1130 Pine Street, Paso Robles, CA 93446

Finding the Magic Composition in Paso Robles

May 15 - 16, 2021

Finding the Magic Composition in Paso Robles

May 15 - 16, 2021
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Tiffanie Mang

How do you take all the beautiful visual information along with the memory of such a gorgeous landscape and transfer that information into your studio work? How do you effectively use the photos you have taken as inspiration, not just to copy them literally? In this virtual workshop, Tiffanie Mang will show how she takes the plein air reference she has gathered to design a larger 6”x8” gouache painting that captures the beauty of Paso Robles while still maintaining her artistic creativity.

Gouache is a very versatile medium where you can almost treat it like watercolor or paint it fairly thick like oil, and Tiffanie will be showing both techniques in this workshop.

Day 1:
Tiffanie will use just Burnt Sienna and water to create value studies and explore different composition variations. After she has landed on a composition she likes, Tiffanie will start exploring color palettes in 2-4 2”x2” thumbnail studies.

Day 2:
Tiffanie will start the larger painting based on her previous studies and show how she incorporates elements of photo preference and plein air studies and uses them to inform her of her color and compositional choices.


Materials List

Highly Suggested Colors:
—permanent white (get bigger tubes- you MUST use LOTS of white for gouache)
—burnt sienna
—yellow ochre
—permanent yellow deep (Warmer yellow)
—lemon yellow (cooler yellow)
—cadmium red ( I use this color sparingly)
—alizarine red
—ultramarine (warmer blue)
— cobalt blue (cooler blue)
—linden green (great for getting those bright colors in foliage when the sun sifts through)

Optional Colors:
— sky blue
—brilliant pink (only Holbein Brand)
—spectrum violet
—brilliant green
— turquoise green
* I like Windsor and Newton Designer Gouache and Holbein Designer Gouache
Limited Palette:
• White
• Lemon yellow
• Alizarin crimson
• Ultramarine/ cobalt blue

You can create a warmer yellow with lemon yellow and alizarin crimson, create purples with alizarin crimson and ultramarine, and create greens with lemon yellow and ultramarine or cobalt. Lighten and desaturate with white.

Ultramarine has more purple in it so it is a warmer blue versus cobalt blue which has a bit more green.

Cadmium red is a stronger warmer red while alizarin crimson is darker and cooler.

For limited palette, it is suggested you start off with a cooler yellow because you can always warm up the yellow with bits of red, but it is harder to cool down a warmer yellow unless you add white, which lightens and desaturates it (and you may not always want a lighter yellow).

—Small water color palette holder ( I use STA WET Masterson Palette)
—1 inch brush & 12 size round brush ( I like brands like Windsor and Newton Cotman or Da Vinci)
—Water color paper 5”x7” 6”x8” , 6”x6” / 13 x 18 cm, 15 x 21 cm
— Sketching pencil or sketching pen ( I like to use a pink felt pen that bleeds warm colors if activated)
— Artist Tape- (I like about 1/4 inch thick) great for blocking out clean edges on paper for doing thumbnail studies
— plastic cup for water (l like Faber Castell water holder where they can shrink and expand but water bottles or small
glass container with lid works too)
— paper towels or rags

— small spray bottle to spray on your paints; they will get dry sometimes when painting in heat!
— chair to sit on (foldable chair works great)
— easel/ or you can sit on the bench, ground, etc and paint on your lap!


If you are interested in taking this virtual workshop or have questions, please reach out to Sarah Ambrose at


Topcross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram