Portraits in Watercolor
with Tara Sweeney
*Presented in collaboration with the Central Minnesota Watercolorists
Experience Level: Previous experience recommended.
Tuesday September 27-Thursday September 29, 9am-4pm (3 sessions)
The spontaneity of watercolor makes it the perfect medium for expressing character strengths (and quirks). Jumpstart your creativity, wake up intuition and strengthen technique under the expert guidance of Tara Sweeney. Create a unique watercolor portrait–not just a copy of a photo–through instructor demos, guided practice and individualized feedback. You’ll learn a straightforward “three-layer, four-value, hold-the-whites” approach to transparent watercolor. You’ll look for the simplified shapes and values that help you see and paint a watercolor portrait. Explore compositional planning, drawing tips, vibrant color mixing, pigment characteristics, wet-into-wet mingling magic, lively brushwork, and intentional lost and found edges in this engaging workshop for all levels of ability.
Tara Sweeney is a prolific painter, illustrator, author and teacher from Saint Paul, MN. Her award-winning watercolor portraits have been exhibited nationally with NWS and TWSA, among others, and are held in public and private collections. She is a signature member of NWS, RRWS, and MNWS. Recent honors include: “Day Dreamer,” Best of Show, spring MNWS 2022 exhibit; “Chasing the Blues,” Best of Show, Northstar Water Media National exhibit 2021; “First Sip,” NWS 50 Stars 2020 exhibit, and Best of Show, MNWS 2020 exhibit. Her intergenerational picture book, A to Zåäö: Playing with History at the American Swedish Institute (University of MN Press, 2019) was a 2020 MN Book Award finalist and the inspiration for the year-long solo exhibition, Extra/Ordinary at the American Swedish Institute. TPT2 public television’s MN Original showcased her work https://www.tpt.org/post/artist-tara–sweeney/. She earned undergraduate degrees in studio art and textile design from the University of Wisconsin, and an MFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She is professor emeritus with Augsburg University where she taught drawing and painting for 25 years. Her popular watercolor workshops are in demand regionally and nationally. When she’s not painting you’ll find her partner dancing just about anywhere there is room to swing. Follow her on Instagram @tarasweeneyart and on her website: tarasweeneyart.com
Materials List for Watercolor Portraits:
-140# cold press watercolor paper and mounting board, OR watercolor BLOCK, 140# cold press. Minimum size: 9×12 inches; maximum size 12×18, quarter sheet (11×15) or similar.
-PROFESSIONAL QUALITY tube pigments. Bring what you already have but be sure to have a minimum of a warm and a cool temperature hue for each primary, and a neutral gray.
For example: quinacridone gold (warm); hansa yellow (cool); napthol red (warm); quinacridone rose (cool); phthalocyanine blue green shade (cool); ultramarine blue (warm); and paynes gray.
-tray mixing palette -3 small containers with lids (4-8 oz condiment cups work well)
-1/4 inch artist tape
-2B drawing pencil
-synthetic round watercolor brush, #10
-Silver Black Velvet Jumbo round mop brush, small, or similar mop -small spray water bottle
-3 rinsing containers
-water bottle with squirt top – 8oz – 16oz
-small clean household sponge
-graphite transfer paper
Note: A separate handout on selection of photos and preparation of drawing will be emailed after registration.