Details for "Loosen Up with Val Nelson (May 2024)"


Loosen Up


Val Nelson

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 When: Saturday, May 25 + Sunday, May 26, 2024

 Time: 10:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

 Where: West Vancouver Seniors' Activity Centre, Arts Studio

Medium: acrylic or oil

Fee: $250 (members); $312.50 (non-members)

Note: items should not be left overnight in the room at the time of the workshop; we are not assured that the room is secure. 


Scroll to the very bottom for the sign up button; please read the refund policy near the bottom of the page prior to registering.



Develop powerful strategies for injecting expressive energy into your paintings while retaining strong structure and recognizable form. Gain confidence in your painting practise through engaging in various exercises that will flex your painting chops! These include drawing warm-ups, unusual subject matter, colour studies, and playful strategies to break you out of your usual habits. The workshop will include tips on brushwork, composition, edges, texture and avoiding “muddiness”. Although Val will be mostly demonstrating in oil paint, she is very fluent in working with acrylics, therefore oil and acrylic painters are welcome.


Supply List

  • Fine-point waterproof/ fade proof black ink pen, such as Uniball Vision Needle micro (available at Staples)
  • Sketchbook 9 x 12 inches 
  • 8 - 12 x 16”  primed canvasses 

Prime these once more with white acrylic gesso and lightly sand with fine sandpaper before the workshop. Then tone the canvasses with a medium grey value acrylic paint. Make sure this is dry by class time.

  • White acrylic gesso for priming (Golden brand recommended)
  • White and black acrylic paint to make your midtone grey background tone. You could also make your own "black" combining 50/50 ultramarine blue and burnt umber. 


If you can, try to buy Artist quality. List below of brands is not exhaustive: 

Recommended oil brands

  • Gamblin, Winsor and Newton, Old Holland, Van Gogh, Michael Harding  Lukas. If you prefer not to use solvents, you may enjoy the water-soluble oil paints now available which clean up with soap and water-- I find Cobra brand is very good. If so, make sure you get the brand's dedicated painting medium. 

Recommended acrylic brands

  • Golden, Liquitex, Winsor and Newton, Kroma. Please try to buy “heavy body” paint; the techniques we are covering do not cover paint pouring methods, but if "flow" type paints are what you have, bring those. It may be  helpful, however to fortify your kit with one tube of heavy body Titanium white for surface texture variety.

Paint Colours  (Oil and Acrylic) 150 ml

  • Titanium white 
  • Cadmium yellow light
  • Cadmium yellow deep or Hansa yellow deep
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Cadmium red light
  • Quinacrodone red
  • Alizarin crimson (hue or permanent)
  • Burnt umber
  • Ultramarine blue
  • Cobalt blue
  • Pthalo blue 


Bring a range of sizes and shapes. Below is a suggested list: 

  • Bristle brush Rounds #12, #6, #4, #2, #1
  • Bristle brush or synthetic Flats #12, #6, #4, #2, #1
  • #0 round synthetic brush 
  • Optional but recommended 
  • Rosemary and Co 1/4" long-handled  Eclipse "comber". This is a fantastic brush for sensitive detail you can order from this website in England:  Also: 1/2",  5/8", 3/4"

Additional Accessory: Please bring two pairs of wooden chopsticks


Oil painters: 

  • 12 x 16” (minimum size) grey disposable palette pad, or glass palette with paper painted with a value 2 placed underneath. Or you may have another palette system such as a wooden or plastic palette that you like to use.

Acrylic painters:

  • 12 x 16” MASTERSON Sta-wet Palette with its dedicated palette sheets and sponge layer included OR 12 x 16”  grey disposable palette pad 

Mediums and Accessories for Oil Painters

  • Gamblin Gamsol Odorless Mineral Spirits for thinning your paint, and for cleanup. No turpentine please.


