Monday & Tuesday, August 7&8, 2017
Olga Community Club, Orcas Island, WA

Forest Colors

Learn how to use the white of your watercolor paper to tell your story.  Where you don’t paint often becomes the most exciting or powerful part of your story.  And it is the secret to capturing sunlight. In this two day class on Orcas  you will learn how to create brilliant and exciting paintings by not painting — in all the right places.

Queen of Crescent Beach

Rex Brandt said it best. He said, “the question is really how you turn a $3 piece of paper into a $3000 piece of paper.”  We sat wide-eyed. “It is all there,” he said, “in the white of the paper. It is what you do that makes the white worth the price.” Or something to that effect.

I can’t promise you that kind of price for the work you take back with you but I can teach you to appreciate the role of the whites and show you how to design and save your whites (without using friskits or maskits).

As part of our class, we will look at what happens to color in sunlight and how to capture the brilliance of sunlight by leaving the sun struck areas the white paper, and adjusting the colors in the shade. We will also study how designing the movement of your white shapes across the paper gives your design more vitality and power.

The Light Brigade

Couple this class with the Thursday-Friday two days of Avoiding Mud. I think it is safe to say you will be amazed at the improvement in your painting.

Subject matter: If you have sketches/photographs of material in which you are interested in designing and painting, please bring them.  I will also have photos available — flowers, people, boats, tress, buildings etc. Think about what YOU want to learn to paint.

On Wednesday you can plan to enjoy the beautiful San Juans. You may want to bike or hike or go fishing. These are also activities you can enjoy after class. Wednesday is also a day you might wish to plan a whale-watching trip.  There are excellent art galleries, pottery shops and gift galleries.

Victorian Gentleman Awaits Interested Party

Lodging is in great demand this time of year.  Check first in the LINKS on the top menu for tried and recommended locations.
Camping is available in Moran State Park, but again early registration is advised. Recommend sites on the upper lake, Mountain Lake, or in the South area. In addition Doe Bay Resort has everything from camping to cabins.
If you have several friends who want to come together or if you come with your family, consult house rentals at Cheri Lindholm Vacation Rentals or other on-line rental pools for a private cabin or house.

You may want to coordinate the class with tickets to the Orcas Chamber Music Festival. The tickets are in high demand  and out of town visitors create a pressure on lodging. Contact me if you have any problems.

Tourist Girlfriend

If coming by ferry, you may send me a check for $30.00 in addition to the class registration and I will send you a discounted e-ticket (counts as round trip) for the ferry.  Otherwise car and driver are more than $50.  Be sure and make a reservation, for coming and going.

Please fill out this form. Class limited to 10 for more individual attention.  Classes are 9:30 – 3:30. Bring lunch.


For your paper be sure and buy bright white Arches (140 lb), cold or hot press. You will learn how to work without stretching your paper – I don’t – but you may stretch it if you prefer.

It is fine to bring the palette and watercolors you have. I will copy my list below. I prefer Daniel Smith paints. Whatever you bring, be sure it is artist grade. I suggest having some quinacridones.  If not shopping on Orcas (Office Cupboard), I recommend  Merri Artist in Oregon for supplies.  She has everything on the list at very good prices – no tax, no shipping if you go over $100.  (

1″ clear-handled flat brush — such as  DANIEL SMITH Series 28 Aquarelle Brush, Flat 1in or WINSOR NEWTON’s
#10 pointed round brush — white sable series 785  or Connoisseur  (sold at Office Cupboard in Eastsound).

Other brushes are okay.. bigger better than smaller.

LIDDED PALETTE — such as Aqua Pro, or John Pike, or Steve Quiller’s with at least:

• burnt orange or burnt sienna
• a violet
in artist grade watercolor paint such as
Daniel Smith, Winsor Newton, Da Vinci, Holbein.

mypaletteArrange your paints in a color wheel (ie rainbow). And squeeze them out (half a tube) in your wells at least a week before the class.  Leave them out to dry.
You may bring your own palette as long as it has only artist’s grade pigments.

I use Daniel Smith colors (shown reading top right around to top left).

You may want to buy them all but you may prefer just a red – blue- yellow
red, blue, yellow, green, orange or burnt orange, violet

cobalt green
pthalo green, or Winsor green
cobalt teal blue
cerulean blue
pthalo blue (green shade)
ultramarine blue
cobalt blue
quinacridone purple
ultramarine violet
quinacridone violet
quinacridone red or perylene red
quinacridone rose
cadmium red medium
Indian red
quinacridone burnt orange (or sienna)
perinone orange
quinacridone gold
cadmium yellow light, or Winsor yellow
or Hansa yellow
green gold


  • I have cobalt green, ultramarine violet, and aurolean yellow on my palette but use them so rarely that you don’t need to get them. You might put cobalt teal and Indian red in this category too.

a sketchbook
#2 or 2B pencils
white eraser
2 pint or quart sized water containers
a roll of tissue (tp); also paper towels

a large flat brush such as an 1 1/2″ or 2″ or larger. SKYFLOW is good (but spendy)
A lightweight board
tape or clips