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Watercolor Portrait Sketching with Pam Wenger

  • 09 Apr 2019
  • 10:00 AM
  • 12 Apr 2019
  • 4:30 PM
  • The Hawthorn Center, Columbia, MD
  • 1


  • Base price
  • Non-Member price
  • Used only by the workshop chair. BWS policy document states the chair attends at no cost to compensate for the work in setting up and running the event.

Registration is closed

Pam Wenger 
"Watercolor Portrait Sketching"
4-Day Workshop
April 9th-April 12th 2019


Members:           $325  registration starts February 16th 2019

Non-Members: $375 registration starts March 6th 2019

Not a member? Consider becoming an Associate for $25 

Registration Deadline: March 23rd unless the program is full prior to this date. 

Remember that these popular events sell out fast


The workshop will begin Tuesday, April 9th and continue through Friday, April 12th 2019 at the Hawthorn Center in Columbia, MD.

Due to the high demand for workshops, all registrations have to be paid within 5 days of registering. No exceptions please.

We are pleased to have nationally recognized artist Pam Wenger, a prize winning artist, teacher of workshops, demonstrator, and Signature member of the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society and the Baltimore Watercolor Society present 

'Watercolor Portrait Sketching'

Pam is a retired teacher who has always been drawn to portraits and figurative work. She has worked with local instructors and with watercolor artists, Ted Nuttall and Charles Reid. She counts many amazing artists among her friends. They keep her constantly inspired and challenged to grow in her craft. 

Pam’s portrait paintings are her real love. She tries to connect with a person through their expression…their pose…their placement in the composition. Her work has been exhibited and won awards in National and Local shows, including Pennsylvania’s “Art of the State”, Pennsylvania Watercolor Society’s Juried Shows, and the Baltimore Watercolor Society’s Mid Atlantic Shows. Her art can be viewed at


All levels are welcome but students should have an understanding of the watercolor medium.  


Workshop description - "Watercolor Portrait Sketching"

“Quick Sketch” Watercolor Portraits

Learn to paint portraits in watercolor in a spontaneous style that involves minimal layering and the use of transparent colors. In this workshop, we will analyze some of the common mistakes that are made when working on portraits in watercolor and look at examples of successful watercolor portraits by artists from around the world. 

Painting portraits in watercolor can seem like a daunting task, but many of us can’t resist the urge to try it. We may have a loved one who we’d like to paint or we may simply be drawn to the challenge of capturing an interesting character on paper. It’s so easy to “tighten up” our portrait paintings because of our focus on “getting it right”. Painting the “quick sketch” portraits focuses on loosening up that process and working to achieve a more relaxed look that highlights the beauty and freshness of the watercolor medium.

I will have partially pre-drawn portraits for you to work on as part of our exercises - or you may draw freehand.  We will all do some limited freehand drawing of parts of faces (not full portraits). 

You will be asked to bring along two pre-dawn portraits of your own on watercolor paper. (on approximately 9”x11”paper, head only). Option: Bring ONE smaller portrait to practice as a "Quick Sketch" and ONE larger, more involved piece.

The 4 day format of the workshop will give us time to practice the techniques we are exploring. The references we’ll be working with will cover a wide range of ages and skin tones. 

This workshop will be a combination of demo and hands-on portrait work. 

  • During Days 1 and 2, you will primarily work from partially pre-drawn portraits that will be provided in the class. You will finish the drawings, but the basics will be there so we can spend the majority of our time painting. (If you prefer to work completely freehand, that is fine. )
  • On day 3, we will work on one pre-drawn portrait provided to you and then begin work on a portrait of your own that you have prepared for the class. 
  • Day 4 will be a continuation of your own portrait work. We will discuss how to translate the principles we’ve practiced on the “Quick Sketch Portraits” to a larger, more finished portrait. You may want to begin work your own more involved portrait on this day. If you would rather continue on the smaller portraits - this will be a time for additional practice. 
  • Tech Tips: Each day we will explore a technology tool to use to help you in your portrait paintings. 

Students should be comfortable with painting in watercolor, but do not need to have experience with portrait painting. 

