responsible for purchasing their park entry passes prior to the course. These can be purchased online at:

Equipment: You will receive a Field Camp gear list once you register. Most importantly are comfortable hiking shoes, at least 1-2 liter water bottle, backpack, rain gear, hat, and sunscreen. The following are recommended materials to bring along for the painting portions of the course:

Paper: Sheets of 22 x 30 140# Arches cold-pressed watercolor paper (Saunders- Waterford) or other good paper. Student-grade papers do not hold up well and give poor results, especially for beginners, since they take little punishment. Watercolor blocks or sketchbooks will also do. Arches and S/W make both. 10” X 14” or so.

Brushes: #5 or #6 round, #10 or #12 round, 1” flat synthetic/natural blends or natural bristle watercolor brushes. (Lately, I have enjoyed using quill mops #6, 4, 2. Yarka is the least expensive.)

Paints: A small selection of tube colors of your preference. Suggestions: New Gamboge, transparent yellow, quinacridone gold, burnt sienna or quinacridone burnt orange, permanent rose, alizarin crimson, French ultramarine, Winsor or pthalo blue, cobalt blue. Do not purchase black or white. You will only need the three primary colors…one red, one yellow and one blue…but of course, it is nice to have a few more if your wallet permits. Other colors in my palette include: cerulean blue, cadmium red light, ultramarine (green shade), cobalt violet and brown madder. Good brands include Winsor & Newton, Holbein and Daniel Smith.

Support: A board (Gator board, Coroplast, masonite or two pieces of foam-core or cardboard taped together with clear package tape) to tape or clip the paper to. Should be a bit bigger than the size paper you plan on using. A quarter sheet of paper is 11X15.

Palette: One made for the purpose with wellsand a large mixing area. White in color. For travel, a folding palette works best.


  • Large unbreakable water container. Look for a collapsible one.
  • Masking tape. Please, no blue tape.
  • Pencil…HB or 2B and 6B
  • Kneaded rubber or art gum eraser
  • Scraping tools: Pocket knife, nail clipper, old credit card, palette knife, etc.
  • Small sketchbook for value studies and notes
  • .05 Micron or Staedtler pen
  • 1/4” square (bright) oil painting brush
  • Salt
  • Wash brush or wide sponge brush
  • Small natural sponge
  • Small spray bottle
  • Scissors
  • Reference material (photos, sketches) in case of rain
  • Zip-lok bags for wet rags, sponges, damp palettes
  • Paint rags, paper towels
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Viewfinder: Small window (3/4”X1”) cut into a piece of card-board
  • Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (original)

Physical Requirements: Very little difficulty. We will take leisurely strolls along the shores of Lake McDonald. We may walk over loose rocks along the shore. We will hike up to three miles along the McDonald Creek trail. There will be less than 100 feet of elevation changes.

Academic Credit: Please see our ‘2021 Academic Credit’ link on our website to learn about OPI credits for our courses.


Additional information

Refund Policy

The Glacier Institute has a 24 hour cancellation policy for a full refund with all of our courses.

Did you know Glacier Institute members receive a 10% discount?