Professional Artist & Watercolor/Mixed Media/Pastel Teacher

Karin Novak-Neal

Frequently Asked Questions

We have had many questions asked through the years.  Some about Karin's work and others about the classes she teaches. We try to anticipate questions you might have about our paintings and classes and provide the answers here.

If you need additional information send email to


What are her paintings painted on? Does watercolor paper last? Doesn't it disintegrate over time?


Karin does all of her work on either d'Arches or Lanaquarelle 100% cotton paper. The larger paintings are done on 300# cold pressed paper (heavy) and the smaller paintings are done on 140# cold pressed paper (lighter).  Both papers are the finest quality available and will last a lifetime or longer if preserved under ph balanced glass or plexiglass and framed properly with acid free mattboard.


Which to use for framing a watercolor? Plexiglass or glass? Glare or non-glare?


These are the artist's recommendations: She uses plexiglass on her larger pieces to lighten the  painting when hanging, particularly when she is doing shows or exhibitions.  However, plexiglass scratches easier, attracts more dust, and costs more. Regular glare glass is preferred for paintings and non-glare for documents, etc. NEVER hang a watercolor in direct sunlight because it can cause the colors to fade over time and can cause "sweating" under glass.


Are the paintings really watercolors and don't they fade in time?


All watercolor paintings by this artist are painted in the highest quality pigments available, Winsor and Newton Artist Grade. Watercolors do not fade unless they are in direct sunlight and even then the Winsor and Newton paints have minimal fading. On occassion this artist will use acrylics or designer watercolors (not transparent), which are also considered  water based paint.


Do you ship any where in the world?


No......not any more. We just added Mexico to our list of unshippable nations. Please check before purchasing if you are outside the USA or Canada. We have shipped to Europe, Australia, Japan, Jeruselum, Canada, Saudi Arabia and the USSR and not had any problems. Some countries DO NOT offer shipping insurance any more, such as Mexico.


How is the painting packed and shipped?  Details, please.


We use professional packers/shippers for all of our shipments. Each painting is shipped flat, not rolled up, between several sheets of corrogated cardboard.  Then the package is taped all the way around to protect it. We address all of our own packages for security purposes. Most all shipments are made through either UPS or FedEX, depending on cost and location. Some European shipments have been done through the Postal Service because the shipping cost is much less, but the painting size has to be smaller in order to ship this way. Each package is insured and you are provided with shipping details and a tracking number, if available through that shipper. Shipments can take anywhere from 3-10 days, depending on your circumstances and location.


I want smaller, less expensive prints of some of the paintings since I can't afford the originals. Do you offer prints and what size are they?


We do offer prints and cards, but not until right before the Christmas holidays. All prints are 8" x 10" and matted. This part of the 'business' is handled by Karin's daughter Ashleigh and usually starts up around September each year.   The prints run around $30 matted and shipped flat.  There are also limited edition lithographs offered for sale.  Each one is numbered and signed by the artist. These make excellent gifts and are shipped in a mailing tube.


Can I copy some of the paintings to my computer? Can I use them for background or screensavers? Can they be used to copy for my fliers or brochures?


Absolutely not. You must obtain written permission from the artist to use any image on this website. Each image is copyright protected and watermarked.


How long does it take to paint a large watercolor?


Anywhere from a day to a depends on the piece and the amount of detail in the painting. Karin paints everything from her own photographs. As an example, the 'Coconut Tree' painting took a month to draw out and then paint. It was extremely detailed.


Does Karin still teach classes? Where? How much are they? How long are they? Can I set the classes up through our local art clubs? Any information would be helpful.


Karin still teaches watercolor classes, primarily "Beginning from Basic". Most of her watercolor classes have been set up through a local art club or society or an art supply store. The class can be 2-3 days long, 5 hours each day (with a break for lunch) at a cost of $300 per day for the class, and also provided to her are: transportation and airfare, hotel and meals for the entire time. She teaches up to 25 persons per class and requires a classroom with tables and chairs for students and a table for demonstrations. Karin provides her own supplies for herself but each student is required to bring their own supplies.  A supply list and information is provided. For more information, please contact Karin at

Karin has been teaching classes in Spain on and off for the past few years. Contact her if you might be interested in obtaining information. Classes are held each February  through March (four weeks of classes) in Cadiz, Spain.


I am an established artist but I love her style and technique. Can I benefit from  her classes? Sometimes I feel like I have forgotten stuff or I get stuck in a rut, or maybe I just need a "kick in the pants" to get me going again.  I like the social stuff too and it helps to see what others are doing in a classroom situation. I have taken classes before and usually leave feeling like it was a waste.


Most of Karin's students ARE already painting. She designed her "beginning from basics" class to 'remind' artists of the essentials in painting, design, composition, basic drawing, color and color mixing, learning to mix color on the paper instead of a palette, the differences in the paints, the papers, the brushes, layering, etc. The class was designed because NOBODY was teaching a fun and informative class like this. She has created several 'in class' projects to get the brain moving and to get the artist inspired.

