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Thu, Mar 02


Crooked Creek Park

"Painting Real People in Watercolor" with Kate Aubrey

"Painting Real People in Watercolor" with Kate Aubrey lunch provided

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"Painting Real People in Watercolor" with Kate Aubrey
"Painting Real People in Watercolor" with Kate Aubrey

Time & Location

Mar 02, 2023, 9:00 AM – Mar 04, 2023, 4:00 PM

Crooked Creek Park, 1098 Old Lexington Hwy, Chapin, SC 29036, USA

About the event

Workshop Description (from the instructor)

People fascinate me. Their moods, their quirks, their private loves. Their feelings large and small. These are the things I strive to capture with paint and brush. Accomplishing this depends upon what is left out at least as much as what is included. In this 3-day workshop, students will learn how to create features in a portrait that will go farther than a simple likeness. Students should have some prior experience in watercolor. Come prepared to paint!

Day 1: Creating a likeness

Morning: through hands-on, guided exercises and short demos, students will discover the importance of skin tones and the eyes and how to render, then paint them accurately and sensitively.

Afternoon: we will continue with the nose and mouth.

Day 2: Ears, Hair, and Incorporating a Background

Morning: working with Day 1’s exercises, students’ questions will be addressed. Students will also Afternoon: through hands-on, guided exercises and short demos, students will learn how to begin incorporating the background and hair into a portrait.

Day 3: Painting a real person - emotions and all

Using a photographic reference (yours or mine) and demonstrations, students will finish laying out and work on a portrait that speaks. Particular attention will be given to brushwork, watercolor techniques ranging the gamut from bold and loose to tight drybrush and when to use each one for heightened emotional impact, as well as how to convey drama through values. Students will practice creating believable skin tones, as well as learning how to mix harmonious darks and how and where to apply them to help build a solid composition.

Suggestions & Requirements for Photographs

Please be sure the eyes are in focus and anything you want to paint is not blurred.

If you bring your own photo(s) to work from, please bring more than one the first day for the sake of choice.

I strongly suggest painting someone you don’t know well during the workshop.

When painting people, shadows are good. Professionally taken photos are lighted so no shadows fall on the subject’s face. This makes them very difficult to paint from, so avoid school photos or magazine model-type photos.

Teeth are very hard to paint well. Please use an unsmiling model unless you are a very experienced portraitist, as feral children will almost certainly upset you.

Real photographic prints are massively better to work from than computer printouts. Costco is great if yours has a 1-hour photo department. CVS and Walgreens both have easy-to-use, inexpensive photo systems and will print reasonably priced enlargements from the Web, CDs, memory cards, smart phones, & tablets.

BUT laptops & tablets are even better to work from. Smart phones are not due to the small image. I will be working from my laptop. Be sure your device is fully charged each day in case outlets are hard to come by.

About the Instructor

A devoted watercolorist for over 40 years and a great lover of people and portraiture, Kate Aubrey began drawing while sprawled on the living room floor at age six. Since then, she has graduated to easels, studying with such notable artists as Charles Reid, John Salminen, Stephen Quiller, Ted Nuttall, Don Andrews, Jeannie McGuire, and Lian Quan Zhen. Life has taken her to six states across the USA from Anchorage, Alaska where she picked up her first watercolor brush to the deep, rich artist’s culture of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. While in Alaska, she worked as one of first women in the oil field at Prudhoe Bay, painting in her spare time. It all shows up in her work.

Arriving in Tennessee’s Knoxville area in 2014 to settle (she fervently hopes) for good, Kate teaches watercolor workshops inside and outside of Tennessee. She is a past Vice President of the Knoxville Watercolor Society, as well as a member of the Arts Alliance of Knoxville, the Art Guild of Tellico Village, and the Oak Ridge Art Center. Farther afield, she is a member of the National Watercolor Society with signature memberships in the Northwest Watercolor Society, the Southern Watercolor Society, the Watercolor Society of Alabama, and the Tennessee Watercolor Society. She is also a Master Artist at the Cape Cod Art Center in Massachusetts.

Her work has earned many awards in multiple national and international exhibitions and has appeared in “Watercolor Artist Magazine”, “American Art Collector Magazine”, Artist’s Magazine’s “The Best of Watercolor” (Splash 21 and Splash 22), and the “American Watercolor Weekly” e-zine.

When she is not teaching, she and her very large standard poodle can be found in her studio concentrating on her figure and floral paintings with a dash of still life or Apples thrown in. Although, truth be told, the poodle prefers bones….

See her website at

Workshop Supply List  (Download full list)

For the most part, please feel free to use your own colors, brushes, and palette, etc. if you wish. I have included a list of what I use for your information, NOT as a required supply list.

