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Watercolor Classes and Workshops

Rachel Collins offers both 2-day workshops and 9-week classes in watercolor for painters of all levels, from beginning through advanced, in fall, winter and spring terms.  At present all her classes are in person at The Art League in Alexandria, VA.  Her spring term classes are currently at full capacity.  


Please scroll down for information about a summer workshop for students with some experience. The schedule and content for additional workshops and her regular classes for the 2023-2024 academic year will be posted soon.  


Backlighting in Watercolor:

Drama through Light and Shadow

A 2-Day Workshop

Tuesday -Wednesday, August 29-30, 2023

10:00 am - 4:00 pm each day

Illuminating a subject from the back gives the artist an important tool for creating an exciting painting. We will look at the surprising effects of backlighting in still life, nature subjects and landscape, and how we can express these effects in watercolor, concentrating on the successful use of color and value in particular in our painting process. You will work from still life and/or photo references for subject material from which you will develop an effective and dramatic painting.

Students will have access to the variety of visual resources used in this class that they can review as needed for a month after the finish of the workshop. 


Students will probably already own many of the supplies needed, so should bring them to the first class. A supply list is available from Rachel Collins or the Art League Store for anyone wanting to be sure to have at least the basic minimum. The Art League Store is located in the Torpedo Factory Art Center, Room 217 and is open 11 am-5 pm, 7 days a week. Students should plan to work on professional quality watercolor paper, preferably Arches or Saunders Waterford.

Registration for all classes is through The Art League:

Art League School telephone: 703-683-2323

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