For the complete beginner, the class is a basic's how-to of watercolor painting. Everybody learns something and nobody has ever been disappointed.  There are as many different techiniques as there are people, she just has a way of showing you the best approach to obtain the most dramatic results. There are also classroom critiques to establish the positive in every painting. Students are asked to particpate and provide their own ideas. She has taught over 600 people, men and women, to paint with watercolors over the past 20+ years..............and how to use water as the primary medium instead of the paint.


I love Karin's work, love the bold color and the subject matter. But I would like to take a class from her and develop my own style. Is that possible or do I end up trying to paint like her, like most classes I have taken?


Karin doesn't WANT you to paint like her.....what fun is that?  She encourages each person to 'latch on' to and learn what they like, the style they like, the colors they like and the subject matter that inspires them. She just teaches people to paint, not to develop a style like hers or ANYBODY'S. Each painter is unique.


Does Karin teach framing classes or how to frame watercolors?


No more framing classes. She does teach how to matt your work to bring out the special features in each and every painting, and also how to crop things.


Does Karin show her work in galleries or shows?


She has removed most of her work from private galleries and moved her paintings to 'on-line' galleries, primarily because she then has complete control of her work and can offer better prices since she isn't paying the 50% mark-up to the galleries anymore. She does exhibitions occassionally. Most of her sales are done through word of mouth, on-line connections, her students and her return customers and collectors. She has also sold many paintings through E-Bay Galleries as well as And she occassionally does commissions.  Her paintings are now in collections, both personal and corporate, worldwide.


Why all the tropical paintings? Doesn't that limit her audience and buyers? I noticed she has done some paintings with people in them. Does she ever do commissions or portraits?


The influence of the tropics came from living in Hawaii for many years and then visiting Mexico quite a bit too, in later years. The flowers and the colors of the Islands are what first inspired her to paint at all. She loves the sensuality of flowers and the texture and shadows in the leaves and petals. Painting tropical flowers and leaves has not limited her audience at all.  In fact, most of her 'tropical style' of work has sold to collectors in the mid-western part of the US, Australia and Canada. Everybody loves color. No, portraits are NOT her thing but she does like doing interesting and conversational paintings of people. On occassion she has done a commission, but on her terms as to NOT be controlled by what she is painting.  She does NOT paint COUCH pieces, or paintings to match your decor. Art is the kind of thing that you buy because you like it and you want to have it in your space because it makes you happy in some way.


Any major artistic influences in her life?


Yes, her students are her biggest influence. They are creative and imaginative in ways they can't even imagine. She says that she always learns more from them than they could ever learn from her. It's the 'artistic innocence" in a beginning painter or the 'ah ha' moment in an established artist that makes her happy.  She loves many artists and many different styles and techniques from the Old Masters like Renoir to the abstract of Kandinsky to Andrew Wyeth and of course, Georgia O'Keefe. There is much to be learned from each artist.


Does Karin ever give private watercolor lessons?


Yes. Please contact her for information and prices.


Is there a discount for multiple purchases?


yes.  If you purchase 3 or more paintings, at the same time, and have them all shipped to the same address, the shipping is free. If you are purchasing 5 or more paintings, please contact Karin for discount details on the multiple purchase..


Does Karin still paint murals?


She does paint murals on occassion. She has several photographs of her murals in her portfolio and is happy  to share those with possible clients.  Just contact her...


I want to buy a painting but there's no shopping cart on this website. How do I buy a painting? What can I use to buy it?  PayPal?  Credit Card? Check?


YES.......You can purchase a painting by notifying Karin thru her e-mail address on her Contact the Artist page. Credit cards are accepted through her PayPal account. Personal checks and Cashier's checks are accepted but allow for 10 days for bank processing. Contact her for other questions you may have.  We are in the process of setting up a 'shopping cart' for potential buyers, but would prefer if you paid with check.


My wife and I were on your E-Bay Gallery site and loved your work there too. However, we noticed that there is another artist painting small paintings that are almost exactly like yours.  We double checked this, so we are pretty sure she is copying your work. And she is selling them for a lot less money. What do you think about this? We have been buying your work for some time and noticed destinctive differences in the quality and will continue to purchase your originals from you.

First of all, I thank you for bringing this to my attention.  I have been aware of 'copyright infringement" for a while and only recently decided to hire an attorney to handle it for me. I was told recently that she has removed some of the copied work from her site. There will always be people who are unable to develop their own creativity and will feel they have to 'copy' the work of others.  Being a teacher, I am discouraged that these people don't seek out watercolor wokshops in their own area and take classes to improve their own styles and techniques. They certainly aren't doing anything for themselves, except making some pocket change.


We saw a painting on Artquest that we wanted and should have purchased right then.  It sold. Can you paint us another one just like it or is that tacky? The colors and everything were perfect in our house.

I can certainly paint something similar by using the same photograph as I used the first time. But no two paintings are exactly the same.