Acrylic Workshop Descriptions

Curious about what class would be right for you? I’ve listed the description for each acrylic class as well as recommendations for the skill level you are at. Please note that with all of my acrylic classes all skill levels are welcome, however some are a little easier to jump into than others! Also note that you do not need to take any “Foundation Workshops” in order to jump into a Landscape, Abstract or Sky workshop – although the Foundation Workshops do help…If you are interested in a more intermediate workshop and you’ve never painted before, please don’t let that stop you from pursuing. You will gain knowledge no matter what skill level you are at!

Maximum class size ranges from 8 – 14 students (depending on the workshop) so you will have plenty of one-on-one support.

Have you thought of taking a workshop with a friend?

NEW FOR 2020:
All you need to bring to the workshop is your substrate (or what you will be painting on, for instance a canvas or alternative listed surface). If you have a special sketchbook or notebook that you like taking notes in feel free to bring that as well. I always supply the materials list for your reference in case you’d like to pick up the same products and continue practicing at home which I highly encourage!

For each workshop you will be supplied with:
Artist-Grade GOLDEN Acrylic Paint & Medium
Brushes
Palette Paper
Easel (if applicable)
Drawing Pencil (if applicable)
Apron
Water Container
Brush Cleaner

A little personal note about my teaching philosophy, acrylic style and materials:

My parents made a promise to me at a very young age that my art box would always be filled with “high-quality” art supplies. Not just art supplies, but “high-quality” art supplies. This made an enormous impact on me and I carry this practice forward in my classroom today.
I teach with GOLDEN artist-grade acrylic “heavy body” paint and medium. I want my students to have the best possible learning experience and having professional tools helps immensely. When you work with inadequate materials you don’t realize that it might be the material holding you back from creating what you want. I also provide my all-time-favorite synthetic brushes: Princeton brand “Umbria” style brushes. These brushes allow for beautiful line-work, blending and smoothing effects. Don’t worry – I instruct how to clean brushes properly so they will last for years.

As you can see from the class examples, my teaching style emphasizes smoothness, layers, blending, and luminous colors. My personal style leans semi-abstract (somewhere between realistic and abstract) and this is how I teach. I encourage using imagination during the painting process. Pairing this with learned techniques offers the opportunity to create exciting individual paintings. Even though the workshops are step-by-step, every single painting looks different after class (which is awesome)!

“PROCESS”, NOT “PRODUCT”

A very important note: In every one of my classes I like to describe the final painting as the “by-product” of the workshop. It is more important to understand the painting process and techniques instead of having a wall-worthy masterpiece. If the focus is tunnel-visioned to have a perfect final product and the journey is a mystery, being able to reproduce the techniques will be a challenge and the desire to continue to paint will diminish. However, if the focus is on the journey as opposed to the destination, such as how to get a particular color, what the paint is supposed to feel like on the brush, how and when to use medium vs. water. You will become more at ease with painting and the desire to pick up the brush will occur more often.

I am always available to answer questions so please e-mail me!


Foundation Workshops

CORE ACRYLIC TECHNIQUE

An excellent intro into acrylics and an opportunity to practice most brushstroke techniques used in class.

1-DAY WORKSHOP
Core Acrylic Technique is an engaging 1-day workshop designed to introduce students to the basics of acrylic painting.  This is a novice – beginner level class which focuses on essential acrylic groundwork through a variety of exercises.  There will be short lectures and demonstrations throughout the day with time to practice the demonstrated technique.  We will be working on multiple sample boards instead of working towards one completed painting.

Some of the topics covered in this workshop are:
Picking Your Paint:  Understand the differences in acrylics and choose what will work best for you.
Brush Action:  Learn about the different brush shapes and what they do.  Practice different brush strokes and line work.  Experiment with dry brush and scumbling.
Proper Paint Application:  How to load your brush and control how much paint is on your brush.
Texture and Glazing:  Get to know about acrylic additives that give your paintings depth and dimension.
Tools:  Familiarize yourself with different tools that can ease the painting process.  Learn how to keep your palette organized and how to use a palette knife.
BRING TO CLASS:
12 x 16 “Canvasette” pad

ACRYLIC COLOR MIXING 101

Hands down my favorite acrylic class to teach! I am such a color nerd and I love sharing techniques of how to mix the color you want. This workshop is meant to be repeated. You gain so much information in this class it is very helpful to come back. The more practice with mixing color, the easier painting will become. I LOVE this class!