  • Bring two completed drawings of your own (using your own reference photo) on an (approximately) 9” x 11” sheet of watercolor paper. Bring along the printed reference picture or have it available on your digital device.
  • Optional: For Day 4, you may want to work on a larger, more involved portrait or figurative work. Prepare your drawing in advance for that piece.
  • Bring along several smaller sheets of watercolor paper (around 8 x 10 ) or a watercolor block. I use 200 lb Saunders Waterford Hot Press - or other hot press brands. The partially drawn portraits that I provide will be on hot press paper.
  • Bring all your usual watercolor supplies: water container, paper towels, board to attach your watercolor paper to, drawing pencils (I just use BIC #2 mechanical pencils), push pins or tape.
  • If you have an iPad - PLEASE bring it along, so I can show you some of the technology tools I use. You can also use your digital device as your reference tool since I’ll have the reference photos available online as well as printed. (No problem if you don’t have digital gadget, though!)
  • Bring your own palette and brushes that you are comfortable with. I’d suggest using no brushes smaller than a #10. I use Loew Cornell Ultra Round brushes (very cheap and I just grab a new one when I wreck the point) I’ll have some of these for sale at the workshop.
  • I use mostly transparent colors. Here’s my color list for those who are interested. (But don’t feel you need to buy new colors for the workshop. I’ll share some of mine if you want to try them.) 

*Winsor Yellow Deep

Brilliant Orange


*Alizarin Crimson

Raw Sienna

*Burnt Sienna (I use Holbein’s Burnt Sienna and this is the one brand and color I’d suggest buying if you can - If not, I’ll have some available)

*Quinacridone Coral

*Quinacridone Magenta

*Mineral Violet

*Manganese Blue or Peacock Blue

Cobalt Blue


*Hookers Green

*Starred items are ones I couldn’t live without for portrait work.

Feel free to bring along any portraits you may have worked on that you’d like to discuss

  • The price for the workshop is $325 for BWS members (Signature Artists and Associates) and $375 for non-BWS members.
  • The class size is limited to 20 people, and the workshop cannot be split with another person.
  • Please pay online via PayPal if possible; PayPal allows the use of your Credit Cards whether or not you have a PayPal account.  Otherwise, checks should be made out to Baltimore Watercolor Society and mailed to Sabine Yeager at the address below. Please enter the name of the program on your check.
  • The program will take place at 

  • "The Hawthorn Center" in Hickory Ridge  

  • 6175 Sunny Spring

  • Columbia, MD  21044.  

  • Confirmation of your registration will be sent upon receipt of your check or online sign-up. Checks must be received within 5 days of registration to be considered as registered.

FOR ONLINE REGISTRATION VISIT: and go to Public Events. 
Remember that these workshops fill up very quickly. When filled, you can register on the waiting list.

  • BWS maintains a workshop waiting list. When openings occur, BWS fills the openings from the waiting list on a first-come, first-served basis. 
  • BWS adds names to the waiting list according to the date and time .
  • You can join the waiting list if a workshop is filled.
  • You can't join a waiting list before registration opens.
  • Paid registrants who cancel on or before March 26th will receive a full refund less a $25 cancellation fee if the spot can be filled from the waiting list. If the spot cannot be filled, the amount refundable is 80% of the workshop price.
  • Paid registrants who cancel after March 26th will receive a full refund less a $50 cancellation fee if the spot can be filled from the waiting list. If the spot cannot be filled, no refund will be given.
  • In the event of inclement weather, the workshop will still be held unless the Hawthorn Center is unable to open or the workshop artist is unable to travel.  If BWS cancels the workshop, then all paid registrants will receive a full pro-rated refund for those days that were cancelled.
  • Check this website for changes, updates and new information.
  • Questions and requests to be added to the waiting list can be directed to Sabine Yeager (BWS Workshop Chair) at
The Hawthorn Center is located in the community of Hickory Ridge in Columbia, Maryland:

6175 Sunny Spring
Columbia, MD 21044-5623
Tel: (410) 730-7327

Doors open at Hawthorn Center: 9:30 AM
Workshop instruction begins: 10:00 AM
One-hour break for lunch
Workshop instruction ends: 4:30 PM
Hawthorn Center closes and doors are locked promptly at 5:00 PM

Mail check made out to BWS and reference Pam Wenger Workshop to:
Sabine Yeager 
Workshop Chair
3420 Buttonwood Ct. 
Reisterstown, MD. 21136

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