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Painting People with Exciting Textures in Acrylic
Location: Green Valley, AZ
Dates: March 13-16, 2017
Hours: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Michaelin Otis
(520) 869-5583
**Demonstration for Green Valley Arts:  Thursday, March 9th at 1:00 p.m.

Have you always wanted to paint figurative work, but have been afraid to do so?  Karen will demonstrate painting people in this workshop.   No drawing experience necessary.  She has shortcuts to make drawing people really easy!  This workshop will concentrate on how to get many textures that only acrylic allows.  We will be using rubbing alcohol, different surface textures, and many other tricks to come up with special effects. Each painting will have about 4 layers to produce the special effects.  Design tips will also be discussed, since the backgrounds are very important parts of these textured paintings.  Acrylics has become my favorite medium!  Can’t wait to share my tricks!  One day, we will do carefree funky ladies, just for kicks.  On this day, we will be using watercolor and markers.  This has been one of Karen’s most popular workshops!

Supply List

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Supply list (Painting People with Exciting Textures in acrylic)

  1. Acrylics:  My favorite colors are


  • Nickel Azo Yellow

  • Titanium White and/or gesso

  • Carbon Black

  • Acra Magenta or Quinacridone Magenta

  • Cobalt Blue

  • Pyrrole Red

  • Yellow Ochre

  • Phthalo Blue (Red Shade)

  • Cerulean Blue Chromium

  • Hansa Yellow Medium


I use both heavy body acrylics (in tubes) and liquid acrylics (in bottles).  Just bring whatever you already have.  Usually, I prefer Golden brand acrylics, but for this workshop, if you are investing in acrylics for the first time, my advice is to get liquid acrylics:  white, black, cobalt blue, pyrole red, quinacridone magenta, any turquoise, and hansa yellow.  Michaels has acrylics that will work well for this workshop.  They are 2 fluid oz. size bottles that are really cheap and will be fun to play around with. I use either Americana or Craftsmart brand.  The only tube that I like to be heavy body tube, is Titanium White.

  1. ½ sheet Strathmore Aquarius II watercolor 80 lb. paper.  (I have enough for everyone to buy one from me, if you’d rather not get it from the art supply store.) Bring a board for support. (I usually cover it with plastic.) We’ll be working on 2 quarter sheets.  (Speedy painters may work on more.)

  2. Brushes.  If you already have oil painting brushes or acrylic brushes, bring those.  I use mainly 3 brushes:  1” flat, ½” flat, and #6 round.  Otherwise, I use a big 2 or 3” cheap brush for preparing the paper at the beginning. 

  3. Wax paper for your palette or you can buy a disposable palette at the art store. 

  4. One bottle of Rubbing Alcohol (make sure it is 91% isopropyl alcohol, available at Walgreens)

  5. Jumbo Cotton balls and Q-tips

  6. Water container (I use big Parkay tubs.  Some people use big ice cream buckets)

  7. Windex bottle (push button top) for spraying water.  Empty Windex out and put water in the bottle.  (You can usually find these at Holiday Gas Stations or convenience stores.) 

  8. Paper towels and/or Kleenex

  9. Optional:  Any special effects tools that you already have.  For instance, rubber stamps, or stamps that you have carved yourself.

  10. Repetitive or tiny designed papers to use for collage.  Bring colored tissue paper also.  Bring your favorite collage papers.  Old magazines or newspapers also work for collage. 

  11. One package of pretty napkins.  They work great for collage also.  (think of checks or spots for the repetitive designs) We will have a napkin exchange.

  12. Acrylic matte medium and (an old brush for applying it.  I use a 2” cheap brush.) (I like to bring a small plastic container with a lid to keep my matte medium in.)

  13. White chalk or white Charcoal white pencil

  14. Tracing paper and graphite paper (I prefer Saral brand graphite paper)

  15. Camera (optional)

  16. Notebook, pencil, and eraser

  17. Scissors and/or exacto knife

  18. Clear small ruler (mine is 18”)

  19. Optional:  compass (if you like making circles)

  20. Any markers that you would like to embellish your paintings with.  I use gold, black and white mainly for the finishing touches.  I like to use a Sharpie permanent black marker, twin top.  (ultrafine and fine tips).

  21. Reference photos.  ( I use W magazine or InStyle magazine) Enlarge the photo that you want to use to fit a quarter sheet paper.  (I like the people to be about 9 or 9 ½ inches tall.)  I also look through People magazine, but the reason that I like the W magazine is that the pictures are so big that you won’t need to enlarge most of them.

  22. Wear layers, since sometimes it gets too hot for some or too cool for others.  Also, bring a protective apron, or wear old clothes.  Acrylic is hard to get out of clothing.

  23. Bag Lunch and chocolate for the teacher.  (Just kidding, but not really.....)

For Funky Ladies workshop day:

1. Bring your usual watercolor supplies.  Nothing fancy, even kids watercolor sets will do.  

2. Any markers that we will use to doodle with.  I like Tombow markers (available through Dick Blick or Cheap Joes catalogs, but you may bring whatever markers you prefer. 

3.  Arches watercolor paper, you will only need a quarter sheet size.  (11" x 14")

4.  Watercolor Brushes (my favorite are #6 round, 1/2 " flat, and 1 " flat. 

5.  No reference material needed.  These funny paintings are from your imagination!

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