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How to breathe personality and life into your portraits

Learn how to create rich darks, dramatic light, and mix color like a pro.

Instructor: Jacky Pearson
Fine Art Painters
Medium: Watercolor
Stage: Aspiring, Emerging

Starts Tuesday, June 25, 2024
Daily for 4 Days
4pm – 8pm MT


Note: Price in $USD

Out of stock

All recordings are available for 1-month after the course finishes.

High School, University, and College students get 20% off!
See FAQs at the bottom of this page for details.

Course Description

Join Master Artist Jacky Pearson for a 4-day course, and learn her unique watercolor technique. Over the four days, you will receive step by step demonstrations in a friendly atmosphere, with critiques, and comprehensive explanations of color mixing, shadow types, skin color, brush strokes and edges.

Aspiring and Emerging artists come to learn a different approach to creating juicy creative shadows! A high resolution reference photo will be provided.

  • session 1: Exercises of features and explanation of the form of the head, draw up head and hands.
  • session 2: Underpainting and creating unity.
  • session 3: washes and establish the features and shadows.
  • session 4: the dark background as a way of making the portrait pop out.


  • How to make juicy darks creating rich transparent shadows and dramatic light.
  • A drawing system which achieves a quick, accurate likeness.
  • How to bring your portraits to life with washes and edges.
Supply List

Download the supply list.

Instructor Bio
Her style is direct realism, painting on location or in the studio.

“I try to paint a feeling.

I love the natural landscape and used to work as a soil scientist.

Painting is my way of studying nature. Of particular interest are shadows with their range of tones, colours, reflected light and edges. This has led me into painting portraits as I can use the way watercolours are so alive when they flow and mingle giving beautiful transparent effects in shadows. Although I paint in other mediums; oils, and charcoal, it is watercolour that particularly gives me the freedom to get those wonderful subtle and seemingly out of control moments.”

Awards and publications:

Jacky has won numerous awards, nationally and internationally.

Jacky has represented New Zealand in international competitions including the International Watercolour Exhibition in Moscow in 2021; her work is in the permanent collection of the International Museum of Watercolours in Mexico; a finalist for the International Watercolor Masters in 2021 and 2023.

She has had a successful worldwide calendar series, “Lighthouses of New Zealand”.

Jacky has been published in international art books; magazine covers and numerous art articles.

Her painting demonstrations can be viewed on YouTube including Australian TV series “Colour in your Life”. In New Zealand Jacky is represented by galleries and is currently working on a series of watercolour tuition books, teaching videos and painting aids.

Artwork by Michaela Hoppe
Artwork by Michaela Hoppe
Artwork by Michaela Hoppe


How many registrations are required for a course to start?

A minimum of 6 registrations are required.  If 6 registrations are not received by the time the course is 24 hours from starting, the course will be cancelled and all registrants will receive complete refunds.

What is the maximum number of people in a course?

This varies for each course.  The maximum number of registrations is decided by the instructor.

Can I get a refund?

Up until 72 hours before a course’s first session you can receive a complete refund. You can cancel your registration via the My Account portal, or by contacting [email protected].

After this time no refunds will be given (if you have extenuating circumstances you believe justify a refund, contact us at [email protected]).

Can I register for a course already in progress?

No. Once a course has started, no new registrations are accepted.

Where will my course be held?

All courses meet online over Zoom. You will need a device equipped with a camera and a microphone to fully participate. 

If you have not used Zoom before, learn about how to use it here.

If you don’t regularly use Zoom, we recommend you join your first session 10-15 minutes early in case your computer needs to install or update Zoom.

How do I join my course?

You will receive a welcome email from [email protected] when you register.  This email includes the Zoom link to join your course session.  You will also receive 24 hour and 2 hour reminder emails before each session, and each of these emails includes the Zoom link.  You can also access the Zoom link to join your course in your MastriusChat group.

Are the sessions recorded?

Yes, every session is recorded and are typically available 24 hours after a session ends.  All session recordings will remain available for the duration of the course, and for one month following the last session.  The recordings are viewable within the MastriusChat platform, and cannot be downloaded.

What if I miss a session?

You’ll be able to watch the session’s recording.  If you have questions the recording doesn’t address, you can ask them in the chat feed of your course’s private MastriusChat group.

What is MastriusChat?

MastriusChat is an online discussion platform.  You and your fellow course registrants will be assigned to a private MastriusChat group where you can connect and support eachother via the chat “feed”. Your group is also where you’ll access the session recordings. Other resources in your MastriusChat group include a link to join your course sessions, and a library your instructor can use to share resources.

What is a Navigator?

A Navigator is an artist who joins your course to ensure both instructor and registrants have an enjoyable experience. They support (as required) with technology, timekeeping, moderating questions, and between-session discussions on MastriusChat. The Navigator has also joined the course as participant, and just like you, they’re wanting to grow their skills and learn the material.

I’m not ready to register because I still have questions. Who do I contact?

We’d be happy to help! 

Reach out to us at [email protected] and we’ll do our best to support you.


High School, University, and College students get 20% off ANY course (non-member price).

To claim this discount:

  1. Use coupon code in checkout: student_20_off
  2. Complete your checkout
  3. 🚩Before your course starts, Mastrius Registrations will contact you and WILL REQUIRE info to verify your student status

FREE eBOOK: Secrets You Won't Learn In Art School

✔ Where creative BLOCKS come from, how to identify them, and how to quickly move forward

✔ What not to be a SLAVE to (this feels counter-intuitive to most artists)

✔ Two things to focus on that improve the VALUE range making your art more interesting

Plus 16 other tips from successful Master Artists that you won't learn in art school.

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