Materials List for Watercolor Workshops

In response to the request to post a materials list for my workshops, here it is:

MATERIALS & SUPPLIES FOR WATERCOLOR WORKSHOP:

  • pencils, erasers, & sketchbook (or white printer paper for sketching ideas and doing practice studies)
  • 1/2 sheet of watercolor paper- 140# cold press cut to measure 15” x 22” (I recommend Arches brand because it has superior sizing which allows water and paint to flow on the surface without the paper fibers swelling)
  • metal yardstick (for tearing paper into smaller sizes. I will be discussing how different formats change the focus of a composition.)
  • tube watercolors in basic triad- (At the very minimum, you will need a red, a yellow, & a blue. Transparent colors will yield better results than opaque colors for this workshop. I would suggest at least 6 colors, a cool and a warm of each primary. Colors I use: Permanent Rose- cool red; Windsor Red- warm red; Cobalt Blue- almost pure blue, leans cool, good for skies; Windsor Blue Green Shade- warmish blue, mixes well with yellow for pure greens; Hansa Yellow- almost pure yellow, mixes well for oranges and greens; Raw Sienna- transparent earth yellow, somewhat neutralized, warmish. I also like to have Burnt Sienna on my palette.)
  • palette (for holding pigments and mixing paint;you could use a ceramic or plastic white plate from the dollar store.)
  • variety of paintbrushes (At the very minimum, you will need a small round brush for details; 1/2” flat brush for drawing, blocking, lifting, and dry-brush techniques; & large round brush for washes- at least #10 size. I use these 6 brushes: round brushes- #2, #6, #12; flat brushes- 1/2”, 1” 2” size chart: link for watercolor brush size chart You can find inexpensive watercolor brush sets at JoAnn’s craft stores.)
  • water containers (at least two- one for washing brushes, and one for pure water which you will use for washes and color mixing. Minimum size for the washing container is 2 quarts; anything smaller gets too polluted too quickly, & you will be constantly stopping to change water. Good size for the pure water container is at least 1 pint.)
  • spray bottle for water (handy, but not critical. I like to spritz my palette to keep the pigments fresh. You can also get effects with a spray bottle, so feel free to explore this option.)
  • sponges (at least two- I can’t paint without 3. I also like to have a few rags close at hand made from old towels about 6” x 8”. Some people like to use paper towels, but I find the clutter of used paper towels too messy, as well as not environmentally sustainable.)
  • backing board and mounting materials (I use plywood pieces that have been varnished. For smaller compositions, I don’t bother to stretch and staple my paper. Instead, I use masking tape to mount dry watercolor paper to the board. Other options- MDF or other composition board from Home Depot, a thick grade of foam core, or in a pinch- very heavy cardboard.
  • Besides staples and masking tape, you can also mount paper to your board with spring clips.)
  • easel (or you can paint flat on a table.)
  •  liquid mask (At the very minimum, get liquid mask and a small round cheap brush. I prefer to use a mask pen for most of my work. Daniel Smith is my preference because it come with 5 nibs, and they are easiest to clean. http://www.dickblick.com/products/daniel-smith- masking-fluid/ I also use Grafix masking fluid for for applying mask with a brush and to refill the Daniel Smith pen. http://www.dickblick.com/products/grafix-incredible-white- mask-liquid-frisket/ Also look for a rubber cement pickup for removing mask, available through Blick.)
  • masking tools- you need dedicated tools that you will use only for masking, (including a separate water container, rags, and a cheap, small brush. Never mix your masking tools with your painting tools. For applying mask with a brush, you will also need liquid soap. Lately I have been using a small bar of hotel soap, which I reapply often to keep my application brush free of mask.)
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Registration for “Getting Loose” Watercolor Workshop Open

This Saturday, September 29, 2017 from 10 AM – 4PM

a watercolor workshop will be held to benefit The Montrose Center for the Arts to raise funds for the Center to acquire a building for visual, performance, and educational events.

Getting Loose

is a series of watercolor workshops with a focus on playful, colorful compositions for the beginner, as well as the advanced painter.  Extra support assists beginners, and compositional challenges stimulate the advanced painter.  Each workshop explores new techniques, skills, and design concepts.  Pop Culture

This session we will concentrate on these design principles:FullSizeRender (1)

  • balance
  • harmony
  • movement
  • pattern/rhythm

while we play with the following watercolor techniques:

  • wet into wet color mixing
  • dry brush
  • negative painting
  • value control
  • graded wash
  • creating texture
  • line control
  • stamping
  • mixing “black” from primary color pigments

Registration is still open:  Call the Montrose Community Foundation to reserve your slot today:  970-596-5555

 

Nature Creates Art

I just completed a new work, inspired by the flight of starlings.  For years I have watched in awe as a flock of birds take flight to dramatically form a series of changing patterns in the sky.  In perfect synchronicity, the flock swoops, changes direction, and the pattern seamlessly morphs into a new shape.  The shapes are liquid in the sky, as they blend from one organic shape to the next.  Inspired, I wondered how to capture this on paper with paint?

