Summer Workshops

If you’re interested in taking one of my future workshops in Montreal, please contact me and I will add you to my mailing list.
I’m also available to give a workshop in your city, if we can round up enough participants.

For more information, you can get in touch with me at:
sblaukopf (at) gmail (dot) com

Watercolour Workshops Summer 2015

I will soon be posting my workshops for Summer 2015.

If you’d like to be on the mailing list, please send me a note at the email address above.

Watercolour Workshops 2014

Vancouver, Canada

July 4 & 5, 2014

(This workshop is full. Contact me if you would like to be on the waiting list)

Anacortes, Washington

July 7 & 10, 2014

(This workshop is full. Contact me if you would like to be on the waiting list)

Seattle, Washington

July 12 & 13, 2014

(This workshop is full. Contact me if you would like to be on the waiting list)

Watercolour Workshops 2013

Montreal, Canada

August 2-4, 2013

(This workshop is full. Contact me if you would like to be on the waiting list)


Marc Taro Holmes and I have often sketched in Montreal’s most historic neighbourhoods. We are thrilled to be able to offer a summer workshop through the Urban Sketchers Workshop program from August 2-4, 2013.

We’ll begin in the Old Port of Montreal — a historic district of cobbled streets and 400-year old buildings that’s unique in North America for its vibrant French flavor and colorful history. Spend a few minutes in Jacques Cartier Square, the area’s historic and cultural heart, and you’ll understand why. The square teems with cafés and restaurants, with strolling Montréalais and visitors from every corner of the globe.

Venture a few streets over, and you’ll find a quiet, intimate ruelle seemingly untouched by time. Or walk a few blocks south to the quays on the St. Lawrence River, which was the city’s economic and cultural artery connecting Montreal to the Old World. Tall ships are often in port, while the north side of rue de la Commune is lined with Sixteenth and Seventeenth century warehouses that once stored the valuable furs that built the city’s economy.

The workshop will be an introduction to capturing this extraordinary environment by drawing and painting in watercolor en plein air.

I could go on and on about details but it’s all here on the Urban Sketchers workshop site. Or contact me if you want to find out more.

Kamouraska, Quebec, Canada

June 3-6, 2013

(This workshop is full)


Situated on the south shore of the St. Lawrence river, about two hours’ drive north of Quebec City, the village of Kamouraska is one of the most beautiful — and therefore paintworthy — sites in Quebec. Its breathtaking maritime scenery, history and charm were captured in Anne Hebert’s novel, Kamouraska, which Claude Jutra also made into a movie starring Geneviève Bujold. It’s also been a magnet for generations of Canadian and American artists, who have been drawn to its rough, unpolished beauty.

Kamouraska is equally renowned for its food. The area abounds with restaurants, cafés and bistros offering exquisite fare based on local ingredients. There’s also plenty to see and do, if you’re interested in extending your stay past the workshop dates. There are many resources on the Internet to help you find your way, as well as motels, B&Bs and inns in every price range.

I’ve designed the Kamouraska workshop to accelerate your development and confidence in watercolour. There’s nothing like several days of intensive painting, instruction, critiques and fellowship to achieve personal breakthroughs. I’ve seen it time and again — and experienced it myself.

I begin each day with a demonstration. Among the subjects we will explore are good value planning, establishing a well designed composition, distilling complex scenes to their essence, mixing clean colours, capturing the plays of light and shadow, and preserving whites. I will then invite the participants to try out for themselves, as I circulate and provide assistance, tips and feedback.

The group lunch at a local café is always a great way to unwind, discuss what we’ve learned and plan a bit of the afternoon. Also, it’s just plain fun.

At the end of the day’s second session, we’ll conclude with a group critique, where we will look at everyone’s production for that day, and learn from each other.

Are you in?

The Kamouraska workshop is designed for artists with a little experience in drawing and watercolour. Once the workshop fills up (on a first come, first served basis), I will send each participant a materials list, further details about the workshop, a list of B&Bs, inns and hotels, and more.


The Kamouraska workshop is limited to 12 participants, so I would urge you to register soon.

Cost of workshop: $325 + taxes

Not included: meals and lodging (which you will have to book) and transportation

Monday, June 3 to Thursday, June 6, 2013

Limit: 12 students

For more information, you can email me at:
sblaukopf (at) gmail (dot) com

Summer workshops 2012

I spent a good part of my summer packing and unpacking my paints to teach workshops in Montreal, Paris and Portland. I’ve already posted some sketches from those workshops, along with comments, but here are some more highlights from what’s turned out to be a fun and stimulating summer:

Montreal, Quebec
The setting for the first of my two Montreal workshops was the bucolic campus of John Abbott College. While I had booked studio space (my plan B, if the weather proved uncooperative), we actually spent just the first half hour indoors and enjoyed two beautiful days of sunny and warm June weather. On the first day we focused on the historic campus buildings, and on the second we moved to Macdonald Farm to paint the cows and farm buildings. We picked a quiet, shady spot that seemed perfect until a procession of tractors went by, to perform a silage operation (I had to look that one up!). Sketching is all about improvising, so we moved to the other side of the road and students did some great work despite the noise and the dust.



