Tara Sweeney
Watercolor Portaits: Step by Step

Aug 25 - Aug 30

4 Teaching Days


Watercolor Portraits: Step by Step Paint a watercolor portrait with character and glowing color—not just a copy of a photo. Jump start creativity and strengthen technique with playful exercises, daily demos, guided practice and individualized feedback. Learn a three-layer, four-value, hold-the-whites approach to watercolor portraits. Begin with a step-by-step value study. Then, use the same simplified shapes and values to paint a portrait in color. Explore compositional planning, drawing tips, vibrant color mixing, pigment characteristics, wet-into-wet mingling magic, lively brushwork, and intentional lost and found edges in this fun workshop for all levels.


Tara Sweeney is a prolific painter, illustrator, author and teacher from Saint Paul, MN. Her award-winning watercolors have been exhibited with NWS and TWSA, among others, and are held in public and private collections. She is a signature member of NWS, RRWS, MNWS and Northstar Water Media Society. Her watercolor portraits were awarded in Northstar’s 2021 National, in RRWS professional member show 2020-2022, and in MNWS 2020-2023 juried exhibitions. Her work was selected to represent MN in the NWS 50 Stars 2020 exhibit. Her picture book, A to Zåäö: Playing with History at the American Swedish Institute (University of MN Press, 2019) was a MN Book Award finalist and the inspiration for ASI’s year-long solo exhibition, Extra/Ordinary in 2020. TPT2 public television’s MN Original showcased her work. She earned undergraduate degrees in design and studio art from the University of Wisconsin, and an MFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She is professor emeritus with Augsburg University where she taught drawing and painting for 25 years and led 10 European travel sketching programs. Signature member: NWS; RRWS; Northstar Water Media Society; MNWS; MNWS board 2014-2020

When she’s not painting, you’ll find Tara dancing with her partner just about anywhere there is room to swing.

Follow her on Instagram @tarasweeneyart and on the web at: tarasweeneyart.com.


If 12 or more students attend class (all teaching days): $585
If 11-10 students attend class (all teaching days): $665
If 9-8 students attend class (all teaching days): $785
If 7-6 students attend class (all teaching days): $980

Room & One Dinner Fee plus tax: $480
(There are 5 nights’ accommodations included in the “Room & One Dinner Fee” listed above.)


Sunday, August 25
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 Room and Meal Package. $28 additional for day students.)

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday – August 26 – 29
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

Thursday, August 29

9:00 a.m. – Noon Class in Session
NOON Champagne Toast & Dessert (included in package)
Lunch On Own
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Class in Session

4:00 Class ends

Friday, August 30
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)
Monday 7:00 p.m. S’more Roast (no charge)

Tuesday 7:30 a.m. Yoga
Tuesday 5:00 p.m. Dine-Around Dinner (Depart from Lodge Lobby)

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

Thursday 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 $40 per night for accommodations. Costs for box lunches and dinners are additional.