Birds, flowers, fruits, vegetables, watercolor, egg tempera, vellum, gouache, casein, I love them all! I have taught the following workshops & classes. If you are interested in booking a workshop for your arts organization, please contact me here and I will be happy to discuss a future collaboration.
Egg Tempera Basics
Learn the time-honored technique of egg tempera while painting the tiny treasures of fall. In this introductory workshop I will teach you how to create egg medium, how to mix your paint from dry pigments and many painting techniques; from creating backgrounds to fine detail.
Luminous Fruit in Egg Tempera
3 day workshop
Explore the historical medium of egg tempera while painting fruit. Egg tempera is an ancient medium mentioned by Pliny and used by the Italians long after Northern European artists turned to oils. Egg tempera is an ideal medium to create the various textures of fruits; from the fine hairs on a kiwi to the bloom on a plum. We will be using egg tempera from a tube, which can be diluted with just water and also mixed with egg medium. We will learn both techniques. The translucent nature of egg tempera paint allows for the rich and varied color effects of paint layering, including glazing (thin transparent layers of color) and scumbling (overpainting with a thin layer of opaque paint). Learn how to create a brilliantly-colored, luminescent painting of fruit and be part of the venerable tradition of egg tempera painting.
Found Objects: Classical Compositions in Egg Tempera
3 day workshop
Explore the historical medium of egg tempera while painting little treasures such as feathers, shells, nuts, dried seedpods, leaves and insects. Egg tempera is an ancient medium mentioned by Pliny and used by the Italians long after Northern European artists turned to oils. Egg tempera is extremely well suited to painting the fine details of natural history subjects. Its translucent nature allows for rich and varied color effects of layering paint, including glazing (thin transparent layers of color) and scumbling (over-painting with a thin layer of opaque paint). With an emphasis on composition, learn how to create a brilliantly colored, luminescent painting of multiple objects using the traditional method of combining pigment and egg emulsion.
An introduction to dry brush watercolor techniques on calfskin vellum
If you have admired the unique glow and translucent effect of watercolor on calfskin vellum and have wondered how it is achieved, then this is the workshop for you. Learn the dry brush techniques on vellum necessary to achieve the luminous layered colors of botanical subjects, including flowers, fruits, vegetables and foliage. The level of detail achievable with this technique lends itself to natural history subjects in addition to botanicals.
We will explore the basics of dry brush watercolor techniques on calfskin vellum using live plants, fruits and vegetables. Participants will complete one small study of subject of their choice during this class. I will give class demonstrations and assist each participant with individual attention. We will discuss our work and have a question and answer period at the end of each day. Participants should have experience with basic drawing and painting. This technique is also well suited to graphite and colored pencil artists as it is a fairly linear approach. This detailed technique applies equally well to working on hot press watercolor paper with the understanding that the unique qualities of vellum, most especially its luminosity, will not be as present on paper.
The Drama Of Dark & Light – Painting Pale Flowers on Dyed Parchment 2-day workshop
Contrast is dramatic! Working on dyed goatskin parchment, we will explore the compositional effects of light against dark by painting pale botanical subjects on a dark background. In addition to working on vellum, learn the technique of adding white paint to your pigments to create opacity and how to use layers for a luminous look.
Working with Gouache in the Studio and in the Field Workshop
2 day workshop
Gouache is a wonderful medium for both finished works and quick studies in the field. It can be applied in light washes like watercolor but can also be used to paint dark to light like an oil painting. In this workshop we will be learning to paint with gouache inside with exercises and actual specimens and then on Sunday taking those skills out in to the field to capture quick studies and color notes and plein air miniatures.
From Flowers to Fruits – Botanical Textures in Gouache.
1 day workshop
Explore this versatile medium painting a variety of botanical subjects and textures. Gouache can be painted from light to dark with consecutive washes or glazes, or it can be scumbled; adding white to the pigments to paint light over dark.
Gouache comes form the Italian word guazzo for mud. It is pronounced “gwash”. Gouache has quite a long history; often referred to as bodycolour, it was used by such painters as Dürer, Rubens, Van Dyck and Poussin. It is believed to have been discovered in the 11th century in Italy by a monk who added zinc white to watercolour whilst illustrating manuscripts. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Chinese White was often added to transparent watercolour to make it opaque and Turner used this “gouache” very effectively on tinted paper. In more recent years gouache has been used by among others, Degas, Vuillard, Picasso, and Matisse. Learn how to paint botanicals in gouache – a medium with a ‘rich and famous’ history. If you are interested in booking a workshop for your arts program, please contact me.
The Beauty of White on Black in Gouache
1 day workshop
Learn how to paint a luminous white flower on black by adding white to your pigments to paint light over dark – a layering technique called scumbling. We will explore different types of black/dark papers including learning how to prepare your own black paper utilizing Daniel Smith black watercolor ground.
Out of the Ordinary
Three Extraordinary Methods for Painting Botanicals
5 day workshop
This workshop is an introduction to creating botanical art and decorative floral motifs in three unique techniques. All three combine historical mediums and supports. While these techniques are distinctly different they do share some common working methods.
Mische Technique – Learn how to combine egg tempera and oil layers to create a luminous botanical portrait.
Drybrush watercolor on vellum – Learn the basics of this classic botanical technique and medium using watercolor in a drybrush style on calfskin vellum.
Casein on gessoed panel – Explore the magical versatility of this ancient medium. Casein is an opaque, water-based painting medium that uses casein (a derivative of milk curd) as a binder and cleans up with water.
Inspired by Nature – Painting with Casein
2 day workshop
Casein is a wonderfully versatile opaque water-based medium that is older than oil. It can be used transparently like watercolors, it can glaze like oils but it shines in it’s ability to work opaque lights over darks. In this workshop I will share how I find inspiration from nature and show you my methods for translating that inspiration into a final composition and completed painting. Casein can take you from initial washes to bold opaque strokes of color; it is at home both in the field and in the studio.
Birds in Botanicals
3 – 5 day workshop
Birds depicted with botanical subjects enjoy a long historical tradition. From the works of Mark Catesby in the mid-1700’s, through John James Audubon in the 1800’s right on up to contemporary works of art. Compositions that include birds tell a broader story of the life of a plant and add a lively element to energize a painting.
In this workshop, we will explore the relationship between birds, plants and habitats. We will learn techniques for including them in a botanical painting and/or drawing including determining the correct proportions, how to find and draw the ‘perfect’ gesture and how to create a dynamic composition.
We will start with drawing, using careful observation & interpretation to familiarize ourselves with the distinctive features of birds. A good drawing is always the foundation of a successful painting. After exploring the basic shapes of bird groups and their unique features, we will learn how to add color and textures using different watercolor techniques and a limited color palette. We will complete a small painting during the workshop. Join me in celebrating the wonderful world of birds and botanicals through art!
Other Natural History Workshops I have taught:
The Power of Pollinators
Capturing the Beauty of Butterflies and Moths
Botanicals, Butterflies & Bees, oh My!
Locations I have taught:
- Villa Palmerino, Florence, Italy
- Wellesley College Botanic Gardens, Wellesley, MA
- New York Botanical Gardens Continuing Education, Bronx, NY
- American Society of Botanical Artists Annual Conferences
- Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh, PA
- Filoli Historic House & Garden, Woodside, CA
- Sawtooth Botanical Garden, Ketchum, Idaho
- Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA
- Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD