Take your painting to new heights in three days.

with Susan Webb Tregay NWS

Take your painting to the next level--or two! Color and Value strategies are the design backbones of a strong painting. Because of their success, some have been used and reused throughout art history . Normally, while I start a painting with one of each in mind, I make my final choices about half way through the painting. Then I actually force the painting to conform to one strategy or another. The closer I can make a painting adapt to that strategy, the stronger the painting will be in the end.
While there seem to be a limited number of color strategies, wonderful, new value/design strategies keep catching to my attention. This course will supply artists with strategies. Using these they will start a"flip book" and begin finding examples of each one. Students have called these flip books their art bibles. They have given them the tools to get into their first exhibitions–and even into AWS. After using mine for years, I still find that I use if for every painting.
Artists will be asked to apply a color and design strategy to existing, unfinished paintings, and then to plan a painting around them
This three-day course is a comprehensive study of "Unify It," Step 4 from my book Master Disaster: 5 Ways to Rescue Desperate Watercolors [North Light Publications, 2007].

Day 1–morning
What are the elements and principles of design?
How are they simplified into these strategies?
Find examples of Color Strategies and begin a
"flip book"
(Class will need 4 x 6, spiral bound notebooks with recipe cards in them,
art magazines to cut up, scissors and a glue stick.)
Demos, Slides, Discussions and Handouts
Handout (24 examples to cut and paste in "flip book")
 Day 1–afternoon
SLIDES (OR DVD) and ACTUAL PAINTINGS: identifying color strategies.
DEMO: Applying a color strategy to an unfinished painting.
Try out 2 color strategies. Apply a color strategy to an unfinished painting.
DISCUSSION: What is content? (Handout) How can design/value strategies help develop content.
HOMEWORK: read article on Content.

Day 2 –morning
Design Strategies. What are they? Find examples and paste them in your "flip book."
SLIDES (OR DVD) and ACTUAL PAINTINGS: identifying value/design strategies.
DEMO: trying out strategies and applying one.
Day 2 –afternoon
What makes "mud"? Testing for opaque watercolors.
Sketch different strategies to use on an old painting. Choosing the best one, and apply it to the painting.
Day 3--morning and afternoon
Paint! Start a fresh painting by choosing a favorite subject matter, a color strategy and a design strategy. Alter you plans if necessary.
DEMO: Finish the painting while others work.
DISCUSSION: Yesterday's homework.
HOMEWORK: writing an artist statement or "elevator speech"
DEMO: Starting a painting.
BROWN BAG LUNCH: Watch Master Disaster DVD
Read Artist's Statements/Elevator Speeches
Being your own art critic/ Critiquing your own work.

All of my courses are basic to the arts. They apply to any media, and any non-smelly media is welcome in the classes. Acrylic painters should bring alcohol (91%) and/or Windex to class.
With small groups (10 -12 people), it is possible to have one on one time with the instructor in a three-day workshop. In these 15 minute intervals I can review recent work or answer questions. Students have told me that these conferences are an extremely important part of my workshops.
For more information, contact me at or call 828 693-0553.