Archive for the ‘Workshops’ Category

Transform Your Watercolours

Saturday, October 2nd, 2021

Most people know me as a watercolour artist.

What you may not know about me is that I did not grow up painting, and the first time as an adult that I used watercolour paints, everything turned out so streaky and opaque that I threw the paints back in the box in frustration! For the next year I painted with a tray of Crayola kids paints!

Finally, I took a watercolour workshop and as soon as we painted the page blue and it was so smooth and bright and luminous, I was hooked. That one course changed everything for me.

Now, 20 years later, every time I teach beginners, I try to inspire that same passion that I gained for watercolours when I took my first workshop. Beginners find my classes incredibly rewarding because there is so much progress in such a short time, and everything we do is so new and exciting.

This course is perfect for you if:

  • You have dabbled in watercolour but feel like you don’t know what you are doing.
  • You have tried watercolours but feel frustrated and hopeless.
  • Your paintings turn out dull, muddy, and streaky.
  • Or, you always wished you could paint but never had the courage to try.

In this Introduction to Watercolour Basics course you will learn all the techniques needed to build a solid foundation in watercolours and how to overcome common struggles that beginners normally encounter. I am going to take the intimidation out of watercolour so that it is easy and fun.

Kendra Watercolour Artist and Instructor

Watercolour Workshop Supply List

Thursday, April 8th, 2021

Here is a sample supplies list:

• masking tape or painter’s tape (½” recommended)
• old tea towel
• paper towel
• watercolour palette, 12×8 or larger is best but it’s ok to start out with what you have as long as you have space to mix colours. Margarine lids, ice cream pail lids, or white yogurt lids work well for mixing paint.
• 1 sheet of 22×30 ARCHES Cold Press 140lb Watercolour Paper
• 1 set of 18 Pentel Paints or 1 small tube each of cobalt blue, ultramarine blue, Prussian blue, hooker’s green, transparent yellow such as aureolin yellow or new gamboge yellow, raw sienna or yellow ochre, burnt sienna, and a dark pink colour such as permanent rose
• 2 boards or thick card to tape your paper to
• Watercolour brushes have long bristles that come to a point when you flick a wet brush. I mainly use a ½” flat, a size 6 round brush, and a size 1 rigger/liner/script brush.
• a small utility blade / exacto knife / box cutter with a ½” / 9mm wide blade with a lock mechanism (if you can’t find this then you can use something flat and strong such as a credit card cut to a half inch width, or the flat end of a utensil)
• a clear or white tealight candle
• salt
• scissors
• pencil
• white eraser
• a water bottle to stay hydrated
• a black pen with permanent ink – optional
• sea sponge or torn pieces of a household sponge

Beginner Watercolour Classes in Kelowna

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

I’m excited to teach a beginner watercolour class at the Kelowna Art Gallery next month.

Instructor: Kendra Dixson
Dates: Thursdays, Sept 13 to Oct 18, 2012
Time: 6:00 to 9:00 pm
Location: Kelowna Art Gallery, 1315 Water Street
Register: call 250-762-2226 to register
Cost: Members of Kelowna Art Gallery – $120.00 Non members – $150.00

This workshop is perfect for you if you have never tried watercolour painting, or maybe you have dabbled a little but never learned the basics.

I’m going to go over the techniques and skills needed to develop a foundation of watercolour basics.

Some of the things I’ll be going over are clear washes, textures, clouds, trees, mist, reflections in water, snow, and more.

Joyous Light, watercolour by Kendra Dixson, Canadian Artist

Here is a watercolour I painted in 3 washes plus some darker details.

Summer Reading Club

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

On July 4th I was a guest artist at the Peachland Public Library.

Painting Activity at the Peachland Public Library

The Librarian read two art related stories to the children and then I did a short art demo. Well, it was as short as I could make it, but not short enough for these eager young artists. They were starting to squirm with anticipation of painting their own master pieces. Finally we set out paints and brushed for everyone and they had a blast.

You can see more photos posted on my facebook page:
Facebook Album of the Peachland Library painting day.

Artist Heaven

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Last night at midnight I got home from a week of painting in Whistler, BC. I was buzzing the whole drive home. My 3 day workshop with David McEown was amazing. I LOVED it! The advanced workshop lived up to it’s name as we tackled a very complex studio piece of the Larch Trees and waterfalls near Lake O’Hara. It was great to learn how to approach the layers of the painting and keep the whites in the water.