  • Refined walnut or linseed oil; For what it's worth, I like to use the old-fashioned 50% spirits plus 50% oil as my medium as it dries more slowly than alkyd resins therefore is less sticky on the canvas . Some of you may prefer using only oil, or only spirits. :)
  • OR if you prefer: An alkyd resin such as Gamblin Galkyd Lite or Liquitex Liquin 


  • 150-200 ml glass container with lid for OMS
  • 150-200 ml glass container with lid for your medium
  • Metal Palette cup to decant into for your medium mixture
  • Optional:  1 litre glass jar to hold brushes

 Mediums and Accessories for Acrylic Painters 

  • Golden Open Medium; helpful for slowing paint drying time and increasing transparency and flow
  • 150-200 ml glass jar with lid for your medium. Thin it a little with water to further slow drying time
  • Small and large containers for water and mediums, such as yogurt containers
  • Large spray bottle for water with a fine mist pattern


  • Small metal tapered diamond shape palette knife (approx length of blade 1”)
  • Apron or old shirt to protect clothing
  • Old shoes
  • Green housepainter tape
  • Plenty of shop-towels or paper towels or cotton rags
  • A cover to protect the table
  • Optional: an easel or a desktop easel


Artist Biography

VbiophotoA former dancer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, in 1988 Val graduated with Honors from Emily Carr College of Art and Design, winning the prestigious Helen Pitt Award. For a number of years she was a dance videographer, after which she focussed her practise on painting. In 2003 she had her first solo painting exhibition and was a finalist in the Royal Bank Painting Competition. She is a grant recipient from the Canada Council and BC Arts Council, among others, and has attended residencies at Vermont Studio Centre, Malaspina Printmakers, and St George’s Senior School. She has been represented by Bau-Xi Gallery and Galerie de Bellefeuille, and her work has been published in Carte Blanche Volume II (Magenta Foundation), International Painting Annual 3 (Manifest Drawing and Research Centre), Capilano University Press, and Subterrain. Public institutions that have collected her work include Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Canada Council Art Bank, Surrey Art Gallery, and Vancouver General Hospital. Val’s work is collected enthusiastically in Canada, the US, Europe, UK, and Dubai. Val has taught painting and drawing at the Shadbolt Arts Centre, Gordon Smith Gallery, Vancouver Island School of Art, and her private art studio. She currently lives and works in Courtenay, BC.



Note:  items should not be left overnight in the room at the time of the workshop. We are not assured that the room is secure.

There is a cafeteria in the building that should be open on Saturday and Sunday from 10am-2pm. We also welcome you to bring goodies to share if you are so inclined--no obligation. We strive to have a friendly, inclusive, and sharing environment at our workshops!

Parking: day passes are available for the seniors' centre parking lot for those participating in programs over 4 hours. The SAC front desk will administer parking passes that allow you to park beyond the limit. Return them to the desk at the end of the day.

Address: West Vancouver Seniors' Centre, Arts Studio: 695 21st St, West Vancouver, BC  V7V 4A7

To Register


If you are a NSAG member please login prior to registering for this workshop to pay the member rate  Non-members select the non-member rate.

Note for non-members:  If you live between Deep Cove and Bowen Island, consider becoming a member for discounted rates on our workshops, monthly free demonstrations, and the opportunity to sell your work at our shows. Check us out further at



Registration Confirmation


Payment confirms your registration and participation in the workshop. If you do not receive an email confirmation within an hour of paying please check your junk mail/spam folder, and if you do not see a confirmation email contact the guild immediately at



Cancellation Policy


If you are unable to attend a workshop, refunds are not issued, but you may find another person to take your place. 


If the workshop is full and there is a willing replacement on the waitlist, you can cancel through Kolina Logan ( in which case a refund will be issued.



No refunds will be issued within 24 hours of the workshop start time.  NSAG reserves the right to cancel the course.

Cost & Status

  • NSAG Member Cost: CAN$250.00
  • Non NSAG Member Cost: CAN$312.50
Spots Available:
6 spots available
Registration Open Since:
2024-02-29 00:00:00
Registration Closes:
2024-05-23 23:59:00

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