Betsey MacDonald: Natural Flow - 4 Week Watercolor class (Intermediate-Advanced)

  • 05 Oct 2023
  • 1:00 PM
  • 26 Oct 2023
  • 4:00 PM
  • Rhode Island Watercolor Society Classroom
  • 0


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Who Can Resist Nests?! A 4-Week Watercolor Class

Instructor: Betsey MacDonald
Date and Time: Thursdays, October 5, 12, 19, & 26, 1pm-4pm
Location: RIWS Classroom


Aristotle said, “In all things in nature there is something of the marvelous” and few things are as marvelous as bird’s nests!

For this class we’ll study nests then paint them using layers of watercolor wash and resist. We’ll use a fine line resist as well as regular masking fluid and even try frisket film. We’ll gain an understanding of dry brush techniques, wet into wet, spattering and other ways we can play with watercolor. Mixing a variety of beautiful neutral tones will be our color focus.

We’ll work on two paintings at once to allow for drying time. One will be a detailed study of the amazing texture and interweaving of grasses, sticks and other found items while the other will have more of a design focus and incorporate leaf shadows and negative space with a nest. Through observation and the use of watercolor, we’ll learn to really look at some of nature’s most exquisite handiwork as we create our own art and realize that nests are works of art as well. Some experience with watercolor would be helpful but a willingness to experiment and learn is all that is necessary.


  • Improve observational skills through drawing and painting from life
  • Acquire skills with a variety of watercolor painting techniques
  • Become comfortable with watercolor experimentation
  • Experiment with a variety of masking techniques
  • Develop an appreciation of watercolor accidents and how they can be useful
  • Creatively paint bird nests by selectively using a mix of techniques
  • Observe, critique and discuss student work and master watercolors
  • Gain a greater appreciation of the beauty of bird nests and the wonder all around us

Materials student will need to provide: Fine line masking fluid pen available from Blick or Amazon, watercolor set(an inexpensive tray is fine but a set of tubes with palette is great, too), variety of brushes, watercolor block or pad(at least 140 lb, 9 x 12 or larger) or a few sheets with a gator foam board for stapling or some other support or 300 lb paper which doesn’t need mounting , hot or cold press or even rough can work, jar or two for water, spray bottle, sponge or two, nest if you have one but I have plenty of beautiful nests.

Materials provided by instructor: Gorgeous nests, variety of papers to look at and experiment with, lots of different brushes, sample works, frisket film

Betsey MacDonald Bio

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