2024 dates: May 7, 8, 9

Tues – Thurs 9:30am – 3:30pm


Location: Rene’s studio 


Plan to work on several new pieces.

    There is always flexibility to move

whatever direction your art

     (or heart) takes you.


Explore concepts that guide you in making an exceptional portrait. Uncover the ESSENCE of your subject as you determine the IDEA you want to express, which will often evolve as you play with the images and shapes in your painting. We’ll interpret our subjects to create personal works of art that tell a story, starting loose and fresh then honing the details. Create a likeness by following the pattern of light, mid and dark values. Composition and texture making will guide us in this process.

Breathe new life into “finished” or unresolved paintings while enhancing the concept behind your work. Adding acrylics and opaques to your watercolor technique opens up whole new worlds of possibilities! Learn to re-evaluate and reinvent your work when it isn’t working to your satisfaction. Any painting can be “fixed” with the right combination of acrylic grounds and liftable opaques. Build your skills and your imagination in this lively, supportive workshop, designed to promote “out of the box” thinking!

Bring reference for new starts

Also bring unresolved work if you like

Want to learn more about Rene’s art process?
Check her BLOG:


This painting began as one I called “The Rapture” because of the expression on my friend’s face. I marbled it with acrylic and then painted the moths using acrylic ink, to further the story and complete the composition. See a time-lapse of the original watercolor painting below.

We will cover…

  • Portrait basics such as making a value sketch and mixing skin tones.
  • Paint application, specifically the water to paint ratio — drips vs. control — pros and cons of both.
  • Intermediate concepts of portrait design and style choices.
  • Plan ahead with this handout on Choosing Portrait Reference


  • Helped me move forward in skills
  • Drawing lessons & deepening understanding of values
  • Learning, and friendship
  • Rene’s ability to examine individual paintings and provide specific feedback to students. Her demonstrations directly on student work were especially informative.
  • Everything was excellent. Besides instruction, a great group
  • The teacher and her instruction… She is delightful
  • Playing, seeing different mediums used on the paper
  • René’s expertise and generous sharing
  • Being with other artists and learning so much
  • Learned some different techniques for portrait painting