This spring, I took a 1/2 sheet of watercolor paper and poured a sky that blended from blue to golden as it touched the desert horizon.  Big sky in Nevada.  By pouring paint in a series of glazes,  underlying layers are preserved while developing a depth of color and enhanced luminosity.  This beautiful background needed a center of focus- the birds I have been forever dreaming about!

How to start?  How to capture the dynamic fluidity of this aviary phenomenon?  Each night I dreamed how I would approach the painting.  Each morning I awoke and found I couldn’t attempt it.  I didn’t know how to begin; I couldn’t feel “the flow. ”  Finally I settled on my pigments- Windor blue shade, alizarin crimson permanent, and burnt sienna. I  made a small practice painting.

flight study.jpg
“Flight Before the Storm”

Encouraged with the results of that bird study and before I could “chicken out,” I jumped into the large painting.  I knew the painting would either end as an unmitigated disaster, or it would become a delightful surprise.  Each time I reloaded the brush, I added a different pigment to my palette mixture from my base colors to influence the tone.  The dynamic shape of the flock subtly changed in hue as it grew on my paper.   I continued to add defined bird shapes to the edges and loose bird groupings in the center, striving for a strong abstract shape and interesting movement throughout the painting.  The painting succeeds in capturing the dynamic movement of a flock of birds in the dance of flight.

Flight Behavior.jpg

Nature inspires wildlife to create beautiful creations of their own.  Enjoy this video showing a pufferfish creating a beautiful mandala to attract a mate.  Pufferfish 

More:

Left to right, clockwise:  Millipede, exhibiting its main defense mechanism, curling into a spectacular spiral, which protects its legs inside its body.  A celestial spiral, the Aurora Borealis, in the skies above Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.  Finally, a collection of diatoms, microscopic algae.  These images were found on National Geographic.  Enjoy more here: National Geographic link

The Ah Haa School of the Arts in Telluride is still accepting registrations for my watercolor class.  To register, click the following link: Cheri Isgreen Watercolor Workshop

“Poured Watercolor” Workshop in beautiful Telluride Colorado

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The wildflowers are blooming, the mountains shine, and rainbows appear in the evening light.  Summertime in Telluride!  It’s time for a weekend mountain getaway.  Relax in beautiful Telluride while exploring some new watercolor techniques.  I will teach “Poured Watercolor” through the Ah Haa School of the Arts, Friday – Sunday, July 28 – 30, 2017. 

Break in the Clouds (1)

Forgo the brush and experiment with the process of pouring watercolor to produce paintings with unique results. Learn the pigment rules, color theory, and pouring techniques to give your watercolor paintings glowing results.  By pouring paint in a series of glazes,  underlying layers are preserved while developing a depth of color and enhancing luminosity.  Experience how this technique fosters a wide range of spontaneous colors while maintaining the harmony of a limited palette. Poured watercolor lends itself to a variety of subject matter.  All levels of painters are welcome, including first-time watercolorists.

To register, visit the Ah Haa School of the Arts registration page: POURED WATERCOLOR REGISTRATION

Painting Experimentation

Researchers say that teaching deepens the teacher’s understanding, so she is learning along with her students.  As I have been preparing for numerous classes and workshops this summer, I paint examples that I can use in my workshops.  As I paint, I reflect on what I’m doing, the decisions I am making, and the results of those decisions.  These reflections go into my lesson plans.  Often these reflections lead to experimental paintings.

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“Cowboy Up,” explores lost and found edges despite using masks (hard edges) to preserve the layers in the pour.  This was achieved from two approaches.

  • in the initial masking by softening the edges through “scratchy dry brush” edge treatment
  • after the mask was removed, I softened the edges while adding neutralized wash to the wet areas

“Cowboy Up” was painted for my poured watercolor class to be held at the Ah Haa School of the Arts in Telluride, Colorado July 28 & 29, the last weekend in July.  Register through Ah Haa at this following link:  Poured Watercolor Registration

FullSizeRender
“A Splash of Poppies”

“Upsy Daisy” (feature image) and “A Splash of Poppies” show a myriad of techniques to employ to create loose watercolor paintings, including outlining, dripping, splashing, and wet-into-wet alla prima painting.  The next “Getting Loose” class is set for September 30th as a benefit for the Montrose Center for the Arts.  Register for this very playful, relaxing workshop with this link: Poured Watercolor Registration

This summer, I am teaching every Wednesday at the Gunnison Arts Center through the program, Wednesdays at Western State University.  You can register for the Gunnison classes at the following link:  Wednesday at Western Registration Cheri Isgreen  or by calling the university at (970)943-2885.

Sketch Journals– Wednesdays, 3:00 – 5:00 pm.
June 14, June 28, July 12, July 26, August 9.place1

Back by popular demand! Explore ways to combine text with image using creative expression, visual design principles, and art techniques. All levels welcome; beginners
will be given extra support, and advanced students will receive design challenges. 5 sessions, classes need not be taken sequentially. Instructor: Cheri Isgreen. $35.

