Course Syllabus

Watercolor Painting A

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Semester & Location:

Fall 2023 - DIS Copenhagen

Type & Credits:

Elective - 3 credits

Major Disciplines:

Architecture, Studio Art, Visual Arts


One studio art course at university level


Karin Lykke Groth (current students please reach out to faculty via Canvas Inbox)

Time & Place:

Mon 13:15-16:10 in Skindergade 12-02 (aka Firestation)

Course Description

The aim of this course is to introduce you to watercolor painting through the exposure of different skills and techniques for practice. The built environment, architecture, and the landscape of Copenhagen are all used as canvases for short lectures, field studies, and assignments. Therefore, this course focuses on how to use the medium of watercolor as an architect.

The sessions are based on exercises that focus on specific applications and painting techniques.

It is process-focused and experiment-driven. Discussions of each other’s work and developing a common language will be part of class as well.


One studio art course at university level.

Learning Objectives


By the end of the course each student should be able to conduct a self-initiated analysis of colors as a professional tool and obtain an understanding and knowledge of color qualities as part of your surroundings. You will develop an individual approach to the techniques available in order to apply them to their work as professionals.


This course will deepen you knowledge and increase your perception of the surrounding built environment. Through on-site exercises, you will be able to gain insight into the cultural identity of Copenhagen and to analyze the variety of colors and materials used. 

Skills acquired include:

  • Painting techniques
  • Mixing and applying desired colors
  • Selecting tools, paper and other equipment to use
  • Gaining the ability to analyze color in general       


Karin Lykke Groth, Artist and Graphic Designer

MDD (cand.arch. Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, 1994). Own design office since 1995. Working primarily with ilustrations, visualizations and corporate design. Watercolor has been the preferred way of expression as an artist for more than 25 years. Has been teaching watercolor painting since 2011. With DIS since 2017.



  • Watercolors, best quality (e.g. Winsor & Newton Professional Water Colors)
    Required / basis color palette*:
    Cadmium Lemon (W&N no 86)
    Permanent Alizarin Crimson (W&N no 466)
    French Ultramarin (W & N no 263)
    Antwerp Blue (W & N no 10)
    Burnt Sienna (W & N no 74)
  • Color mixing bowls
  • Watercolor brush, size min. 12**
    (Round brush, preferably with bristles made from sable hair)
  • Pencils 4B or 5B (softness)

* These five colors are the only ones needed for the course. However the colors should be of a high quality; Pans or half-pans from Schmincke series Horadam or Winsor & Newton artists quality are recommended.

* * This should be a round brush with bristles made from sable hair, which can be expensive but is highly recommended. The brush should have a fat “belly” and a sharp point when wet. If you have a good brush you only need the one and it lasts a lifetime if you take good care of it.

Paper for first class session is provided. 

Paper Requirements

  • A pad of watercolor paper, min. 300 gsm / 140 lbs Size min. A4
  • A sketchbook, paper suitable for watercolor, min. 150 gsm / 70 lbs Size min. A5

Expectations of the Students

In this course you are expected to:

  • Be experimental and to extend their representational abilities
  • Participate in discussions based on the text
  • Share knowledge and to participate in each other’s work during class.
  • Dress appropriately for the outdoor activities

This course is weather dependent. In-class activities are malleable, meaning they are subject to change. You should form a habit of checking Canvas at least 24 hours before each class period, so that you are prepared with proper material and attire when class begins.


As a minimum the submitted journal should include:

  • Entries from all required studies in class and take-home assignments, clearly labelled
  • Entries from design projects, study tours and field studies
  • Entries from independent, self-motivated studies

Watercolor assignments will be formally reviewed twice by the course instructor. 

The grade given in the middle of the semester is used as a guide. Only the grade given at the end of the semester will count for final grade.

The following will be used in the evaluation of the watercolor journal.

  • Extent of in-depth and inventive queries
  • Communicative attributes of paintings and presentation techniques
  • Quality of development
  • Evidence of ongoing self-reflection and self-evaluation
  • Overall engagement with the journal on a daily basis
  • Effort to develop knowledge and technique




Completeness, content and quality of in-class and home assignments and overall quality of the journal


Independent entries from field studies, study tours and self-motivated studies


Preparedness and engagement in class, and development and performance during the semester


Academic Regulations

Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on: 

DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia -

Course Summary:

Date Details Due