At a Glance
Who: Professional photographers, hobbyists and artists.
What: Live, in-person workshops for learning the art lessons, Corel Painter steps and traditional
acrylics- and oil-painting canvas techniques for turning photos into paintings taught by Original Corel
Painter Expert (she wrote the first several manuals!) and Elite Corel Painter Master Karen Sperling.
Where: Marriott Courtyard, Valencia, CA.
When: Friday-Sunday, October 23-25, 2015.
Why: The Artistry Retreat is for you if you are a professional photographer who would like to sell paintings
based on your photos to your clients or if you are a hobbyist who is interested in turning your photos
of your children, grandchildren and travels into paintings. The Artistry Retreat is not for teachers.
How: Hands-on art lessons and Corel Painter instruction on your laptop. Hands-on acrylics- and oil-painting instruction
Painting by Karen Sperling based on a photo by Ebert studio.
Artistry Retreat Description
The Artistry Retreat offers professional photographers and hobbyists art lessons,
hands-on, step-by-step software instructions and hands-on painting-on-canvas instruction
for turning portrait and landscape photos into paintings in Corel Painter 2015.
Professional photographers will learn to develop a quick but beautiful style to offer
paintings based on your photos to your clients. Alumni report being able to paint client
paintings as soon as they get back from the Artistry Retreat!
Instead of learning cookie-cutter techniques that result in paintings in the instructor's
style, you learn to paint in your own style because you will learn art lessons in addition
to hands-on Corel Painter steps and hands-on acrylics and oil painting techniques to
embellish canvas after the artwork is printed.
The Artistry Retreat is also for hobbyists who would like to learn to turn photos of their
children, grandchildren and travels into paintings. Learning the art theories, Painter and
canvas-painting steps will help you to paint the subjects that you're interested in painting
Teachers, the Artistry Retreat isn't for you. Your challenge is to develop your own
ideas and methods and provide them to others, not take ideas from other teachers and
teach them as your own.
The Artistry Retreat is for all levels of Corel Painter users, from beginners to those who
are more experienced. Karen Sperling has been writing about and teaching Painter
longer than anyone (she wrote the first several Painter manuals!) and whether you
have never opened Painter or have studied it before, you're sure to find new and
useful information at the Artistry Retreat.
The focus of the Artistry Retreat is portraits, but landscapes will also be covered.
Very important Prerequisite for the Artistry Retreat: The Artistry Retreat is a
hands-on Corel Painter workshop and you will bring a laptop loaded with Painter 2015.
You need complete knowledge of how to use your laptop, including how to access and
save files. Be sure if you borrow a laptop that you know how to use it!
Instructor: Elite Corel Painter Master Karen Sperling
Corel Corporation has named Karen Sperling a member of the Painter Master Elite program and also a Certified
According to Corel, "These high profile Painter artists are proven masters of their craft having earned the prestigious
Painter Master Elite title from the Painter team for their many years of dedicated service to Corel Painter.
As Painter Master Elite artists, they hold a very special place in our hearts. They continue to inspire new
artists and Painter feature innovations while also managing to keep us grounded to our world-renowned realistic
natural media roots. We would not be where we are today without them and the world will continue to be inspired by their creations.
Whether you are looking for inspiration to develop your own signature style, wanting to dive into learning the ins and outs of Painter,
or looking for an artist to create work for you, we highly recommend checking out what these very talented artists have to offer."
Members of the Artistry Retreat learn to turn portrait and landscape photos into paintings in Corel Painter
and then how to paint on the canvas with acrylics and oils after the artwork is printed.
Here are some examples of the kinds of techniques you'll learn at the Artistry Retreat.
Painting by Karen Sperling based on a photo by Linda Gregory.
Impressionist-style painting by Karen Sperling based on a photo by Kathy Beach.
Paintings by Karen Sperling based on her photos.
Painting (l.) in Corel Painter by Karen Sperling based on a photo (r.) by Sterling Hoffman.
Printed canvas embellished with oils by Karen Sperling.
Painting (above) in Corel Painter by Karen Sperling based on a photo (top) by Don Ling.
Printed canvas embellished with acrylics by Karen Sperling.
The Artistry Retreat scores perfect 10's from students across the board.
Here's an example of why people enroll in the Artistry Retreats:
Has Enjoyed Artistry Online Classes
I have taken several online courses from Karen Sperling that I have enjoyed. I decided
I needed a hands-on Corel Painter workshop and maybe get me away from trying
to make things look perfect. Karen--looking forward to the class and meeting you.
Donna Kay Waggoner
Dimensions by DK Photography,Inc.
Here's what people are saying about the Artistry Retreat.
