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Sonoma Coast Painting Retreat

Itinerary & Packing List


Welcome to this premier California painting experience!  I’m so excited to have you join us!  This is going to be a trip you’ll never forget.  We're going to some of the best scenic locations in Sonoma County and I can’t wait for you to paint them!  


Each location is linked to google maps.  I’ve put a location pin in the exact location that we’ll set up, making it easy to get directions.  Technology allows me to select any point, even off of trails and on beaches.  It’s pretty nifty!.  All locations have parking lots and access to restrooms.  Please be prompt.


Day 1: Schoolhouse Beach

Friday, August 17th, 2018, from 10:30 am - 4:00 pm  

We'll be down on the beach.  Look for me and my easel.  I'll be visible from the parking lot.

Day 2: Shell Beach Bluffs 

Saturday, August 18th, 2018, from 10:30 am - 4:00 pm  

Don't go down to the beach.  Instead, take Kortum Trail to the right and follow it along the bluffs, almost to the point.  

Day 3: Goat Rock Beach/Mouth of the Russian River

Sunday, August 19th, 2018, at 10:30 am - 4:00 pm  

Park at the north parking lot and take the trail to the other side of the cypress trees.  We'll be on the river side overlooking Jenner, CA and Penny Island.


What to Pack


  1. Sunscreen:  There’s a reason this is first on the list.  It’s the most important.  

  2. Printed directions to our painting sites.  I’ve linked all of the sites above to google maps.  Print directions so that you don’t get stuck without cell phone reception and can’t find us. Siri might not be able to help you.  Be prepared.

  3. Lodging or camping reservations:  Students are in charge of finding their own accommodations. It’s a gorgeous area with lots to explore.  See the Sonoma County visitor’s site for more info on lodging and travel.

  4. Acrylic Paint: Acrylic paints dry fast outdoors.  That’s the challenge and the excitement of this class.  With fast drying times you have more freedom to layer, but less mixing time, keeping things quick and in the moment. I prefer the professional grade Golden Fluid Acrylics.  Heavy body acrylics also work well, but they’re thicker and will dry with little peaks and thicker brush strokes. I like to paint thin in order to layer more freely. If you’re debating whether you’ll run out of a smaller size of paints, opt for a larger tube.  Better to have extra than not enough.  I put a * next to the colors that I tend to use more of.

    1. A large zip lock bag to put your paints in.  If they leak, you’ll be protected.

    2. Titanium white 4 oz. You need a larger size of white. 

    3. Paynes Gray 

    4. Ultramarine Blue

    5. Chromium Oxide Green 

    6. Yellow Ochre

    7. Burnt Sienna

    8. Teal

    9. Cadmium Red Medium Hue - optional

    10. Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue - optional

    11. Any other color you’re wild about.- Optional

    12. "OPEN" Matte medium.  - OPEN Golden medium will slow the drying time of your paints if you mix it in.

  5. Synthetic Bristle Brushes: With brushes, you get what you pay for. Get the best ones you can afford.  I look for a good “snap” to the bristles.  Not too weak, not too stiff.

    1. Round Brushes #1 or 2

    2. Bright (or flat) Brushes: Size range # 4-14.  I recommend getting a variety of 4 sizes of bright or flat brushes.

    3. ¾ ” to 1" stroke brush

    4. Filbert brush, size 8.

  6. 11x14” Canvas panels:  One for each day plus one extra.   You leave the plastic wrap on and presto!  You have a low-mess mixing pallet.  

  7. A pallet that can fit on your easel's tray. If you have an extra unwrapped canvas panel each day you can use the back of it to mix on (my prefered method). 

  8. A small water spray bottle. This helps keep your palette wet for longer.

  9. A container for brush water.

  10. A pencil or two - Sharpened

  11. A paint rag.

  12. Blue painters tape: This helps to secure down your pallet and other supplies if a breeze should blow.  

  13. A digital camera: Your camera phone works great.

  14. A large bag or backpack.  A large backpacking pack is very handy if you want to free your hands and only make one trip from the car to the painting site.  You know, the kind that hikers wear when they spend the night in the woods.  If you don’t own one, I bet you know someone who would loan you theirs.  You can fit everything in it that you need.  Otherwise, a large sturdy bag or rolling cart with sturdy wheels will do.  You might have to carry your easel in your hand, but we’re not going very far on foot.  See google map links.

  15. A travel easel.  I have a Mabef backpacking wooden easel with extendable legs and a tray/drawer that I can carry supplies in and rest my pallet and water on.   If you do not have an easel with a tray built in, you are going to have to bring something separate to set your water and pallet on such as a collapsible stand or tv tray that’s easy to lift.  We won’t have access to picnic tables.   

  16. A folding chair - optional.  If you can stand and paint, I recommend it because it's less to carry.  Standing gives you a better view.  If you would like to sit and paint you’ll want to bring a lightweight chair.

  17. Clothing layers.  Average August temperatures in Jenner, CA are 67° / 48°.  Be prepared for direct sun, overcast chills, and strong breezes.  I recommend having one of your layers be a long sleeve, lightweight shirt to protect against sunburn.  If you don’t protect yourself you’ll get burnt and ruin the rest of your trip.  Don’t underestimate it!. 

  18. Good walking/standing shoes.  We might be standing in long grass and vegetation that could scratch your feet if you wear open-toed shoes.  

  19. A wide-brimmed hat, preferably with a drawstring to secure against breezes.  

  20. Beach Towel

  21. Water  Enough to drink and rinse your brushes in.

  22. Picnic lunches for each day.  Think quick, easy hearty snacks like granola bars, fruit, nuts, cheese and crackers, sandwiches, and hydrating beverages.  

  23. My phone number: Put this number in your phone.  916-432-0443.  If you get separated from the group you can let me know what’s going on.  


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