Update: These 3 workshops are all filled up, but please watch this space for more!

 

Given the cancellation of the summer workshop season, I've decided to offer a few Zoom-based classes that focus on just one particular, "bite-sized" topic.  

1. Mushrooms in Watercolor

Saturday, August 8, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. PDT

$50

Register

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.

This is a 3-hour class that will include lecture, demonstration and practice time. You probably won't finish your project during this time, but hopefully you'll have enough information to continue on your own. 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

  • 300 lb. watercolor hot press paper -- this is not your standard watercolor paper so you might need to purchase some. It is very worth going to the trouble of using 300 lb. paper for this kind of work because it will hold up much, much better. I found this "300 lb. Hot Press - 2 Sheets" Fabriano product at Jerry's Artarama that would work (last one on the list). You could also buy a standard 20x30" sheet at your favorite, well-stocked art supply store. Many people who I've taught have never used 300 lb. hot press paper and really fall in love with it. It's the paper most commonly used by science illustrators who work in watercolor.

  • Backing board and 14-day release or artist tape (or some other backing set-up that you prefer)

  • Pencils -- a "normal" pencil such as a 2B, as well as a harder one for transferring (2H or 4H), and a kneaded eraser. If you don't have a hard pencil, you can also use a ballpoint pen.  

  • Tracing paper (if you're in the market for new tracing paper, I prefer Canson)

  • Watercolors, brushes (I only use "round" watercolor brushes in sizes 3 - 00 and my favorite type is Da Vinci Cosmotop spins, but that's just a personal preference), and a couple water containers

  • Palette for mixing

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

Register

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2. Pine Cones* (again)!

Saturday, August 22, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. PDT

$50

Register

(This is the second time I'm offering this workshop, as not everybody who wanted to attend got a spot in the class for the first session. Who knew painted pine cones would be so popular?!)

Would you like to learn to draw and paint pine cones? These complex structures make great subjects! They're beautiful by themselves, and they're also a beautiful compositional element to add to your illustration. Learn about representing form and depth, and for the science/math geeks, a bonus is to see how the Fibonacci sequence shows up in nature, especially when it comes to arranging seeds in compact packages.

 

This is a 3-hour class that will include lecture, demonstration and practice time. You probably won't finish your project during this time, but hopefully you'll have enough information to continue on your own. 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" (e.g. 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). To get all the depth you'll need between the scales"inside" of the cone, you might also like to have a couple of micron pens on hand -- black and brown.

In order to save time, I will e-mail several pine cone 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.

The supplies list is the same as the first workshop listed above.

* All coniferous trees produce cones, but not all coniferous trees are PINE trees. So consider the use of the phrase "pine cone" to represent the generic category of coniferous tree cone. 

Register

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3. Just a Leaf

Saturday, September 12, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. PDT

$50

Register

Leaves are surprisingly tricky in and of themselves. I had absolutely no idea what to do with them when I started out. I've since learned that you just keep layering on thin washes of green and yellow until you get them to be the color and texture you want. Then you use complimentary colors (usually reds mixed into your green) to indicate the depth and overlapping. I would never have figured that out on my own, and I'm very happy to share what I've learned along the way in this little workshop. 

This is a 3-hour class that will include lecture, demonstration and practice time. You probably won't finish your project during this time, but hopefully you'll have enough information to continue on your own. 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. As for colors, most "real" botanical artists create their own greens mixing blues and yellows. I'm not quite that patient, so I use quite a bit of sap and Hooker's green to jump-start my greens. You get to choose which approach you like best. If you're mixing blues and yellows, you might want to avoid granulating blues like ultramarine and cobalt. I'm a fan of the phthalo blues as they are non-granulating for the most part. I also use cadmium red or alizarin crimson as my complimentary color. There's nothing particularly magical about those shades, so whatever reds you have are probably fine.

In order to save time, I will e-mail several leaf 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.

The supplies list is the same as the first workshop listed above.

Register

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