INSTRUCTION ~ Classes and Workshops


 2016 ~ 2017  STUDIO CLASS

Next Session starts October 2017

TIME : 10am- 1pm.

Mentoring/Intensive Class for intermediate/advanced painters.

 The class is 6 weeks of developing high level skills and design/concept practices that will be used during the weekly class instruction sessions and in your home studios and/ or plein air (preference) during the rest of the week.

This class is for painters of watercolor, acrylic, gouache and oils. The focus is to develop and build your skills with drawing, brushwork and color. Individual development and style will be nurtured. You will learn how to work with paint and become skilled in a variety of techniques for painting in the studio or en plein air. In this studio class we will paint and practice exercises that specifically focus on refining our handling of paint and how to create the effects we want. We will learn how to mix and paint with fresh, clean color, work with triads and how the use of form, line, value and temperature is important in achieving the effect we are after. We will make decisions and choices for best outcomes in our painting process. We will learn how to critique our own paintings and practice memory exercises that will improve our paintings. Students at every level will be able to improve their skills.

This is a hands on process for painters who already have some painting skills, are comfortable with their chosen medium(oil, acrylic, gouache) and want to boost their abilities and paintings to the next level. This process helps you focus on your goals, design, brush work and individual style.

Come prepared to paint and have fun! 

Fee $200. Class meets in my studio in North Berwick, ME.


Painting in brilliant light. Often when I am painting a view where I have to face late light I set up my umbrella to shield my eyes from the setting sun.
Painting in brilliant light. Often when I am painting a view where I have to face late light I set up my umbrella to shield my eyes from the setting sun. Here I am painting on the shore of Flower Lake in Saranac Lake, NY in the Adirondacks. Photo: Marcus Gale




The colors listed below are the palette that I work with.  I will be instructing classes &  workshops based on a limited version of this palette.

#1 LIMITED PALETTE ~ Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Alizarin, Burnt Sienna, Titanium White.

#2  EXPANDED PALETTE ~ Cadmium Lemon, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Cadmium Red , Alizarin, Ultramarine Blue, Colbalt Blue,  Viridian or Phthalo green, Titanium White, (extras: Burnt Sienna, Transparent Oxide Brown, Transparent Oxide Red, Ivory Black)


I like to use brights & flats – bristle brushes,  “Hog Bristle” brushes ( Utrecht 209 B Brights) and Synthetic Bristles (Utrecht 300B, Brights. Silverwhite 1502 Brights & Flats& Silver Bristlon ) in the following sizes.

Brights & Flats: An assortment of sizes: Number 2, 4, 8, 10 and 12

I also use soft haired brushes,(Suggestion badger hair, mongoose,  sable brushes or synthetic brushes) in 00” or 000” up to a 1”size brush.



Gessoed paper (140 lb or heavier), Arches oil paper


Multi Media Board , gessoed mat board, hard board



Suggested sizes for outdoor studies: 5×7″, 6×8″,  8×10”, 9×12”, but not larger than 11×14”. For days we are working outdoors, I suggest bring at least two to three of these sizes per day.

Studio: we paint many starts in the studio classes


Please bring a digital camera or your phone, which ever you prefer.


Portable easel for working outdoors on site:

Light weight Plein air easel :


BRUSH CLEANER: No-odor mineral spirits ,walnut oil, lavender spike oil, non solvent cleaner.  THINNER: Oder-less mineral spirits.  MEDIUM: Liquin, Walnut Oil


Below are other items that you should consider.

Hat or Visor

Umbrella (There are not always shady areas to paint under. The umbrella will keep the sun off your painting surface and palette; it may also keep the sun off you too. There are many on the market. I use one that I bought through Bestbrella it will clamp on any of my easels.)


Palette knife

Soft pencil

Small container to hold paint thinner

Drinking water or some type of beverage

Folding chair (Optional)

Paper towels

Bug repellent

Bungee cords and or spring clamps

Sun block

Trash bags

Rubber gloves (Optional) Painting smock or apron (Preferably a grayed or neutral color. White or bright colors reflect back into your canvas.)

