Creating Compelling Light



October 23 – 26, 2020 (4-Day workshop)
9:30am – 4:00pm


McTavish Academy of Art – 1720 McTavish Rd, North Saanich


This is an extraordinary, immersive opportunity to take your paintings to another level entirely!

In this workshop–primarily for oil painters, however acrylic painters are also welcome–you will be learning how to create compelling light in your paintings which has to do with learning about subtraction color mixing and temperature value changes and how to see them and how to paint them and how to make correct mixtures.

In Gaye’s own words:

I often am asked by students how to achieve the effects of dramatic light in their paintings. My mantra for my students, and for myself is one I heard a long time ago, and I don’t even remember where:

“You can only paint four things: values, colors, shapes and edges.”

If you get all of that right, everything falls into place in a painting. The learning edge with all of this I find to be training your eyes to see the values, colors shapes and edges that are before you. Nailing the values is job one in order to get an accurate sense of light in a painting. It’s not about manual dexterity or trickery, it’s simply training your eyes! Simple, but not easy!

The good news is, it’s very doable.

Gaye will be teaching in oil, however she encourages acrylic painters to consider this workshop as well. “(Light) is of course every bit as vital to acylicists as it is to oil painters. The workshop will not be strictly to do with the oils by any measure.”

ARTIST BIO – Gaye Adams

Gaye Adams has been a professional artist for over twenty years. She started her career as a pastellist, and then expanded her portfolio to include acrylics and oils while maintaining the use of strong light and color for which her work is known. While subject matter may vary, Gaye continues to be fascinated with the exploration of light transitions. Light has become her primary subject matter and offers endless challenge for her.

Gaye has won awards at both the national and international levels, and her work has been published in both International Artist magazine and Pastel Artist International.

Gaye is a popular and effective workshop instructor, known for the easy, affable way she has with her students.

Gaye holds senior signature status with The Federation of Canadian Artists (SFCA) as well as a Master Pastellist designation (MPAC) from the Pastel Artists of Canada. She is also a signature member of the Pastel Society of Canada.

Her work hangs in private and corporate collections both here and abroad.


REGISTRATION NOW OPEN on a first-come, first-served basis. Click the Register Now button below to sign up for this interesting workshop.

Once your registration application has been processed, you will be sent either a confirmation that a space has been registered for you or a notice that you have been placed on a wait-list. Payment is due once your registration has been confirmed.

Payment Info

The fee for the 4-day workshop is $340 for SPAC members and $390 for non-members and is payable by cheque or e-transfer.

Registration requires either payment in full, or a non-refundable payment/deposit of $60 and payment of the balance of $280 (non-members $330) by September 1, 2020

Paying by Cheque

Make cheques payable to “SPAC”. The cheque for the deposit must have the current date. You must also include a second, post-dated cheque for the balance with the amount and date as indicated above. Please reference the workshop name and date on the cheques! Cheques should be mailed as soon as possible to:

Workshops by the Sea
PO BOX 2542
Sidney, BC V8L 4B9

Paying by E-Transfer

Once you receive your confirmation email send the e-transfer to as soon as possible. You must also use the memo/note option in the e-transfer to identify the following:

  • ‘WBTS’ (Workshops-by-the-Sea)
  • Workshop name & date
  • Signify either ‘Registration’ payment or ‘Balance’ of workshop payment


Here is my list of pigments. Please endeavour to bring all of them, or perhaps share with a friend if there are budget constraints. We will be doing color mixing exercises that will be more straight-forward if we are all using the same pigments.

While I know you will have an easier experience if you are working in oils, you may use acrylics if you wish; bring oils if you have them, please.


Titanium White
Ultramarine Blue
Cadmium Red, light
Cadmium Red medium (for acrylicists only)
Cadmium Yellow light
Pthalo Blue
Transparent Earth Red or Transparent Red Iron Oxide
Yellow Ochre
Alizarin Crimson


Bring an assortment of flat or bright bristle brushes for oil painters, or synthetics for acrylicists.
Sizes: 2,4,6,8,10. It will go easier for you if the brushes are well shaped, springy and good quality.


Medium: Just Gamsol for oil painters; Glazing liquid and water for acrylicists

Easels: please bring a tabletop or floor standing easel, depending on space of venue – pls check with your workshop organizer.

Photo references: I will bring an assortment to choose from, but please bring some of your own as well. Good quality, natural light with good exposure only, please. We will start out by using some references that are mine to use as exercises for skill building, but some students may want to use their own references on the last two days.

Paper towels

Plastic grocery bag for soiled towels

Supports: Please bring only small supports; four 6X8” and four 8X10” of reasonable quality, either canvas or panel, well prepared. If you bring inexpensive panels, please make sure they are not too absorptive. An extra coat of gesso is never a bad idea.