How About Joining Me for an Island Workshop?



I have great news.  The Center for Coastal Studies has covered expenses to where they can now offer a reduced price for my Island Watercolor Workshop on the Texas Laguna Madre just prior to Thanksgiving. The three-day adventure is now offered at a price of $350 that covers meals and lodging. This will be my third time to reside on this island where my adventure as Artist-in-Residence began in 2015.  Last spring I was delighted to offer our first workshop to a group of five participants.  The Center is now accepting applications and will take up to eight particpants to the island.

For anyone interested in joining us November 20-22, the information is posted below:

Dr. Tripp’s specialty is painting his surroundings “en plein air” (outdoors) and he will be teaching a workshop November 20-22, 2016. If you are an aspiring artist, or an artist already, we highly recommend that you sign up for a workshop to spend some quality time with him. He is truly a unique individual!

November 20-22, 2016 at the Laguna Madre Field Station

For registration information on this 3 day workshop at the LMFS please call the Center for Coastal Studies at 361.825.2736 or email

Cost $350.00 and seating is limited (8 people) so sign up now! Deadline to sign up is November 13.

Registration costs cover:

  • Transportation and lodging at the LMFS
  • All meals and drinks

Please plan on bringing your own bedroll, pillow, and personal care items. The field station has electricity, running water for showers, bunk beds and composting toilets.

Dr. David Tripp will be your guide to this unique experience in the Laguna Madre. For more about the man and his art please visit the links below.


David Tripp’s Suggested Watercolor Supplies for Workshop

If you already have your own watercolors, brushes, palette and paper, then bring them to the workshop and we will work with them. If you have no supplies, or wonder what I prefer, then continue reading.

Watercolors. I prefer Winsor & Newton (I know, they are pricey, but professional, and you get back all the value you invest in them). I use the professional pigments, not the Cotman brand (which is a “school boy” substitute). I avoid the use of gouache, and go with the pigments.

My restricted palette is:

  • Winsor Green and Alizarin Crimson (for mixing black)
  • Winsor Red
  • Winsor Blue (this comes in Red Shade and Green Shade-I use both)
  • Transparent Yellow

The above colors are all I need to make a decent painting. I will occasionally throw in the following colors: Winsor Violet, Quinachridone Red, Permanent Rose, Cadmium Red, Cerulean Blue and Winsor Lemon. I will have extra colors in tubes if you need to squirt some onto your palette. I always have these available in workshops at no extra charge.

BRUSHES: For the kind of paintings I do, I require a good liner brush (one that will give me the sharpest details possible), and a good round brush of size 10 or 12. For large washes, I generally use a cheap flat brush or a large round (as large as I can afford). I also find flat brushes helpful, between sizes ¼” to ½”. For the bare minimum (especially if I’m painting in the field), I use a liner brush and a size 12 round. Sometimes I complete an entire painting outside, using one brush, a size 12 round. For foliage, I use what I call an “ugly” brush-one that I have modified. It begins as a flat brush and I alter it with a razor. If you would like an “ugly” brush for foliage, then bring a flat brush that you can abuse, and I’ll be happy to help you make it. The flat brush should be at least ¼” and ½” is probably better. I always let workshop students use mine (but they often fight over it-there is only one!)

PAPER: I prefer cold-press paper. 140-pound is good, if l can keep it flat (by soaking and stapling it to plywood or around canvas stretchers, or if it is attached to a watercolor block, like a tablet fastened on all four sides). If using single paper without attachment, I use 300 pound (again that is quite pricey-about $20 for one sheet 22 x 30″. My favorite brand is D’Arches (again pricey), but I’ll use any paper I can acquire. I have discovered that when using brands such as Utrecht or Canson, that I have difficulty getting a flat wash, as in a blue sky for instance.

You will need a white palette to hold your pigments. I use a butcher’s tray (I purchase mine at Asel Arts) because they are quite low-cost. I also have a large watercolor palette (but they’re not cheap). When desperate I can use a paper plate or a ceramic plate, but it has to have a white surface-watercolor pigments are transparent and you cannot really see their colors on surfaces that are not white.

