top of page

Two Watercolor workshops in One!  Charcoal Pour Bird paintings AND Florals with Metallic Accents! 

Days 1 and 2:  This workshop shows students how to make a charcoal pour, and then add any bird as the center of interest after the beginning process has dried.  This process is so fun!  We actually will be throwing a bucket of water on the charcoal powdered surface.  (Outside, of course!)  Then we will paint the subject, using watercolor, and adding collage, creating a textural masterpiece!  Karen will demonstrate a crow, but students may pick whatever subject they prefer (white birds don’t work well for this). Karen believes that painting should be fun, and gives lots of individual help. 


Days 3 and 4:  

The focus of this workshop is painting watercolor florals that glow, while abstracting the background and adding gold metallic highlights for zing. Karen will probably demonstrate sunflowers, but students may choose whatever subject they wish.  Abstract backgrounds add excitement and interest.  Students will learn glazing, adding collage for texture, negative painting, and adding gold highlights to zip up their paintings.  Karen believes that painting should be fun and gives lots of individual help to her students, while also teaching design tips for outstanding paintings. 

Supply List

  1. 1 full sheet 140 pound cold press paper and a board to use for support. (We will probably be working on 2 quarter sheets (size 11" x 15").  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. I like to let them dry in the palette for one or two days.  You may prefer to use your watercolors fresh out of the tube.  Your choice!  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 magenta, 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 or kid's sand bucket)

  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. Tracing paper 

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

  25. 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 some collage papers for sale.  Bring whatever other oriental papers you might 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. Any metallic ribbons, old books, music books, etc. Also, (old paintings that you don’t like) can be used in collage. 

  26. Reference photos of birds, that are enlarged to about size 7” high and 9” long.  We will be copying these to use for the outside shape.  I will be bringing examples of crows and cardinals. 

  27. Reference photos of sunflowers or whatever light colored flower that you’d like to paint. Please enlarge them so the flower is approximately 7” - 9” high.  

  28. Bring whatever acrylic metallic paints that you have.  My favorite is Lumiere metallic acrylic paints.  I use both copper and gold.  (available at Dick Blick Art Supplies)

  29. Pebeo porcelain outliner tubes.  My favorite color is gold.  (This is gold paint that is raised when applied.  It usually is for painting on glass.  These are available through Cheap Joes Art supply catalog or at Micheals Art Supply Store.) 

  30. Gold reactive foil (12” rolls available at Hobby Lobby)  I use this instead of gold leaf.  It’s easier.  :). You can also get gold foil paper at 

  31. Double stick tape that is available in the craft section of Michaels.  I use a big one that is used for framing purposes, but a small one will work just fine.  

  32. Bag lunch

*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. Dry Charcoal powder.  (“Generals” brand)

  2. Workable fixative spray

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

  4. (Optional) Caran d Ache crayons

  5. Optional:  markers for making color sketches or final details.  My favorite markers are Tombow brand.


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

bottom of page