Find Your Authentic Voice in Plein Air

Carol L Douglas Sedona Rocks
Carol L Douglas Clouds and Ranch
Carol L Douglas Erosion
Carol L Douglas Mountain Fog

Description

Find your Authentic Voice in Plein Air

with Carol Douglas

March 21 – 26, 2022 (Monday – Saturday)

This workshop is aimed at helping painters refine their personal technique in watercolor, pastel, oils and acrylics. It will help you find your own voice and style without becoming anyone’s clone. This is an intensive class, with morning and afternoon on-site painting sessions and lunch-time discussions and demos. Classes are kept small so every student gets the attention they deserve.

We will cover:

  • Color theory
  • Accurate drawing
  • Composition
  • Mixing colors
  • Finding your own voice
  • Authentic brushwork

We stress painting protocols to get you to good results with the least amount of wasted time. That means focusing on drawing, brushwork, and accurate observation. You will learn to paint boldly, using fresh, clean color. You’ll learn to build commanding compositions, and to use hue, value and line to draw the eye through your paintings.

Because this workshop is targeted at small groups, Carol can work with painters of all levels.

In-Person Classes

COVID Health and Safety Protocols

The health and safety of our Patrons, Students, Volunteers, and Staff are a top priority. Since COVID-19 first surfaced, our staff continues to monitor the situation closely, taking every precaution to keep our Patrons, Students, Volunteers, Staff, and our community safe.

  • We require that face masks, covering mouth and nose, be worn in our buildings until further notice. (Note: face shields are not adequate)
  • Enrollment in classes and workshops is limited to ensure social distancing is possible.
  • Staff perform a rigorous sanitation protocol throughout the day.
  • Thermometers are available in the Gallery and Studios for self-checking of temperature upon entrance.
  • Sanitation stations are available at each entrance to the Center. Paper masks are available for no charge.

22 0321 CD

Carol Douglas

Carol Douglas

Carol Douglas paints and teaches in Rockport, Maine.

She has taught plein air painting in Maine, New Mexico, Florida, and New York. She teaches an annual workshop at Schoodic Institute in Acadia National Park, in the Pecos National Wilderness, and two watercolor plein air workshops annually aboard the historic schooner American Eagle. Her daily blog, Watch Me Paint, is ranked one of the Top 75 Art Blogs (number 7) by Feedspot.

Douglas studied with Nicki Orbach, Cornelia Foss, and Joseph Peller at the Art Students League of New York. Her passion is outdoors painting, particularly in wilderness areas. In 2016, Douglas traveled 10,000 miles across Alaska and Canada to paint in the northern backwoods. In 2020, she painted the glaciers of Patagonia. She has also painted in Scotland, Australia, and elsewhere.

Her work has been shown in galleries across the United States. She is represented by Folly Cove Gallery in Rockport, MA and her own gallery in Rockport, ME.

Douglas is a member of the Maine Arts Commission and a former chair of New York Plein Air Painters.

