Watercolor Basics and Beyond – A Saturday Series

Has watercolor been calling your name?

Do you look at paintings you admire and wish you could do that too?

If so, please read on…

Read on, even if there are voices telling you that you could never do this. I have a computer science degree and didn’t start painting until well into adulthood – I had no idea these paintings were inside me.

You just may surprise yourself.

Yes, watercolor has quite a reputation – everyone says it’s really difficult, but some of us have no choice – my voice doesn’t say “oil” or “acrylic”… it wants the fluid, transparent, delicacy of clear pigment on paper that is watercolor.

And, I’ve spent as much time observing how watercolor works as I have painting – I can show you how to make learning as easy as is possible.   The process that results in these paintings of mine is very teachable.  There are concrete skills that – with practice – you can learn too.

It may not happen right away, we all start at the beginning, but if your desire to paint is great enough to carry you through the early stages, you have the capacity to make art that will astonish you.

And what’s more I know how vulnerable we are when we are doing something new – learning to paint can feel really threatening.  The safety of your creative-self is my first priority – the environment you learn in makes an enormous difference in whether or not you’ll keep going.

In light of all of this…I’m offering a new series of Saturday workshops in 2018 to get you going and support your journey in learning to paint with watercolor.

This series of five workshops are intended to provide the basics for those who are just getting started, and I’m offering the series twice in 2018 – sort of like Spring and Fall Semesters.

Painters at all levels are welcome – you may want to brush up on your watercolor skills. There’s always more to learn – especially with watercolor.

It’s All About the Water – February 17, 2018  &  September 15, 2018

Watercolor isn’t watercolor without water!  Learning this medium requires paying attention to how much and where the water is – on the palette, on the brush and on the paper.  By watching me show you and  practicing yourself,  we will focus on this integral aspect of watercolor.  There will be time to get started with and work on a painting of a subject of your choosing for those who want to learn by making a painting – which is how I like to learn.

Shape – Shade – Color  – March 3, 2018  &  September 29, 2018

Every aspect of painting can be broken down to these three elements – and we get there via our right-brain mode.  Learning to see and paint through this way of perceiving is a foundational piece of any representational art making.  We spend most of our time in left-brain mode, so we really need the help to get there!  Come practice seeing – and painting – what is actually there to see, rather than what we think is there.  When we do, what we are painting comes through almost like magic!

Painting the Light – Whites, Darks and Contrast – March 17, 2018  &  October 13, 2018 

We live and make art in a world of light and dark.  There is no light without darkness; creating contrast makes for compelling, dramatic paintings.  We’ll look at how that is and will take a look at imagery that gives us a good starting place. Then we’ll focus on saving the whites and getting rich, luminous, interesting darks – and getting our darks dark enough – a real challenge in watercolor.

3D in a 2D World:  Creating Volume – April 7, 2018  &  October 27, 2018

It’s straight-forward to paint flat shapes – circles and ovals. But creating dimension – as in painting pieces of fruit, so that we can see and even feel the actual volume in the fruit requires us to pick up certain visual details in our subject matter to translate onto our paintings. Come see how this works and bring what you paint to life.

Lost and Found in the Details – April 21, 2018  &  November 10, 2018

The focal point of a painting often consists of “how-in-the-heck-do-I-paint-this?” detail:  the centers of flowers, eyes, water drops, gnarly branches and leaves.  It’s easy to get bogged down in rendering such detail – and it’s hard to have it not look contrived.  Painting detail is tricky.  It takes getting your brain oriented in the right way.  I love to share this – my favorite part of the painting process.

Though offered as a series to learn to paint – or further your abilities –  you are not required to sign up for all 5 Saturdays.

There are no specific subject matter assignments.  I want you to paint what you are inspired to paint. I am available to work with you to select something to paint as needed for you to learn these concepts and skills.


Spring Dates:  February 17, March 3, March 17, April 7 and April 21, 2018

Fall Dates: September 15, September 29, October 13, October 27 and  November 10, 2018

All days  begin at 9:45am – so we can actually get going at 10:00 🙂 – and we go until 4:00pm

Held in a lovely space in downtown Larkspur, CA surrounded by art.  Limited to 8 students.

Sign up! Online

Cost:  $125/Saturday, $330/3 Saturdays, $495/all 5 Saturdays  

To reserve a spot, please PAY ONLINE 

or mail a check to:  Cara Brown, 537 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur, CA  94939.

Please indicate the class or classes you are paying for on your check or in the “notes to seller” online.

Send me an email or call if you are interested or have more questions. I can provide a suggested supplies list if needed and/or wanted.

Cancellation policy:

If you are unable to come to the class and let me know within two weeks, you can apply the fee to a future class or I can refund the cost of the class less $20.  If you cancel within 2 weeks and I have someone who can take your place, you can apply your fee to a future class.  If I cannot fill your spot, the fee is not refunded.

Thank you so much for your understanding.


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