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Building Your Center of Interest – January 5,6, & 7 Online Workshop (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)

January 5, 2021 @ 10:00 am - January 7, 2021 @ 1:00 pm


Building Your Center of Interest  –Any Medium

3 days Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

With Instructor Ellen Jean Diederich TWSA, RRWS, WSA, WW
January 5th 6th & 7th 10:00-1:00 Central Time 

Live Online Workshop with Personal Assistance $155.00

$30 Early Bird Discount expires December 28th

When you go to an art show, some paintings may instantly attract your attention. They may be the award winners at a show. It is a wonderful to create a beautiful painting but what can you do to make “your” paintings stand out? What story do you want to tell? Would you like to win awards?  In this workshop you will practice a variety of design principles that bring out the interest area in your painting, using Any Medium – my examples will be done in watercolor.  Ellen Jean Diederich who has 37 years of professional painting and teaching experience invites you to join her in exploring and effective design principles for “Building your Center of Interest”.

Each day in this Online Workshop you can paint along and participate by emailing in questions or photos of your work during and after class. A wonderful technical assistant will be there to help you communicate the whole time.  Work finished after class can also be emailed in by 10:00 p.m. the same day for the following morning critique. Later this workshop will be edited. A timed sequence showing me finishing a painting will be added.  Online participants will have permanent access to the edited tape.  This workshop is designed for any level painter who wants to improve their compositional skills.  Registered Students are emailed a letter with attachments January 29th to print out.  A link will be sent on January 4th. 


Tuesday: Over view of the Course – Contrast is the key! Change color photographs into a black and white value sketch with a high contrast area.  Exercise: contrast levels in black and white and with complementary colors.   Contrast value and color temperatures with a subject. Homework choice: make a value sketch  AND a color  temperature  piece.

Wednesday:  Critique,   Study size, texture, and directional and hard and soft shapes. Use pattern in a sketch. Homework: draw out Thursday painting on watercolor paper.

Thursday: Work step by step on a painting of your choice, choosing a design concept to contrast and bring out your center of interest.  You also will be provided similar material to what Ellen is working on.

Critique is scheduled after a 1 hour break after class at 2:00 p.m.

I look forward to working with you! Please email ellen@givinity.com any questions you have.

Ellen Jean Diederich’ Watercolor Supply List

START WITH THE STUFF YOU HAVE: Please have your own favorites brushes, and tools available. You do not need to buy these specific paints but need a warm and cool color of each and good paper for success. This list includes all of the colors I paint and recommend for any watercolor class. I have underlined colors particularly helpful for this course.

You Need: Photographs you have taken to paint from, paper towels, (FROG tape – recommended) and/or  masking tape,  an ice cream pail, #2 pencils, 2 1/2″ house brush (black Bristle), supportive painting board (such as gator board or drawing board, HB or #2 drawing pencil,  jet eraser, and yellow gum eraser 18” ruler or straight edge, sharpie marker.

SUPPLIES: These specified brands are used by Ellen, feel comfortable using the brands you currently have. Tubes of paint can be divided with others. The Robert E. Wood Palette is the best and most economic purchase you can add. Professional grade paint and paper is strongly recommended and it will definitely affect your painting progress. Many people have difficulty painting because of the paper and brushes they choose. If you have any questions about supplies please come ½ hour early and you can purchase these (below) from Ellen at discounted prices.

  • Robert E. Wood Watercolor Palette
  • D’Arches 140# (or heavier) cold press or watercolor paper 2-5 sheets
  • Wash Brushes: WN (Winsor-Newton) Golden Scepter 1″ flat ¾” flat, and ½ “ flat
  • Brush WN 530 Script, WN #10 Round
  • 9″ x 12″ Drawing Pad, Gum Eraser, & magic eraser
  • Variety of Watercolor Pencils (Derwent) larger group of colors are better

Winsor Newton Professional Grade Paints

  • Cerulean Blue, Winsor Yellow Deep ,  Raw Sienna,   Cadmium Lemon ,   Cobalt Blue
  • Scarlet Lake, Antwerp Blue,   Winsor Green (pthalo),   Hookers Green         
  • Burnt Sienna, Permanent Rose,   Cobalt Turquoise Light,   French Ultramarine Blue
  • Permanent Magenta, Rose Madder Genuine,  

Additional colors “unnecessary favorites”

Cobalt Violet, Cobalt Turquoise Dark ,Quinacridone Gold,Cobalt Green,   Mars Black , Indian red ,
Cobalt Teal, Cadmium Orange

Optional Materials: If you have these things on hand and want to work with them feel free to  bring them along:  Brayers, razor blades,  Speedball cut easy Blocks, Speedball linoleum cutter, metallic watercolors, gouache (white required), Acrylic paints, Matt medium, soft gel gloss, collage items, and  if you buy watercolor pencils- I recommend a set of  36 or more colors.

 PAINTING TIP: Softening an edge – Many times you may boldly put on a shape and express what you want precisely but it appears a little sharp. Take a house brush loaded with water and brush until it is softened where you want. Dab off with a paper towel and let it dry thoroughly.  At my workshop, we’ll try this and many other techniques that will help you make simple aesthetic changes!

Ellen Jean Diederich
3374 Maplewood Court
Fargo, ND 58104


January 5, 2021 @ 10:00 am
January 7, 2021 @ 1:00 pm
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