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Introduction to Sketching Nature with Watercolors


May 11, 2019 | 9:00 am - 2:30 pm

9:00am to 2:30pm
Held at the VINS Nature Center
General Public: $75, VINS Members: $68
Register Today

Watercolor sketching is a lot easier than you might think. When sketching, your goal is to capture quick flashes of the things around you rather than create a polished and tightly-rendered image, making the process faster and sometimes much more fun. Think of each page in your journal or sketchbook as a “study” of some object or place that you want to remember. Flora, fauna, people, landscapes, waterscapes – even buildings – will provide interesting and fun challenges for us as we use a limited palette, one or two brushes and either a pencil or pen for capturing the moment outdoors.

The first part of this class will be devoted to some indoor learning such as tools to use, how to use them for quick sketching, and a little bit on mixing pigments. After a short break, we’ll begin working outdoors, weather permitting, to practice together with guidance. Drawing lessons are not a major focus of this class but don’t let that inhibit you. Critical warm-up exercises for drawing will be taught. With practice, these will help you to “see” with a sharper eye and that’s what’s most important.

Pre-registration required. Please bring your own lunch.

Suggested Materials:

  • Aquabee Super Deluxe Sketchpad 9 x 12” or slightly smaller
  • Silver Black Velvet Series 3000S round size 16 brush
  • Winsor & Newton Sceptre Gold Round size 10 or 12 (short handle)
  • ¾” or 1” flat wash brush
  • Watercolor Paints (these can all be the 5ml or 14ml tubes):
    • Ivory Black
    • Raw Sienna
    • Cadmium Yellow
    • Lemon Yellow (choose a bright, clear yellow; avoid Winsor & Newton for this color; Sennelier’s Lemon Yellow is great)
    • French Ultramarine Blue
    • Cobalt Blue
    • Thalo Blue
    • Permanent Alizarin Crimson
    • Cadmium Red
    • Cadmium Orange
    • Burnt Umber
  • Palette or paintbox
  • 2 water containers (glass jars, ashtrays, recycled plastic cups, etc. will work)
  • Absorbent paper towels and an old rag

Please note these are recommended materials. Do not feel you have to run out and purchase all new materials for this class. If you have materials that you are already familiar with and do not want to purchase new, feel free to bring those instead of what is suggested.

Instructor – Sandy McDermott
Sandy McDermott has been illustrating natural history since 1992.  Projects include books, magazines, t-shirts, trail signs, brochures and murals, both private and public. In addition, she’s taught many workshops and field trips in the art of field sketching, basic drawing, painting and color theory. Sandy is a recent graduate of the Birder’s Certificate Program through MA Audubon which has helped inform her art as well as her teaching.

Visit Sandy McDermott on Linkedin to learn more about her artwork.

For more information, contact us at 802.359.5000 x245 or sstrew@vinsweb.org.

Illustration by © Sandy McDermott.