1-DAY WORKSHOP
This comprehensive workshop will show you how to take the guesswork out of color mixing and gain color confidence! Learn how to organize your palette in order to mix the color you want. Over the course of the workshop you will create a variety of color swatch pages to help you recognize specific color characteristics and color relationships. Demo’s will be given throughout the day on how to create proper mid tones, mutes and tints. Basic color theory will be discussed as well as instruction on how to really “SEE” color. The roles of white and black (and how to mix your own black) will also be covered.
BRING TO CLASS:
9 x 12
Mixed Media Sketchbook

Landscape Workshops
If you are new to painting and wanting to jump into a workshop I suggest beginning with a landscape workshop because you’re more “grounded”, so to speak.
1-Day workshops vs. 2-day workshops:
In the 1-day landscape workshops we do not go into as much detail as the 2-day landscape workshops (Luscious Landscapes & California Classic Landscape). The 2-day workshops allow for more work time and a chance to step back from your painting and look at it with with fresh eyes. This can be very helpful and offer a little more breathing room. Students find that the second day is immensely helpful.

HILLS/FOOTHILLS VALLEYS & HORIZONS

This is a good introduction into landscape, color and composition. Excellent for beginners.

1-DAY WORKSHOP
Landscapes have a way of drawing us in.  We can’t help but imagine what it’s like wandering through the grassy knolls, mountain paths or emerald hills in a painting.  It is important to be able to capture the subtlety of light and atmosphere in any vista.  The artistry behind a successful landscape begins with foundation.  This full-day acrylic workshop will focus on creating depth and atmosphere in a simple landscape (pictured above). Demo’s will be given throughout the day covering glazing, layering and color-mixing techniques. By using a limited color palette of only four (you heard right – four!) colors we will build transparent and opaque layers to ultimately capture the receding grandeur of a beautiful valley.
BRING TO CLASS:
16 x 20 or 12 x 24 canvas

MISTY MOUNTAINS

Another good beginner class however a little more challenging due to the misty effects.

1-DAY WORKSHOP
Vanishing mountains into the distance of a Winter terrain is one of the most beautiful sights of the year.  Of course the colorful greens of Spring, blue skies of Summer, and the fiery leaves of Autumn are extremely alluring.  However it is equally important to be able to capture the subtlety of those seductive Winter greys.  This full-day acrylic workshop will focus on creating depth and atmosphere in a simple Winter mountain landscape (pictured above). Demo’s will be given throughout the day covering glazing, layering and color-mixing techniques. By using a limited color palette of only three (you heard right – three!) colors we will build up transparent and opaque layers to ultimately capture the cold, receding Misty Mountains.
BRING TO CLASS:
16 x 20 or 12 x 24 canvas

LUSCIOUS LANDSCAPES

I describe this class as the “Leisurely Hills/Foothills, Valleys & Horizons” workshop because the composition is similar however it has more layers and details. This would be an easier 2-day class to jump into.

2-DAY WORKSHOP
Luscious Landscapes is an exciting 2-day landscape adventure!  Grassy knolls and emerald hills are only the beginning…this 2-day workshop allows you to dive a little deeper into landscape detail.  The first day of the workshop will give you a strong foundation in how to create a successful landscape through composition and color.  It is important to be able to capture the subtlety of light and atmosphere in any vista so we will put some attention on our skies as well.  On the second day we will refine our landscapes, jump into some smaller brushes and play with the details:  Trees, flowers and water!  Technique demonstrations will be given each day covering glazing, layering and color-mixing in order to create a simple landscape (pictured above).    By using a limited color palette of only four (you heard right – four!) colors we will build transparent and opaque layers to ultimately capture the receding grandeur of a beautiful valley.
BRING TO CLASS:
18 x 24 canvas

CALIFORNIA CLASSIC LANDSCAPE

I consider this an intermediate workshop because of the specific color mixes we use to create the beautiful dried California grasses. This workshop is more of a color balancing act than the Luscious Landscape even though both workshops use exactly the same colors. Having two days to work on this painting is very helpful.

