New classes! 

This is an odd time in our history, but I'm committed to making these Zoom-based classes work so we can be together, learn new skills and grow as artists!

With these workshops, I'll be expecting participants to send me photographs of their work so I can offer ideas of how to improve.

Anyone registered in any of my classes is welcome to join my weekly -- free! -- open studio on Wednesday evenings. In addition, we have created a Facebook "private group" to share works-in-progress, ask questions, etc.

1. Watercolor for Newbies

Three consecutive Saturdays: Oct. 3, 10 and 17, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Pacific

$130

Register

 

It's fun to see people get comfortable with this lovely, versatile medium. It's deceptively simple, but very, very powerful if you take the time to learn about it.

 

Watercolor can be used for many different styles of artwork, and I hope that the basics shared will allow you to go in any direction with it that suits you. This class comes from the perspective of a science illustrator whose focus is to have a lot of control over the medium at all times, so that's a set of skills I will emphasize.

We'll cover materials, washes, wet/dry paper, using paints of various wetness, watercolor characteristics, mixing, etc. We'll touch on a little color theory, especially as it relates to the specific characteristics of various pigments.

(Sorry, this option isn't available any more.) If you don't have the supplies listed in the class description, please let me buy and ship the supplies to you. My goal is to remove barriers to participation! This isn't the best time to be wandering through art supply stores looking for materials if you are concerned about your health. Click here to buy the supply package with the items listed below and have them mailed directly to you. The cost is $135, which includes US shipping. This option is available until Sept. 19.

 

Registration is capped at 10 people.

Supplies*

  • Watercolor journal. Just be sure, if you're buying a new one, that it is at least 140lb. (300 gms) paper. Thinner paper is frustrating. 

  • Watercolor paints. I only use tube paints but a set of pan paints would be fine as long as they're reasonably good quality ones. 

  • Watercolor brushes. My idea of a good starter set would have a quality wash brush and two "rounds" (my preferred brush is the Da Vinci Cosmotop Spin!). 

  • Palette for mixing paints. I prefer the kind that lets you put out a dab of paint and mix on the same surface. 

  • A little dropper like these (super cheap and fabulous to have). 

  • Water buckets (I use two -- one for cleaning brushes and one to use as a source of clean water for mixing). Any jars or used yogurt tubs, etc., will work.

 

All students will receive some pieces of Fabriano Artistico 300 lb. hot press paper, which is the paper I prefer. You can try it out to see what difference the weight of the paper makes, and to compare cold press (rougher) paper which is much more common, to hot press (smooth) which is typically used by science illustrators. 

* A quick note about supplies. Watercolors are used by anybody from little kids on up to maestros, and the quality differences between kiddie toys, student-grade and professional are significant! Everything I've listed above is professional grade -- I really find using lesser quality supplies to be a huge source of frustration.

Register

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2. Mushrooms in Watercolor

Saturday, Oct. 24, 1 - 4 p.m. Pacific

$55

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Watercolor is the perfect medium for mushrooms! The ability to layer using transparent paints is absolutely magical and really helps create the look of the "skin" of the mushroom. My favorite science illustrator of all-time, Beatrix Potter (of Peter Rabbit fame) did amazing work with mushrooms, and I take inspiration from looking at her work. Mushrooms often have round elements (the cap) and tubular elements (the stipe) so they're excellent subjects for gaining confidence with shading to indicate form. Those skills can be applied to lots of other subject matter.

Registration is capped at 10 people.

The class will be good for those with at least some experience with watercolor. You'll need a basic set of watercolors and brushes, and you will especially want to be sure you have "the browns" (raw sienna, burnt sienna, raw umber, burnt umber). To deepen the browns, you will also want a blue (you might like the phthalo blues as they are staining and non-granulated so they mix well with browns which are non-staining and granulated).   

In order to save time, I will e-mail several mushroom sketches in advance of the class from which you can choose. You'll trace and transfer the one you pick to watercolor paper. I'll show you how to do that in the class.

Supplies​

  • Basic watercolor supplies including paints, brushes, palette, backing board, artist tape or 14-day release masking tape, water buckets, etc.

Each student will receive a package that will include two pieces of 300 lb. Fabriano Artistico hot press paper and transfer paper.

Register

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3. Butterflies in Watercolor and Ink

Three consecutive Saturdays: Nov. 7, 14 and 21, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Pacific

$140

Register

By special request, we are going to paint some beautiful butterflies this fall! Butterflies are a wonderful subject for combining watercolor and ink. Each person will be shipped two butterflies. (They will be ethically sourced, and "spread" so you can see both ventral and dorsal sides.)

The class will be good for those with at least some experience with watercolor. You'll need a basic set of watercolors and brushes, and you will especially want to be sure you have the basic primaries (red, blue, yellow) and secondaries (purple, green, orange). In addition, you'll want a couple of black Sakura Pigma micron pens (01 and 005 would be handy). 

Supplies

  • Sketch paper. For preliminary sketching of your butterfly.

  • Magnifying glass to study the specimens.

  • Tweezers for moving your butterflies around -- you don't want to manhandle them!

  • Clear ruler and/or divider for measuring your butterfly. I like using a clear ruler, but you might like to try using a divider like this one

  • Tracing paper. This is optional, but I never want to spend the time to draw things twice, so once I have a good sketch, I trace it and transfer it to watercolor paper. In the world of butterfly illustration, you usually sketch just one side of the wings and then flip it for the other side -- that helps you not go quite so cross-eyed when dealing with the veins. If you are in the market for new tracing paper, I prefer the Canson brand.

  • Basic watercolor supplies including paints, brushes, palette, backing board, artist tape or 14-day release masking tape, water buckets, etc.

Each student will receive a package that will include butterflies, 300 lb. Fabriano Artistico hot press paper and transfer paper.

Register

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