The Way of Water in Your Watercolor Nature Journal

Start Date: Sunday, August 7, 2022
Instructor: Kristin Meuser
Fee: $550.00
Term: Summer 2022

Workshop Description

Water moves through the Lakes Basin as an ever-present undercurrent to the land surrounding the Sierra Buttes. In this workshop, we will explore techniques for rendering water as it presents itself in waterfalls, lakes and streams. We will also take in the surrounding flowers and landscape as we spend leisurely time at each location.

This workshop begins with an introduction to your compact kit including a description of the tools and their use along with beginning color mixing and matching exercises. Kristin will present slideshows and hands-on worksheets to familiarize students with how to render waterfalls, lakes and streams.

Each day we will take easy 1-3 mile roundtrip hikes to one of four different locations including waterfalls, lakes and streams. The group will return to the Field Campus by mid-afternoon for relaxation by the river or a swim in nearby lakes. In late afternoon or early evening meetings, Kristin will offer slideshows and students will have an opportunity to work with hands-on exercises to gain comfort with sketching and painting the setting of the following day, and each morning Kristin will give demonstrations on-site before we get started.

watercolor of a stream with handwritten notes
a group of artists sit at a picnic table in the woods with their sketch books

Instructor Bio

Kristin Meuser

Kristin Meuser has been painting the land in various mediums for over 35 years. Many years ago her love of nature lead her to the Sierra Nevada Field Campus where she studied nature journaling with Jack Laws, watercolor with Andie Thrams and writing with Sarah Rabkin. Her career as a graphic designer gives her journal pages a sense of structured variety and a delightfully cohesive overall effect. She has been teaching watercolor nature journaling for the past 10 years privately and at art and retreat centers in California and Nevada. Over the past two years she has adapted her teaching to 3-hour zoom workshops. Her work is found in private collections; it has been shown regionally; and has been represented by the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite.

Marcia McGetrick-West, Certified Massage Therapist and Yoga instructor, will be assisting Kristin in this workshop. Each morning she will share a morning movement meditation to gently prepare us for our deep dive into the wonders of water.

Workshop Details

Workshop Schedule

Please plan to arrive at the Sierra Nevada Field Campus on Sunday afternoon by 5 p.m. when we'll meet informally on the dining hall deck to get acquaiinted.

Class will formally begin at 9 a.m. on Monday morning. Demonstrations on how to render the water characteristic of each day's destination will take place both on campus and in the field.

Workshop Supplies List


**The backbone of this workshop is Kristin's compact yet powerful watercolor nature journaling kit. All the tools have been carefully sourced to maximize your individual success as well as to encourage a deep and cohesive collective experience. To that end, the $60 kit is REQUIRED on the first day of the workshop with NO exceptions unless you bring one of Kristin's kits with you from one of her previous workshops.


1. Messenger-style bag to hold art supplies

2. Close-focus binoculars (available through

3. Lightweight 3-legged stool (available at REI for about $22) – this type of stool creates less of a foot print and is lightweight and portable. You may also want to bring a small foam pad.

4. Wide brimmed hat

5. Time piece to bring along on outings.

6. Day pack


  • Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada, John Muir Laws, Heyday Press
  • Laws Guide to Drawing Birds, John Muir Laws, Heyday Press
  • The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling, John Muir Laws, Heyday Press
  • Drawing a Tree, Bruno Munari, Edizioni Corraini, Italy
  • Discovering Sierra Trees, Stephen F Arno, Yosemite Natural History Association
  • How to Draw Animals, Jack Hamm, Perigree
  • Drawn to Nature, Clare Walker Leslie, Storey Publishing
  • A Trail Through Leaves: The Journal as a Path to Place, Hannah Hinchman, Norton
  • Local Color, Mimi Robinson, Princeton Architectural Press

Lodging and Camping Supplies


  • tent and sleeping pad (unless you are staying in our tent with a cot provided)
  • warm sleeping bag
  • pillow, toiletries, and towel
  • flashlight and lantern
  • alarm clock


  • day pack
  • sunscreen
  • insect repellant
  • water bottles
  • plastic containers for packed lunches
  • sense of humor


  • camera
  • binoculars
  • hand lens
  • camp chair


The weather in the Sierra Nevada can vary greatly, even in a single day. Be prepared for chilly temperatures at night, even below freezing early in the summer. Rain is a possibility any time, whether forecast or not. Variable weather clothing that can be layered is best: long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, warm sweater and jacket, t-shirt and shorts or skirt, sturdy shoes or hiking boots, sun hat, rain gear, and a warm hat or gloves for cold weather and/or night activities. And, if you come later in the season, bring your swimsuit for afternoon dips in the lakes!