3 to 5 days • Kate Aubrey, Instructor

Flowers are so much like people. Whether it’s the brilliant colors or the expressive “faces”, they reflect thoughts and feelings as though they could speak. Like children, flowers echo spring and shout joy and scatter themselves up the hillside. Like magicians, they gather gloom, then turn it to brightness. They heal the sick and raise up the dead to heaven. Elegant and expressive or complex and sweet, each bloom has its own traits to share. Quite simply, they beg to be painted.

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Option 1:

Working from life, students will learn the ins and outs of painting close-up flowers in watercolor as well as how to choose and capture a specific mood through composition and value; color usage; and the balance between loose and tight, lost and found, bright and quiet. Special attention will be given to the mixing and application of darks/blacks and turning “mistakes” into opportunities.

Kate’s demonstrations will include a range of techniques from tight to loose-and- drippy, as well as how to put those drips to work. Students will be encouraged to develop their own interpretation while putting new ideas and techniques to work. Critiques will be designed to both educate and motivate.
Students should have a working knowledge of basic watercolor techniques.

Option 2:

Working from photographs (the instructor’s or theirs), students will learn the ins and outs of painting close-up flowers in watercolor as well as how to choose and capture a specific mood through composition and value; color usage; and the balance between loose and tight, lost and found, bright and quiet. Special attention will be given to the mixing and application of darks/blacks and turning “mistakes” into opportunities.

Kate’s demonstrations will include a range of techniques from tight to loose-and- drippy, as well as how to put those drips to work. Students will be encouraged to develop their own interpretation while putting new ideas and techniques to work. Critiques will be designed to both educate and motivate.
Students should have a working knowledge of basic watercolor techniques.

Suggestions & Requirements for Photographs

  • Please be sure what you want to paint is in focus. If you want to play with color choices, bring a black and white.
  • Professionally taken photos are often lighted so shadows are minimized, making them very difficult to paint from. They are also copyrighted. For these reasons, I prefer that you use your own photos or a friend’s (with permission).
  • Real photographic prints are massively better to work from than computer printouts. Longs Drugs, Costco and Walgreens all have easy-to-use, inexpensive photo systems and will print reasonably priced enlargements from the Web, CDs, memory cards, smart phones, & iPad-style units.
  • That said, laptops & iPads are even better to work from. Smart phones are not due to the small image. I will be working from my laptop.

2 to 3 days • Kate Aubrey, Instructor
Intermediate & Advanced, all painting media accepted, demonstrations in watercolor

If you were to ask professional painters who teach what question their students most frequently ask, it would probably be some variation on, “How do I know when it’s finished?” This is a difficult question to answer during a standard workshop because for most students understanding only comes by actual practice, and a lot of workshops are challenging enough that students often don’t get to the finish while the teacher is still there.

In this workshop, students will bring one or more of their own almost-finished paintings (any genre) to class for an in-depth instructor critique, then will work to bring at least one to a finish. This can include “if only” paintings (“If only I had done this instead of that...”). Instruction will also include demonstrations, exercises when helpful, and lots of individual attention as students work.

Students will learn the elements of design, their characteristics and uses, how to pinpoint and resolve compositional problems, and how to turn an “if only” painting into one they can be proud of.

PLEASE BRING

  • One to three of your paintings which are 80 to 99% complete
  • Your usual painting setup/materials (non-odiferous please)
  • Any necessary reference materials
  • Small sketch book and pencil/pen/marker
  • Extra watercolor paper or surface to experiment on

Kate Aubrey, Instructor

3 to 5 days • Kate Aubrey, Instructor

Individuals fascinate me. Their moods, their quirks, their private loves. These are the things I strive to capture with paint and brush. Attaining this depends upon what is left out at least as much as what is included. In this 3-day workshop, students will learn how to create a portrait that goes farther than a simple likeness.

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Day 1: Creating a likeness

Morning: through hands-on, guided exercises and short demos, students will discover the importance of the eyes and how to render, then paint them accurately and sensitively.
Afternoon: we will continue with the nose and mouth.

Days 2 & 3: Painting a real person

Using a photographic reference (yours or mine) and demonstrations, students will finish laying out and paint a portrait that speaks. Particular attention will be given to brushwork, watercolor techniques ranging the gamut from bold and loose to tight drybrush and when to use each one for heightened emotional impact, and how to convey drama through values. Students will learn how to create believable hair and skin tones, as well as how to mix harmonious darks and how and where to apply them to help build a solid composition.

Suggestions & Requirements for Photographs

  • Please be sure the eyes are in focus and anything you want to paint is not blurred.
  • If you bring your own photo(s) to work from, I suggest bringing more than one the first day for the sake of choice.
  • It is easier to paint someone you don’t know well when learning new approaches.
  • Professionally taken photos are lighted so no shadows fall on the subject’s face, making them very difficult to paint from, so I recommend that you not use school photos or magazine-type photos. When painting people, shadows are good.
  • If you are a portrait newbie, teeth are hard to paint. I encourage you to use an unsmiling model.
  • Real photographic prints are massively better to work from than computer printouts. Longs Drugs, Costco and Walgreens all have easy-to-use, inexpensive photo systems and will print reasonably priced enlargements from the Web, CDs, memory cards, smart phones, & iPad-style units.
  • That said, laptops & iPads are even better to work from. Smart phones are not due to the small image. I will be working from my laptop.

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