In-Depth Night

Hello everyone! I hope you are enjoying your evening so far.

My name is Simran and for my In-Depth project this year, I chose to learn the basics of watercolour painting. Prior to this project, I did not have any knowledge about watercolour painting but through this experience, I have gained a basic understanding of various skills and techniques. Thank you to my watercolour partner Amin for helping me throughout In-Depth. I would also like to say a huge thank you to my mentor Nina as I have learned a lot from her, and without her support, I would not have been able to gain as much knowledge as I did.

For my final presentation, I have put together a PowerPoint of some of the paintings I created and descriptions for each one to highlight some of the skills I learned.

Here is the link to the presentation:

In-Depth 2020: Watercolour Painting PowerPoint Presentation

Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or comments regarding my In-Depth journey. I will be replying to them as soon as possible. Thank you for visiting my post and I hope you have a great rest of your evening!

In-Depth Post 6

Since my last post, I have continued to practice watercolour painting using the materials that I have at home. I mentioned in my previous post that I was running low on watercolour paper and Ms. Mulder suggested that I could learn how to make my own out of recycled paper! I looked for a tutorial online and I ended up finding this video.

It was very helpful and I was able to make my own paper with materials that were already in my house. For example, I needed to improvise with the screen material because that was something that I didn’t have but there were alternatives such as using an old cotton t-shirt or a cheesecloth. Besides making watercolour paper, I have started to think about my final project and also have been communicating with my mentor via messaging. Our mentor is currently in Taiwan and because of the drastic time difference, it is very difficult to arrange video calls because when it’s daytime here, it’s the evening over there. We have been encouraged to continue to practice with the materials we have and have been communicating through texting if we need any help or have questions.

I am still planning on how I want my presentation to look like for our online In-Depth night later this month. An idea I have at the moment is creating a slideshow of all the techniques I’ve learned and paintings that I’ve created since the beginning of in-depth. I was originally planning on having a physical gallery of my work but since that isn’t possible, I’m thinking that this is the next best thing. I have also thought about creating a short video tutorial demonstrating some of the basic watercolour techniques that Nina has taught me. I am not sure if I have the time to do this but it’s something that I could do to present my learning. In-depth has been a fun and exciting journey and I feel that time flew by so quickly. I am excited for in-depth night and to see what some of my peers have been doing over these past months.

Until In-Depth night!

In-Depth Post 5

In these last two weeks since my last post, I feel I’ve made a decent amount of progress. Since we cannot meet in person any longer, I am communicating with my mentor Nina and Amin through messaging on Instagram. We are also looking to set up a few video calls but it is a little tricky. Nina is also a student and since she is in grade 12, a lot is going on. I have been practicing and playing around with watercolour painting in my free time. I will admit that it was a bit challenging at first to find the motivation to consistently practice, but now that I have set aside time every day that I can do a little practice, it is more structured and easier to get working. Since I am not learning face to face with Nina, I have been finding resources online to assist me in watercolour painting. A challenge that I am currently facing is that I am almost out of watercolour paper. This is a problem because watercolour paper is a necessary supply that I need to continue my project. I may have to order it online or find a different solution so that I am still progressing and improving my skills. I have also been thinking about my final project, which I am hoping to create a final watercolour piece.

Here are some of the things I’ve been doing:

Basic Watercolour Skills

Mixing Neutrals and Flesh Tones (top) & Layering Shapes

Bottle using Layering Technique


1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?

Nina has been great at teaching us new techniques. Before spring break, we had two meetings where we learned various watercolour techniques. Since we cannot meet in person, it has been a bit harder to learn from her. Amin and I have been doing our learning from other resources like YouTube videos, websites, blogs, etc.

2. What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?

I’ve been doing my learning online. Nina is always there when I need to ask her questions or need help. To reinforce learning, I feel that consistent practice has helped. If you practice watercolour one day and don’t practice again for a few weeks, you are likely to forget what you’ve learned and you’re back at stage one. To successfully build off of skills you are learning, it’s important to practice regularly.