  • Pastel Suggested Supplies
    Note: DON’T spend a lot of money on accoutrements; use what you’re accustomed to. DO buy good paints or pastels. It’s impossible to get good results with inferior pigments. Experienced plein air painters do not need to change their kit to match this list. EASEL—there are three kinds of useful easels: A portable French easel, which folds into a box--I do not recommend these unless you already have one; A foldable aluminum or wood tripod easel that can hold a pastel box on its spreaders; Pochade box fitted for pastels that mounts on a camera tripod; TABLE—small, sturdy, and folding—not necessary if you have a pochade box or a tripod that holds your pastel box; CHAIR—bring one for breaks, but expect to stand while working; UMBRELLA—the style will depend on your easel. These are to shade your work, not you. MISCELLANEOUS SUPPLIES • Colorshapers—not necessary, but fun; • Artist’s archival tape; • Lightweight drawing board--here is an excellent one. • Soft to medium-soft pastels in a landscape or general set (48 colors is sufficient for beginners); • A small package of NuPastel hard pastels; • Sketchbook and pencil; • Gum eraser; • Baby wipes; • Apron or lab coat; • Cap with brim; • Suntan lotion; • Insect repellent; • Plastic bag to collect trash; • Drinking water, coffee, or snacks; • Small bungee cords; • Earplugs (urban painting); • Surgical gloves or silicone hand lotion; • Empty plastic bottle for solvent; • Rain slicker and/or two black plastic trash bags; • Glassine to protect your finished work in transit. PAPER Your choice of brands depends in part on the hardness of your preferred pastel. Be sure it’s sanded paper (has tooth) and is water-resistant (UArt and Art Spectrum are; La Carte is not); Plan to work somewhere between 8x10 and 14x18; 2-3 drawings per day is standard. PASTELS Pastels range in hardness from extremely soft to very hard. I recommend that you carry a small kit of Nupastels (hard) and a medium-sized kit of a pastel of moderate softness. My own preference is Unison, but there are many fine pastels on the market. Dakota Art Pastels has a wealth of information about what’s available. There is no “right” or perfect color palette, but for a workshop, less is more. An 18-to-36 piece landscape starter set is more than sufficient. Be sure to secure your pastels in a sturdy container; there is no sound worse than the tinkle of broken chalks on rocks. NOTE: if you’re flying with pastels, mark the outside of your container, “contains chalk pastels, fragile, handle with care, this side up.” That gives your TSA inspector a heads up about opening them.
  • Acrylic Suggest Supplies
    MISCELLANEOUS SUPPLIES • Any small airtight palette with palette paper and a sponge is good. A Masterson Sta-Wet Handy Palette, is good value for money. • Two peanut butter or jam jars for clean and dirty water; • Paper towels; • Baby wipes; • Fels-Naptha soap to clean brushes; • A large flat box like a pizza box, to carry your work around; • Sketchbook and #2 pencils; • Gum eraser; • 100% cotton rags; • Two palette knives with pointed ends, different sizes; • A hanging brush holder—some people make these out of Pringles’ canisters or the tubes in which whiskey is sometimes sold. You can also sew a roll-up one if you’re handy. However, the bamboo ones are very inexpensive. • Apron or lab coat; • Cap with brim for outdoors painting when we can go out; • Suntan lotion; • Insect repellent; • Plastic bags to collect trash; • Drinking water, coffee, or snacks; • S-hooks for hanging things from easel; • Small bungee cords; • Lightweight painting gloves—I use fishing gloves for this. PAINTS I am a fan of Golden acrylics. You can use heavy-body or open, depending on your preference. The following pigments were selected for a dual-primary color theory system; you’ll get more out of the workshop with the proper supplies. • Carbon black • Ultramarine • Phthalo blue • Quinacridone violet • Naphthol red • Cadmium orange • Hansa yellow or cadmium yellow light • Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide • Raw sienna • Burnt sienna • Titanium white (large tube) Avoid paints marked “hue”—these are blends from cheaper pigments. I have limited cadmiums to the minimum possible, and avoid cobalts altogether. They pose no great risk to the painter, but are still an environmental issue. BRUSHES: For alla prima painting in acrylics, you want long-handled hog-bristle brushes. They are less expensive than softer hairs like sable. I like Princeton 9700 series and Robert Simmons Signet hog bristle brushes. They both provide cost-effective alternatives to pricier brands. Princeton also makes synthetic brushes that are good value for money—the 6300 series. Anything softer really isn’t appropriate for alla prima painting in acrylics. Princeton has a good chart of fiber stiffness, here. (Because of the various ways acrylics can be applied, their guide indicates that some brushes are appropriate for acrylics and watercolors. Avoid those if your interest is in alla prima painting—they’re too soft.) An assortment of rounds, filberts and flats should suffice. More than a handful is overkill. Most workhorse alla prima painting happens between a size #6 and #12, with a few smaller brushes for detail work, and larger brushes for bigger canvases. If you like painting itsy-bitsy lines, invest in a rigger and a size #1 round. I get more mileage out of spalter brushes, which are large, inexpensive flats for covering lots of area fast. MEDIUM AND SOLVENT Not necessary, unless you want an optional retarder. PAINTING SURFACES Any art board (plein air) or canvas that is factory-gessoed with acrylic gesso--please tone before class! Here are instructions. While I generally use a warm tone, using a greyer tone is advisable in the southwest. Plan to work somewhere between 8x10 and 14x18; 2 canvases per day is standard.
  • Oil Painting Suggested Supplies