Paris, France
When Juliette Plisson suggested that we assemble a group of French sketchers for a workshop in Paris, my mind went immediately to images of warm Parisian June days, sketching classic Gallic architecture and cooling off at sidewalk cafés. But the weather did not live up to my imagination and we positively froze! My sketch of Rotonde de la Villette seems to be filled with warm light but as you can see from the photo below, we piled on coats and sweaters and the time spent in cafés was indoors, desperately trying to warm up. Nevertheless, the French students displayed great stamina and produced some wonderful sketches. And much to my shock and delight, a few days after the workshop ended I was surprised with a video (warning: this may mot work in all countries!) that participant Michel Colson filmed without my noticing at all. Great fun was had by all!

Rotonde de la Villette


Portland, Oregon
When Portland Urban Sketcher Linda Daily suggested that Marc Taro Holmes and I make the journey across the continent to give a workshop in her city, we jumped at the chance and hoped we would attract enough participants to make the trip possible. The workshop filled up quickly and we wound up spending three days in the record-breaking heat sketching in this beautiful west coast city. We split the group in two, so that each student would spend one day with each of us, and on the third day we all painted together in the shady South Park blocks. The group —  some of whom came from as far away as Virginia, Arizona, British Columbia and California — displayed tremendous talent and it was a pleasure to get to know them. Since this workshop was organized through Urban Sketchers, Marc and I will be donating 10% of the profits back to to support local scholarship students for next year’s symposium.




120 Comments on “Summer Workshops”

  1. tmikeporter says:

    Please add me to your list for the schedule of the summer workshops.

  2. Hey Shari

    I love your work so much that you must count me in for the workshops, wherever they’ll be. I already have some cool watercolors :)


  3. Jane says:

    Count me in too Shari ;-)

  4. Hi miss (: I am interested in the watercolor workshops so is Amanda. Please let us know when you end up doing this, thank you!

  5. juliette plisson says:

    hello Shari, i wish I could come… don’t you plan to come to France?

  6. Wendy says:

    I would love to know more about your summer workshop in Montreal.

    • Hi Wendy,
      I am just finalizing plans for workshops this summer. I should have more info by the beginning of March. I’ll put your name and email on my mailing list and send it to you soon. I see the emails of commenters on the blog, by the way, so I have your info.

  7. Linda Daily says:

    I would be interested in the Paris workshop depending on when it is.
    I live in Portland,OR. so it is a loooonnnng way. My son will be doing research
    there the next few summers,so any excuse to go to Paris.I would love to study with you
    as I admire your work so much.Want to come to Portland? I did email Marc about it. He said
    he might be interested if I could get a group together.
    Linda Daily

  8. Valerie says:

    I, along with a few friends in Ottawa, are interested in your workshops. Some of us are oil painters though, but like to use water colours when traveling. We all need to improve our skills. Please let me know what your workshop schedule is.

    • Hi Valerie. Are you interested in coming to Montreal for a few days? If there are enough of you I could make the trip to Ottawa. How many people are in your group?

      • Janice Kelly says:

        Hi Shari. I also live in Ottawa and I think I could find at least 3 others interested in a workshop here. Otherwise, please add my name to your Montreal workshop waiting lists.
        Thanks. Your work is lovely. Janice Kelly.

      • Alberta Smith says:

        Hi, Shari:

        I live in Ottawa and would love to attend a workshop if you decide to come here. Fingers crossed.

  9. Hey, Montreal maybe not, but Paris, perhaps, if it’s in June, as I will be in Spain all that month.

    Do put me on the list!

  10. Tracey says:

    I am interested in your Portland workshop. Do you have dates for it yet?

  11. Wish I was talented enough to consider enrolling, Shari! What a great idea!

  12. mirobolante says:

    Hello Shari. Please send me information about the workshop in Paris. Thanks

  13. vesselava says:

    Hello Shari, Please send me information about your workshop in Paris. Thanks

  14. Shelagh says:

    Since me up for the Montreal workshop! I would be thrilled to take another workshop with you.

  15. Lynn Fournier says:

    Hi Shari,
    I would like to participate in your workshop in Montreal in June. How do I register??


  16. Ruth Bosveld says:

    Hi Shari,

    Do you ever consider offering something online? I’m in Australia.


