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Contemporary Watercolor

Explore the possibilities of expressive, contemporary watercolor painting at the New York School of the Arts. From composition to color, this class encourages experimentation and individual growth. All levels are welcome.

  • Level All levels
  • Age 18 and older
  • Price $430
  • Location 315 E 62nd St, New York, NY
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Start Dates (2)

  • $430
  • New York School of the Arts @ 315 E 62nd St
    2nd Floor, New York, NY 10065
  • Price includes $50 registration fee.
    Venue: Watercolor Studio
9 seats left
Show all 8 sessions
  • Tue, Apr 02 at 1:30pm - 4:30pm
  • Tue, Apr 09 at 1:30pm - 4:30pm
  • Tue, Apr 16 at 1:30pm - 4:30pm
  • Tue, Apr 23 at 1:30pm - 4:30pm
  • Tue, Apr 30 at 1:30pm - 4:30pm
  • Tue, May 07 at 1:30pm - 4:30pm
  • Tue, May 14 at 1:30pm - 4:30pm
  • Tue, May 21 at 1:30pm - 4:30pm
12 seats left
Show all 8 sessions
  • Wed, Apr 03 at 10:00am - 1:00pm
  • Wed, Apr 10 at 10:00am - 1:00pm
  • Wed, Apr 17 at 10:00am - 1:00pm
  • Wed, Apr 24 at 10:00am - 1:00pm
  • Wed, May 01 at 10:00am - 1:00pm
  • Wed, May 08 at 10:00am - 1:00pm
  • Wed, May 15 at 10:00am - 1:00pm
  • Wed, May 22 at 10:00am - 1:00pm
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Class Description


What you'll learn in this watercolor class:

In this class students will explore the range of possibilities that watercolor offers for expressive, contemporary painting. Formal qualities such as scale, composition, paint application, contrasting translucency with opacity, and color will be addressed.

Content will also be discussed. What makes a painting evocative? Why are we drawn to certain works? Why do we make art? Experimentation will be encouraged by pushing the boundaries of conventional watercolor technique in unexpected directions. An emphasis will be placed on individual artistic growth.

All levels of experience are welcome.

Material List for Elizabeth Allison

We will go over materials on the first day of class, so feel free to wait until then before investing in any materials you don’t already own. 

  • Paper, water based paints and brushes are required for this class. Rough or cold press watercolor paper is preferred, and 140lb. or heavier is ideal. Arches and Fabriano are two widely available brands. Paper can be purchased by the pad, the sheet, or the roll, depending on the scale you want to work. 
  • Brushes can be minimal- a cheap 1/2” flat bristle brush, a 1” flat bristle brush (each should cost less then $2 and are usually used for oil or acrylic, not water based paint) and a 4” Hake brush are useful. 
  • Water-based paints in tubes are great, but pans are fine as well. Palettes can vary. If new to the medium consider starting very simply (1 yellow, 1 red, 1 blue, 1 green, burnt sienna, Payne’s gray) and purchase additional colors as needed for specific projects. Black and white gauche, used for opacity, is recommended. Lukas (available at is a reasonably priced brand for both gauche and watercolor. 
  • Containers - Flat, wide containers for mixing washes of color are good. They can be repurposed plates, butcher trays, or take out food containers. It’s convenient to have several. 
  • A couple small (pint or quart) plastic containers are needed to hold water. 
  • A hair dryer helps dry paint quickly, but is not required. 
  • A piece of foam core (or other rigid, flat, lightweight surface) and clips provides a firm work surface for loose sheets of paper.

School Notes:

Please note, New York School of the Arts charges a $50 one-time registration fee for students who are new to their school. This is automatically added to the cost of your enrollment (and already included in the price listed on this course). If you are a returning student to NYSA, please let us know and we will refund you $50.

Refund Policy

Class Cancellation:

Classes and workshops are subject to cancellation if the minimum number of students required for a session is not met. Notification will be sent to registered students five days before the class is scheduled to begin.


To receive a refund, you must notify us in writing at [email protected]. There is a $20 administrative fee for each refund.

  • In order to receive a full refund, students must withdraw from a class or workshop fourteen (14) business days prior to the first day of classes.
  • Students withdrawing from a class and workshop during the week before the beginning of the quarter will receive a 70% refund as school credit if within fourteen (14) business days of the start of the class.
  • No refunds will be made after the second class without medical documentation and no refunds will be made after a workshop begins.
  • Ceasing to attend class without notifying the school does not constitute withdrawal from class.
  • Refunds are issued in the same form as payment. Refunds are issued within thirty days from request in the form of the same payment. Registration and service fees are non-refundable.


All transfers must occur before the second meeting of class. Transfers from one course into another may incur additional fees, depending on the transfer. Transferring from one workshop to another is not permitted. There is a $20 administrative fee for each transfer.

Holidays & Canceled Lessons:

We are closed for Thanksgiving, winter, and spring break. If we must close due to the weather, we will send out an email. If classes are canceled, the instructor will work with the school office to schedule a make-up date. We do not refund/prorate for weather closure, and our make-up policy still applies.

In any event where a customer wants to cancel their enrollment and is eligible for a full refund, a 5% processing fee will be deducted from the refund amount.

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New York School of the Arts

New York School of the Arts is a school that has been created to fulfill the expectation of the transformed contemporary art world. It is based on the heritage of the traditional discipline and at the same time an exploration of the new media. In the modern context of New York City, we use a strong...

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