Karen Sperling is a Great Teacher--She Makes Corel Painter Quick to Learn
Karen Sperling made techniques easy to grasp. The notes were thorough and I loved learning little
touches to enhance photos. I liked the tips for facial techniques. Overall, it was an awesome class and
I learned a ton! Thanks!
Artistry Retreat Well-Organized and Orderly
The class was well-organized and orderly. The detailed instructions were fantastic because I can use them later
and I did not have to struggle to take detailed notes in real time. Karen does not just talk from the front of the
room. She is available to come over to each student for help with individual time.
I learned a lot. The Artistry Retreat cleared up some confusion and I got to try new things that I probably
would not have tried on my own.
Karen Sperling's Knowledge of Art and Corel Painter Is Amazing
The Artistry Retreat was extremely informative encompassing digital and traditional art. It was very inspiring.
Karen's knowledge of art and Corel Painter is amazing. Prior to participating in this retreat, I found Corel Painter
to be difficult to learn. Karen's knowledge has been invaluable to me.
Artistry Retreat Very Valuable and Thorough
Expert painter offers a great, comprehensive and explainable approach to teaching Corel Painter. Karen's videos, instruction,
teaching and hands-on training workshop have been very valuable and thorough experiences. Would I take the class again for
additional knowledge? Absolutely! Thank you for sharing your expertise and patience in teaching...oh and your passion!
Highly Recommends Karen Sperling's Clear Explanations
Several years ago, I discovered Corel Painter 9. Although I love teaching myself new
programs, I was a little intimidated. Frustrated by my inability to grasp the magnitude
of this program, I found Karen's website and subscribed to Artistry Magazine (even purchasing
back issues!). That was a good beginning, but I decided the best way for me to learn was to
sign up for one of her workshops; so I flew to California for a week of hands on training
in an Artistry Retreat.
That class opened my eyes to all the possibilities for creating art without intimidation,
and it was really fun, too! After setting it aside for a couple of years (life gets so busy
sometimes), I decided to start back up again and purchased Karen's Impressionist Landscapes
video class and went back to work. She has such a clear way of explaining concepts and techniques,
and she made relearning so much easier for me. I recently discovered she is offering a 3-month
Master Class, so I just had to sign up for that and continue my education and enhance my skills
I've bought books and videos from other Painter experts, but their materials are more about how the
program functions than how to actually use it to create art. So I always come back to Karen to learn
the principles and how to put them into action. I can't recommend her highly enough.
Thanks, Karen, for sharing your knowledge and talents with the rest of us!
Karen Sperling's Teaching Style: Relaxed but Structured
I recently attended my second Artistry Retreat! It was a great refresher course in what
I learned the first time around, plus I appreciated all the one-on-one feedback on my
progress and additional pointers. Karen Sperling's teaching style is relaxed but
structured in a way to get anyone on their way to painting beautiful portraits.
If you are thinking about taking on Corel Painter, I highly recommend taking one of
Karen Sperling's classes to get you started down the right path!
Thank you Karen!
Focal Instincts Photography
Artistry Retreat Helps with Painting and Clients
I was thinking about your class that I had taken.
It truly has helped me to move on in painting.
I came to your class with a little knowledge and left with so much more.
Thank you for sharing your wonderful techniques and knowledge.
You showed things that I have not seen in any other books.
I can remember thinking more than once, when you gave
a certain tip, that "this is worth the price of admission!"
I left with more confidence, more know how and the desire
to paint my way to the top!
I have sold several paintings and enjoyed the look of satisfaction
on my clients' faces.
Thanks for helping me get there.
Photographer Sells First Portrait Following Artistry Retreat
I made back what I paid to attend an
Artistry Retreat several times over with
my first portrait. That's a great return on my investment!
I completely used everything that I learned from
the Artistry Retreat and could never have done this
without having been shown all of the basics (and
much, much more) from Karen.
Photographer Painting Ever Since She Left Artistry Retreat
I am writing to thank you for the amazing Artistry Retreat this past week.
It is always difficult for professionals to take time out and learn
something that they have been wanting to learn for a while, so I
appreciate that it was time well spent.
In the past 4 years I have only taken 2 classes on Painter and after
the first class I was unable to remember everything that I had been
I am so excited to share with you that you not only taught me the most
important techniques that I could incorporate into my photography, but
you also did it with patience and professionalism.
The way you teach is fantastic.
You made sure we understood everything before we went on to something
else and you shared your many talents with us.
It was a blessing to be a student in your classroom.
I have been painting ever since I left the Retreat and I have been commissioned by
two families to do portraits.
