Watercolors from A to Z

october 9-13, 2017|  $500

Workshop Description

This will be a watercolor workshop for all skill levels. There will be a wide variety of watercolor techniques that will be discussed and demonstrated including positive and negative painting, composition, using creative colors, glazing, charging color, and many more. We will begin each day with a demonstration painting that will be finished before lunch. The daily demonstration will be different each day so that you will see a wide variety of subject matter and styles including landscapes, floral, stylized, and abstract. My preferred method of painting is to use large brushes for most of the painting and complete the painting with a small amount of detail towards the end using smaller brushes. The end result is a watercolor painting that is loose and fresh with expressive brushwork. Following lunch each student will have the afternoon to work on their own painting with assistance when needed. There are no requirements as to what subject the student paints or what size they prefer to paint.

    One of the main objectives that I have as a teacher is to go beyond merely teaching watercolor technique. I make every effort to encourage the student to be creative with design and color in their painting. All of the techniques that I teach work equally well with either transparent or opaque watercolor. It’s what the student does with the techniques that will truly distinguish the artist. The workshop will have a laid back and sometimes humorous atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable to ask questions or request assistance with their painting. Sometimes in the afternoon when everyone is ready for a break I will do a small demonstration of a specific subject such as how to paint clouds, trees, shadows on snow, etc. The afternoon demos are always very popular at my workshops because they allow the student to focus on one or two specific subjects. It will be a fun, educational, and inspiring workshop. 


Sterling Edwards is a contemporary watermedia master born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1951. He has been teaching national and international painting workshops for the past fifteen years.

In 2007 Sterling was honored to be awarded signature member status in the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour (CSPW) and in 2010 he was awarded signature membership status in the Transparent Watercolor Society of America (TWSA).  

Sterling was a featured artist in the fall 2001 issue of “Watercolor Magic Magazine’s Ones to Watch” and has been featured in numerous other magazine and newspaper articles. In 2009 he was a featured artist in the book, “Best of America Watermedia Artists”. He is the author of the best selling North Light book “Creating Luminous Watercolor Landscapes, a Four Step Process” and is a featured artist in numerous  other books by various national and international publishers including, “Masters of Watercolor”, published in 2016 by Russian artist and author, Konstantin Sterkhov. Sterling is also the designer and creator of a signature line of art products that are marketed internationally including a custom-designed watercolor palette and multi-media paint brushes.

In 2013 Sterling was proudly accepted by invitation into the International Watercolor Society (IWS) and in 2015 was awarded lifetime signature membership into the internationally renowned Whiskey Painters of America (WPA), the most unique and exclusive miniature painting society in the world. Highly respected among his peers, he is often commissioned to jury national and international art competitions. His award-winning paintings are in private and corporate collections worldwide. Sterling works from his home studio in Hendersonville, North Carolina, located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.  


Paper:  A good cold pressed watercolor paper is recommended. Sterling prefers 140lb and 300lb cold pressed Fabriano Artistico Traditional White watercolor paper or Arches 300 lb cold pressed Traditional paper if more texture is required. Paper can be purchased in blocks of various sizes and in individual sheets. Blocks usually consist of several pieces of paper that are glued around the edges. If individual sheets are purchased it is recommended that a mounting board of some type is also brought to the workshop.

Brushes: A good assortment of round and flat brushes is necessary for most of the styles of painting that are demonstrated in Sterling’s workshops. Recommended brushes are; a #4, #6, #8, and #12 round watercolor brushes, and a liner or rigger brush. Flat brushes should include a ½”, 1”, and a 2”. One or two flat stiff bristle brushes such as oil painting brushes should also be brought to the workshop. They are excellent for lifting shapes and blending edges. Sterling uses the brushes that he designed, the Sterling Edwards Blending and Glazing Brushes. They are available in 1”, 1 ½”, and 2”.

Paint: Sterling uses and recommends professional grade watercolor paints. There are several good quality paints on the market that can be purchased at most art supply companies. Select a wide variety of at least twelve to fourteen colors. NOTE: Sterling uses a palette that is predominately transparent. All of the techniques that Sterling teaches work with opaque and semi-opaque colors as well as transparent. The following Maimeriblu colors are Sterling’s preference; however, each artist should make their own decisions as to which colors and brands they like:

Permanent Yellow Lemon, Indian Yellow, Golden Lake, Orange Lake, Brown Stil de Grain, Avignon Orange, Permanent Red Deep, Primary Red Magenta, Permanent Violet Bluish, Payne’s Grey, Primary Blue Cyan, Green Blue, Permanent Green Deep, and Cupric Green Deep.   

Palette: A good watercolor palette with a lid is necessary. There are many styles to choose from. Sterling uses the palette that he designed; The Sterling Edwards Big Brush Palette.

Miscellaneous tools:

Drawing pad

Drawing pencil

Roll of toilet tissue

Roll of paper towels

Box of facial tissue (Buy the cheap stuff, not the brands that have facial lotion in them)

Kneaded eraser

Hand held hair drier

Camera for photographing demos (Video recording with cameras or cell phones is strictly prohibited)

Reference photographs

Two containers for water

Jacket or sweater             

Mounting Board for your paper

1” Masking Tape