Learn to Paint


Painting in Paradise: oil and watercolor workshop in Rockport, ME

The Maine coast in the height of summer is an artist’s paradise, with its stunning scenery, vibrant colors, and ever-changing light. The days are long and sunny, and the nights are cool and refreshing, providing ideal conditions for plein air painting. July 8-12, 2024.

Sea & Sky at Schoodic: oil and watercolor workshop in Acadia National Park

Far from the hustle and bustle of Bar Harbor, Schoodic Peninsula has dramatic rock formations, windblown pines, pounding surf and stunning mountain views that draw visitors from around the world. August 4-9, 2024.

Find your authentic voice in plein air: oil and watercolor workshop in the Berkshires

Centered in the beautiful Berkshires in western Massachusetts. You will find your own voice and style without becoming anyone’s clone. August 12-16, 2024.

Art and Adventure at Sea: watercolor workshop aboard Schooner American Eagle

Learn to watercolor on the magical, mystical waters of Maine’s Penobscot Bay, aboard the historic schooner American Eagle. All materials, berth, meals and instruction included. September 15-19, 2024.

Immersive In-Person Workshop: oil and watercolor workshop in Rockport, ME

Spend a week of deep art engagement in Rockport, Maine, with fellow artists. This five-day session will open a new chapter in your journey as an artist. October 7-11, 2024.

Online Classes

Seven Protocols for Successful Oil Painters

If you’re looking for more consistent, beautiful results in your painting, you need a repeatable protocol. In this online course, discover a system that will reliably improve your oil paintings. New for 2023, I’m offering a 7 part online course. Each class includes video content, quizzes, and exercises to do in your own studio at your own pace. Learn More

Zoom class: Words and Pictures: transforming text into visual art

Explore the intersection of words and art, in a way that will deepen your painting experience. Mondays, June 10th, 17th, 24th, July 1st, 15th, 22nd. 6-9pm ET.

Zoom class: The Color of Light (intermediate to advanced)

What does your painting say about different lighting conditions? Why is lighting important? How do different lighting schemes change the mood of a painting? Tuesdays, June 11th, 18th, 25th, July 2nd, 16th, 23rd. 6-9pm ET.


“I’ve studied painting with Carol for years but was pretty adamant that no one could teach me drawing.  After struggling with it for years, I finally took her drawing fundamentals and I have to say, it was a wonderful eye-opening experience where I learned solid technical skills, but more importantly, I conquered my fear.  I just finished a drawing of a beautiful property in Northern California which turned out great.  ‘Paint it,’ said Carol. High praise indeed from a wonderful teacher and painter. ” (Karen Ames, San Francisco, CA)

“A big part of the attraction of Carol’s classes and workshops are the super cool people I have met. The other part is Carol’s tenacious preparation, taking the teaching seriously and pushing her curriculum through new levels by listening to students’ needs and by Carol’s own insatiable quest for knowledge. The enthusiasm is contagious.

The only reason I have any knowledge about art is because of Carol; I didn’t learn jack in art school.” (Beth Carr, Avon, NY)

“I have found many new and needed ways of working in watercolors, specifically the prep work… I never had lessons that included these steps, only workshops that were demos, then you were on your own, then a time of critique. Found out ideas that should have been done before I painted. So now I feel I’m on a good new track.” (Carol Durkee, Waterville, ME)

Carol’s in-depth teaching and mastery of traditional painting methods changed my life and empowered me to pursue my career goals as an artist. At a key moment in my artistic development, she offered me simple, structured, and systematic lessons. They began by building on the foundations of drawing, perspective, and composition. We practiced figure drawing, from 30 second gesture drawing to detailed graphite illustrations. As my skills grew, that transitioned into color theory, paint mixing, and brushwork. After many months of intense study, once my skills in drawing and oils were ready, we went out into the field to train and capture the essence of traditional plein air painting! 

“This style of pedagogy and one-to-one supportive coaching had never been accessible to me as a young art student before, and I don’t know anywhere else to find it.  The joy of painting with Carol is that she will paint alongside you, clearly and compassionately demonstrate the techniques and steps involved, give you space to work through the learning phases, and follow-up and support you when you have questions, or run into challenges in your composition.  She even taught me as a young art student of to properly stretch, size, and prime my own canvas, a rare skill to find these days amongst the average college bound art student.

“When I began as her student, she reviewed all my past artwork and paintings, and determined what we would need to focus on to help me develop a professional and competitive painting portfolio.  She showed me the rich and complex history of painting in oils; painting from life, and helped us to understand the context within which our modern work will live.  Most importantly, Carol, like any good teacher knew when to give space to a young painter like me, and allowed for the natural growth and development of a lifelong artistic expression.  In the end, after two years studying at the Douglas Studios, weekends, and after school, the portfolio I prepared was accepted by all seven of the art schools I applied to, and I received a sizable merit scholarship to attend the Rhode Island School of Design, the number one art school in the country.

“When I arrived and met my classmates and began in foundations year, I realized that very few of the incoming students had had an opportunity to receive this traditional type of art training that I had with Carol. That early school work demonstrated that my drawing and color theory skills were far ahead of the curve, and I was very well equipped to deliver quality projects and work, and receive strong grades and professor reviews.  Whenever anyone asks me  about why and how I became a professional painter, and so successful at a young age, in the New York City art world  I always tell them the incredible story  of a master painter named Carol Douglas, who showed me a thing or two and then cut me loose with a paint brush and palette.” (Matthew Menzies, New York, NY)

Monday Morning Art School

Visit the blog every Monday and you will grow as an artist.