2-DAY WORKSHOP
California Classic Landscape is an exciting 2-day landscape adventure!  Grassy knolls and emerald hills are only the beginning…this 2-day workshop allows you to dive a little deeper into landscape detail.  The first day of the workshop will give you a strong foundation in how to create a successful landscape through composition and color.  It is important to be able to capture the subtlety of light and atmosphere in any vista so we will put some attention on our skies as well.  On the second day we will refine our landscapes, jump into some smaller brushes and play with the details:  Trees, flowers and water!  Technique demonstrations will be given each day covering glazing, layering and color-mixing in order to create a simple landscape (pictured above).    By using a limited color palette of only four (you heard right – four!) colors we will build transparent and opaque layers to ultimately capture the receding grandeur of a beautiful valley.
BRING TO CLASS:
18 x 24 canvas

ACRYLIC ASPENS

This is also a good intermediate class because we are using a couple extra colors and engage in the “negative painting” process (so much fun!)

1-DAY WORKSHOP
These stunning trees have been painted throughout the centuries and this workshop will show you how to create your own colorful aspen landscape.  Tree species have very individual personalities and aspens are perhaps one of the most distinctive.  Learn how to capture the beautiful characteristics of aspen trees: their luminescent colors, linear shape and singular white and black bark.  So let’s heat up our color palette!  “Acrylic Aspens” offers an opportunity to rejuvenate your color sense with the familiar hues of the forest.
The approach to this workshop is simple and the colors are bold.  We will use a limited palette of 6 colors to create a serene aspen landscape.  There will be demonstrations throughout the day covering glazing, layering and color-mixing techniques.
BRING TO CLASS:
12 x 12 or 12 x 24 canvas

Sky Workshops
I describe the Sky Workshops as intermediate because of a particular blending brushstroke we use throughout the class. Also, because the cloud form is a little more “abstracted” than say a grounded landscape, this makes the workshop more of a challenge. Don’t let this stop you! Begin the learning process and the more you practice the quicker you will get results!

CLOUD CLINIC

This is a great beginner workshop that helps prep for the Sky Workshops. Students have said that taking this class before Big Sky has helped immensely.

1-DAY WORKSHOP
In this acrylic workshop we will create an assortment of cloud studies highlighting various exercises instead of working towards a finished painting.  Demo’s will be given throughout the day covering glazing, layering and color-mixing techniques. By using a limited color palette we will build transparent and opaque layers to ultimately capture the beautifully expressive “Wild Blue Yonder”.

In this workshop you will learn how to:

Use matte medium to create layered glazes
Vary brush strokes and pressure in order to achieve soft edges
Control your color palette
Breakdown the “confusing” cloud mass into smaller shapes
Develop form by balancing shadow and highlight
Gain confidence in your clouds!

BIG SKY

Intermediate workshop that offers a great introduction in building cloud form with limited colors. The clouds are kept “simple” in an afternoon sky.

1-DAY WORKSHOP
One of the most beautiful subjects to paint in nature is the ever-changing sky. Sunsets, starry nights, lazy summer days, and storm fronts provide a lifetime of inspiration. Who can argue that one of the most dynamic natural elements of the sky above are the clouds? These are the personality of the landscape and are glorious to paint. This acrylic workshop will focus on creating depth in a simple “sky-scape” (pictured above). Demo’s will be given throughout the day covering glazing, layering and color-mixing techniques. By using a limited color palette of only 4 colors we will build up transparent and opaque layers to ultimately capture the beautifully expressive “Wild Blue Yonder”.
BRING TO CLASS:
12 x 24 canvas

BIG SKY: SUNRISE/SUNSET

Also an intermediate Sky Workshop, this particular class is a little more challenging because the clouds are lit from below and we introduce a new color.

