Design for Success – ONLINE!



Design for Success – Online Workshop with Alexis Lavine

April 19 – 21, 2023 | Wednesday – Friday

9:00 am – 12:30 pm AZ Time – check your time zone to adjust for the time in your area

Experience Level – Intermediate/Advanced

Superb DESIGN is essential in making art that excels. An unremarkable painting can be elevated into one that is powerful and engaging with the application of strategic, thoughtful, and dynamic DESIGN. During this workshop, we will focus on designing superior paintings. We will learn the all-important concepts of design and how to integrate them into our paintings … to take our paintings to that next level. We’ll explore a variety of subjects together and see how we can turn them into exciting, emotional, fascinating, and unique works of art – with the right combination of creative design … solid drawing, effective painting techniques, and imagination.

Note: This course will be delivered via Zoom online meeting platform so you will need to have Zoom installed in your device. You will receive Zoom meeting invitations for each day.  Alexis will have an assistant to handle technical Zoom issues during the workshop.


23 0419 AL

Alexis Lavine

Alexis Lavine

Alexis believes in the power of design so strongly that she recently gave up her decades-long devotion to plein air painting to devote herself to studio work, where she could take more time to design her very best paintings!  Teaching is one of the most important things she does. She loves to share her passion for art by guiding others to reach their creative goals, and she teaches with enthusiasm, commitment, passion, humor, and kindness.  She has taught watercolor for over two decades, from California to the Caribbean. She has seamlessly adapted her classes to the Zoom platform and believes that her online workshops are as good as, and in many ways better, than in person classes.  Honored as one of Watercolor Artist Magazine’s “Ones to Watch,” she is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society, Watercolor Honor Society, Transparent Watercolor Society of America, and others. Her paintings reside in collections throughout the country and overseas, and they can be found in galleries from the Mid-Atlantic to the Virgin Islands.

Education is tremendously important to Alexis. She earned two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree, before embarking on her path as a painter. She continues to study art whenever possible, as well as teaching painting and drawing classes and workshops. She loves to speak about art, share her experience and knowledge, and help her students achieve greater success.

For more information about Alexis, click here to see a wonderful article about her in Artsy Shark.


Basic supply list:

If you already have watercolor supplies, feel free to use what you already have. You may choose to buy additional supplies on this list. Please remember that purchasing additional supplies is entirely optional!

PAPER: Paper is the most important item, as far as quality and expense are
concerned. Buy the best paper that you can afford; save your money on other items,
such as paint and brushes. I recommend good quality paper, such as Kilimanjaro,
D’Arches, Winsor Newton, or Fabriano, preferably 140 lb. cold-pressed paper. Buy several
full sheets, (22″ x 30″.) These can be cut into halves or quarters for smaller
paintings. Working on a watercolor block is fine too.

PAINTING BOARD: Unless you are using a block, you will need a waterproof board to
support your paper, about 1 inch larger than your paper in both directions. A board that
measures 16″x23″ will work well for either a half or quarter sheet of watercolor
paper. Gatorboard or masonite work very well for this.

PAINT: My favorite brands of paint are American Journey and DaVinci
watercolors. These are professional quality paints, reasonably priced. There are many
brands available, with a huge variety of pigments, tube sizes, and prices. Whatever you
buy, it’s a good idea to check the permanency rating first – you don’t want your paintings
fading away!

Basic pigments: Here is my palette. The pigments in capital letters are more
basic, if you are just building a palette. The others are less essential for a basic set-up,
but I love to use them, and you will surely see me dipping my brush into them. I
generally choose pigments which are not heavy stainers. LEMON YELLOW,
DEEP, PERMANENT ROSE, opera, cobalt violet deep, PERMANENT
MAGENTA, mauve, ULTRAMARINE BLUE, cobalt blue, CERULEAN BLUE, Prussian blue,
turquoise, Mint Julep (American Journey brand only,) VIRIDIAN GREEN, SAP GREEN,
green gold.

*** PLEASE NOTE: I will surely NOT use every pigment listed here, in your class!
These paints are on my palette all the time. For any single painting I might use as few
as two or three and perhaps as many as a dozen … but never, every single one in any
single painting!

BRUSHES: I do not spend a huge amount of money on sable brushes. There are lots of
synthetic brushes and synthetic/natural blends that are excellent and much less
expensive. My current favorites are Black Velvet rounds, made by Silver Brush, and
Robert Simmons one-stroke flats, series 721 synthetic. I also love my Princeton Mottler
brushes, 1” and 1.5” sizes. If you will be painting small, the following brushes will
suffice: 1″ flat, 1/2″ flat, and a #6 round brush (with a good point.) You may also want
a 1/4″ flat brush, a larger round brush such as a #12, and a larger flat brush, such as a
1 1/2″ brush, particularly if you will be painting larger paintings. An old toothbrush is
great for spattering paint. It is also helpful to have a couple of different sized scrubber
brushes, such as the “Fritch” scrubber, and a few fan brushes for blending.

PALETTE: I use a “Miller’s Workhorse Traditional Watercolor Palette” from Cheap
Joe’s. A covered palette, such as the “workhorse,” or the Heritage, Pike, or Wood
palette, is best, since it will keep your paints moist between painting sessions. You can
also use an enameled butcher tray, or even a white dinner plate, and cover your paints
with plastic wrap. Whatever you use, make sure you have spaces for all of your
pigments and a large, white mixing area.

OTHER SUPPLIES: Small sketchbook, tracing paper, sketching pencils, soft eraser,
plastic water bowl, absorbent cloth rags or paper towels, natural sponge, cotton swabs,
salt, 4 bulldog clamps, spray bottle (with an adjustable spray.) Liquid frisket is very
helpful to use with some subjects; if you use it, you will need several small, inexpensive
brushes to apply it with, and a small amount of liquid soap, and a frisket remover
(rubber cement pick-up tool.)

I will be using photographs as references for my demos. I will provide you with
copies of them. You are welcome to use my photos as the basis for your own
paintings. Or, better yet, use your own photos. Or sketches. One important
topic I always cover is how to use your photos in a creative, interpretive
manner – without copying them!
*** PLEASE NOTE: Do NOT use photos taken by other people, photos from
Facebook or other websites, or from any kind of printed materials, such as
greeting cards or magazines, or paintings done by other people. PLEASE use
your own photos, sketches, and ideas. Or mine…

*** Also, just so you know, I buy most of my supplies from Cheap Joe’s. I think
their selection, prices, and customer service are unbeatable.

Alexis Lavine, NWS

Cancellation Policy

Registration and Cancellation Policies


  • Each student must enroll individually
  • Students may register online or by calling the Sedona Arts Center’s Administrative Offices in the Art Barn, toll-free at 888-954-4442 or locally at 928-282-3809
  • Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express are accepted or student may pay with cash or check by registering in person during office hours at the Art Barn

In-Person and Online Workshops

  • Payment in full is due upon registration, or a payment plan can be put in place by the student upon check-out through Sezzle.
  • There is a $125 Cancellation Fee for any cancellations made before March 19, 2023. Remaining balance will be refunded.
  • There are no refunds after March 19, 2023.
  • If Sedona Arts Center cancels the workshop for any reason, all payments made will be refunded in full

Important Message

The Sedona Arts Center is not responsible for providing make-up sessions or issuing refunds, credits, or transfers for courses missed as a result of illness, emergencies, or other events beyond our control. There are absolutely no refunds after the cut-off date for any reason, unless the Sedona Arts Center has to cancel the workshop, then all fees paid will be refunded in full.