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Watercolor Basics, Plein Air Workshop

$450 Purchase required to enroll

Are you ready to shake up your artistic routine? Then it’s time for you to get out of the studio and improve your sense of color and composition by painting plein air. This is a ground up primer that introduces you to the plein air experience without spending lots of money on supplies.

This is a three day workshop that covers plein air in terms of supply and equipment choices, strategies and practical painting applications. It is structured for intermediate watercolor artists but experienced beginners are welcome.

This workshop is part lecture using PowerPoint, plus demonstrations, informational handouts, guidance and then practicing what is preached outside the classroom. The goal is to help you establish an independent, comfortable and knowledgeable approach to plein air painting.

Each session is @five hours per day:10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with a brown bag lunch. Instruction begins in the classroom and moves to a selected location for painting. Below is a tentative schedule.

Day 1

  • Covers introduction, equipment and logistics.

  • Why plein air is an important artistic skill.

  • Designing a lightweight, portable w/c setup for under $40.

  • How to build a homemade tripod support board and shelf.

  • Review and compare commercial plein air easel options/choices.

  • Make informed personal decisions about paper, pigments and brushes.

  • Go Bag vs. Formal Plein air Kit

  • Supplement equipment; what do you really need?

  • Reference materials provided.

Day 2

  • Covers compositional strategies and procedures for painting outdoors. Advantages vs. pitfalls.

  • Why paint that!

  • Trusting your artistic sensibilities.

  • “Plan like a turtle and paint like a rabbit.”

  • Observe, simplify and make it so.

  • Pre-sketch for success/ know your formats.

  • Using Notanizer and photo reference.

  • How to set plein air limitations to increase your success and lower your stress level.

  • Scouting out our location and applying the above strategies.

Day 3

  • Paint and paint some more.

  • Practice what has been preached.

  • Learning to complete what you started.

  • Group review and informal critique.

  • Workshop wrap up.

Specific workshop supply list will be provided when enrolling but most items are already part of your general watercolor experience.



Cancellation policy
  • Workshops are fully refundable with at least 7 days notice, and are partially refundable for 50% of the workshop cost if canceled up to 48 hours before the scheduled start of a workshop. Cancellations are not permitted with less than 48 hours notice and no refund will be issued.


No upcoming schedule