On Friday my artist friend Keya White and I biked around Alta Lake and painted 8×8 canvases to donate to a fundraiser for the Whistler Arts Council. On September 10th they are going draw the raffle winners and someone will get to take home my painting and support the Whistler on the Lake Art Workshops at the same time.

On Saturday I took the gondola up to the top of Whistler Mountain. I spent the full day hiking and painting. The views were stunning. Here are the four en plein air paintings I did over the course of the day:

Whistler on the Lake

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

I’m so excited! In two weeks I am going to Whistler to take a 3 day workshop by watercolour artist David McEown. He is an amazing watercolour artist. I love how he keeps so much light in his work. Every shape is delicately drawn and perfect, yet inside the shapes he lets the watercolour melt and do its thing. It is simply wonderful. You must see his work:

An interesting side note is that I actually found out about this workshop on Twitter! I just happened to catch a tweet from the Whistler Arts Council about their workshops at the cabin on the lake and when I saw this workshop with David McEown I knew it was the one for me. I called them right away to sign up.

I haven’t taken a workshop in quite a few years. I’ve wanted to take one but hadn’t found the right one until now. I can’t wait!

Find out more about the Whistler on the Lake arts program…

Budding Artists

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Dear Kendra,

I am a grade 3 teacher at Eileen Madson Primary school in Invermere. Over the past couple of years I have bought several cards of your watercolours. I have tried to teach your style for snowmen, flowers and winter forest scenes to my grade 3 students. I hope that this ok. Thank you so much for the inspiration.

Lorraine Holmes
Grade 3

Hi Lorraine,

Thanks for your email. I’m happy I could inspire you especially as you are passing along the inspiration to a new generation of budding artists. Teaching children to paint is so exciting because they are so imaginative. Children will push the boundaries and explore with the paint which is very rewarding when you are teaching them.

A few of my favourite tricks to show children are:

  • With a wet paint mixture lay down some green paint at the edge of the page letting it pool up. Then use a kitchen fork to quickly pull grass blades out of the pool of paint onto the page. It saves so much time and looks more natural than using a small brush to paint grass.
  • With watercolour paint you can create snow or stars by sprinkling salt on the paper as the paint begins to dry. You will get different results depending on how wet the paint still is.
  • Use a piece of masking tape to lay down the trees. Paint your background over top. Then remove the masking tape and add some details to the tree. Works especially well for a night scene with the moon and birch trees.
  • Use a white candle to draw secret invisible shapes and then bring them to life by painting bright colours over the wax drawings.

Have fun and happy painting!


Watercolour Workshops in Kelowna, BC

Monday, September 24th, 2007

Kendra will be hosting the following workshops in her studio in downtown Kelowna, BC:

October 20th and 21st, 2007 : 10am – 4pm with an hour break for lunch

This weekend workshop is for those who have little or some experience in watercolour. With demonstrations and easy exercises we will use the basic elements of composition, colour and light to help bring your watercolours to life. The focus of this class will be on painting snow and winter shadows.

Cost: $90
Includes: coffee and all supplies on loan for the weekend
Location: 375 Bernard Avenue in Studio #5, Kelowna, BC
The studio is upstairs from Starbucks on the corner of Pandosy and Bernard. Enter in the door beside the Momo Sushi Cafe and go upstairs and to the end of the hall.
Register: You must pre-register. Please call Kendra at 250-862-4958 to sign up. Visit

October 13th and 14th, 2007 : 10am – 4pm with an hour break for lunch

Artist Kendra Smith will host this weekend workshop that is perfect for people who have never tried watercolour painting. Emphasis will be placed on the techniques and skills you’ll need to develop a foundation of watercolour basics. Through demonstrations, practice and individual attention, we’ll take the intimidation out of watercolour and make painting easy and fun.

Cost: $90
Includes: coffee and all supplies on loan
Location: 375 Bernard Avenue in Studio #5,
The studio is upstairs from Starbucks on the corner of Pandosy and Bernard in Kelowna, BC. Enter in the door beside the Momo Sushi Cafe and go upstairs and to the end of the hall.
Register: You must pre-register. Please call Kendra at 250-862-4958 to sign up. Visit