Sarah Hansen: Textured Watercolors Workshop


This is a playful, fun, intuitive class that will push the boundaries of what you know about watercolor.

Please call us if you want to make a $150 deposit to reserve your spot.


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September 26 – 28, 2018
9:30 am – 4:00 pm

Learn to paint watercolors in a unique, textural manner, using gesso and collage on a hard surface. In this 3-day workshop, you will create your own textured surface, learn the basics of composition, effective color palettes, value play, and paint a landscape on the surface you created. This is a playful, fun, intuitive class that will push the boundaries of what you know about watercolor. Many demos, visuals, and personal help for each student will be offered each day. All levels of experience welcome.



Tubes of your favorite watercolors (no dried pans/cakes)

                  White gouache

                  Hard board, Plexiglas, or other hard surface on which to paint (TWO BOARDS, between 8×10 – 12×14 in size)

                  Palette (make sure you have plenty of flat surface area…even a plate would do)

                  Brushes of various sizes, both flat and round, include wash brushes and small flat acrylic brush

                  Cut-up pieces of matt board, ranging in size from 1”-4”, and/or plastic scraper tools

                  Gesso (I prefer American Journey through Cheap Joes)


                  Items to collage: Paper, tissue, etc.

                  Tools in which to create texture in the wet gesso(read notes on this below)

                  A photo or an idea of the image you would like to create (portraits are not recommended)

                  Tracing paper



 At least 2 days before class, coat your two hard boards with 2 coats each of gesso. This allows the gesso time to dry completely and won’t take up precious class time.  Any type of hard surface will work to paint on, even Masonite from the hardware store, as long as it is relatively smooth.


As far as texturing tools, use your imagination, as this is very intuitive and exciting. Plaster tools, items to stamp, lace, leaves, string, netting…walk around the house and fill a bag with interesting ideas.

Instructor Bio

Sarah Hansen’s unique style is a result of a personal artistic journey that began with a pencil. A colored pencil. At age 5, she won an award for a coloring contest, which lit a burning light within me to create, and thus began my journey. I later received my degree and worked as an interior designer, which ingrained my understanding of composition, pattern, and color theory. On weekends, I discovered a knack for painting portraits in watercolor.  Her concentration centered on evoking emotion while capturing likeness. Portraiture proved so satisfying, it became her focus for 20 years, creating many commissioned portraits and winning awards for her work.

Recently, however, Sarah has developed a technique in painting watercolors on re-purposed Plexiglas that has been scratched or otherwise unsuitable for framing.  This method involves creating a textured surface on the Plexiglas, using gesso and randomly collaged items as a ground, such as flower petals, string, sheet music, wrinkled paper or other items.   She then uses plaster tools or the end of a paintbrush to create calligraphic marks, words or patterns into the wet gesso collage. As a result, the surface becomes an intriguing, unique base for her bright, loose, and textural watercolors.