Location: White Bear Lake, MN
Dates: November 3rd - 5th, 2015
Hours: 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Cost: $395* for members or $495 for non-members

Watercolor, charcoal, collage


Contour drawings make these paintings easy and a great adventure! We’ll learn how to paint abstract backgrounds and incorporate people into the painting. There will be fun new ways to establish texture, using collage papers, and different surface treatments for special effects. Tricks!!!! We’ll also be working with a charcoal pour as a preparation for our bird paintings. This is such a fun process, and very easy! These paintings are meant to be fun loving and free. No portrait painting here! Basically, we’ll be doing the outline shape of a person, so no detail will be needed. Karen Knutson is a very popular watercolor instructor, who believes that painting should be fun, and gives lots of individual help. She is known for her enthusiastic demonstrations and lessons in good design.

*Definitely to your advantage to become a member!

MEMBERSHIP: Discounts on classes go into effect immediately upon receiving membership dues which can be added directly to the class registration form (no need to fill out additional forms).

White Bear Center for the Arts

4971 Long Avenue

White Bear Lake, MN 55110

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  • 1 or 2 sheets Arches 140 pound cold press paper. Support board to tape the paper to. We will be using a quarter sheet the first 2 days, and then either a half sheet or full sheet the last day, so keep that in mind for support boards.

  • #2 Pencil, eraser

  • White chalk OR white charcoal pencil.

  • Sketch pad or notebook for taking notes.

  • Watercolor brushes (bring your favorites) I use 1” flat and ½ “flat, and a small (#6) round brush.

  • Watercolors: Bring your palette filled with your usual colors, making sure that you let them dry in the palette for one or two days. (The reason for this, is that I double load colors and if they are fresh out of the tube, you won’t be able to do this procedure. However, if you are used to using fresh watercolors, you may do that.) Because everyone always asks, my palette is as follows. I use mainly transparent colors. (Please do not feel that you must go out and buy these colors. The most important 5 colors are listed first.)

    • Aureolin yellow, permanent rose (or DaVinci red rose deep), cobalt blue, winsor green, alizarin crimson, neutral tint, antwerp blue, French ultramarine blue, manganese blue, cerulean blue, quinacridone gold, burnt sienna, permanent magenta, winsor red, and scarlet lake.

  • Water containers (old Cool Whip containers work great) bring 2.

  • Sponge or rag for wiping off your brush

  • Masking fluid (optional) I use Pebeo brand, because of its fluidity and that it is grey in color.

  • Masking tape (Get neutral colors. No blue; it affects your color choices.)

  • Plastic sleeves for preserving the handouts that I give you. (purchase at office supply store)

  • Ruler

  • Scissors

  • Tracing paper

  • Graphite paper. ( I prefer Saral brand (graphite color), available at Dick Blick)

  • Permanent black markers, ultra fine and fine (I just use the Sharpie Twin top)

  • Palette knife (or you can use a plastic knife)

  • Kleenex brand tissues (because they pop up for easy grabbing)

  • Sponge or rag for wiping off your brushes.

  • Margarita salt or table salt

  • Spray bottle (I use a push button top, old Windex bottle. You can usually get these at convenience gas stations, ie Holiday.)

  • Acrylic matte medium

  • An old Parkay or other plastic container for mixing the matte medium that we use. (I like to have a lid too.)

  • An old brush (for applying it the acrylic mediums that will create texture -coarse bristles work best.

  • Collage papers-bring whatever you have. I love animal print napkins, so if you see those, get them. You would be fine using napkins, and magazines for this exercise, but if you are a collage artist already, bring chiri paper (transparent), and unryu fiber paper, which is a milky white fiber paper with strings in it and it is semi-transparent. Bring whatever other light natural colored fiber papers that you already have. Napkins and magazines can be used for collage, also, so start saving those. My favorite magazine for collaging is Architectural Digest. Try to think of variety in colors and textures. Old books, music books, etc.

  • Subject material, if preferred. Crows, cardinals, or other birds. The size of the birds should be about 8 or 9 inches tall, so you might want to enlarge your photo to that size. I will be demonstrating people on the first day. I love the “W” magazine, because the pictures are just about the right size. “In Style” magazine is also a good one for reference. We will need the image to be about 9 or 10 inches tall. No drawing skills necessary!

  • Big Bucket (for pouring water onto our charcoal powder painting) Ice cream bucket size will work great.

  • Blow dryer (optional)

  • Camera (optional) If you want to take photos of my demonstration in progress, that’s OK with me.


OPTIONAL ITEMS: These will be just fun items that will add finishing touches.

  • White (Tulip brand) dimensional fabric paint in (available at Michaels)

  • Pebeo glass outliner paint (gold) (available through Cheap Joe’s catalog)

  • Caran d’Ache watercolor crayons and/or Derwent Inktense colored pencils

  • Gold acrylic paints

  • White Uniball Signo broad gel pen (available through Archivers)

  • Makeup sponges (the triangle spongy ones)

  • Wax paper and saran wrap or other plastic wrap.




  • (General brand) charcoal powder

  • Workable fixative