Recommended Basic Materials List

There are many providers of art materials that produce quality products for the watercolor artist. This information and list is for guidance, especially if you are diving into watercolor for the first time.

Paint : Simplicity in the palette is a guiding principle, especially for beginning watercolorists. Basically your palette needs only one cool and one warm hue of the primaries, 3 secondary colors at most, and one or two versatile neutrals. .

This suggested list will help keep your palette as simple as possible and includes
recommendations for both professional and student grade colors. Student grade colors are much less expensive than professional colors and are fine for learning and experimenting with watercolor.

Color/ Temperature Professional Grade Color Recommendation Student Grade Color Recommendation (student grade is Grunbacher)

Cool Yellow
Holbein or Winsor-Newton Lemon Yellow, or American Journey Sour Lemon
Grumbacher Academy Lemon Yellow
Warm Yellow
Holbein or Winsor-Newton Cadmium Yellow Deep, or American Journey Cadmium Yellow Medium
Grumbacher Academy Cadmium Yellow Medium
Cool Red
Holbein Carmine or Winsor-Newton Permanent Alizarin Crimson
Grumbacher Academy Alizarin Crimson
Warm Red
Holbein or Winsor-Newton Cadmium Red Light, or American Journey Cadmium Red Medium
Grumbacher Academy Cadmium Red Light Hue
Cool Blue
Holbein or Winsor-Newton Cobalt Blue
Grumbacher Academy Cobalt Blue Hue
Warm Blue
Winsor-Newton French Ultramarine
Grumbacher Academy Ultramarine Blue
Holbein or Winsor-Newton or American Journey Cadmium Orange
Grumbacher Academy Cadmium Orange
Holbein or Winsor-Newton or American Journey Viridian
Grumbacher Academy Emerald Green
Winsor-Newton Winsor Violet or American Journey Royal Amethyst
Grumbacher Academy Thio Violet or Violet

Burnt Sienna and Raw Sienna
Holbein or Winsor-Newton or American Journey
Grumbacher Academy Burnt Sienna and Raw Sienna

If you are buying paper for the first time, I recommend sticking with 140lb Cold Press surface in either D’Arches or Cheap Joe’s Kilimanjaro brands. It is most cost-effective to buy paper in full sheet (22” x 30”) sizes and cut or tear them down to workable sizes. You can have them bound at Staples into a sketch book if you prefer.

Watercolor blocks are very popular, convenient, and easy to transport, especially for outdoor painting. They come in different sizes also. Inch for inch, however, they are also the most expensive way to buy watercolor paper.

Five quality synthetic or synthetic/natural blend brushes are all that you really need to do the trick. There are many quality brushes by a variety of manufacturers.

Loew- Cornell Ultra Round is a cost-effective synthetic round brush that can produce both broad washes and fine lines. It is easily identified in racks by its polished black handle with a broad red stripe at the ferrule. Whatever brand you chose these are the types and sizes that  you need.
Rounds : # 8, 12 and 20
Flats : 1” and 2”

Palette :
Any– at least 10” x 12”- sturdy, deep welled, white plastic palette with a cover will do. Again, there are many manufacturers that produce good plastic watercolor palettes.
I use a Mijello palette and love it. I have both sizes.

The John Pike palette is a great choice, as it is extra sturdy plastic, has large wells for paint and a large, open mixing area.

Support Boards: When working on single sheets, some sort of stiff support is needed. A product known as “Gatorboard” is a popular option. It is a sturdy but lightweight board made of non-water absorbing material.

Paper is mounted and stretched with tape or simply clipped to the board with bulldog clips. Gator board is purchased in several standard sizes which correspond to the sizes of quarter, half and full sheet watercolor paper. Tempered masonite, plywood or luan sealed with varnish also work well, although are somewhat heavier than Gatorboard.