3. What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?

Opportunities that may accelerate my learning are online resources. I feel that I still learn a lot through videos because I can always pause it when I’m stuck or go back to a certain point if I need clarification. I have also been looking at websites that teach watercolor skills and techniques.

4. When you get together what do you talk about?

When we had in-person meetings, we would talk about how we are feeling about the skills we learned and if we have any questions regarding watercolour painting. We would go over the practice we did during the 2 weeks leading up to the meeting. While we would paint, we would also talk a bit about how our personal lives are going. Nina talked to Amin and I about how she’s applied to universities because she’s currently a grade 12 student.

5. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?

Communication via messaging on social media has worked fairly well since we cannot meet in person. I feel comfortable asking Nina for clarification questions or just questions regarding specific techniques. I feel that by having video calls we can improve that communication but messaging is still working well.

6. What are you learning about one another?

I have learned that Nina is a very talented artist. Before we went off to spring break, Ms. Croft showed us one of her finished watercolour pieces, and it was amazing. Nina also has an art Instagram account where she posts some of her digital art. As I talked about earlier, Nina is a grade 12 student and she has applied to various universities.

I feel like I’ve made progress since my last post and I look forward to learning new skills and overcoming more obstacles. Updates to come.

In-Depth Post 4

Since my previous post, many events have occurred. The COVID-19 outbreak has posed a few challenges that have been difficult to work through, but I have found solutions that can keep my in-depth project progressing at the rate I would like it to be. Prior to spring break, I had two meetings with my mentor Nina. During the first meeting, she went over some of the basics of watercolour painting. Nina taught Amin and I about the basics with materials, colour theory, and the different watercolour techniques. Nina would demonstrate the techniques and we would practice after observing her. This worked well because we had time to take in the information and we had sufficient time to ask any questions.

An overview of what I learned in meeting #1:

Basics with materials:

  • Tape paper down because it keeps the paper from moving around or curling. It also creates a clean border for the painting which makes it more visually appealing.
  • White is not used for watercolour painting. Unlike acrylic where you would add white to make a colour a lighter shade, in watercolour you can just add water.
  • Leaving negative space (white spaces) in your painting can be used effectively. For example, you may use negative space to create highlights in your paintings.

Colour Theory:

Color Theory Poster –


  • Wet-in-wet
  • Graduated wash
  • Mixing hues
  • Building values

At the end of our mentoring session, Nina gave us a homework assignment for our next meeting. The assignment was to create a small abstract painting that has 4 layers, each layer for one of the techniques learned. We were to choose and use a specific colour theme so I choose warm colours (pink, orange, and yellow).

Reference Example


My Abstract Painting 

Two weeks later, we had our second meeting. First, we discussed the abstract paintings and reflected on what went well and what we could work on. Following that, Nina went over some more basic skills for our lesson. We learned about glazes, wet-on-dry applications, mixing neutrals and flesh tones, and layering. Similar to the first meeting, Nina walked us through and demonstrated the techniques while we would watch and follow along.

These are examples of layering with different shapes:

Nina left us with a few homework/practice assignments to complete over the break. The assignments are painting 3 shapes and a bottle using the layering techniques, a small still life painting with 3 objects, and to take a photo to use for watercolour painting for the next meeting. Through these two meetings, I feel that I have learned so much from Nina and I now have a basic understanding of watercolour painting. Although COVID-19 has presented obstacles for in-depth, looking towards the positive side of this situation, I have had a lot of extra time while social distancing. Taking advantage of all the spare time I’ve spent at home, I have been working on those assignments mentioned earlier and practicing to improve my skills.

1. What has been my most difficult mentoring challenge so far? Why?

The most difficult mentoring challenge I have come across so far has been meeting with my mentor. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, schools will remain closed until further notice and the meetings we had set up were all during school hours. Although this may be an obstacle to my learning, there are ways around it. This has been the most difficult challenge to deal with because we had all our meetings outlined with what we were going to learn during each one so our learning will have to take a different direction. We will have to find a way to work around this and to meet with Nina. To make up for the meetings that will be missed, we found that it would be a good idea to set up group video conferences between Nina, Amin, and I. That way, we can still learn, just at home, and we still have the ability to ask questions and receive feedback on our progress.

