Painting holidays with ADELE EARNSHAW and JOE GARCIA in Adele’s home country of New Zealand!

Unlike traditionally structured painting workshops where students spend the day in the studio with only one or two excursions to paint on location, this will be a laid-back adventure and your studio will be the beaches, islands and rain forests of the the Bay of Islands, where Adele now resides!

Please click on the colored links throughout the blog for all the information about the Painting Holidays in New Zealand. As in all blogs, the last post is the most recent, so be sure to scroll down to see all the posts.


February 22 – February 28, 2015

Watercolor Magic with Deb Groesser

March 3 - 9, 2015

Capture Impressions Swiftly with V...Vaughan

Interested in an Artists' Retreat? Please contact us for information!

Below, you will read posts from SCAV crew members, giving you lots of first hand information about what to expect when you join the Painting Holiday. Be sure to read the older posts too! Visit the INFORMATION ABOUT THE HOLIDAY pages listed on the right side of the blog.

There are lots of links sprinkled throughout the blog posts and pages. Be sure to click on those for an abundance of information about New Zealand. Come back often to view the latest posts and schedule!

All images copyrighted by Adele Earnshaw and Joe Garcia.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Using our Blog

Hi to all of you who will be joining us in New Zealand.

We're hoping that you might start using our blog to ask questions, communicate with each other and share information. You'll see "COMMENT" at the bottom of each post. If you click on it, you can make a comment that the rest of us can see. In a month or two, I'll make a post about airfares. If you have found a great deal that you'd like to share with us, post the information in the 'comment' section.

If you have trouble using the comment section, email Joanne, Anne or me and we'll help you work it out.

And don't forget to scroll down to previous posts. We've been posting lots of helpful information for you!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Making a Watercolor Journal

You'll be receiving your supply list (by email) for the New Zealand painting holiday in just a few days. Most of you are working in watercolor, but no worries if you've chosen another medium. Here, I'll give you instructions on how to make a watercolor journal to use on your trip.

Watercolor is the perfect travel medium - lightweight and easy to pack. There are different brands of watercolor paper, which come in different weights from 90lb to thicker-than-cardboard. The heavier the paper, the less likely is it to buckle when wet. Joe has worked on 140lb Arches cold-pressed watercolor paper for years while I prefer Arches cold-pressed 300lb. He also prefers ready-made watercolor sketchbooks, specifically the Pro Art brand, however I've had no luck finding these online. Someone sent him a stack of the sketchbooks years ago so this is what he continues to use. Not sure if they're made anymore. There is what appears to be a reasonably good Arches watercolor sketchbook available through ASW that is made of 140lb Arches cold-pressed paper. You'll find an ASW link for it in your emailed supply list.

I tried different watercolor sketchbooks over the years and couldn't find one with decent paper so resorted to making my own. I've learned there are some major advantages to this - mainly that if I wait until I get back from my trip before having the paper bound into a book, I can leave out the paintings I didn't finish or I didn't like! I can also arrange the pages in the order I like.
ASW sells a 3-pack of 22" x 30" 300lb Arches cold-press watercolor paper. If you click on the link for this on your supply list, it will take you to the right page in the online ASW catalog. The paper comes in 'natural white' or 'bright white'. I use 'natural white'. Either will work.

If you make your sketchbook according to my instructions, the three-sheet pack of paper will give you 24 pages for your sketchbook. If you use all of these in the week-long painting holiday, you'll be sure to win the highly coveted Perseverance Award at the end of the week!

Cut a 22" x 30" sheet of watercolor paper lengthwise, giving you two 11" x 30" pieces of paper. Then cut each 30" length into 7 1/2" pieces. This will give you 8 pieces of 7 1/2" x 11" paper, each with a deckled edge. You can make your sketchbook larger or smaller - but I find this size works well for traveling with no wasted paper.

You can arrange the sheets of paper so the deckled edges are all on the same side, which makes for a smart-looking sketchbook once it is bound. I stack the paper and pack them in a big envelope (Fed-ex has a perfect paper envelope which will last through the trip without tearing. You can borrow one from the shipping supplies at a Fed-ex office or Kinkos, but don't tell them I put you up to this!)

Using a carpenter's square to make sure my corners are square, I draw a rectangle on each sheet of paper. You can see here that my rectangle is 1 1/2" in from the edge of the paper on three sides, but there's a wider margin on the fourth side of 2". This will be the side that will be bound - so I'm giving a little more room. This allows for a 4 1/2" x 7 1/2" painting. You can make yours any size you wish. I use a 2H pencil (it doesn't smear) and draw a very light line which can be erased after your painting is finished. (I've used a dark line here so you can see how I do it)

Once I return home, I sort the paintings in the order I like and take the pages to Kinkos. There are several different types of bindings available - I prefer the spiral. You also have a choice of covers. I like the black plastic. With some of my sketch books, I've inserted a piece of vellum in between each painting before it is bound. If you have any questions, email me!

If you prefer, you can take your watercolors home and have them framed....but there's something impressive about a finished watercolor journal of your travels.