Cheri Fry - Watercolor-Backlit Figure, Foliage, and Fur Workshop Information

Workshop Info

Watercolor - Backlit Figure, Foliage, and Fur

January 26-28, Thursday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Early Bird (until December 20) - $200 LAAG members / $250 nonmembers
Regular - $250 LAAG members / $300 nonmembers

To register contact Linda Pace at or 225-247-1309.


Gone Fishing by Cheri Fry

Start the New Year painting!

Join Cheri C. Fry for a three day Watercolor workshop. This fun, interactive experience is for watercolor artists from beginner to advanced. Bright light in a painting that wraps around your subject creates drama and energy, but can be a challenge to capture in watercolor. Our workshop will cover the techniques used in backlighting and how to avoid common errors such as rendering to overly dark values on subjects facing the light source. Learn how brightness can be created by thoughtful creation of areas around the light source.

The intent of this workshop is for artists to use values as the compositional element setting the stage for the dramatic effect of backlighting. Use of value studies and a gray scale will assist with 'seeing' and comparing contrasting values in reference materials and in your painting. Elements of backlighting will be applied to a figure, to foliage and to fur. Artists will have time to observe and practice the techniques needed to create the effect of dramatic backlighting. Cheri will provide clear instructions, encouragement and individual guidance ... so GET READY TO PAINT!

Each morning will begin with a small, fun watercolor study-practice to play around with colors, to warm up your brushes, to experiment ... to loosen your creative flow. The 'how to' of setting up a color palette will be discussed, as well as the use of varied painting techniques needed in the target areas of each painting. For the day's main painting Cheri will share her process of planning and executing the paintings based on the value study. Discussions will touch on the types of lighting and their importance in composition, values, movement, balance. Artists will have plenty of time to work on the paintings, ask questions and enjoy the experience.

NOTE: The second half of day-three, artists are encouraged to bring reference material for future paintings that contain backlighting elements -- a round-table discussion will follow. Artists who choose to participate in this exercise will learn how to analyze: potential compositions, center of interests, cropping of images, simplifying subject, and creating value studies and color studies.

Cheri Fry headshot

Cheri's artwork presents realism in a painterly way and has been recognized at the local, regional and national levels. Her oil and watercolor paintings typically begin as charcoal or graphite studies. She has taught art for over 20 years and has worked as a Speech Pathologist for 30 years. She is the founder of a healing art organization, the Krewe of Camille Art Parties, whose purpose is to bring opportunities for creating art to pediatric patients and their families in Baton Rouge, Memphis and New Orleans. Cheri paints almost daily, loves painting and teaching, and enjoys rural life in the city surrounded by 20 acres of pastures, light forest areas, and cows. She lives in Denham Springs, Louisiana with her husband, Chris, and their two daughters.


Two paintings will be demonstrated. A line drawing, color reference and black and white reference will be sent for each painting.

Transferring image to watercolor paper: I prefer a light box to lightly draw the image; transfer papers vary by brand, and dark lines will show beneath the painting and sometimes can not be erased. You may arrive early to use the light boxes at the Studio in the Park the morning of the workshop.

**After lunch on Saturday bring in backlighting ideas/reference photos and join in the roundtable discussion on composition, use of value, movement, rhythm in developing paintings. Take time to create a value study and color study to work out any problem areas, to simplify and crop unnecessary areas.

  • Paints: The colors listed below make up my palette. You may use your palette of colors. Use any professional watercolor brand. The quality of the paint is important, so avoid student grade paint.
    • Cadmium Yellow Medium or Hansa Yellow
    • Lemon Yellow
    • Yellow Ochre
    • Gamoge Hue
    • Burnt Sienna
    • Qinacriodone Burnt Orange*
    • Qinacriodone Gold
    • Perinone Orange*
    • Cadmium Red Light
    • Quinacridone Red*
    • Alizarin Crimson or Rose Madder
    • Brown Madder
    • Cobalt Blue
    • Ultramarine Blue
    • Cerulean Blue
    • Leaf Green
    • Titanium White or Gouache White (Neutral Tint)
    • * = Optional color
  • Watercolor Brushes - Bring the brushes you normally use.
    • Natural hair, Synthetic or Synthetic Blend:
      Round: Size #2, 4, 8, 12
      Flat: ½", ¾", (1" if you have it)
      Rigger or Liner: #2, 1 or 0
  • Watercolor Paper - Must be 100% cotton watercolor paper. I use 140lb. Arches Watercolor paper.
    • Two ¼ sheet (15"x11") for each painting
      several smaller pieces (5"x7" or 8"10") for warm up exercises
  • Palette - Your choice: plastic or porcelain
  • Sturdy board: large enough to tape down your watercolor paper, bring multiple boards if working on multiple paintings
  • Plastic bags: for dirty paper towels at your desk, carrying towels and dirty brushes home
  • Tape: I use the blue painters tape, or green frog tape, ½" or ¾" to tape paper to board
  • Misket or Liquid Frisket: Your choice of brand, must be able to achieve fine lines
  • Misket eraser or remover
  • The Master's Brush Cleaner or non-fragrant bar of soap
  • 2 Water Containers: 1 large for rinsing brushes as you paint; and 1 small for rinsing misket
  • Paper Towels, Cotton Rag, Sponge: to wipe brushes as you paint
  • Mechanical Pencil & eraser, and kneaded eraser
  • Camera, iPad (you are welcome to photograph, be courteous)
  • Notepad/pen - I will have handouts ready for a three ring binder for those interested.
  • Small Spray Bottle: 2 oz. fingertip sprayer from Walmart, found in trial sized section near pharmacy area
  • Gray Scale & Value Finder

You are welcome to have snacks and drinks while you paint, but be courteous of your space and others!

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