Making the Ordinary Extraordinary

Painting the Light in Watercolor

Robert O'Brien

Date: Nov. 12-16, 2021

Name of Event: 

"Making the Ordinary Extraordinary" Painting the Light in Watercolor

Medium: Watercolor

Level: All

Location: Studio

  Status: Open

Robert's Website





Reserve your Spot with Robert  $1950

When you click the reservation button you will have the option to make a minimum deposit of $650,

to pay 50%

or to save $100 by paying in full


Workshop Description

"Making the Ordinary Extraordinary" Painting the Light in Watercolor

Learn how to paint “the light”! This course will explore techniques on how to achieve spectacular light effects from ordinary images through the use of light and shadow. Subject matter will range from landscape, to close focus studies of architectural and agricultural motifs.  Composition and values will be explored in this workshop. All levels of painting ability are welcome. Students will work from photo reference. Some drawing experience is recommended.   Some drawing and watercolor experience suggested.  There will be a critique and class discussion at the end of the final session.

Artist Bio

Robert J. O’Brien AWS NWS is a full time award winning artist and popular local, national and international workshop instructor.


He is a signature member of the American, National and New England Watercolor Societies, among others.  He recently won the Gold Medal at the 2021 New England Watercolor Society’s Juried Members Exhibition held at the Guild of Boston Artists in Boston MA. In 2020 he won the ATP Critique Group Award at the 40th International Exhibition of the San Diego Watercolor Society, the Watercolor Honor Award at the 70th Academic Artists National Exhibition in Vernon, CT, and the Award of Excellence at the 43rd International Exhibition of the North East Watercolor Society in Kent, CT

Robert was the Juror of Awards for the 39th Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors, in Old Forge, NY and co-Juror of Awards for the 151st International Exhibition of the American Watercolor Society in 2018. He was featured in the 29th issue of the Art of Watercolour magazine also in 2018, and in the February 2015 issue of Watercolor Artist Magazine. Robert serves as the Scholarship Chair for the American Watercolor Society. He lives and paints in Weathersfield, Vermont.


He teaches workshops throughout the United States, and abroad.

He has been painting in the watercolor medium for over forty five years. One of his main objectives in watercolor painting is to create light through the use of shadow.


"In painting ordinary images, I find a fascinating interplay between the two. The transparency of the medium helps in bringing shadows alive while allowing the light to glow.”

Medium and Subject:  Watercolor and Pastel. A traditional painter of landscape, floral, portraits and architectural studies who has studied with James Whatford, Tony Couch, and the late Marshall Joyce NA.


Memberships:  American Watercolor Society (Scholarship Chair), National Watercolor Society, North East Watercolor Society, New England Watercolor Society, Academic Artists Association, Vermont Watercolor Society

Materials Fee:

There is no materials fee but there is a required materials list.

View the complete  Materials List HERE

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Reserve your Spot with  Robert   $1950

When you click the reservation button you will have the option to make a minimum deposit of $650,

to pay 50%

or to save $100 by paying in full


Sample   Agenda **


for Artists Rising Creativity Retreat:

5 Days and 4 Nights

Arrival day, check in at 3pm
5pm: meet your fellow students reception with light dinner


Optional yoga, walking, biking in the morning
Workshop from 9-4 (breakfast & lunch included)

Art Studio available 24/7

Optional yoga, walking, biking  in the morning
Workshop from 9-4 (breakfast & lunch included)

Art Studio available 24/7


Optional yoga, walking, biking in the morning
Workshop from 9 - noon (breakfast included)

Excursion to one of the 169 small towns in Connecticut for touring and lunch and a visit to one of the gardens designed by historic landscape designer, Beatrix Farrand, among the first women to practice landscape architecture in the United States. “A garden, large or small, must be treated in the Impressionist manner,” she once wrote. “Plants are to the gardener what her palette is to the painter.”
Farewell Dinner together in Glastonbury 

Art Studio available 24/7

Optional yoga, walking, biking in the morning
Studio work in the morning, sketching and watercolor on location (breakfast & light lunch included)

Checkout by 1PM


Lots of food, fun, comradery, relaxation, re-winding, Art Studio available 24/7

You can also add an extra day before or after the retreat dates (upon availability)

Other: A complete schedule will be posted as your retreat date nears!

This will be posted in the private Facebook Group which you will be invited to join once you register.

Weather Permitting throughout the week... biking, kayaking or paddle boarding or river excursion, leaf peeping in the Autumn


You will receive an email confirmation and, as time gets closer, more email full of info and goodies.

Here is the payment schedule:

$650 deposit is due at the time of registration. 

50% of the remaining balance is due 60 days before your retreat start date

The balance is due 45 days before the start date.

You can pay by PayPal, credit Card or Sezzle (Sezzle can be used ONLY for payment in full)

Please read our full cancellation policy HERE

** Please note that the Sample Agenda is a sample, meaning exact dates, times or activities can be changed based on weather, scheduling or desires of the group and size of the group.