    • Hi Ruth,
      Maybe eventually I will do something online but it’s not in the plans for the near future. That would definitely take a lot of time to organize, although I have seem some very good training videos online.

      • Ruth Bosveld says:

        Thanks for your reply, Shari. I have only just come across your work and am so impressed with the detail and tones you manage to achieve in a sketch. Many would consider that highly detailed for a studio work. If you do decide to do an online course, count me in!

      • Thank you Ruth for those really kind words! I will count you in, don’t worry.

  17. Hi Shari, I would love to follow your blog but when I try to enter my email address the page just reloads. May I follow you?

  18. Birdie Hyatt says:

    I would very much like to be involved with your workshops….my career ?? in Oil has just been interrupted due to Asthma restictions. I am so impressed with what I saw in the Gazette this morning.

    Please advise when and where I could join you in Montreal.

  19. Terry says:

    Liked your gallery in today’s Gazette. Watercolour sketches are the perfect opposing force against the digital photography trend, and with cameras everywhere, in cell-phones, etc — why not more painting kits.

  20. frances schanfield says:


    Will there be any other workshops in Montreal this summer, since your June 5 and 6 workshops are full.

    Thank you.

  21. Dorothy Stern says:

    Hello Shari
    Will you be offering any workshops in Montreal in the Fall? I would be interested. Having said that, I have sketching experience, but am not a watercolourist. Would this be a problem?

    • Hi Dorothy. In my workshops there are people with many levels of experience so don’t worry about that. Some have no watercolour experience, others paint in oil but not watercolour. That would not be a problem. I will put you on the list if I open up another workshop.

  22. Ligia Tingle says:

    Hi Shari,

    My name is Ligia. I would like to be added to your course in Montreal if you do one in September. I have some experience with oils but none with watercolours. Thanks

  23. Caroline Goulian says:

    Hi Shari
    Great watercolors! I’d love to attend one of your workshops in Montreal (what a shame I missed the upcoming two days). Please add my name to your list. You truly capture everyday life.

  24. Jackie Mueller-Jones says:

    Would you put me on your list for Montreal, also? I would love to attend one of your workshops.

  25. Leslie Brabant says:

    Please let me know if you’re doing more workshops at John Abbott. I’ve done tole painting, but I’ve always wanted to learn watercolors!

  26. lynn riel says:

    Lynn Riel
    I have no sketching experience at all or painting.Would your course be good for a first timer? The course that you are offering in the fall.

    • HI Lynn,
      I think it would be preferable if you had some drawing experience before you do my workshops. For first-timers I suggest taking a beginner drawing class and then taking my workshop. There are many offered in the Montreal area and having that experience would really help you before you launch into watercolour.

  27. Sharon Cranston says:

    Will you be having any workshops this Fall? If so, I would be interested. Thanks, Sharon

  28. tmikeporter says:

    I’d like to see you hold a workshop in Vancouver BC or even Victoria BC. Both lovely cities. I enjoyed our Portland experience very much. Thanks again. I just ordered a Da Vinci sable set from Amazon to use.

  29. Don McNulty says:

    I will start thinking about this, I would love to have you do a workshop in Vancouver Shari.

  30. Yvonne says:

    If you do a workshop in Van or Victoria, I’d make an effort to be there. I live in Alberta, but always enjoy a holiday on the coast and this would be the perfect excuse! Can you put me on a list for a possible BC workshop? Thanks!

  31. No, not the west coast again! Come east! I’m in New Brunswick but we have Nova Scotia next door. How about PEI? Cape Breton? I’d even drive to Newfoundland!

    • Gina, if you find enough people to be in the workshop I can come your way. That’s why Portland and Paris worked out. Do you have lots of sketchers/painters in your area?

      • Gina Bisaillon says:

        No, I only moved here from Montreal recently and I know nobody in this tiny village who does watercolours, and I have no contacts in larger cities either. But I’ll snoop around the web and see what/who I can find.

      • Ok Gina. I would love to paint in Nova Scotia. I love the area around Lunenburg. Maybe we can get a group to travel there with me.

  32. Hallo Shari,
    I am a resident of Beaconsfield and a member of the Beaconsfield Artist Association. Do you have any courses for the fall and winter session? If so could you please let me know. We are 4 who are looking forward to join a class.

    • Hi Huguette. I have no classes in the winter because I have no venue to hold them in. Plus I teach in a CEGEP so it is hard for me to hold classes at night. The summer is the best time for my workshops because I am not in school then.

      • Thanks for responding to my request and I will be following up with you for next summer. However, if it is ok with you you can give us courses at my house on your free time from Cegep. I can set up for the 4 of us. Think about it and let me know. We are all retirees but active in watercolour. Otherwise it will be for next summer. Thank you again.


      • Ok Huguette. I will think about it!

