Sharon Reilly

Asian Watercolor Painting: Expressions of the Northwoods

Sept 2-7, 2019 (Four Teaching Days)

The Northwoods of Wisconsin is a painter’s paradise, filled with inspirational scenery and many beautiful subjects. This class is being offered during Dillman’s Birds/Wildlife Theme Week. Participants will learn how to use Asian brushes, inks, watercolors and a variety of natural fiber papers to paint exquisite yet simple paintings to express the beauty of the Northwoods.

A World of Difference — There are several striking differences between the Western and Asian art aesthetic. These differences can be seen not only in composition and materials but also in the creative process and the use of perspective.

Other differences are in the materials used. The Asian Watercolor brush is flexible and holds more water/paint than the Western style brush. The Sumi stick or ink stick is used to make your ink, which is made by rubbing the sumi stick on the suzuri (ink stone). This is an important step in the creative process. During this time, you are warming up and at the same time meditating to free your mind and allow the natural energy flow THROUGH YOU.

Asian watercolor papers are made from natural materials: Mulberry bush, Bamboo, Hemp, Rice and other materials. Once a painting is complete the artist will stamp the work with a custom seal that is dipped in wax.

In this workshop, participants will learn about the art of Asian watercolor painting and how it differs from Western style of painting. Participants will learn the basic techniques using only brush, ink, a few basic watercolor paints and Asian watercolor papers. Also this workshop will focus on painting as a meditative process. Students will learn how to clear the mind and with only a few strokes of the brush capture the “Essence of the Subject”. The class will include color blending, composition, brush techniques and composition. Instruction will be in part by demonstration and discussion and then in class practice. If the weather is nice, we can go outside to explore the area’s natural beauty and paint our impressions of the Northwoods.

Subjects for the Birds and Wildlife Week will include Eagles in Pine, Loons and Lakes, Deer in Fall Colors. We will also study and paint native trees, a variety of birds, dragonflies and other wildlife as time allows. Sharon emphasizes connecting with nature to discover your creative energy.

Sharon Reilly Painting Sharon Reilly Painting Sharon Reilly Painting Sharon Reilly Painting Sharon Reilly Painting Sharon Reilly Painting Sharon Reilly Painting Sharon Reilly Painting Sharon Reilly Painting Sharon Reilly Painting Sharon Reilly Painting Sharon Reilly Painting

Everyone will have at least one complete painting ready to frame when they return home and will be inspired to continue painting from your heart. Sharon will provide backing papers for use in class and also available for purchase.

Day 1
Introduction to Asian Watercolor Painting
Review of Materials and Supplies
Instructor demonstration of Loading the Brush to create paintings with simple brush strokes and the limited use of color for dramatic effect
Focus will be on painting traditional Asian subjects (bamboo, pine) and Birch Trees to transfer knowledge of bamboo to native northwoods trees.

Day 2
Discussion of 2 Asian Painting styles Free Style and Bone Style
Painting today emphasizing color blending
painting a Deer in Fall Foliage
Includes coloring blending for leaves, painting in simple strokes
Class feedback on paintings

Day 3
Discussion of composition in Asian Paintings, compare to Western painting
Paintings in the “Free Style” Eagle in Pine and Loon on the Lake.
The instructor will briefly discuss bird anatomy, to avoid common mistakes
Class feedback on paintings

Day 4
Class Painting – Today we are going to explore GYOTAKU the Japanese art of fish printing
Today is also the day to select your best painting
Instructor will demonstrate backing techniques
Students will be able to back 1 painting to prepare for framing

Sharon has over 26 years of experience studying and painting Asian watercolor. She is a member of the Sumi-e Society of America and has taught Asian Watercolor painting to both adults and children. She is currently a part-time instructor at Nicolet College and teaches workshops on Asian Watercolor throughout the country.

She began studying traditional Japanese ink painting called Sumi-e in New York City with her sensei Koho Yamamoto. When she moved to Hawaii, she continued her studies at the Honolulu Art Academy, Linekona School of Art under a Chinese master painter and teacher Yu Wen. She has exhibited her work at the Chinese Cultural Center in Honolulu, the A.R.T. Gallery in Baraboo, and other galleries around the state of Wisconsin. Sharon has also been a visiting artist during the Aldo Leopold Foundation Art Day.

Her professional life as a wildlife conservation biologist has inspired her to paint native birds and plants in addition to the more traditional Asian subjects. In addition to painting, Sharon also enjoys being outside in nature. Her other passions are bird watching and nature photography. She is also a member of the North American Nature Photography Association.

She considers Asian painting a meditative process as well as an artistic one. It requires clearing one's mind and channeling the energy inside. It is the art of energy transformation; taking your internal energy and transferring that to your brush and subsequently to the paper.

Sharon is currently working on a series of paintings about Endangered Species and North American Birds that were once on the verge of extinction, but have since recovered.

Koho Yamamoto continues to be an inspiration to Sharon. As a young girl Koho was a student of Chiura Obata while they were both in a Japanese internment camp during WWII. Sharon's goal is to pass on to new generations of artists an appreciation for Asian Watercolor and Sumi-e painting.

This is a Studio Workshop but students are encouraged to work outside if they want and if the weather permits.

This is a Studio Only Workshop.
Something for All Levels.

Workshop Fee plus tax per student: $555 (includes $30 material fee)
(Tiered pricing not available)
Room & One Dinner Fee plus tax: $400
(There are 5 nights' accommodations included in the "Room & One Dinner Fee" listed above.)
Cancellation Policy, Class Fees and Tiered Pricing Explained
A partial tuition scholarship is offered
Workshop Itinerary


REGISTER NOW for Sharon Reilly


Workshop Itinerary

For this week, the arrival date is MONDAY, not our normal Sunday.

Monday, 9/2
Check-In to your unit at Dillman’s (check-in time is 3:00)
5:00 Welcome Reception (included in package)
6:00 Dinner at Dillman's (included in package)

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 9/3-9/6
Breakfast On Own
9:00 a.m. - Noon Class in Session
Lunch On Own

Meals are on your own. All accommodations have cooking facilities. You may preorder box lunches and dinners for meals to be taken alone or with your group in: your studio, the lodge deck, cafe, or your accommodation. (Pre-ordering for lunches and dinners is required.)

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Class in Session

Friday, 9/6
NOON Farewell Champagne Toast (included in package)

Saturday, 9/7
Depart - check-out time is 10:00

Optional Events - Sign Up Required / Subject to Change:
    Monday 5:00 p.m. Dine-Around Dinner (Depart from Lodge Lobby)

    Tuesday 5:00 p.m. Dine-Around Dinner (Depart from Lodge Lobby)
    Tuesday 7:00 p.m. S'more Roast (no charge)

    Wednesday 8:00 a.m. Yoga
    Wednesday 5:00 p.m. Dine-Around Dinner (Depart from Lodge Lobby)

    Thursday Noon & 4:00 p.m. Pontoon Ride on White Sand Lake (no charge)
    Thursday 5:00 p.m. Moondeer & Friends Gallery Tour (no charge)
    Thursday 6:00 p.m. Dine-Around Dinner

    Friday 5:00 p.m. Dine-Around Dinner (Depart from Lodge Lobby)

Dine-Around Dinners: Registration required at the front desk, meet at 5:00pm in the main lobby for carpooling.

Day students are welcome to attend the Welcome Reception and Farewell Reception (included in your package). You are also invited to join the class dinners (additional fee). PAL’s (Participants at large) can vacation at Dillman’s for $45 per night for accommodations. Costs for box lunches and dinners are additional.