SAWG is excited to announce this coming year's Premier Workshops.   Registration opens for members on July 15th at noon Pacific time.  Non-members are welcome to register beginning September 1st if the classes are not filled.


Workshops Coming in 2023-2024

November 14-16, 2023 – Julie Gilbert Pollard Watercolor Unleashed – Wet & Wild – Studio Paint Vibrant Water Cascades in Brilliant ColorWORKSHOP IS FULL

January 9-11, 2024 – Dylan Scott Pierce "Expressive Animals in Watercolor" 

February 13-16, 2024 – Lynn Ferris “Capturing the Light

March 12-15, 2024 – David R. Smith “Fresh & Exciting Watercolors with David R. Smith” 

Our workshops are held at St. Francis in the Foothills Celebration and Performing Arts Center. This location provides us a room that is very spacious allowing us to spread out comfortably. There is lots of natural lighting and a beautiful view of the Tucson Mountains through the two-level picture windows.





2023-2024 Workshops




Workshop 1: Tuesday - Thursday, November 14-16, 2023 WORKSHOP IS FULL
All workshop days will run from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
The tuition for 3-day workshop is $375 for SAWG members, and $450 for non-members

"Watercolor Unleashed - Wet & Wild - Studio Paint Vibrant Water Cascades in Brilliant Color"
Class Levels - All levels are welcome and encouraged to attend.  

Learn how to make water look wet, reflective, and splashy! With a stunning waterfall or intimate woodsy creek as your model, study water in motion along with glassy reflection. Painting water that looks wet requires some basic knowledge of the dynamics of how water moves and how objects are reflected in its mirror surface. Techniques will be demonstrated to address the various puzzles with which the artist is faced when painting this stunning, fascinating, and challenging subject!

Reference photos will be supplied, or you may use your own. Please NOTE that photos and other supplemental class documents will be shared with you electronically – you are responsible for printing them out or putting into an electronic tablet to view while painting from them.

Studio lessons will focus on:

  • “Painterly Realism” a loose approach – working towards the “mindset” of plein air painting - rather than “copying” a photo
  • Composition and Drawing
  • Color theory, simplified – using “color as value” (as seen in all three North Light books plus magazine articles)
  • Painting with green - color mixing
  • Negative painting lessons and exercises for the watercolorist

There will be demos, instruction at all levels, with critique. Class time will be structured, yet open enough to accommodate the artistic spirit within us all. The only prerequisite is an attitude of joy in the act of painting!





Dylan Scott Pierce

Workshop 2: Tuesday - Thursday, January 9-11, 2024
All workshop days will run from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
The tuition for 3-day workshop is $375 for SAWG members, and $450 for non-members

"Expressive Animals in Watercolor"
Class Levels - Intermediate to Advanced.

This class will focus on how to "capture the soul." Dylan will show how various art principles can be used to thoughtfully convey a specific mood, emotion and story. Also, Dylan will use sketches and demonstrate how drawing can start your painting off strong and on the right course. This will be a step-by-step class with lots of demos that students may follow along with.






Workshop 3 –Tuesday - Friday, February 13-16, 2024 
All workshop days will run from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

The tuition for 4-day workshop is $495 for SAWG Members and $595 for non-members.

"Capturing the Light"
Class Levels - All levels are welcome but some experience with watercolor is need.


Light and shadow shouldn’t be afterthoughts in our paintings. Whether it’s the drama of sunlight, the sparkle of glass, the mystery of a night scene, or the character of a figure study, good use of light and shadow is one of the best ways to take a painting from ordinary to extraordinary.

In her signature workshop “Capturing the Light”, Lynn will show students how to use light and shadow to design stronger compositions and bring drama to a variety of subject matter. Students will gain new skills and confidence working with shadows, light sources, creating glow, and more as they bring their work to the next level.

Each day will begin with a demo of a new painting and a new subject, for about 45 minutes. Students will work until lunch. After lunch, Lynn will do a short demo to complete the morning’s project and students will have the rest of the afternoon to work on their own paintings. Lynn will always be available to help and encourage. Also, she provides handouts, reference materials, and lots of personal attention.








Workshop 4 – Tuesday - Friday, March 12-15, 2024
All workshop days will run from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
The tuition for 4-day workshop is $495 for SAWG members, and $595 for non-members.

"Fresh & Exciting Watercolors with David R. Smith"
Class levels - Intermediate to Advanced. All levels are welcome, but if a beginner chooses to attend, they should understand that it will be a steep learning curve.

Join David on a Watercolor Journey, learning the most valuable watercolor concepts and techniques.  This workshop will save you countless hours of trial & error by demonstrating approaches in an easily understood manner that will open new doors of discovery and creativity.  Participants will be provided reference photos, drawing guides, and step-by-step instruction through all stages of the painting process.  The workshop is packed with demos and guided practice.  Regardless of your level of experience, you’re almost guaranteed to leave with a handsome work of art, and the skills, concepts, and confidence to take your paintings to a higher level.  David will demonstrate a wide variety of approaches and techniques, including how to link shapes in a composition based on values, learning about edge quality of shapes, the importance of different consistencies of paint, and the different moisture qualities of paper, as well as how to work "wet-on-wet," and incorporate "spattering" and "spraying," – concepts and approaches that will keep your paintings fresh with exciting blends and textures, and keep you inspired and eager to explore your new watercolor capabilities long into the future. 



Premier Workshops Rack Card