Exploring | Annette Raff Bienarté

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Exploring | Annette Raff

Exploring  | Annette Raff

About this class

This workshop will explore imaginative uses of watercolour. Using negative painting techniques, you will learn to build depth with successive layers by painting the shapes around the subject rather than the subject itself. This workshop will include colour mixing, planning and composition, along with ways of individualising your work.

What will I learn?


You will need at least 1/2 full sheet or 4 x A4 Arches or Saunders Waterford 180 gsm or 300 gsm per day. This paper can be painted on both sides thus the backs of previously painted practice pieces can also be used.

  • Getting to know watercolour pigments; opacity and transparency
  • Limited palette painting, pigment and water ratios, edge control
  • Painting darks – foolproof ways to achieve luminosity
  • Preparation of underpaintings


  • Working with layered washes, wet over dry, achieving luminosity, gradation
  • Development of edge control and wash variation
  • Design and composition – exploration and development

Who is this course suitable for?

This course would best suit those who have had some previous experience with watercolour.

Students who wish to extend their knowledge of watercolour

• Students who need inspiration or have lost their enthusiasm for watercolour painting (eg bored, in a rut)

• Students who wish to challenge themselves with new


What do I need to bring?

Watercolour Pigment in tubes
Artists Quality Pigments in tubes are recommended:

  • Neutral tint
  • Permanent Rose (cool red)
  • Winsor Blue or Phthalo Blue (red shade)
  • Aureolin (yellow)
  • Quinacridone Violet
  • Quinacridone Gold
  • 1 tube of “Titanium White” Gouache


  • 1 x no. 6 approx. round watercolour brush synthetic or synthetic blend. (It must have a good point)
  • 1 x no. 20 approx. round watercolour brush synthetic or synthetic blend. (It must have a good point)
  • 2 x 11/2” or 2” Flat watercolour brush


  • 1 pad of A3 size Arches or Saunders, Medium (cold pressed), 300 gsm watercolour paper
  • Alternatively, and more economically, Arches/Saunders paper can be purchased in large separate sheets (56 cm x 76 cm). You will need 2 large sheets (cut into quarters in preparation for the class).

It is always a good idea to also have some extra watercolour paper to test colours. You can of course use the Arches or Saunders paper_,_ however a more economical alternative is to use the back of discarded watercolour paintings.  Note: Paper does not need to be stretched!


  • 1 x large palette with several mixing areas plus smaller palettes.  This can be purchased from an art shop or you can use white ice-cream container lids, or white plastic trays or plates
  • 4 (min) x very small condiment dishes or other small containers to mix approximately 2 tablespoons of liquid. I use glass tealight holders

Backing boards:

  • 2 x backing boards to support your work (a little larger than A4 but no larger than A3 size), such as Foam Core boards (lightweight but sturdy) can be purchased from Art Shops or Bunnings, Old pieces of ply board work well and can be purchased and cut to size at a hardware store, Plexi glass (clear acrylic)

Other items:

  • Masking tape 12 mm
  • Solid graphite stick - 6B
  • Water Container: 2 x Jars or 2 x 1 litre yoghurt containers
  • Water spray bottle (used only occasionally. (The household type is fine)
  • Old toothbrush
  • Dropper or small squeeze bottle for adding water
  • Apron
  • Rag - Pieces of towelling work well
  • Tissues in a box (Box can be used to rest your board on)
  • Pencil and Eraser – HB and 2B pencil is recommended
  • Kneadable eraser (Faber Castell)
  • 6 sheets cartridge paper A4 size (photocopy paper or sketchbook)
  • Small throw away towel/rag
  • Value Scale

What else is provided?

  • Colour/value viewer – Tutor will provide
  • Easels, Tables, Chairs
  • Tea and coffee (please bring your own cup)
  • A friendly, supportive and encouraging learning environment
  • Connection to the Bienarté art community

Meet the Artist

Annette is a professional artist with a Bachelor of Fine Art and Advanced Certificate in Art and Design, teaching regular weekly watercolour classes and workshops in a variety of mediums for over 25 years. 

She particularly enjoys the medium of watercolour and her workshops address different learning styles and include practical demonstrations and media application. 

Annette encourages her students to explore possibilities, make mistakes and extend their learning while in a relaxed, friendly environment.

This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.