Please check with your local art supply store. Keeping them in business helps us all, and they can often special order the brands below if they don’t actually carry them. Due to residual Covid difficulties, allow at least 10 days to special order if something isn’t in stock.

Be sure to have the Cadmium Yellow Light by M. Graham. Other brands are not the same. Hansa yellow, or aureolin may be substituted, but both have drawbacks.

Flesh tone colors are marked in the list of “What I Use” below. I often add others, but for basic, believable flesh tones, those marked are excellent. Colors for Caucasian tones are marked with a bold asterisk. Colors for non-Caucasian tones are marked with a tilda.

Please do email me with questions at I will have some extra paints and supplies with me if you can’t find something ahead of time and need to buy them at the workshop. Dick Blick ( and Jerry’s Artarama Online ( carry M. Graham paints.

WHAT I USE (Not required)


Watercolors - Brand

*Cadmium Yellow Light - M. Graham

~Azo Orange - M. Graham

Cadmium Red Light - Holbein

*Cadmium Red - M. Graham or Quiller

Quinacridone Rose - M. Graham

~Quinacridone Violet - M. Graham

Ultramarine Violet - M. Graham

*Ultramarine Blue - M. Graham

*Pthalocyanine Blue - M. Graham

~Pthalocyanine Turquoise - M. Graham

Pthalocyanine Green - M. Graham

Permanent Green Light - M. Graham

*Cerulean Blue (alternate blue) - M. Graham

Naples Yellow (very optional) - Blockx (pricey, but the only tube color available right now)

*Flesh tones for Caucasians

~Flesh tones for non-Caucasians

Quiller Traveling Palette

Watercolor Brushes:

Da Vinci Maestro Round No. 8, 10, 12, & 14 - carried by Art Xpress at No. 8 is sold as the Mary Whyte brush. (My choice for figure work, but pricey. Look for them on sale. The Richeson brushes are my very versatile second choice at a much better price. I used them exclusively for over 30 years and still opt for them in portraiture for certain things)

Richeson 7000 series Watermedia- these great brushes are carried by Quiller Gallery ( and online, and locally at Jerrys’ Artarama of Knoxville. (Be sure to get the 7000 series; the other 

Richeson series (9000) is a poor substitute for a small savings in price.)

No. 8 round - used for portraiture

No. 12 round - used for portraiture

3/4” flat

1 1/2” flat

2” flat (large paintings)

3” flat (full sheet or larger paintings)

Watercolor paper – Saunders Waterford, Arches, or Fabriano Artistico rough or cold press, minimum weight 140#. Also Hahnemuehle Cezanne 140# (this is a rough surface and quite wonderful) or Saunders Waterford 260# hot press

Painting setup:

Sketch pad, 9 x 12” or 5 x 7” for design sketches & notes

Pencils - Prismacolor Turquoise 2B or Durwent HB or equivalent; OR black china marker or other black grease pencil.

Pencil sharpener

Kneadable eraser

Mr. Clean Original Magic Erasers

Richeson Weston Half-French Easel

Board to support watercolor paper - hollow-core drafting board (or plywood, masonite, Gatorboard, or other boards made for the purpose and carried by art stores and mail order art suppliers).

Water container(s) - I use clear plastic

Viva paper towels (regular) - simply the best

Spray bottle - adjustable from a fine spray to a stream (Hobby Lobby)

Hair dryer

Plain old masking tape by 3M – 1 ½” works well

Old clothes, smock or apron

Laptop or iPad/tablet


Registration is open to CCAL members for $275 ($50 minimum deposit required).

Registration is open to all artists for $300 ($50 minimum deposit required).


  • CCAL Member: Full Payment -KAu

    Kate Aubrey Workshop - CCAL Member, Paid in Full Lunch Included

    Sale ended
  • Non-Member: Full Payment -KAu

    Kate Aubrey Workshop - Non-member Paid in full Lunch Included

    Sale ended
  • CCAL Member: Deposit-KAu

    Lunch included. NOTE: The remaining balance is due on or before the first day of the workshop.

    Sale ended
  • Non-Member: Deposit-KAu

    Laurie Meyer Workshop - Non-Member Initial Deposit Lunch included. NOTE: The remaining balance is due on or before the first day of the workshop.

    Sale ended
  • CCAL Members - Balance Due-KAu

    This 'ticket' allows registrants who have ALREADY paid their initial deposit of $50 to pay the balance remaining for this workshop.

    Sale ended
  • Non-Members - Balance Due-KAu

    This 'ticket' allows registrants who have ALREADY paid their initial deposit of $50 to pay the balance remaining for this workshop.

    Sale ended



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