About the Teaching Artist

Sandra’s vibrant paintings are expressionistic renderings of the landscape, inspired by the high desert of NM where she has painted for 30 years. As a veteran teacher, she has developed a method of teaching watercolor that is loose and free and takes full advantage of the medium and happy accidents. She has enthusiastically shared her technique with students at Ghost Ranch, Santa Fe Community College and UNM, CE. Trained in the basics at the Art Institute of Chicago, she has enhanced her skill through extensive plein air painting and experimentation. Her work was featured in the 2018 poster of the Santa Fe Studio Tour and she is a Signature Member of the NM Watercolor.



Class Description

While this beginner workshop covers the basic techniques of watercolor, it emphasizes FREEING methods, such as, mixing colors on paper, working wet-on-wet, tilting, and lifting in addition to working with brush and palette. Instructional techniques include mini demos, mock-ups, sequential student exercises, and plenty of one-on-one mentoring. We will take advantage of the beauty of NM for inspiration, focusing mainly on landscape elements for exercises.


This class will be held indoors on our campus near downtown Albuquerque. 1114 7th St NW 87102


This class is scheduled for Saturdays

Saturday January 27th: 1p – 4p

Saturday February 3rd: 1p – 4p

Saturday February 10th: 1p – 4p

*There will be opportunities for a break


Teens (15-19) and adults (20 andup). This course is geared toward brand new beginners as well as those with some experience who wish to loosen up or get reacquainted with the medium.

What to Bring

Watercolor Pigment: Basic 5

For this class I emphasize the most basic transparent and vibrant six hues I have found and use regularly with good results. (They are very transparent, less likely to make mud.) (Avoid Cadiums) Preferred Brands: Winsor Newton is great but student grade brands (good quality, affordable) in tubes are fine. They include the following….

Cotman and Van Gogh followed by Da Vinci and American Journey. I especially like Van Gogh. Start with the small .5 ml tubes

Basic 5

Yellow: indian yellow or gamboge (cotman or van Gogh)

Red: alizarine crimson (Cotman or Winsor newton or Van Gogh) alizarine preferred. (no cadiums)

Blue: Colbalt (Van Gogh or Cotman)

Green: sap green, (any of the above brands)

Orange: vermillion (orange Van Gogh or Cotman)

Great additional colors, not requred.

Blue: Indigo, Cuerrilian Blue and/or French Ultramarine blue (any of the above brands)


Sources: Artisans should carry these. If not, you can order on line at Cheap Joes, Michaels or Hobby Lobby may carry Cotman. Avoid their own line of tubes (Reese) are not very good.


Two or three good size brushes, are better than pack of many little brushes.

Hobby Lobby has a brand, Fine Touch that is inexpensive and pretty good. I suggest 2 or three round brush, size 12, and 10 preferred, 8 or 9 ok. Flat brush size 11 or 10.

Paper: Very important

For our class you will need at least one sheet of arches 140lb cold press paper. You can buy a full sheet at Artisans and then tear into smaller sizes. (roughly 6 dollars)


You need a white plastic watercolor palette and cover that contains at least 6-9 wells to store paint in and a flat surface to mix paint on. I use a large one with a cover. (13 in. by 9in,) you need at least 9 inches or so wide.

Misc. Small spray bottle, tissues, container for water.


How Much

Registration – Subsidized Registration – Regular  Registration – Community Support
$100 $125 $150


Covid Policies

  • If you are feeling ill do not come to this class
  • Masks are optional and encouraged indoors


If you have any additional questions, please reach out to Ruby Rodriguez at ruby@harwoodartcenter.org


Refund Policy

Class Fee refunds will be issued on a case by case basis and requests must be emailed to Ruby (ruby@harwoodartcenter.org) at least one week prior to the start date of the class. The Class Fees will not be refunded if students request to withdraw from the workshop less than one week before the start date of the class or after the class has begun. If the class is cancelled by Harwood Art Center for any reason, the Class Fee will be refunded in full.