Bringing The Art Masters Alive – Wednesdays, 3:00 – 5:00 pm.
June 21, July 5, July 19, August 2.

cezanneDo you love art? Bring it alive through creative discovery. Take a multimedia approach to exploring periods, movements, geography, and master artists through making art. No prerequisite; each session is a stand-alone class with new content each week Emphasis is on creative expression and discovery. We will not be copying masterworks.  All levels welcome; beginners will be given extra support; experienced artists are given design challenges to deepen their understanding. 5 sessions, classes need not be taken sequentially. Instructor: Cheri Isgreen. $35.

Watercolor Workshop June 10th, 2017

Benefit for the Montrose Center for the Arts

Looking for a way to loosen up your art? Are you interested in learning some new watercolor techniques? Have you wondered if you could be successful painting in watercolor? Do you love color? This class will offer ideas and techniques to create lively watercolor compositions.

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“Sky Lights” 10″ x 19″ $200

Beginners will be given extra support; experienced painters will be given compositional challenges.  All adult learners are welcome.  Supply list available, or purchase directly from instructor $20.

JUNE 10  10AM-4PM    fullsizerender

also Sept 30 & Nov 11

125 Merchant Drive, Montrose

workshop fee $60

workshop registration

 

Classes are not concurrent; there are no prerequisites to register. Each session will focus on different painting techniques for exploration and playful improvisations to enliven your watercolor paintings.

 

Garden

Workshop Offerings 2017

I am pleased to work with the Western Colorado Center for the Arts, Telluride’s Ah Haa School of the Art, Montrose  Center for the Arts, and Gunnison Arts Center to offer a variety of workshops in watercolor, sketch journaling and mixed media.  I am currently scheduled to offer four watercolor classes and three sketch classes this spring, plus an intermediate/advanced watercolor class this summer in Telluride.  As the schedule develops, I will continue to update the WORKSHOP SCHEDULE.  These offerings are in the works and will be scheduled later in 2017: off-loom weaving to create whimsical broaches, art history through hands-on creative art making, special effects to enhance water-based painting, journal making.

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Please use this link to access descriptions, schedules, and registration to classes:  WORKSHOP SCHEDULE

2017 Schedule of Events

Both workshops and exhibitions are beginning to fill my 2017 calendar.  This Friday kicks off the year with the Gunnison Arts Center Staff and Instructor Show.    Art Walk  5-8 pm  102 S Main, Gunnison, CO  970.641.4029

The GAC’s talented staff and instructors come together to create an exhibition of their artistic side, displayed in the Upper Gallery for the month of January. These amazing local artists and educators bring life to the Gunnison Arts Center through their commitment to their community and students.

Click for more EXHIBITION LISTINGS  Check back often as my exhibition calendar fills for 2017.

The “Getting Loose” workshops were so popular in 2016, I have scheduled several for 2017 in Montrose, Gunnison, and possibly Palisade.  Also on tap for 2017 will be a continuation of my “Sketch Journal” series, held the second Saturday at Backstreet Bagels and possibly summers in Gunnison.  The Ah Haa School for the Arts has scheduled my “Poured Watercolor” workshop for July 28-30.  Get away to beautiful Telluride, Colorado and play with paint.

Click here for more WORKSHOP INFORMATION

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

It’s been a busy December between art shows and workshops.  I have been focusing on holiday and winter themes while creating artwork and developing demos for my workshops.   Most recently we created holiday cards from small watercolors.  For those of you who have been following my blog and Facebook, here is the teaser I posted for the workshop, along with the completed painting, and a second painting with a slightly different composition, grouping a single ornament next to two ornaments

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Other painting themes for winter and the holidays included birds:

trees:

and poinsettias:

WISHING YOU AND YOURS A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS & A PEACEFUL HEALTHY NEW YEAR

(all paintings pictured here are available for $125 or less.  Use the form to purchase:

Three Upcoming Workshops

To register for Montrose workshops, please use this link  MONTROSE REGISTRATION

To register for Gunnison workshops, please use this link  GUNNISON REGISTRATION

  • NOV. 12, 2-4 PM, Montrose: Backstreet Journals     SKETCH JOURNALING: supportive class with techniques, inspiration, and motivational exercises to successfully integrate text & image artfully.  Bring sketch book that accepts watermedia, watercolor kit, pencils, fineline marker, eraser.  This month we will focus on the decorative side of interior environments.  $25

snowy-hillside

  • NOV. 13, 10-3 PM, Gunnison: Gunnison Arts Center     GETTING LOOSE: watercolor workshop, techniques & tips to create expressive watercolor compositions.  Instruction include a wide variety of watercolor techniques & effects, as well as design principles to ensure successful compositions.  All materials provided; bring a brown bag lunch.  $70
  • DEC. 3, 2-6 PM, Montrose: Cimarron Creek Clubhouse       GETTING LOOSE: watercolor workshop;   a benefit for the Montrose Center for the Arts;  with  techniques & tips to create expressive watercolor compositions.  Instruction include a wide variety of watercolor techniques & effects, as well as design principles to ensure successful compositions.  Bring  watercolor kit, one full sheet (30″x22″ ) 140# cold press paper cut 1/2, (recommend Arches), 2-3 water containers, mask liquid and/or mask pen, liquid detergent, and extra small round cheap brush $50