South Pomfret, Vermont
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Virtual Class: Don’t Be Afraid of the Darks - Painting Night Scenes in Watercolor

Night scenes offer inspiration to paint with rich darks and glowing color palettes.

It's getting darker now... Night scenes offer inspiration to paint with rich darks and glowing color palettes. Our workshop will begin with a small study of moonlight, and we’ll move on to explore the drama of the Northern Lights. Margaret will demonstrate color saturation, mixing, and achieving darks, and she’ll cover traditional techniques as well as wet on wet and charging. References will be on-hand to help guide you through your work. Step-by-step demonstrations and individual feedback will be ongoing throughout the course. Don’t be afraid of the darks! 

This class will be live-streamed. We will send you details about how to access your class before the class meeting. Technology requirements for participants:

  • High speed internet connection
  • Electronic device (laptop recommended) with working camera, microphone, and speakers

For more information about Artistree virtual classes, please contact Karen Rodis at 802-457-3500 and 

Margaret Dwyer’s Recommended Watercolor Supply List
Dick Blick or Cheap Joe’s are good online sources

Tube watercolors – (suggested brands): winsor newton, rembrandt, holbein, daniel smith, grumbacher
These 3 colors will allow for many mixable colors. They are warm colors and all are transparent.
qunacridone gold (please do not use da vinci paint brand for this color)
phthalo blue
permanent alizarin crimson.
If you can invest in additional colors, these 3 primaries are cool colors and opaque.
ultramarine blue
lemon yellow
Cadmium red deep
Colors will be discussed during the class and other recommendations will be made.
(if you have additional colors, please bring them)

Watercolor brushes:
My favorite brushes are Robert Simmons White Sable Brushes.
These are short handled, synthetic white taklon brushes that last and keep a good point. They are a
quality product for not a lot of money. I would recommend 8 and 12 or 14 in the short handled pointed
round series. They also make a brush called a "goliath." It is part of the same series. It is a larger brush in
the round series that comes in 3 sizes (26, 30, 36). If you can afford to add a goliath brush to your
collection, you will love it. Start with size 26 or 30. A wide flat brush is useful for wetting the whole paper
if you have one.
Cheap Joe’s makes a knock off version of the pointed round series.
There is no “goliath” brush included in the knock off series, but the smaller sizes are there. Go with a size
8 and 12 or 14.

Watercolor paper:
Arches cold pressed paper 140# or higher. One full-sized sheet (22”x30”) cut into quarters. Arches
sketchpads and blocks are ok if they are 11x14 or larger. You will have to remove a few pieces from the
block before beginning as you will have a couple of paintings in progress while you wait for things to dry.

A palette made of plastic, ceramic, or white enamel with large wells for mixing colors. Even a stack of
white plastic dishes is a good choice. The round palettes with small wells are not large enough for
mixing. I like the ones that look like muffin pans but they are made of plastic. Large, flat palettes with big
spaces for mixing are good too.
Please do not use palettes with dried paints on them. Watercolor paints do not rejuvenate back to
their full strength once they have dried and will not work with the techniques in the class.

A large, cotton towel to put under your paper, roll of paper towels, 2 large plastic containers for rinsing
out brushes while painting (no smaller than a large yogurt container). Spray bottle with water (like a
windex bottle or something similar). A container of salt.

For more information about Artistree virtual classes, please contact Wendy Seiple at 802-457-3500 and

Margaret Dwyer earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Siena Heights University and her Master of Fine Arts in Visual Arts from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Margaret works in several 2D and 3D mediums, with watercolor being her favorite. She is also a mural artist, having created dozens of murals both public and private throughout New England. Her work has been recognized in numerous juried national and international exhibitions and has been published in fine art books and magazines. Margaret is the 2019/2020 Artist in Residence at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. She currently teaches fine art through Kimpton Brook Art Studio in Wilmot, NH and ArtisTree. For more information about Margaret, visit her website.