I am forever grateful for your teachings and your talents that you shared with us.
Artistry Retreat Educational and Motivating
After attending your Artistry Retreat,
I just had to write and tell you what a wonderful experience it was.
Meeting and being taught by you was so educational and motivating.
I have been home a week and have already started implementing many theories I learned.
I have taken other classes in painting that were taught by people
well known in the world of professional photography and although
I did gain knowledge from every class I have taken, I feel your method
of teaching and deep understanding of the nuts and bolts of the program
mixed with your true artistic talent gave me more than I have gotten
from any other class.
There is much to be gained by spending 3 days in a class with you for
invested photographers and artists of all levels.
Last but in no way least, I am so excited to have been there to see
you and your work represented for the first time in a New York gallery.
Congratulations, Karen Sperling!
Thanks so much...and watch me grow!
Marsha Cairo, photographer and artist, Chicago
Karen Sperling Marvelous and Patient Teacher
It was a pleasure for me to meet you and be a participant in your
Corel Painter workshop. I thank you for allowing me to attend and
for the foundation that I have acquired in Painter. You were a
marvelous and patient teacher who I thought presented a complex
program in a way that made getting started that much easier.
As I alluded to in the beginning, I have had Painter for awhile,
but have not really ever gotten into it in a meaningful way.
Now, I think, I can move on and actually put it to use. When
I get there, hopefully soon, I will forward you one of my
I wish you the best of wishes for a successful showing at your
gallery show in April. From what you showed, I think, you have
some unusual and creative pieces that should show well. If you
have the time and remember, let me know how it all turns out.
Again, thank you for getting me started in Painter. Your Painter
class was well worth the time and effort in all respects, as you
have an incredible knowledge of a complex program that you
present in a very understandable way.
Karen Sperling is an Amazing Teacher
I attended an Artistry Retreat taught by Karen Sperling and she is an
amazing teacher. Her class was organized, relaxed and thorough. I went from
a total novice to being able to create wonderful paintings from my photographs.
However, when my granddaughters were to be flower girls at my son's wedding, I
knew I had to go to the Master to get stunning results. Karen Sperling has surpassed all
expectations! She sorted through all of the wedding photos and chose two. We
discussed (via email) which to use and the basic look I was hoping for. The
result is a treasured portrait that will make me smile for the rest of my life.
i have a picture of the portrait on my cell phone and share it with everybody I
see! I highly recommend Karen's work--you will not be disappointed. In addition
to being a very talented painter, she is also a very nice lady.
Artistry Retreat: Thoughtful and Challenging
Thank you for a thoughtful and challenging workshop.
As a non-artist in the sense I don't draw or paint,
but as a photographer and lover of art, I have longed
to be able to make a stab at doing painting with
photography as the background and inspiration.
I feel at last I am "getting it," thanks to your
patience, encouragement, and step-by-step approach.
Indeed, I have taken a painting class from another instructor,
but this time the approach was, I think, more simplified
to get me jump-started.
Your concept of starting the first day's session to be
the most difficult, and later on in the afternoon,
when the mind is brain dead, to do something fun and
easy was really helpful when my blood sugar ran low.
For example, your Karen's Fireworks idea was fun to play with.
And each day the lessons were progressively easier and also we
continued to review the way to accomplish our tasks in Painter
so it would become more and more familiar.
The concept of light and dark may be second nature to a painter or
illustrator, but for me it made it a great guide for beginning
And it was so much fun making "image hoses" and custom brushes.
Of course, nothing will progress without practice, but I have
the tools now so no excuses.
Your notes and book will help keep me on track!
Enjoyed Artistry Retreat
Because Karen wrote the early manuals for Corel Painter, she is an expert in this program.
I enjoyed the Artistry Retreat immensely. Karen's comprehensive class covered
many of the fundamentals of art in addition to the skills needed for
digital painting using Corel Painter.
I look forward to more of her patiently taught lessons in the future.
Karen Sperling: Articulate, Creative, Knowledgable and Patient
Karen Sperling is an expert who shares her knowledge in a
fresh and creative fashion.
Not only does Karen know the technical aspects of Corel
Painter, but she also teaches creative concepts as well.
I have taken her class at WPPI and also a one-on-one class;
she is articulate, creative, knowledgable and patient!
I highly recommend Karen as a teacher if you want to master
this multi-faceted program and give your work a creative edge!
Former President, Santa Clarita Valley Photographers Association (SCVPA)
Creative Photography, Photos by Felicia
Artistry Retreat Takes Photography Business to Next Level
Karen's Artistry Retreat has helped me
take my photography business to the next level.
Karen's workshop was interesting, fun and easy to keep
up the pace.
