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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

Gualala Arts Workshop
Watercolor Portraits
Instructor: Myrna Wacknov

Monday - Friday
June 22 - 26, 2009
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Register by:   June 8, 2009
Tuition:   $350 members; $385 non-members
Materials:   Download: Watercolor Portraits workshop supply list

Watercolor Portraits, with Myrna Wacknov In this workshop, you will learn the structure of the head and the placement of features, accurate drawing and transfer techniques, composition and value pattern. You will learn to design a painting rather than copy a photograph, integrating background with foreground bringing color into the skin tones. Paintings will be created with 3 different ages: smooth and a face with "character" and child or infant.

More about Myrna Wacknov

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1942, Myrna was already demonstrating an unusual ability and interest in art as early as 5 years old. Her passion for color and for portraiture and figurative work have been ongoing themes since childhood. She studied with world renowned portrait artist Frank Szaz as a teenager and learned to paint in oils in the Old Master's technique.

Watercolor Portraits, with Myrna Wacknov Myrna was doing commissioned portraits before graduating high school. She was also the charcoal sketch artist at numerous outdoor art shows around the Kansas City area for a number of years. Having attended Washington University in St. Louis and the Kansas City Art Institute, Myrna finished her degree in Painting and Drawing at the College of San Mateo and San Francisco State University.

She started her own company, Myrna Wacknov, Designs, Inc. in 1982 and has worked in many art mediums. In 2000 she started her love affair with watercolor. She has taken many workshops with top watercolorists including Joseph Bohler, Catherine Anderson, Roland Roycraft, Judy Morris, Charles Reid, Arne Westerman, Frank Francase, Carla O'Connor and Karen Frey. She participated in "Watercolor Beyond the Obvious" (WBTO) with Mike Bailey. She received her Signature Membership in the National Watercolor Society in 2005. She received her Signature Membership in the California Watercolor Society in 2007.

Watercolor Portraits, with Myrna Wacknov Exhibiting with the California Watercolor Association Blackhawk Gallery, Myrna won numerous first and second place awards. She has been included in the California Watercolor Association national show, the Watercolor Association of Houston national show, Louisiana Watercolor Society, Transparent Watercolor Society, Rocky Mountain Watercolor Society (where she won the Louise Cadillac award), Watercolor West and the National Watercolor Society. The San Diego Watercolor Society presented her with an award in their international show 2007. Myrna was included in the California Watercolor Competition at the Triton Museum, Santa Clara, California and the National Watercolor Society Member Competition. She won first place for Watercolor in the Society of Western Artists annual show 2006 and Best in Show in 2007. She received the First Place award in the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society's annual show 2007. Awarded the CFS Medal in the American Watercolor Society International Exhibition in 2008.

The October 2007 issue of Watercolor Magic magazine has a feature article on her portrait process. She was featured in the March 2008 issue of Artist Magazine recognizing 20 artists over 60.

Her work is on exhibit at the Concord Gallery in Concord, California. She was the featured artist for October, November and December, 2007.

Myrna continues to explore watercolor's limitless range of possibilities with a special emphasis on color, dramatic impact, and textures. Her figurative work seeks out the universal communication of humanity through expression and gesture.

  • Featured article "FACE FORWARD" in October 2007 issue of Watercolor Magic Magazine
  • Selected as one of "20 Artists over 60" March 2008 Issue Artist Magazine
  • Recipient of the CFS Medal American Watercolor Society 2008

To learn more about Myrna's background & view her paintings go to: and her on-line journal

Some comments from past participants:

"The workshop gave me more confidence to do portraits in watercolor"

"You have the knowledge, skills and infinite amount of patience . You also have the ability to articulate your knowledge in a way that is easily used by students and inspirational to them as well"

"Watching you paint was fascinating. Your explanation of how you use colors to suggest skin tones, affect the mood of the painting, add drama - everything about color is helpful to me. I also liked the way you stressed drawing skills in the first class and helped us to get a likeness to our photos."

"I appreciated the individual attention... I think everyone in the workshop felt like she was your only student"

The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email

Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.