2. What is working well? Why?

Something that is working well is the structure and flow of our mentor meetings. Since our meetings are short in length, it is very important that we know what we want to accomplish for each meeting so we can continue to grow and improve and make the most out of each meeting. I feel that this has worked very well because we planned what each meeting would look like by creating an outline before the first meeting took place. This is especially helpful now, due to the fact that there most likely will not be any more meetings face-to-face. The outline has also been useful because I can look back on it as a reminder of what concepts we have gone over, and I can look ahead for what is to come during the next meetings.

3. What could be working better? How can you make sure this happens?

Something that could be working better for my in-depth project is communication with my mentor outside of the meetings. I have realized that since our last meeting, I have not contacted my mentor many times. As stated earlier, setting up frequent video conferences would strengthen the communication between my mentor and I. To make sure to improve on communication, I will make an effort to message Nina every week to update her on my progress, ask questions as needed, and discuss what our plan will be going forward. Strengthening our communication outside of the bi-weekly meetings will not only be useful to my growth in watercolour painting, but it will also strengthen my relationship with Nina.

Overall, I am satisfied with the progress I have made over the past few weeks and I am looking forward to learning more and improving as my in-depth journey continues. Stay safe and stay tuned for more updates.

In-Depth Post 3

It has been a long and challenging process, but I now have a mentor for my in-depth project! She is a grade 12 student who is doing an independent study with Ms. Croft. Her name is Nina and I met with her on Thursday with Amin. Nina has been interested in watercolour painting from a very young age and has been watercolour painting since grade 1, but started taking lessons in grade 10. During the meeting, we went over how the next few months would look like and what the overall plan was. Amin and I talked about what we are hoping to get out of this experience and discussed questions Nina or Amin and I had. We also outlined the mentoring sessions and Ms. Croft and Nina explained that Nina could teach a lesson in each meeting. She could demonstrate the techniques and we would work on it during the session and ask her any questions we may have. Then we would practice during the time before the next meeting and maybe have some homework to complete. Nina seems like a very kind and dedicated person and we are very grateful and excited to work with her for the next few months. Regarding the paperwork, we are hoping to hand in the forms early next week.

Amin and I will be having bi-weekly mentoring sessions with Nina on Thursdays. We have reviewed the schedule, and there will be six more meetings in total. Each session will be 40 minutes as we will be meeting at lunchtime. This is what works best for us as Nina is a very busy person and Amin and I also have extracurriculars and sports after school. We will be communicating with Nina via Instagram direct messages and in-person as she is a student at Gleneagle. We will also be meeting in the art room because it has watercolour supplies and equipment if needed, and access to a sink. It is also a good working environment as it is quiet and organized.

  1. What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?

We have only had one session so far because I had a hard time finding a mentor, but I think the first meeting went very well. One thing that went particularly well was communication. Although it was a short meeting, we managed to cover all of the areas we wanted to, and planned the rest of our meetings. We all asked and answered important questions we had and made sure to be open while communicating our thoughts and ideas. Nina seems like a very understanding and kind-hearted person, and I feel that it was an additional positive to our mentoring session.

  1. Were you actually listening to each other? Explain

During our introduction meeting, Nina, Ms. Croft, Amin and I all provided ideas and actively listened to each other. I made sure I asked any clarification questions I had and also made sure that Nina and Ms. Croft were clear with what our plan was. We all thoroughly discussed our ideas and presented our questions and gave answers. All of us actively participated in the discussion and made sure we were all on the same page. Strong communication and active listening ensured that everyone understood what was going on and would not need further clarification.

  1. What logical challenges affected your communication?

At first, I didn’t have Nina’s contact information, so I was emailing and talking to Ms. Croft in person to relay information. This was not an effective way of communicating because it is a lot slower than communicating one-on-one. Then, I got Nina’s email and we communicated from there. Although that improved our communication, it still wasn’t ideal because it was inconvenient to send an email every time you had a question or something to say. At the first meeting, we decided that direct messages on Instagram would be an effective way of communication because we all had it and used it daily. Now I can text Nina when there is a question or something that needs to be talked about comes up.

