Uma Kelkar: Elegance in Watercolors | September 22-26, 2019

Uma Kelkar: Elegance in Watercolors | September 22-26, 2019

from 250.00

Make your watercolors sing by studying the right balance of shapes, colors and strokes in your scenes. This retreat is a mix of studio and plein air painting.

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Check In: Sunday, September 22th, 2019 | Check Out: Thursday, September 26th, 2019

Tuition: $650 per person
Tuition + Meals: $975 per person
With Shared Lodging Package: $1,475 per person
With Private Lodging Package: $1,895 per person

A 5.5% tax on tuition/meals and 12% tax on lodging packages will be added to any full payments made online. Deposits will not include tax and will be applied to overall retreat registration. Communication shall follow all online deposits showing applicable remaining fees, including taxes.

Companion Rates are available for one companion over the age of 18 and one per registered retreat participant.


Most bang for the buck is a wise investment strategy. We will invest in our art and get the best return on investment by employing just enough shapes, colors and strokes. This is the definition of elegance and we will study how to use just enough design elements to make watercolors sing.

This workshop will be a mix of studio and plein air days to allow the participants to study a method before they employ it in the field.

Our Retreat Schedule:

Day 1 In studio
Day 2, half in studio, half out
Day 3, plein air, with critique back in studio
Day 4, plein air

Exercises during each day of this retreat will build up towards the final day of plein air painting - focusing on the technical skills at the beginning. Throughout the retreat, we will discuss elements of design, we will discuss Uma’s philosophy of “enough work”. We will also do a few verbal exercises and exercises that help us 'look' or develop the artist’s eye. The group dynamic is a wonderful opportunity to experience different perspectives. There will be 1-1 discussions at least twice a day and a critique on third and fourth day.


Download & Print

  • Open mind

  • Hat

  • Stool/chair/contraption to sit down on if you generally sit while sketching.

  • Cup for holding water. Water bottle to carry water en plein air.

  • Empty bottle to take away dirty watercolor in case we don't find a garbage can close by.

  • Kitchen towel or a cloth to dab your brushes on

  • 2B or softer pencil.

  • A round brush size #8, #2 for details, a wide brush for washes. Uma uses mops, and hake brushes for wide washes.

  • Watercolors - tube pigments only - no dry cakes. Specific pigments will be published at a later date.

  • Palette

  • Watercolor paper - I suggest you get a sketchbook/paper that can take watercolor - 140lb cold pressed paper - if in sheets, please cut down to quarter sheet or if you have a sketchbook with watercolor paper, bring that. I do not prefer Moleskin or other heavily sized paper.

  • Don't bring an eraser.

  • Open mind - I know, I've said it before, but this is an important ingredient. Workshop time is just enough time to seed a thought and not to master a skill. Everyone, depending on where they are on their artistic journey, will have sketches with varied effectiveness with them. Some times, paintings belie the potential one has. I believe in art as my healer, I believe in practice of art before it 'betters'. Seems so obvious what I may be writing and trivial too - but how enthusiastic I am before I paint, often dictates how I paint! I am intent on making the workshop work for you.


UMA KELKAR (California, USA) is a multi-award winner for plein air + in studio watercolor paintings. Having taken part in multiple national and international juried shows, she has also exhibited professional watercolor solo shows.Her book, Behind the Scenes focuses on sketching as a daily practice but her work is also featured in books on Urban Sketching and portrait painting. She has curated professional gallery shows and administrated of 1800+ member watercolor painting group on Flickr. When Uma is not doing art on paper, she designs chips for high speed communication in Silicon Valley. She holds a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. The absence of formal art education frees her from norms and allows her to put her emotions on paper while being bold and exploratory in her approach.

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Lodging and Meal Rates & Info

All lodging costs listed are per person/per night costs. Due to the format of retreats, meal plans are required of all participants to maximize time with other students and instructors, while still providing time to explore Bayfield and the surrounding community. Please reference the cancellation policy as needed.