I can now offer fine art painterly portraits as a deluxe
product, and my customers love it!
Treasurer, Professional Photographers of California
Robin Swanson photography
Artistry Retreat Excellent Value
Karen's Artistry Retreat was an excellent value
for learning art as well as Corel Painter.
You might ask - who is the class for?
For the beginner, Karen provides an essential foundation for art including
understanding essential design concepts, identifying effective focal points,
and choosing effective pictures for painting. She guides you step-by-step
through the foundation of painting in Corel Painter.
For the intermediate to advanced digital artist, Karen continues to add to
our depth of learning by challenging our vision, our understanding of color
harmony and our awareness of good contrast. She also teaches advanced
Corel Painter concepts such as digital watercolor painting and image nozzle
brush creation. I thought I was at least at an intermediate level when I
took her class, but I learned many new concepts of effective design and
composition, which have inspired me to new levels.
Karen's book, Painting for Photographers, is an excellent resource to use in
conjunction with this course as her lessons bring further depth and understanding
to the book she has written. I found it useful to bring my book with me as she
demonstrated concepts in class that I could review and reference along with her
in class materials.
Karen's class opened my vision to what can be and how to make an impact with
my art. I am excited about where my art journey will take me...
Dr. Cynde Herman
Karen Sperling Vibrant Instructor
Karen Sperling is one of the most vibrant instructors I have had in Painter.
She approaches teaching from a fine arts background which translates into
paintings of beautifully balanced color and detail.
In Karen's workshop, I was able to layer her clear and artistic instruction
with my background knowledge of photography to produce a very
pleasing and salable picture.
I can't wait to take another course from her.
Artistry Retreat: Best Place to Learn Corel Painter
The best place for photographers to learn how an artist would
approach using Painter is the 3-day Artistry Painting for Photographers Retreat.
Karen Sperling, with care and discipline, guided us 'artists-in-training'
through the migration from digital photography to digital painting, to creating
delicate and powerful artwork using Painter.
The experience goes beyond words of praise.
It's a gift.
I learned to think artistically before I acted artistically.
And the results showed up on my digital canvas...exactly
what I wanted to learn how to create.
The Artistry Painter Retreat is truly a
foundation experience for photographers
interested in learning Painter.
Gregory R. Ballerino
MARS PPA Affiliate Reviews
Karen Sperling taught at MARS, the PPA affiliate school in Cape May, NJ. Here are
some reviews of her MARS Painter class.
Karen Sperling Wonderful Instructor
I attended Karen's class at the PPA affiliate schools
(MARS) in Cape May, NJ this year.
Karen is a wonderful instructor.
She knows her work, and conveys her instructions in a manner that is
structured but not overwhelming.
My very first "painting" that I created to show at a bridal show received
rave reviews from potential brides.
In fact - I told the subjects of that print that I had a surprise for them
when they picked up their previews from their wedding.
When they walked in the studio, their first response was WOW - that's cool -
WOW that's us!!
They bought a framed 16x20 on the spot!!
I think that Karen Sperling would be a fine addition to the list of PPA instructors,
and I would highly recommend her talents.
Karen Sperling Excellent Artist; Outstanding Communicator
To whom it may concern;
I am writing this letter on behalf of Karen Sperling who was the instructor for the Painter workshop at
the recent MARS workshop in Cape May, New Jersey.
I am a photographer of over 30 years who, two years ago switched to a digital workflow with the intention
of producing archival giclees of my library of photographs.
At that time I had no computer savy and knew nothing of Photoshop, Painter, software rips, color management,
Raw files or any other aspects of a digital workflow.
I embarked on an extensive 18 month series of studies at various centers around the country.
In my opinion Karen Sperlling exhibits the wonderful trait of being more than an excellent artist, but is an
outstanding communicator as well. She is both patient and informative to whatever depth required by the individuals
in her class. She can see the individual needs and attend to them while keeping the group moving at a pace that is
exciting to everyone.
In my opinion, another of her best qualities is an engaging personality and a great sense of humor that is liberally
appliied through the workshop.
I would highly recommend Karen to any group or individual that is considering taking advantage of her multi faceted talents.
Karen Sperling Well-Organized
I took Karen's class at MARS.
She was very easy to listen to for a week, was well organized, humorous and
kept us on track (not an easy thing to do).
I felt everything she reviewed that week was helpful in learning Painter.
Certified Professional Photographer
Click here to read testimonials from Artistry Retreat alumni.
Click here to see examples of Artistry alumni artwork.
Click here to see more examples of Artistry alumni artwork.
Click here for a FAQ (frequently asked questions).