    Note: DON’T spend a lot of money on accoutrements; use what you’re accustomed to. DO buy good paints. It’s impossible to get good results with inferior pigments. Experienced plein air painters do not need to change their kit to match this list, except for the pigments. EASEL—there are three kinds of useful easels: • A portable French easel, which folds into a box; • A foldable aluminum or wood tripod easel; • Pochade box which mounts on a camera tripod; If you’re purchasing a new easel for plein air painting, I strongly recommend the pochade box system over the other two. They’re lighter and more agile. TABLE—small, sturdy, and folding—not necessary if you have a Gloucester-style easel or a Pochade box; CHAIR—bring one for breaks, but expect to stand while working; UMBRELLA—the style will depend on your easel. This is to protect your work, not you. MISCELLANEOUS SUPPLIES • Palette with a storage box (avoid bright white paper palettes in direct sun); • Two palette cups—or use baby food jars or soda bottle lids; • Airtight brush cleaning tank; • 100% cotton rags; • Soap to clean brushes; • Two palette knives with pointed ends, different sizes; • A hanging brush holder; • Wet canvas carrier (you can make one easily with pushpins and string); • Sketchbook and charcoal or graphite; • Gum eraser; • Baby wipes; • Apron or lab coat; • Cap with brim; • Suntan lotion; • Insect repellent; • Plastic bag to collect trash; • Drinking water, coffee, or snacks; • S-hooks for hanging things from easel; • Small bungee cords; • Earplugs (urban painting); • Surgical gloves or silicone hand lotion; • Empty plastic bottle for solvent; • Rain slicker and/or two black plastic trash bags. There is no “right” or perfect color palette. Every option has its limitations. I specify the following because it’s a double-primary system that gives you a broad color range at a reasonable price. As much of our workshop revolves around color, it’s good to have the specified pigments. Bring small tubes, and be sure to secure them in a sturdy plastic container. Please avoid convenience mixes or hues. Palette for plein air painting: • Titanium white (bring a larger tube or two smaller ones of white only) • Chromatic or ivory black • Ultramarine blue • Prussian blue • Burnt sienna • Raw Sienna • Yellow ochre • Hansa yellow or cadmium lemon • Indian yellow transparent • Cadmium orange • Naphthol red • Quinacridone magenta BRUSHES Hog bristle only, please. Princeton and Robert Simmons provide a cost-effective alternative to pricier brands. All should be long-handled oil painting brushes. An assortment of rounds, filberts and flats ranging from #4 to #10 are sufficient for most fieldwork. MEDIUM I prefer Grumbacher oil painting medium II, slow dry, or linseed oil. Any medium without a drying agent is fine; however, gel mediums will excessively soften your brushwork. You will also need odorless mineral spirits (Turpenoid or Gamsol) in a small metal can. PAINTING SURFACES Please tone your canvases in advance, in a middle-range value. It’s OK to tone with acrylic if you’ve purchased an acrylic-primed board. While I generally recommend a warm tone, in the southwest it’s desirable to cool that down a bit into the greyish range. Excellent choices include: • Primed canvas taped to foam-core; • Pre-primed painting panels; Stretched canvas is difficult to work with in the field. Plan to work somewhere between 8x10 and 14x18; 2 canvases per day is standard. NOTE: If you are flying to the workshop, a small bottle of Gamsol can be in your checked baggage. Linseed oil is fine; most mixed mediums are not. You can carry small tubes of paint, but larger ones must be in your checked luggage. Palette knives must be in checked luggage. I fly frequently with paints and wet canvases, and as long as they’re properly packaged and labeled, they pose no problem.
  • Watercolor Suggested Supplies
    Note: DON’T spend a lot of money on accoutrements; use what you’re accustomed to. DO buy good paints—fewer colors, better quality is always best. It’s impossible to get good results with inferior pigments. Experienced plein air painters do not need to change their kit to match this list, except that I’d like them to carry these pigments. Since much of our work is about color theory, we can’t succeed without the proper paints. Avoid convenience mixes or hues. EASEL—watercolor easels must have a swivel head. I like the Mabef M-27, 28, 29 series because the work surface can move from vertical to horizontal very fast. Dick Blick sells a Napoli steel swivel easel that does the same thing. Some watercolorists prefer to work without an easel at all, and that’s fine too. TABLE—small, sturdy, and folding; CHAIR UMBRELLA—the style will depend on your easel. It’s to shade your work, not you. MISCELLANEOUS SUPPLIES • Small plastic palette--I like this style, brand not important.. • Artist’s archival tape; • Non-absorbent drawing board; • Your preferred cold press watercolor paper--Arches Watercolor Block or Strathmore 400 series papers are good. • Plan to work somewhere between 8x10 and 14x18; 3 sheets per day plus practice paper is appropriate. • 2B pencils; • Sharpener; • Sketchbook and charcoal or graphite; • Gum eraser; • Baby wipes; • Paper towels; • Folding water bucket; • Small eyedropper; • Apron or lab coat; • Cap with brim; • Suntan lotion; • Insect repellent; • Plastic bag to collect trash; • Viewcatcher; • Drinking water, coffee, or snacks; • Small bungee cords; • Earplugs (urban painting); • Surgical gloves or silicone hand lotion; • Rain slicker and/or two black plastic trash bags; • Lightweight painting gloves—I use fishing gloves for this, but latex gloves are great too. • Graphite paper to copy sketches for final painting. There is no “right” or perfect color palette. I recommend QOR paints, but there are many good makers of watercolor. Every option has its limitations. Bring reasonable substitutes if you have them, instead of going out and buying a new kit. Be sure to secure your paints in a sturdy container. PAINTS--please avoid “hues”: • Ultramarine Blue • Prussian Blue • Burnt Sienna • Raw Sienna • Yellow Ochre • Hansa Yellow • Nickel Azo Yellow (you can ignore if you already have a permanent gamboge) • Quinacridone Burnt Orange • Black • Quinacridone Violet • Pyrrole Red Medium Note: you do not need to empty your palette of the colors you already use, as long as you have these or their equivalents at hand. BRUSHES I like Rosemary & Co. brushes but they are very expensive. I recommend Princeton Neptune brushes for new painters. A ½” flat, a 1” wash brush, a #6 quill and a #8 round is enough to get you started. If you’re going to invest in a mop, squirrel is better than synthetic. A set of short synthetic flats (or mottlers, as they’re sometimes called) in ¾”, 1” and 1½” will round out your collection. Riggers and liners are tiny brushes for making very fine lines. They’re more useful in watercolor than they are in oils, in my experience. I buy the cheapest ones I can find because I’m always doing horrible things to them. It doesn’t take much to wreck their point. Lastly, you should have a scrubber to take out mistakes. You can buy them purpose-built, or you can just use an old hog-bristle brush that’s no longer useful for painting.