Related Materials:
2B – 6B drawing pencils along with a larger size sketch book – 9×12, 11×14 – will do for any drawing and sketching.
Small watercolor sketchbook, no larger than 9 x 12, for quick color sketches and color studies.
Small sketch book 6×8

Other items that you might need are, sponges, tissues, paper towels, and a pencil sharpener.
2 Containers for water – plastic jar with screw on lid is good. It is easiest to use two water containers – one to hold clean water and one to use for rinsing brushes. (I have a little jar for field sketch box and a bigger one for the tube paints. I keep a plastic gallon jug of water in my car to replenish the supply when it gets dirty.

I also carry the following items in my back pack:


DANIEL SMITH Watercolor Color Map Mixing Set   –  Item #: 285 250 309–i-285-250-309

NIJI Water Brushes  –


I use the same supplies for acrylic painting as recommended by  Marcia Burtt.
Please read this link describing and explaining supply choices:
Paintbox, Plano model 6102: order on or Bass Pro:
I  use my Stay Wet pallet . Its smaller than the Plano, or you can make a really cheap one with a Tupperware container.
Youtube video here to make it :
Spray bottle.
Folding stool or table if you are using Plano paint box.
Palette. Can be made from cardboard or foam core. See recommended reading above.
Paints, Brushes, Marcia’s list on Dick Blick:
Supply List:
Golden heavy body acrylics:
Golden ACRY 8 oz Titanium White
Golden ACRY 2oz Cadmium Yellow Light
Golden ACRY 2oz Cadmium Yellow Medium
Golden ACRY 2oz Cadmium Orange
Golden ACRY 2oz Cadmium Red Light
Golden ACRY 2 oz Primary Magenta
Golden ACRY 2oz. Chrome Oxide Green
Golden ACRY 2oz Permanent Green Light
Golden ACRY 2 oz Phthalo green
Golden ACRY 2 oz Turquois
Golden ACRY 2oz Cobalt Blue
Golden ACRY 2oz Dioxazine Purple
Golden ACRY 2oz Violet Oxide
Golden ACRY 2 oz Historical Color Hookers Green Hue
Liquitex ACRY 2 oz phthalo blue (green side)
Golden Heavy Body Acrylics, Liquitex High Viscosity, Maimeri Brera, Winsor & Newton, Sennelier, and Utrecht are all high quality paints. These brands can be obtained through Art Supply Warehouse or Dick Blick.
Easel, a couple are listed on Marcia’s Dick Blick list:
plus a Phillips head screwdriver for easel maintenance.
bring at least one panel for each morning and afternoon unless you plan to work very large.Marcia uses AC 14 linen panels from New Traditions:
Paint rags. Cloth, or paper towels.
1/2 gallon water bottle and cup for brushes and water.
Plus keep more 2 gallons of water in your car.



This is a simple list for those of you who do not own any art supplies and want to experience painting outdoors. These are the materials you can use to start painting in plein air.

Sketchbook:  8×10 , 9×12, 11×14  or a size that will fit on your lap easily
Buy one with watercolor or multi media paper that is able to handle watercolor – Some good choices:

$8.66  Strathmore Watercolor Visual Journal 140 lb , 22 pages, 9×12 :

$7.12 Canson XL Mix Media Pads 98lb , 60 pages: 9×12 or 11×14

2. Pencils HB or 2B with sharpener or you can get a mechanical pencil with HB or 2B leds (Staples, office supply store or Dick Blick)
3. Ink Pen – black ink, medium roller ball or fine point
4. Eraser

WATERCOLOR Paint box with paint brush included

$21.37 at Dick Blick

Jerry’s Artarama has the same set for $21.37

This set has cool & warm colors and works fine, has a great ninji water brush and is wonderful for on the run quick sketches.  It is small and easy to use. It’s a good starter set. I use this set for painting in small places (my car, a cafe table, a park bench) or for when I want to carry a light tiny set up. The 24 colors gives you a good range of colors to work with.

Jar and bottle of clean water.(to clean your brush)
A small kitchen sponge in a plastic zip lock bag (for cleaning your water brush fast.) The kit comes with small sponges for this purpose but I find they are so small I get them dirty fast.

Drinking water or some type of beverage
Folding chair or stool
Paper towels
Bug repellent
Sun block
Trash bag
Sun hat

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