Beginner Workshops

SDWS offers a very popular series of workshops twice a year for adults new to watercolor or for those adults who wish to renew their interest and skill level. You do not have to be a SDWS member to attend these workshops. Each series consists of seven Saturday workshops with all supplies provided. Students may elect to just take one workshop or attend all seven. All students who are not members and take at least four of these workshops will receive a SDWS membership, free for one year.

Students attending the initial Beginner Basics Workshop receive one flat brush and one round brush to keep. Materials, brands, and where to purchase art supplies are discussed during this first class. The balance of the class is spent with the students learning basic watercolor painting techniques and watching step-by-step painting demonstrations and getting lots of practice using what they learned.

Our instructors come from SDWS’s Education/Outreach Committee. In addition to teaching beginner classes, they volunteer their time to teach art classes to all ages - in schools, after school programs and senior centers. As well as being active members of SDWS, many of our instructors are credentialed teachers who have recently retired or are in between teaching positions.

After the Beginner Basics Workshop, the next workshops will begin with a review of key watercolor techniques and then focus on a specific topic. These additional topics are: Color and Value, Drawing for Watercolor, The Still Life - Bringing It All Together, Landscapes, Portraiture - Let's Paint a Face, and finally Mixed Media. All workshops are held in the gallery’s education center. We hope new students will enjoy this new creative outlet and then join our membership by taking other workshops taught by a variety of professional instructors from across the country and from our own membership.


Workshop Information

Guidance for the Use of Masks (Per the California Department of Public Health as of February 16, 2022):

  • Unvaccinated persons are required to mask in all Indoor Public Settings.  
  • Fully vaccinated individuals are recommended to continue indoor masking (when the risk may be high).

All workshop particpants must have an account on our website to register for a workshop. SDWS Members should log in to their account prior to registering. If you are not a member and do not have an account, please click HERE to create a free account.

Premier & Weekend Workshop prices are discounted for SDWS Members.  To receive the discounted price, please log in to your account before registering. If you are not a member or your membership has expired and would like to receive the discounted price, click "Membership" in the main menu to renew your membership or join SDWS prior to signing up.

Please contact our workshops registrar at registrar@sdws.org or the workshops director at workshops@sdws.org with any questions.

In-Gallery Workshops: All in-gallery workshops are held in our beautifully light-filled education center inside the San Diego Watercolor Gallery in The ARTS District of Liberty Station. (Location)

ZOOM Workshops: Virtual workshops will be conducted using Zoom. They will include a combination of live painting demo(s), interactive communication with the instructor, and individual painting time - all from the convenience of your home / studio.

Click HERE for Virtual Workshop Technology Requirements

Click HERE for Workshop Refund Policy

Click HERE for Nearby Hotel Accomodations


Beginner #2 - Color and Value - LIVE GALLERY WORKSHOP

Beginner #2 - Color and Value - LIVE GALLERY WORKSHOP

Instructor: Julie Anderson

Color and Value: Learn about and practice color wheels, color mixing, color value, warm/cool colors, complements, neutrals and general color theory. Students will complete a simple painting in the afternoon.

Find out more…

Non Members Fee: $75.00 Members Fee: $75.00

Date: Saturday, July 9, 2022
Time:
9:00 AM-3:30 PM

WAIT LIST ONLY

Beginner #3 - Drawing for Watercolor -LIVE GALLERY WORKSHOP

Beginner #3 - Drawing for Watercolor -LIVE GALLERY WORKSHOP

Instructor: Julie Anderson

Drawing for Watercolor: Learn how to plan and sketch a painting through the use of basic composition, perspective and grids. Also, learn how to use a photo reference and then complete a simple watercolor scene in the afternoon.

Find out more…

Non Members Fee: $75.00 Members Fee: $75.00

Date: Saturday, August 27, 2022
Time:
9:00 AM-3:30 PM

WAIT LIST ONLY

Beginner #4 - Still Life - Bringing it All Together - LIVE GALLERY WORKSHOP

Beginner #4 - Still Life - Bringing it All Together - LIVE GALLERY WORKSHOP

Instructor: Susan Hewitt

Still Life - Bringing It All Together. Review watercolor techniques and composition considerations. Learn about the Principles of Art (balance, pattern, rhythm, emphasis, unity/variety and movement.)

Find out more…

Non Members Fee: $75.00 Members Fee: $75.00

Date: Saturday, September 10, 2022
Time:
9:00 AM-3:30 PM
Login and sign up
Beginner #5 - Landscapes - LIVE GALLERY WORKSHOP

Beginner #5 - Landscapes - LIVE GALLERY WORKSHOP

Instructor: Jami Wright

Landscapes and Atmospheric Perspective: Learn how to handle the illusion of distance and depth through the use of atmospheric perspective - color value, object location, object sizes, detail and textures.

Find out more…

Non Members Fee: $75.00 Members Fee: $75.00

Date: Saturday, September 24, 2022
Time:
9:00 AM-3:30 PM

WAIT LIST ONLY

Beginner #6 - Portraiture - Let's Paint a Face - LIVE GALLERY WORKSHOP

Beginner #6 - Portraiture - Let's Paint a Face - LIVE GALLERY WORKSHOP

Instructor:  Susan Hewitt

This step-by-step beginners’ workshop explores the “how-to-do” of watercolor portraits. Using photographic references, we’ll look at the different brush techniques, facial features, skin tones, and application of light to dark values within its soft or hard edges. Connecting the portrait’s shapes and composition, the finished painting can offer exciting life to the image’s personality.

Find out more…

Non Members Fee: $75.00 Members Fee: $75.00

Date: Saturday, November 5, 2022
Time:
9:00 AM-3:30 PM
Login and sign up
Beginner #7 - Introduction to Mixed Media - LIVE GALLERY  WORKSHOP

Beginner #7 - Introduction to Mixed Media - LIVE GALLERY WORKSHOP

Instructor: Elaine Harvey

Learn how to take your watercolors to a new and creative direction by adding a variety of materials such as textured papers, acrylics, oil pastels and more.

Find out more…

Non Members Fee: $75.00 Members Fee: $75.00

Date: Saturday, November 12, 2022
Time:
9:00 AM-3:30 PM
Login and sign up