If you like to work from reference photographs, feel free to bring them to the workshop. I will bring a box of my own (all of them 8 x 10″, and over a hundred of them-all suitable watercolor subjects). I will also bring a Jeep load of antique still life objects if the class is interested in working in that genre during the indoor studio time. If weather permits, then I would love to get us outdoors on one or both days, for some of the time. Anyone who has not participated in plein air watercolor activity has really missed out on something special. I regret that I never started that until I was over fifty years of age-now I’m addicted to outdoor water coloring on site.

There is not space here in writing to tell of all the splendid benefits that come from plein air studies-those disciplines revolutionized my still life and reference photo watercolor endeavors. If we do get outdoors, you will want something for seating. Perhaps you have folding chairs in the studio, but they are rather cumbersome for carrying around. Lawn chairs and camping stools are much lighter and often have a shoulder strap for toting.

And of course, you need a container to hold your water. The larger the container the better, as you will constantly have to refresh it with clean water-larger ones “dirty” slower than small ones.


Thanks for reading, and I hope you will consider joining us!

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.



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5 Responses to “How About Joining Me for an Island Workshop?”

  1. Elaine Jary Says:

    😩 this would be so perfect to learn plein air and such an excellent price. Just yesterday I spoke to my brother in Chicago who is coming to town and we made plans for the Monday and Tuesday of your workshop. I so hope you will repeat it at a later time. E.

    Sent from my iPhone



    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you so much, Elaine. I’ve really missed meeting with you lately, and am excited to find out everything that transpired at your Lubbock workshop! I love that Peacock you painted and posted recently!


  2. Donna Conner Says:

    To One & All:

    I was fortunate to be on that first workshop on the island, earlier this year. I cannot recommend it HIGHLY enough!! Very laid back, but so informative. David gives you his all, checks on each participant individually, as well as in a group. He gives you great feedback in a gentle manner. If you’ve never been at a workshop, this is a real treat. (He doesn’t call you out from the group when you are “not getting it.” A true gentleman.)

    I came on the tail end of a bad bronchitis episode, so I had to take a few breaks to get a breathing treatment. This was never a problem. Both fellow students and David were very solicitous and kind. Even though I was having trouble with my asthma/bronchials, I so very much enjoyed the 2-day workshop so very much. 🙂 Yes, I’m gushing! There are also plenty of opportunities to go explore the island on your own (great photo opps). We were in time for the Barn Swallows to hatch and the nest was right above the window of one of the bunk rooms. Also a great photo opp. 🙂

    The island’s facilities, although a bit rustic, were fine. There’s no A/C but there are plenty of ceiing fans, and we just followed the breeze on the 3 sides that are open and never suffered! 😉 I don’t do heat well and I wasn’t uncomfortable. But this will be in November, so the weather should be great!

    If *you* are sitting on the fence, Fellow Readers, I tell you sincerely to “Go For It!!!” You won’t regret sitting under David Tripp’s tutelage.

    I’m still considering joining for this time also, but my finances still might not be able to manage the lower price–since I drive down from Fort Worth and will need the night before in a Corpus Christi hotel. 😦 I am so grateful that TAMU-Corpus was able to drop the price a bit. I still hope I might be able to swing it. 🙂


    • davidtripp Says:

      Wow, Donna, thank you for that kind endorsement! You were a genuine highlight of that workshop, and I appreciate every memory of it. I hope to see you again soon, as I’m anxious to know what you’ve been about since I last saw you. Thank you again so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Donna Conner Says:

    Oh, you’re very kind, David. I even missed the part how the island is so peaceful and is like a short sabbatical just to be there! LOL

    I’m still hoping to get down there, but we’re already in Nov. and I’m not sure if I can scrape enough together… but, God willing, another time will come along. (Do you ever do any teaching in Arlington or Fort Worth?)

    (Oh and if you are in need any kind of endorsement in print/internet/whatever, you do have my permission to use whatever is helpful to you above. I know sometimes that can be a help.)


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