Pour It, Paint It, Lift It

Visual Arts Room
Presented by
Fridays, 1-4 PM
Grade Range
Adult - Adult
Member tuition
Non-member tuition

$275.00 (become a member)

Register by

Yes! Pour it! Paint it! And yes, lift it too!

This Watercolor technique is all about the process of exploring these different tools, loosening up and having a great time creating your painting.

If you are looking for a traditional watercolor class and traditional painting techniques - then this class is not for you. Let this class take you where you have never gone before with watercolor!


  • Taping and Masking areas
  • Pouring your underpainting
  • Working with “the Magic Lifting Medium”
  • Working through “colorful chaos” to create dynamic, strong watercolor paintings
  • Embracing patterns, textures, shapes, and more!

Students are encouraged to choose a subject, whether it be floral, figurative, or a few objects, and use a photo reference for those for drawing. After the main subjects are drawn, students will choose which areas to mask out (using tape, wax paper, masking fluid, etc.) so that some white/bright areas remain after pouring.

The fact that this is an exercise in loosening up and exploring new tools does not mean that there is an exemption from the core basics of a successful painting. While using all of these techniques and tools, the student is still encouraged/instructed to deploy strong composition, a good value range and a cohesive color combination/scheme to ensure success in the end.

Class time will be spent painting and developing skills with the tools and materials. There will always be a period for questions and answers and the instructor will always make it a point to assist/help students individually. Students are encouraged to explore as many tools/techniques as possible, while not overdoing any – keeping in mind the goal/result for creating areas of interest with texture, pattern, negative painting, lifting, for a strong dynamic painting that contains their “personal voice."

Color mixing will always be emphasized, encouraging students to mix their own secondary colors, blacks and grays, to strengthen their color knowledge. Color wheels are always an encouraged purchase for their art supplies and the instructor will always have several on hand. We will discuss the use of warm and cool colors and where to use them in their paintings to push back and pull forward, chosen areas.

The goal of the class is to introduce a different approach to watercolor, encouraging students to loosen up and to think out of the typical “watercolor” box. Students will take the “artist’s license” while keeping it within the parameters of the composition. Students should have fun with this, there are no rigid rules. This kind of painting technique, with the employment of the underpainting and the “magic lift” sets the stage to explorative painting differently as the paint reacts differently on this prepared surface.

Medium and Supplies
Art Area
Visual Arts
Supplies provided

Julia McGrath

Cancellation & Class Policies

Student Withdrawal
Requests for cancellation by the student at least seven (7) days prior to the first day of class will be honored (minus a $20 processing fee).  NO REFUNDS will be given for a student cancellation made less than seven (7) days in advance of the first day of the class.

Class Cancellations (Weather)
When Public Schools of Petoskey are closed due to inclement weather, CTAC-Petoskey classes are cancelled. We will do our best to provide a make-up opportunity for the missed class. Refunds will not be given if the student is unable to attend the rescheduled session of class. Workshops and one-time classes will be handled on a per-class basis. School of Ballet students are asked to make up the missed class in an alternate session approved by their instructor.

Student Absence
We are unable to offer refunds or make-up sessions for classes missed due to student absence.

COVID-19 Symptoms or Exposure
If you suspect that you have been exposed to or display symptoms of COVID-19, please do not come to CTAC for your in-person class. We will offer a prorated credit (never expires) or refund for two weeks of your missed class for all cancellations due to suspected COVID-19 infection and/or exposure. If you choose to drop the remainder of your class, you will receive a prorated refund of the tuition of the remaining sessions.

COVID-19 Class Cancellations
In the event of a COVID-19 outbreak or state mandate, CTAC will announce the closure on its website and phone system (231-347-4337). Prorated refunds will be issued for the remaining sessions.

Minimum Enrollment
Crooked Tree Arts Center reserves the right to cancel any class that does not meet its minimum student enrollment prior to the first class session. If a class is cancelled by CTAC for lack of enrollment, CTAC will offer a full refund to the student in the manner in which tuition was paid. (Cash payments will be refunded by check.)