  33. HI Shari, can you put me on the list? Love your work! -Genine

  34. Hello, Shari:
    I have been an admirer of your watercolors posted on Urban Sketchers. Please add my name to your list for a Montreal workshop. Many thanks!
    Kristine Domenichini

  35. verdantgarden says:

    Hi, Shari:
    Please add my name to your list for a Montreal workshop. Thanks for posting such beautiful paintings/sketches on the web!
    Kristine Domenichini

  36. Wondering how you are enjoying that Jim Richards sketch you purchased in StoDo. I came so close to putting $55 on it….so very close, but … not close enough. Loving your sketches and your blog. I’ve not seen one like it anywhere.

    • I love my sketch Jim! I framed it and it is now in my front hall so I can see it every day.
      Thanks for letting me know what you think about the blog. I am getting close to the one year anniversary and wondering if I should continue. I always wonder if people are reading it and finding it useful. So I really appreciate you letting me know what you think.

  37. textplus says:

    Don’t even DREAM of stopping! I so look forward to receiving your weekly gift every Monday!

  38. Jeff says:

    Glad I found your site. I love your work! I would also be interested if you’re going to have any workshops out here on the west coast, especially Vancouver. Please add me to your distribution list.. Thanks!

  39. angmacleod says:

    Hi Shari can you add me to your list for workshops in Montreal! Thanks

  40. fredcschmidt says:

    Awesome treks. Great video in Paris; thanks to the stealthy student that caught it. Seeing you in action added great depth and insights to your blog. Kudos for such great discipline and sharing it. Fred

  41. hi Shari,

    I will be interested to join your watercolour courses or workshop in th summer. Please keep me in mind. Thank you and all the best for 2013.


  42. Ann Phillips says:

    Dear Shari,

    I love your paintings/sketches. May I just ask, when you paint, do you wet the whole of the page or do you just wet the area you are working on, or do you just make the colour very dilute before putting it on the paper?

    Many thanks.


    • Hi Ann,
      So glad you like the work. I have so many ways of working. Sometimes I wet the whole sheets (as in Baie des Rochers), sometimes I wet an area and sometimes I paint on dry paper. But one thing I try to do is make the colour as saturated as possible.


      • Ann & William Phillips says:

        Dear Shari,

        Thanks for the advice. I’ll keep practising. If you ever come to Australia ….

        Many thanks.


      • You never know Ann. My son is working in Sydney now and liking it a little too much : )
        Maybe if he stays there long enough!!
        In the meantime keep practicing.

  43. Brenda says:

    Hi Shari,
    I have been following your blog and daily sketches since I read the article in the Montreal Gazette. I enjoy oil painting, but have done some acrylic and watercolor. I would truely enjoy being in one of your workshops sometime in the future.

  44. Rooi says:

    Love the cheerful bright colour on yours.. captured me every time I see one on urban sketchers page..
    I don’t think I can make a trip to Canada but if for some reasons you make it to Sydney Australia.. I would love to do classes with you..

  45. Rooi says:

    hi Shari… Sydney australia

  46. Any plans for workshops 2014?

  47. ornbardur says:

    Hi, Any plans for workshops in 2014? Woukd possibly travel all the way from Iceland to attend!

  48. Dear Shari

    What great and fresh work. You are a master sketcher. What’s the schedule for the summer of 2014? I would like to join. Elias

  49. Lesli W., Portland, Oregon USA says:

    Hi Shari,

    Sorry you can’t make it to Portland this summer and look forward to possibly next summer. If you send out a separate email for workshops, please add me to your list.

    Love your work!

    Lesli, Portland

  50. anita407 says:

    Seattle, Washington
    July 12 & 13, 2014
    (This workshop is full. Contact me if you would like to be on the waiting list)
    please place me on your wait list.
    Anita Lehmann
    Thank you.

  51. Ian de Hoog says:

    Since Vancouver is full, why not pop over to beautiful Victoria, BC on the 6th. I’ll show you some great places to paint!

  52. Huguette Gabrial says:

    when are you planning to have your workshop in Montreal. Huguette

  53. Dottie Best says:

    Hello, Shari,

    I love your watercolor style and would like to be added to your workshop waiting list: whatever location comes up with a spot, I would check dates and consider!

    Also, I am interested in purchasing one of your watercolors. I particularly like “Trinity,” “Petty Harbour,” and “Davis Bay.” Can you give me details–framed/unframed, prices?

    Thanks so much.

  54. Janice Kelly says:

    Exciting to think of a workshop in either Montreal or Ottawa next summer.
    Please, please (pretty please?) put me on the waiting list.
    Many thanks.

  55. Huguette Gabrial says:

    I think I am on your waiting list. However please check it. Thanks. Huguette

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