Susan Harrison-Tustain

Oil | Watercolour

I am often asked how long I have been painting and teaching in watercolor.  I generally say “forever” and I have loved every minute of it.

There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the joy on artists’ faces and their body language when those ‘magical breakthroughs’ resonate and the ‘light bulb’ switches on and glows like a beacon.  I know how the things I share in my teachings impacted on me when I was exploring and experimenting. Each new revelation lead to a new understanding and a new awareness that allowed me to find an exhilarating new path forward. These are the things that revolutionized my paintings and painting career and these are the things I love to share with artists.

For me, painting is about creating a work that evokes an emotion, tells a story - often resonating with the viewer as they draw from their own memories - from their own history. The magic happens when a painting invites the viewer to step into the world of the painting.

I love to share how artists can create a connection between the artist, painting and viewer. That connection often stays with the viewer long after they have left the presence of the painting. This is the magic I love to weave into my composition and my brush strokes - and to share with the viewers of my work and the artists I am mentoring.

Susan Harrison-Tustain Artwork
Susan Harrison-Tustain Artwork
Susan Harrison-Tustain Artwork
Susan Harrison-Tustain Artwork
Susan Harrison-Tustain Artwork
Susan Harrison-Tustain Artwork




Colour and Composition


Technique Demos


Supplies and Tools - what to use, where to save, and where to spend


Studio Setup for Art Production


Providing Art Critiques


Teaching How to Self Critique



Shows and Exhibits



Pricing Artwork

For Emerging Artists

Am I An Emerging Artist?

As an emerging artist, you have been painting regularly and feel fairly confident in your one unique style. 

You've taken workshops/courses and have already been selling your work to friends, family, and in community shows, markets and beyond.

Now you're ready to take it to the next level!


  • art critiques - getting expert feedback on your artwork
  • selling - learn how to sell your artwork
    • pricing
    • building your brand and marketing, leveraging social media well
    • earning a steady income in an unsteady economy
    • how to approach galleries and/or go solo successfully
  • business skills - learn the mechanics of creating and sustaining a business as an artist
  • production - studio set-up and time management to maximize production
  • art licensing - what products to create, how to find a reputable producer

 More than an Art Workshop

What to expect...

2-hr monthly
videoconference session with MASTER ARTIST, NAVIGATOR & small group

Practice-based HOMEWORK


Navigator permanently assigned to your group, accountable for your growth trajectory

CONFIDENTIAL discussion board, mid month group meeting & access to session RECORDINGS

CHOOSE a new Master Artist every 6-8 months to bring NEW EXPERTISE & SKILL TRAINING


My monthly critiques are designed to help extend your knowledge and skills as well as your understanding of watercolor or oil painting through art critiques of your work. They will bring new insights to help you attain the vision you have for your paintings.  Through these art critiques I want to help you discover what influences the success of the current work as well as future paintings. My aim is to give you the knowledge, experience and tools you need to overcome obstacles that may be holding you back from achieving the goals you wish to realize with your paintings. You will also see new and pre-prepared demonstrations from time to time where I will highlight the points I wish to make - along with images of some of my finished paintings and WIP as examples of the art critique hints and tips in action.

- Susan

About The Artist

Susan Harrison-Tustain Artwork

Self taught, I have learned from close observation of nature, and using logic to help me unravel what is possible in painting. I’m fascinated by how things work in painting and why they work. I seek to understand the reasons behind everything I do and that logic is the vehicle to convey what I teach. It also ensures we can retain what we learn. Understanding is the key that opens the window of creativity and brings the courage to explore - all of which leads to greater confidence, insight and joy of painting as well as a professional edge.

I currently teach, mentor and paint in watercolor and oils. I also love to paint in oils on 24 carat gold leaf and platinum leaf.

My subject matter is eclectic and my methods and techniques can be used for any subject, surface or texture at all.

Many of the lessons I teach can be applied to multiple mediums such as watercolor, oil, acrylic etc. Examples of lessons that can easily transfer between mediums are critiques, composition, fine tuning, color mixing, color temperature, tonal values, intensity/chroma, edges and so much more. I particularly love teaching artists how to analyze and critique their own work

I have taught painting in numerous countries around the world and online.

My exhibitions have often sold out. My paintings are in many collections in New Zealand and internationally, including Australia, the UK, the USA, France & Germany.

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Many of us feel “abandoned” or alone in our artistic pursuits, and we’re looking for people to join us on our journey.

By combining interactive mentorship and trusted community, LevellingUp offers a unique, powerful and affordable opportunity for growing artists like you to secure success and experience joy.


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