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Location: White Bear Lake Center for the Arts
4971 Long Ave., White Bear Lake, MN 55110
Dates:   July 30 - August 1, 2019

Learn to loosen up and paint from the heart!  We will be drawing more contemporary versions of people, in the loosest fashion possible.  Simplicity is the name of the game in this workshop.  Many techniques for texture, how to build layers for depth, working with limited colors, and lots of fun tricks done with rubbing alcohol and other tools, are just some of the new skills that you will learn.   One day, we will learn how to do wire drawings, which will help the students to loosen up!  (Wire drawings are done with permanent markers and they resemble wire sculptures when completed.) This workshop is geared for all levels of acrylic students.  We will also be trying other mixed media for detail work, like caran d’ ache crayons and prismacolor pencils.   Karen Knutson is a very sought after instructor who believes that painting should be fun, but also likes to teach good design at the same time!

Supply list for Contemporary Figurative Acrylic Workshop

Acrylics:  My favorite colors are: 

  • Nickel Azo Yellow

  • Titanium White (heavy body paint in a tube)

  • Carbon Black

  • Quinacridone or acra Magenta

  • Cobalt Blue

  • Pyrrole Red

  • Yellow Ochre

  • Phthalo Blue (Red Shade) 

  • Cerulean Blue Chromium

  • Hansa Yellow Medium (Heavy body paint)

  • Raw Umber

  1. For this process, the liquid acrylics work better than the heavy body acrylics, but bring whatever you already have.  *If you are investing in acrylics for the first time, my advice is to get small liquid acrylics at Michaels :  black, blue, green, red, magenta, pink, and yellow.  They are really cheap (about $1) and will be fun to play around with.  I enjoy the turquoise small bottled acrylics for the WOW factor.  

  2. Exception to the rule:  You will need 1 tube of Titanium White heavy body paint and Hansa Yellow Medium Heavy body Paint, AND Carbon Black, Heavy Body Paint.

  3. Acrylic matte medium and (an old brush for applying it.  I use a 2” cheap brush.)

  4. Optional- Gesso

  5. Brushes.  I use watercolor brushes (that I mark just for my acrylics), but if you like 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.  

  6. One sheet Strathmore Aquarius II watercolor 80 lb. paper.  I will have these available for you to purchase at the workshop site.  Bring a board for support. (I usually cover it with plastic.) We’ll be working on quarter sheet sizes mainly. 

  7. About 11” x 15” piece of 140 lb. cold press Arches watercolor paper. (Bring whatever is close to that.)

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

  9. Old Credit cards or plastic cards (I save the ones that I use in hotels).  We will be using these to scrape the paint across the surface of the paper.  A really FUN procedure!

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

  11. If you are sensitive to the smell of rubbing alcohol, bring a face mask.  I’ll try to bring extras too. 

  12. One bag of Jumbo Cotton balls 

  13. Qtips

  14. Acrylic Heavy Gel medium (My favorite is Golden, but any brand will work.)

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

  16. 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.)  

  17. Paper towels and/or Kleenex

  18. Derwent Inktense charcoal grey pencil.  (or other grey or black color.)

  19. Any special effects tools that you already have. 

  20. White chalk OR white Charcoal white pencil

  21. Caran d/Ache water soluble crayons ( I like neon colors, like lime green, lavender, neon blue, but bring your favorites) you will need about 4 or 5 different colors. You can buy them individually at Dick Blick Art Supplies.

  22. Tracing paper and carbon paper

  23. Optional- compass for making circles

  24. Notebook, pencil, and eraser

  25. Scissors and/or an exacto knife

  26. Optional:  Plastic gloves for your hands (I don’t use them.  I’d rather get in there and scratch with my fingernails. Your choice!)  I use a Scotch-Brite heavy duty 3M scour pad for getting the paint off my hands.  

  27. (optional)  Any gold or metallic acrylic paints that you already have.  I have some to share with you.

  28. Ruler

  29. Permanent black markers (ultrafine and fine tips).  I use the Sharpie Twin Top markers (available at office supply stores).   Bring whatever other markers that you would like to embellish your paintings with.  I use gold, black and white mainly for the finishing touches. 

  30. Old magazines or newspapers to use in collage.  (My favorite is Architectural Digest.). Also, you can bring any white or off/white mulberry or chiri fiber paper. This is optional. 

  31. Reference photos. Pick subjects where you like the outline shapes of people. 

  32. 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. 


  34.       *Feel free to email Karen if you have any questions: 

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