Watercolor Workshops

                                                                                               Sharon Serrago Workshops


The study of design is critical for creating good pictures. In this workshop I will focus on both the elements and the principles of design. The Elements we will study include line, size, shape, direction, color, value, and texture. As we study value, we will focus on 6 common value patterns. Our discussion of color will not be as intense as the color workshop I offer, but I will address the most common color schemes, as well as how to maintain purity and brightness of color in our paintings.
 As we look at the Principles of design (gradation, unity, balance, contrast, dominance, repetition, alternation, harmony), we will learn how to use those in conjunction with the Elements of design in order to create an attractive composition.
In order to further help students organize a good composition, we will look at several scaffolding or structuring devices. The basic ones we will cover include high and low horizon, cruciform, horizontal and vertical bars, frame-in-frame, and cantilever. I will introduce more if time permits.
There will be daily demonstrations in class along with critiques of student work. Students will work on several small exercises as we discuss different aspects of design, and then apply that information to larger pictures of their own choosing.

                        Elements of Design                  Venice Sleeps                  Color Contrasts


Color is one of the most important aspects in a painting and often the most difficult to use effectively. This class will focus on the varied color schemes and color contrasts that make paintings

successful. We will make small studies of many color schemes and color contrasts for a thorough understanding of color theory, and then we will apply those concepts to our larger paintings. Through

this study will see how colors work together to create different effects.

Color schemes: monochromatic, compliment, split complement, analogous, analogous complement, double split complement, triad, double triad.

Color Contrasts: Value, Temperature, Hue, Saturation, Simultaneous, Complementary, Extension

In addition to color schemes and color contrasts, in this workshop we will learn

  • how to avoid getting muddy colors

  • how to choose colors to go side by side

  • how to use color to aid in creating perspective

  • how to use color to direct the viewer’s eye to the focal point

  • how to mix colors and still keep them bright and transparent

  • how to use color temperature to heighten interest in the painting

Demonstrations and critiques are a regular part of all workshops.

Students may choose any subject matter for their larger paintings.


Color Workshop        Vernazza        Color Workshops


Many artists would love to paint abstracts, but feel they don’t have the creativity to design them. In this workshop, I will show that it can all be learned! We will learn to abstract real objects, to draw abstract shapes, and to paint non-objective abstracts, all by using design principles.  We will work on several projects, step-by-step, to learn the process, and then we will create our own unique pictures based on the concepts we study in class.
We will learn how the elements of design can be used to help create stunning non-objective abstracts. Those elements will include line, size, shape, direction, color, value, and texture.
Students will do small studies while learning the concepts necessary for abstraction, and then will apply those concepts to their larger pictures.
Abstracting realistic pictures and creating non-objective abstracts will no longer be a mystery after this workshop!
All classes will have demonstrations and critiques.

How to paint Abstracts       Abstract Painting       Abstract Realism


My collage workshop focuses on creating beautiful pictures by painting on different kinds of rice papers. We will create original works, rather than use cut-outs from magazines.
While collage can be used to create new pictures, it is also extremely useful in repairing a failed painting. This class will show students several ways to apply collage to rework older, failed paintings.

In this workshop, students will learn

  • how to use a variety of rice papers to produce art

  • how to create both realistic and abstract paintings with collage

  • how to use different kinds of rice papers to create special effects

Demonstrations and critiques are a regular part of all classes.

Students may choose any subject matter to work on, landscapes, florals, and abstracts.


   Collage Workshop           Rice Paper Collage         Collage Workshop

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