1-DAY WORKSHOP
One of the most beautiful subjects to paint in nature is the ever-changing sky. Sunsets, starry nights, lazy summer days, and storm fronts provide a lifetime of inspiration. Who can argue that one of the most dynamic natural elements of the sky above are the clouds? These are the personality of the landscape and are glorious to paint. This acrylic workshop will focus on creating depth in a simple “sky-scape” (pictured above).  The emphasis of this Big Sky workshop will be the lighting effect of a sunrise or sunset.  Demo’s will be given throughout the day covering glazing, layering and color-mixing techniques. By using a limited color palette of only 4 colors we will build up transparent and opaque layers to ultimately capture the beautifully expressive “Wild Blue Yonder”.
BRING TO CLASS:
12 x 24 canvas

ATMOSPHERIC DEPTH

This workshop really dives into softness and misty effects using acrylic medium. The brushstroke to achieve the foggy atmosphere makes this more of an intermediate workshop

1-DAY WORKSHOP
Misty mornings, hazy low-lying clouds and fog offer subtle, thick and wonderful atmosphere to a painting.  There are so many different moods to the sky above. Even though mega-dynamic billowing clouds have the allure of grandeur, it is equally important to be able to capture the subtlety of light through a veil of mist or fog.  One of the most beautiful subjects to paint in nature is the ever-changing sky. Sunsets, starry nights, lazy summer days, and storm fronts provide a lifetime of inspiration. This full-day acrylic workshop will focus on creating depth and atmosphere in a simple “sky-scape” (pictured above). Demo’s will be given throughout the day covering glazing, layering and color-mixing techniques. By using a limited color palette of only three (you heard right – three!) colors we will build transparent and opaque layers to ultimately capture the misty veil of a foggy day.
BRING TO CLASS:
16 x 20 or 12 x 24 canvas

Semi-Abstract Workshops
Abstracts are more of a challenge because they are more intuitive and you need to be open to allowing your painting to “morph”

INDIAN SUMMER MINI’S

This is a great beginner class where you can work small and fast. A very fun class to do with a friend!

1-DAY WORKSHOP
November is officially here!  A beautiful characteristic of the changing of seasons are the fiery colors of fall.  So let’s heat up our color palette!  “Indian Summer” offers an opportunity to rejuvenate your color sense with the familiar hues of autumn.
Take a breather before the holidays and watch the leaves change right before your eyes.

The approach to this workshop is simple and the colors are bold.  We will use a limited palette of 4 beautiful colors to create a handful of miniature serene Fall abstract treescapes.  There will be demonstrations throughout the day covering glazing, layering and color-mixing techniques.
BRING TO CLASS:
It’s fun to mix and match your canvas sizes – just remember, keep your size small!  Here are some size combo examples:
(3) 6 x 6
(2) 5 x 5 & (1) 5 x 7
(1) 6 x 12 & (2) 6 x 6

INDIAN SUMMER

Another good beginner workshop that emphasizes brushstroke and layering. Because of the workshop theme we use some exciting colors that really engage the imagination!

1-DAY WORKSHOP
Fall is around the corner and the lazy summer days are almost over.  A beautiful characteristic of the changing of seasons are the fiery colors of fall.  So let’s heat up our color palette!  “Indian Summer” offers an opportunity to rejuvenate your color sense with the familiar hues of autumn.
Take a breather before the holidays and watch the leaves change right before your eyes.
The approach to this workshop is simple and the colors are bold.  We will use a limited palette of 4 colors to create a serene abstract fall landscape.  There will be demonstrations throughout the day covering glazing, layering and color-mixing techniques.   This class is limited to 8 students so you will have plenty of support and time to create!
 BRING TO CLASS:
16 x 16 canvas

DELTA/FOOTHILL ABSTRACTS

These workshops are more intermediate because of the abstract element. They engage more of the imagination and are an excellent tool to hone your intuitive painting ability.

1-DAY WORKSHOP
This 1-day acrylic workshop will highlight the relationship of core compositional elements between landscapes and abstracts. We will focus on creating a simple semi-abstract Delta landscape using a limited color palette through step-by-step exercises.  Glazing and layering techniques using opaque and transparent colors will be covered in order to achieve depth in a landscape painting.  In addition to the basic compositional elements, students will also learn how to tap into the intuitive aspect of painting and dive into abstract interpretation. Demonstrations and individualized feedback will be given throughout the workshop.
BRING TO CLASS:
16 x 20 or 12 x 24 canvas
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