Finding a mentor was the biggest obstacle to overcome so far but I know there will be many more throughout my in-depth journey. Our next mentoring session is set for Thursday next week. I am looking forward to learning a lot from Nina and excited to see how it goes! From now until Thursday, I will be communicating with Nina about the paperwork and anything else that comes up. I also plan on purchasing supplies this weekend so I can start practicing the various techniques I have been looking at. I have read about the basics of watercolour painting and will continue to research and learn new things from online resources because I would like to move forward in my in-depth journey.

I am excited for next Thursday and more updates to follow.

In-Depth Post 2

Finding a mentor has been a big obstacle so far. I have reached out to possible mentors but unfortunately have not been successful in finding one. Amin is also pursuing watercolour painting as his in-depth so we discussed possibly sharing a mentor since it is convenient and we both have the same skill level.

A few days ago, Amin and I reached out in person to Ms. Croft who is an art teacher at Gleneagle. Unfortunately, due to her busy schedule this year, she informed us that she could not mentor us. On the bright side, she told us that she might have someone she could reach out to. We communicated with her via email and in-person and Ms. Croft informed us that she has a talented watercolour painter who is a grade 12 student doing an independent study with her this semester. We are very excited about this and are hoping that she will agree to mentor us. Currently, we are waiting for a response from her student as she needs some time to think about it. Fingers crossed that this works out!

In the meantime, I have been doing some research on watercolour painting. Although I currently do not have a mentor, I thought I should get a head start on my learning through videos and other online resources. I have learned about a few techniques such as wet in wet, wet on dry, flat wash, graded wash, and drybrush. I have also done some research on watercolour painting supplies. I have not gotten a chance to buy supplies yet, but that is something I would like to accomplish very soon because it would be great to practice the techniques I am learning about.

Here are a few videos I have watched to kickstart my in-depth project:

I have also created a schedule for in-depth, outlining certain tasks and projects I want to be working on. I have collected some resources that are helpful for beginner watercolour painting and took some notes on them.

I am hoping that the mentor situation will work out soon and I can officially start meeting with a mentor. Until then, I will continue to do independent learning because I still want to gain knowledge and move forward with my in-depth project without a mentor. More updates to come!

In-Depth Post 1

For my in-depth project this year, I have decided to explore watercolour painting. I chose this topic because it is something I have always been interested in, but never had the opportunity to pursue. I pondered many ideas but I ultimately chose watercolour painting because it is portable and can be done practically anywhere, it requires minimal supplies, and it seems like an enjoyable passion that I hope to continue after in-depth 2020. I would say my present skill-level is beginner, but I hope to change that throughout my learning journey.

From now until in-depth night on May 25th, there is a lot I want to learn and accomplish. I would like to learn watercolour techniques and strengthen my skills. Specific skills I would like to attain are how to properly mix colours, blending, and correct application. By the end of in-depth, I hope to have gained extensive knowledge on various aspects of watercolour painting. By pushing myself out of my comfort zone and challenging myself, I would like to experience roadblocks and struggles because that is what will motivate me towards success. My goal is to see a vast improvement from my skills right now to the end of this journey.

I have contacted a possible mentor but currently have not heard back from them. I hope to volunteer at Place des Arts in return for mentoring sessions. I would like to meet with my mentor every two weeks (more if needed) to discuss what I’ve learned, what I plan to do, and how my mentor can help me get there. If this plan does not comply, there are a few other options I can look into such as other art centres or art classes. I will do my best to find a mentor as quickly as possible as I would like to get a good start on my project.

My plan after I find a mentor is to decide what supplies I would like to purchase by discussing with my mentor and doing some research online. In the meantime, I will create a schedule for myself to keep me on track and find various resources to help me grow and learn during in-depth. My hope by the end of this is to have gained a hobby that I enjoy and will continue following in-depth.

I am very excited and look forward to seeing where I will take this project!