Watercolor big and bold with Deborah Rubin

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Five Wednesday evenings 6:30-9pm: Oct. 16-Nov. 20 (no class Nov. 13), 2019
Fee: $195 plus supply list below.

Learn techniques and theory to create wonderful colorful paintings. Techniques include dry brush, wet on wet, big brush and flat brush. Theory includes color, composition and more. Some demos, some critiques, and a lot of fun! All levels welcome. The emphasis is on "learning by doing," so expect to jump in with paint immediately.

To register, email programs@nohoarts.org or call the Center at 413 584-7327. Please include your name, address, and telephone contact. Course fees are payable in advance by check to “NCFA” and can be mailed to the Northampton Center for the Arts, PO Box 366, Northampton MA 01061. We do not accept credit cards.

Classes are held in our lower level studio at 33 Hawley Street. Parking is free.


2 sheets of rough and 1 sheet of hot press watercolor paper. Note: Deborah has paper for sale.
8x10 or larger spiral watercolor pad (cheap is ok).

To hold 15 x 22 size paper
Masonite is best though corrugated cardboard and foamcore will do.

Please avoid cheap sets like Reeves, Maries, Sakura etc. They will create poor paintings. Tube paints only and please bring all the tubes to class. I’m nixing Winsor Newton Cotman tube colors which are the student grade paint – they’ve changed their color formulas and many colors aren’t accurate. 
Stick to quality brands like Winsor Newton professional, Grumbacher, Da Vinci, Holbein, Schminke, Graham, Daniel Smith, Van Gogh. The catalogue stores/online like Dick Blick and Cheap Joe’s (American Journey) have their own brand which is very good and cheaper. Colors: any white, any black, ultramarine, pthalo blue, alizarin crimson, cadmium red (or hue or winsor red), cadmium yellow (or hue or Winsor yellow), and yellow ochre.

Good brushes – a combo of synthetic and natural- are essential. Poor brushes lose many hairs and flatten out when used which will frustrate the painter. So stay away from cheap sets. Rounds: Sizes #4 and #12. Flats: 1”. Also, a Japanese Hake brush at least 1 1/2” wide or a good natural bristle brush 1 1/2". The hake brushes are very inexpensive...between $4 and $10. A good natural bristle brush can run $50.

Large rectangular palette with wells for at least 8 colors and large mixing areas.

Blue painters tape (like masking tape) from hardware store
Liquid mask (sometimes called frisket) non-permanent
White vinyl eraser
#2 pencil
Rubber cement pick-up
2 Water containers (deli containers, big yogurt container)

If you have problems finding everything, please get in touch with me. I have many items to sell and since I order frequently, I can put an order of something in for you as well. Unfortunately Winsor Newton Cotman seems to be the popular paint in Michaels and A.C. Moore. I’d rather have you order something else through Dick Blick, Jerry’s Artarama, Cheap Joes, or ASW Express, than buy paint that will frustrate you!

Any questions, email Deborah: deborahrubin8@gmail.com or cell: 1-413-253-7922

Drawing Into Watercolor

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Four Tuesdays, October 22 —November 12, 4 - 6 pm

Cost: $125.00 due upon registration, plus materials (see list below)

This four-week session is a continuation of the fall course in drawing and watercolor painting, but is open to new students who would like to join us! In this fun and unique class, we explore the basics of black and white drawing and watercolor painting as you build your creative and technical skills in both media. Open to all levels of ability.

To register, email programs@nohoarts.org or call the Center at 413 584-7327. Please include your name, address, and telephone contact. Course fees are payable in advance by check to “NCFA” and can be mailed to the Northampton Center for the Arts, PO Box 366, Northampton MA 01061. We do not accept credit cards.

About the Instructor:

Jeannie Donovan is an exhibiting painter and paper maker with an MFA in Visual Design, who has taught drawing and painting to students of all ages for over 25 years. For questions about the class itself, please email jdartist11@hotmail.com.

Class Materials List

For materials questions, contact Jeannie Donovan (jdartist11@hotmail.com)

• Sketch book (10 x 14”) white drawing paper pad (no newsprint)

• drawing pencils: F, 2B, 4B, Ebony

• 1 package vine charcoal (thin sticks)

• 1 charcoal pencil

• 2 kneaded rubber erasers

• pencil sharpener

Watercolor Materials

• Watercolor pad (10 x 14”) rough surface, cold pressed

• Inexpensive camel hair or student grade watercolor brushes: 1” flat; small detail brushes: #1, & #3; medium rounds #5 and/or #6; larger rounds: #10 and #12

• Starter watercolor kits like Reeves, Niji, Grumbacher, Cotman, or other which should include the colors cadnium red, alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, cerulean blue, medium yellow, burnt sienna, burnt umber, Payne’s gray, Hooker’s green dark; you can also buy just the tube colors and not a whole starter kit, whichever is more affordable; (be sure to buy the Payne’s gray)

• Plastic palette with mixing wells

• 1 or 2 plastic cups for water

• 16 x 20” (approximate) sheet of sturdy cardboard or cheap masonite board

• 1⁄2” and 1” rolls of masking tape

*Note: for the first class you do not need to have, or bring all the supplies. Bring the drawing materials and drawing pad listed above to get started

Art Critique Group with Abbie Steiner


October 27, 3:30-5:30pm

Fee: $20. For questions and to register please contact abbiesteiner3@gmail.com

Whether you are a professional or a serious hobbyist, constructive feedback can be essential to the creative process. If this statement rings true, then consider joining us for our quarterly gathering. During this session we will share samples of our art work with each other. The group will be structured so as to provide each participant with feedback about how we as viewers are experiencing and understanding each other’s pieces. Then, if desired, we will offer ideas for progress and development of the pieces presented and/or future work. Please bring 2-6 pieces of original artwork. If your work is not portable, then feel free to bring digital images to share.

Enrollment is limited to 8 participants, advance registration required.

Abbie Steiner, a graduate of the Boston School of the Museum of Fine Arts, has many years experience creating art and teaching studio art and modern art history. This will be the second meeting of what we intend to offer as a quarterly gathering at NCA. She believes that the fresh, new Northampton Center for the Arts offers the perfect venue to create a lively group.

Center for the Arts Drawing Group


Wednesday mornings, 10:00am to 1:00pm, starting March 6

$15/session drop-in, $10/session if the month is paid in full in advance

Each Wednesday morning session begins with a nude model assuming a series of short poses that increase in length from 2 minutes to 30 minutes.  There are no requirements other than a desire to draw, so bring you paper and pencil, water colors, crayons…whatever medium you choose.  Beginners and experts and all in between are welcome.  No critique or instructions, just drawing. Tables, chairs, and easels are provided.  

Please, no fixatives sprays or other materials with noxious odors.

For more information, please contact Chris Murphy at cmurph.com@gmail.com or (413) 336-8937. Please also visit the Drawing Group’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Center-for-the-Arts-Drawing-Group-300573757479626/