Welcome to Watercolors

Learn the Foundations of Painting with Watercolors

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Eager to add watercolors to your nature journals but don't know where to start?

I've got you covered!

Join me for this self-paced online course to learn all about using watercolors, with a focus on painting subjects from nature in your field journal.

No prior experience in painting is needed. I designed this course primarily for the following audiences:

  • Nature lovers who sketch but have never before explored the medium of watercolor.
  • People who have tried watercolor painting in the past but set it aside because they got frustrated or couldn't find the right instructor.
  • Travelers who would like to incorporate the use of watercolors into their journals when outdoors or on the road.
  • Parents and environmental educators who would like to teach their middle school and older kids about color theory, mixing colors and foundational painting techniques, which they could use to embellish their nature observation journals.

"I highly recommend this class for every budding artist. Every aspect of watercolor is carefully explained with fun, interesting facts. I've learned so many valuable tips that help my art look more professional and realistic."

- Julie Herrlinger, online student & retreat participant

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Here are just a few of the things Christine will cover in this course.

  • Favorite watercolor painting supplies
  • Foundational techniques for using your brush and mixing your paints
  • Tips for supplies and painting methods specific for painting outdoors
  • How to mix the exact shade of color to match your subject

"If you want to expand your experience connecting with nature, Christine's watercolor classes are the way to go! Christine just makes it come alive as she helps you to focus and SEE the details of what you are looking at, whether a bird, a bug, a scenic waterfall or a mountain, your choice, she will help you capture it on paper in a beautiful way!"

- Wendy Thompson, online student


  • Learn to make your own watercolors (3-part mini-course)
  • Learn the history of paint pigments and how to make your own egg tempera paint (3-part mini-course)
  • Stick Figures to Songbirds in Sixty Minutes (an introduction to my foundational drawing techniques for beginners)

Scroll down to see a detailed course curriculum >>

Course Curriculum

Your Instructor

Christine Elder
Christine Elder

I’ve been drawing and painting nature all my life and love sharing the joy I experience when I’m in the field with students.

As a former classroom teacher, I know how to lead students in a logical, step by step progression, giving them the knowledge to proceed with skill and confidence.

My advanced degrees in both biology and scientific illustration inform my work and teaching style.

I travel regularly, sketching the flora and fauna I encounter and teaching workshops to both adults and youth in such diverse places as Mexico, Honduras, Jamaica, and the United States.

I make my home in central Oregon, on the eastern slope of the volcanic Cascades mountain range, where the pine forests meet the sage steppe.

When not teaching, I enjoy hiking, bird watching and horseback riding.

Questions? Feel free to contact me via email at: [email protected]

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Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.
What materials do I need?
You won't need any fancy materials for this course. You can get started with any painting materials you already have or you can purchase the ones I recommend for the course, which are readily available online or from your local art supply store. Most of the techniques I teach are not based on specific materials, but more focused on general concepts of painting.
What is the format for this course?
You'll learn by watching step-by-step video tutorials accompanied by downloadable PDF guides
Can I ask the instructor questions?
Yes, absolutely! I love hearing from my students and learning what is working for them and what they are struggling with. It's the best way to help me continue to improve my courses and ensure the success of my students.
How do I access the course?
This is a self-paced, online course. When you enroll, you’ll immediately be sent a link to log in to your course page. Once you log in, you can access the course anywhere in the world, from any device that has an internet connection. You might like to add a shortcut tab to your desktop to remind yourself to keep going with the course.

"Christine helped me really appreciate watercolors. At first, I was intimidated, but she made nature sketching and painting such a mindful experience and took any of the intimidation out of the picture. Her video tutorials were incredibly detailed and resourceful."

- Isabelle Rizo, online student

A Behind the Scenes Look at the Course

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"After doing Christine's watercolor lessons I can actually go for a hike and paint what I find while outside exploring nature with my family!

And it turns out, watercolors are less intimidating than I expected. Once I learned the techniques, I felt so much more at ease and free to just create!

I really enjoyed this watercolor course! Thanks, Christine!"

- Tabitha Stevenson, online student