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Southern Atelier,Center for the Arts

7226 21st St. E.

Sarasota, Florida 34243


Contact:  941-753-7755 to book your spot! or sign up on website.

Website link:

Dates: January 6 and 7, 2020
Hours: 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Painting whimsical people and animals is a way for students to get playful with their subjects and explore textures like they’ve never done before! Get ready to unlock your fear of painting in acrylic. It is a very forgiving medium and Karen has so many tricks to create amazing effects! She also loves to share design tips that are crucial to taking your paintings to the next level. The under-paintings resemble paintings by Gustav Klimt......Lots of tiny colorful shapes. Gold foil paper and acrylic markers will add to the finishing details of these paintings. Prepare to be dazzled!

Supply List
Supply List

Supply list for: Painting Whimsical People and Animals in Acrylic


instructor:  Karen Knutson

  1. Liquid Acrylics:  My favorite colors are these.  Bring your favorites.


    • Nickel Azo Yellow

    • Titanium White and/or gesso

    • Carbon Black

    • Quinacridone or acra Magenta

    • Cobalt Blue

    • Pyrrole Red

    • Yellow Ochre

    • Phthalo Blue (Red Shade) 

    • Cerulean Blue Chromium

    • Hansa Yellow Medium


For this process, the liquid acrylics work best, but there will be times you will need heavy body paints too, so please get a red, yellow, and blue in heavy body acrylics.  I use heavy body hansa yellow medium, carbon black, and titanium white.

  1. 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.  

  2. One sheet Strathmore Aquarius II watercolor 80 lb. paper.  Beth 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.  

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

  4. 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!

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

  6. Jumbo Cotton balls and Q-tips

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

  8. 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.)  

  9. Paper towels and/or Kleenex

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

  11. White Charcoal pencil, OR Caran d’ Ache water soluble crayons (for drawing the image on painted paper)

  12. 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. 

  13. Tracing paper and carbon paper. (Carbon paper is darker than graphite paper and works well on acrylics.)

  14. Notebook, pencil, and eraser

  15. Scissors and/or an exacto knife

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

  17. 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.  

  18. Optional:  Any gold or metallic acrylic paints that you already have. 

  19. Optional:  gold foil paper or gold leaf.  Not mandatory at all. 

  20. ATG tape, or thin double stick tape.  

  21. Clear small ruler (mine is 18”)  

  22. Pebeo gold Porcelaine outliner paint (in tube)  

  23. Optional:  Molotow acrylic markers that will embellish your paintings.

  24. Reference photos.  We will be painting a person and an animal.   (I use W magazine or InStyle magazine) Enlarge the close up photo that you want to use to fit a quarter sheet paper.  (I like the face to be about 8 or 9 inches in length.  The animal reference photo should be enlarged to about 10 inches in height. These will be fitted on a quarter sheet size paper, so we want to have room to add a background.

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