Cancellation Policy

Registration

  • 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

  • A student may pay in full or place a $125 non-refundable deposit to save a space in the workshop
  • Any unpaid balance is due at least 30 days prior to first day of class
  • If a student cancels before the 30-day cut-off, the balance is refunded (or cancelled if not already paid) – the deposit is non-refundable
  • If a student cancels within the 30-days prior to class, no refund is given and both deposit and balance are forfeited
  • 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.

Covid-19 Update for In-Person Classes and Workshops: 

As long as SAC is able to provide an environment that adheres to the CDC guidelines for social gatherings, and assuming all other normal criteria are met and the workshop or class goes forward, the above cancellation policies are in effect.

Carol Durkee

I have found many new and needed ways of working in watercolors, specifically the prep work… I never had lessons that included these steps, only workshops that were demos, then you were on your own, then a time of critique. Found out ideas that should have been done before I painted. So now I feel I’m on a good new track.

David Blanchard

“Some teachers are good artists, and some artists are good teachers, but it is rare to find a good artist who is also a good teacher. Carol is one of them. She will teach you the fundamentals you need to know, which a lot of teachers gloss over without explanation, but she also takes you to the next level, wherever you are on the learning curve. “She is not only a skilled practitioner, but is also knowledgeable about the more theoretical aspects, which she clearly and simply explains so you can to apply them to your own work. She knows the history of art, and can point out examples from well-known artists, both contemporary and past, that illustrate her points. She is very supportive and is quick to point out what is successful in your work, but doesn’t coddle or patronize, so you do get valuable constructive critiques of every piece, and continue to learn and grow. “Her classes are well run, but also have a nice relaxed feeling that’s builds comradery among students. She provides good exercises for in- and out of class, based on her perception of the actual needs of the particular students in each group. She can work with you in oils, watercolors, or acrylics. I like to recommend her to my artists friends because I can do so with the confidence that they will not be disappointed. If you want a no-nonsense and practical artist-teacher who gives you what you need to improve your art, look no further.”

Carol Thiel

“This was the best painting instruction I have ever had. Carol’s advice in color mixing was particularly eye-opening. Her explanations are clear and easy to understand. She is very approachable and supportive. I would take this course again in a heartbeat.”

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