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Location: Gladstone, MI
Dates: May 13th - 15th
Hours: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Cost: ---
Valarie Norman

We’ll start this workshop with a charcoal pour as a preparation for our bird paintings. This is such a fun process, and very easy! We’ll actually be pouring a big bucket of water over the charcoal papers (Outside, of course). Wear old clothes and shoes on the first day. Contour drawings make these paintings easy and a great adventure! 

There will be exciting new ways to establish texture, using collage papers, and different surface treatments for special effects.  Tricks!!!!  We’ll also learn an easy way to draw a funky lady. No portrait painting here!


This is one of Karen Knutson’s most popular workshops. She believes that painting should be fun, and gives lots of individual help.  She is known for her enthusiastic demonstrations and lessons in good design. 



Gladstone, MI

Supply List

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Supply list: 

  1.  1 sheet 140 pound cold press paper and a board to use for support. (We will probably be working on 2 quarter sheets.  Use either gator board or I prefer a plywood board for support.)  Or watercolor blocks work well also.  I usually like to cut the paper to size each day, because I work on odd sized papers.

  2. #2  Pencil, eraser

  3. Scissors and/or utility knife

  4. Sketch pad or notebook for taking notes.

  5. white chalk  or white charcoal pencil

  6. Palette knife (optional)  I use this to apply masking fluid, so make sure that it fits in the top of that bottle. Also, a plastic picnic knife works good for this.

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

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

  9. Bring a plastic container with a lid for storing the acrylic matte medium that I will be sharing with you.   (I use small butter containers or sour cream plastic containers.)

  10. Masking tape  (I prefer Duck brand tape, because it sticks well.  Get at Wallmart or Fleet Farm.)

  11. Ruler

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

  13. Sponge or rag for wiping off your brushes.

  14. Margarita salt or table salt

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

  16. Blow dryer (optional)

  17. 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, antwerp blue,  French ultramarine blue, manganese blue, cerulean blue, quinacridone gold, burnt sienna, permanent m agenta, winsor red, and scarlet lake.

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

  19. Bring one package of napkins that have repetitive shapes (ie., checks or diamonds).  We’ll have a napkin exchange.  These will give you ideas for negative painting later.  (Also, bring old newspapers to use for collage)

  20. Bring a big bucket if you have one.  (ie.  ice cream bucket size)

  21. Acrylic matte medium  OR “Yes” paste is used for adhesive (with an old brush) to apply the collage materials. 

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

  23. Self stick rhinestones or “bling, bling” things to glue on our ladies for the earrings and necklaces.  You can get these at craft stores.  I like to get clear ones that are quite small and look like diamonds. J

  24. Tracing paper

  25. Graphite paper (a great brand is Saral, graphite color)

  26. Bag lunch

  27. Reference photos of birds, that are enlarged to about size 7” high.  We will be copying these to use for the outside shape.  I will be bringing examples of crows and cardinals.  No reference needed for our people paintings.  J


*Be sure to dress in layers, so you can adjust to your hot flashes.  :)  Also, wear old clothing and old shoes. This can be messy.


Karen will bring along these supplies and charge a small fee for the use of them:

  1. Elegant Writer Calligraphy pen OR Derwent inktense colored pencil (charcoal colored). They smear when you wet them.

  2. Dry Charcoal powder. 

  3. Workable fixative spray

  4. Oriental fiber papers, (my favorite are chiri, amime, and unryu papers) and assorted paper napkins.   If you have some collage materials, you may want to bring them.  I will have small kits for sale. 

  5. We will be using a few acrylics for finishing touches, so bring white, black acrylic for sure.  (I have some othere colors of acrylic to share, but for sure bring white and black.) Also, bring a couple of acrylic brushes.

  6.  (Optional) Caran d Ache crayons

  7. Optional:  markers for making color sketches.  My favorite markers are Tombow brand.


If you have questions about the supplies, my email is:

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