I haven't watched all of this DVD yet, but I can already tell that this is the DVD to buy to introduce yourself to her work and learn from a beginner's standpoint.
She begins by showing how her watercolor techniques (a white candle used as a resist, a bit of credit card and comb to make marks and a garden stick) work on 4 different paper surfaces:
Saunders Waterford 140# hot press, SW 140# not/coldpress, SW 140# hot press, and SW 300# not/coldpress paper. She prefers the not/coldpress paper in 140# and in 300# now that SW is making a pure white (not cream) paper.
She goes on from the paper introduction to sharing how she starts a painting with a still life setup.
So for beginners and as a refresher (or just as someone who likes watching Shirley paint), it's a great DVD = 2 full hours and bonus stuff.
Now, Shirley doesn't do much (if any) drawing on her watercolor paper before she dives right in with painting. But in this DVD she shows lots of prep work prior to painting, including setting up the still life, sketching it the way she wants to paint it (taking into account positive and negative shapes created by the composition she sets up), and she even test drives her colors she wants to use. So many hours working on the painting before she ever starts painting on her chosen paper (in this instance 140# not/coldpress paper from Saunders Watercolor).
She reminds us that we are not to forget about the background of our painting and work on that in our still life even if all we do is put a cloth behind it or around it, using colors that are pleasing and that work with the objects.
Only after all the prep work does she begin, starting with cold, rich colors in the center top of the paper, and working her way around and down the paper, creating texture by laying down pigment very juicy then wetting it with dabs of clean water and then dabbing that off with a rough paper towel (she likes texture and patterns). She creates patterns with a chiseled stick from her garden dipped in pigment and draws around the painting as she goes, she dabs and wets and adds water here and there - she calls this destroying the color she's put down but it really does create a textured look you probably cannot get any other way.
You'll notice that she turns things on their sides as if they were tilted towards us and the apples are falling off the sideways compote in her painting (although the still life was not set up that way). This is one of her signature looks in her paintings - playing with gravity and the laws of physics :) Some of the cups you can see into, some you cannot, some you just see the edge of things. She doesn't care that it "isn't right" but is the way she wants to paint it.
At this point, she said she would have taken 2 or more hours to get this far in the painting if she were in her studio alone painting because she likes to paint a bit, walk away, think about things, go back and add more.
She showed the finished painting but did not work on every aspect of it in the DVD. Instead, she moved to other paintings, showing us how she began them and then what she did to finish them. She says a lot of times you can add more to a painting and that, often, she looks at watercolor paintings and says, "It's not finished." She likes leaving whites, likes hard edges playing against soft edges and blurred edges, and she like still life setups and florals.
I'll add a bit more after I've watched more the DVD (I'm about 1/2 way through).