Painting Watercolour Portraits”

A 2-day Workshop with Debra Bannister

Sundays, July 15th and July 22nd, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


The Art Gallery of Bancroft is excited to offer a two-day workshop instructed by Debra Bannister.  Debra is no stranger to the AGB, having been honoured with the Best-in-Show award at the AGB’s 2014 Annual Juried Show for her “Swan Parade”, and with several of her paintings on display in the Gallery Shop.


Workshop Instructor

Debra Bannister is an award winning artist who sees the world in bold colors. Luminous light and vivid hues define her paintings. Her art is both descriptive and expressive while still being realistic and slightly abstracted.

Since 2006 she devoted herself to watercolor and water media painting. Her award winning paintings have been included in numerous juried shows, art festivals and gallery exhibitions. Her paintings hang in private and permanent collections. Debra divides her time between painting in her studio and outdoors on location.  Her most recent accomplishment are the 21 paintings she completed for a children's book called "Floofus Land Adventures”.

Debra is a member of the East Central Ontario Arts Association and the Kawartha Artists Gallery and Studio (KAGS). Her art work, prints and cards are sold at the Stratford Festival Theater Store, The Art Gallery of Bancroft, Link Gallery in Peterborough, 737 Gallery near Tweed and at art festival and juried shows in and around Ontario.

Debra lives near Buckhorn, Ontario on the shores of Six Foot Bay, Buckhorn Lake. During the winter she travels south to enjoy the warm sunshine and paint.


 In the Artist's Words

I have always had a passion for drawing and expressing myself with color. So much so that when I was in grade one I got into a lot of trouble coloring in my Dick and Jane books.  In my early years as an artist oil painting dominated my time but since 2006 watercolor has stolen my heart.  I love the unpredictable, fluid nature of this medium.  My love for medical science won out as a career, especially subjects involving chemistry and physics. I believe this is why I find watercolor so interesting because we really need to understand the chemistry and physics of painting and our subjects to be able to render something worthwhile.


Workshop Description

Debra is an enthusiastic art instructor, who teaches painting and drawing.  In her workshop and classes she uses a step by step approach to provide a sound background in techniques and esthetics while encouraging everyone to express their own style and sensibility through their art. Having fun while learning is the goal of Debra's artistic instruction.

This workshop will introduce Watercolor artists to the fundamentals of painting portraits. We will focus on the face and shoulders. Photographic reference will be used to study unique facial features, skin colorations and hair textures. We will also discuss how we bring personality into our portraits to create lively paintings. The first day will include handouts about anatomy and examples of color skin combinations etc. Artists will work from a photograph chosen by the instructor. A black and white image will be offered to those that wish to trace their subject on the first day. I always like to remind everyone that this is not a drawing class but a painting class. It will be approximately 8” x 10”. The first day is all about learning to paint hair, skin, eyes, lips, nose etc. For the second day I ask you to choose your own subject. I also encourage you to try and draw your subject for the second day. However, if you prefer to trace again that is fine. We will check it for accuracy if you are having trouble drawing parts of the face before we start painting.

                  “Untitled” by Debra Bannister


To view more of Debra`s portrait paintings visit her Personality Gallery at



  1. I encourage the use of 140 or 200 lb paper (Arches, Fabriano, Saunders Waterford are very good papers). If possible buy one large sheet of watercolour paper 30” x 22” cold press and cut it to the appropriate size at this workshop (approximately 11” x 14”). This paper is better quality than pad paper and cheaper.
  2. Bring your round/mop brushes especially a larger one (8,10 or 12) and 1” or 1 1/2 " inch flat brushes for our initial washes. Larger brushes hold more paint so you get better mixing and application of paint onto the paper.   A 4 to 8 round brush for applying fine details such as hair, nose and facial lines. Round brushes should have a good point on them so that you can make fine lines and broader brushstrokes with the same brush.
  3. Here are some of the typical colors I use in my palette. These are my colors, yours may be slightly different. I try and use colors that are in most typical palettes or tube paint sets. Be sure it is a tube set and not a pan block set. The tube paints are best for creating juicy pools of pigment to paint with. Note that if you don’t have the exact colors listed below, no worries, I can suggest substitutes based on paint properties.
  • Naples, Yellow Ochre, Raw sienna, Burnt Sienna
  • Aureolin New Gamboges, Quinacridone Gold (optional)
  • Opera,  Permanent Rose,  Permanent Magenta, Q. Magenta, Rose Madder Genuine, Alizarin Crimson
  • Cad Red Light, Scarlet Lake or Vermillion (red orange)
  • Cobalt Blue, Cerulean or Peacock Blue (Holbein), Magnesium Turquoise
  • UMB or Royal Blue (Holbein), Antwerp or Prussian Blue, Neutral Tint.
  1. Misc Supplies:  Kleenex tissues (no lotion type), paper towel, pencil, two water containers (large yogurt/ice cream), plastic cover for the table, masking tape, board to attach watercolor paper to, palette to mix paints in (large white butchers pan or plate works, too), blow dryer, misket (rubber compound for preserving whites).


Workshop Fee and Registration

The cost of this two-day workshop is $110.00, payable to the Art Gallery by cash or cheque at the time of registration.  There is no materials fee because students must bring their own supplies.


More Information

Please contact Workshop Coordinator Ingrid Monteith at (613) 334-6965 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Or, contact the Gallery at (613) 332-1542 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Contact Details

Art Gallery of Bancroft
10 Flint Avenue
P.O. Box 398
Bancroft, Ontario
K0L 1C0

Phone: (613) 332-1542
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

art gallery bancroft map

Facebook Link

Lots happening on the AGB Facebook site.


Check us out and like us!  Click here