Friday, July 13, 2012

Oil Painting -beginner and intermediate Intense 5 days July 2012 part one

Once each year I conduct a five day Intense Oil Painting Class for serious beginners or intermediate art students. It is important that students have drawing experience. This class is based on an academic approach to realistic oil painting but does not require an under painting in value. I work with a few students at a time because I set up my easel right in front of them so that they can work step by step with me and I can talk about the steps that I take in achieving my results. It is intense for my students and for me as well as I work the entire length of my classes with my students.

I select a variety of basic shaped items that I find interesting and throw in one item that is more intriguing and more difficult and of course fruits or vegetables that are colorful and go along with my color scheme also. Then I use a light box and put out various values and colors of fabric for a backdrop and several choices for a contrasting cloth. Then I give my boxes of items to my students and they try out their given items and mutually decide the final still life. *If they don't succeed in designing a good composition that will look enticing from various locations around the room, then I would intervene and make suggestions. However one of my student this week, Shannon Blencowe has an excellent sense of composition and designs well. So her leading the effort was successful.
 Below is the chosen composition of subject matter that the girls (Shannon Blencowe and Anna Schull) put together. Shannon and Anna are part of my Atelier Program that prepares exceptionally talented youth for Art College or further Atelier Study. Shannon is 18 yrs. old and Anna is 15 yrs. old.

Still life to be painted

The students selected the items that inspired them, as well as the color and value of the drapery and cloth in the set up. They chose their location and view for their easels and I set my easel up directly in front and below them so that they could watch me work step by step while teaching them and painting myself.
I used Ambersand Gessobord, museum series panel that is archival and then I double coated another coat of gesso to insure the students would have a good "feel" with the oil paints. I had them each tone their surface with a transparent wash of cadmium red light , the opposite color of the aquas or greenish blues that were prevalent in their still life choice.

I had the girls do a few thumbnail sketches first to decide which would be their best choice for a finished oil painting. Usually it is the second or third sketch that makes the grade for a painting. They both chose to crop into the still life and also created a vertical format. I chose a horizontal and used much of the drapery and cloth for my own work.

This was Shannon's second oil painting class with me so I let her do a wipe up technique for her beginning drawing and proceed step by step with using palette knives instead of brushes. Anna followed with a more tradition method and began with a careful and light vine charcoal to draw in her work.
I was at the same eye level as Anna and Shannon was above our eye level and that of the still life view. We used one soft spotlight on our still life and we were careful to minimize or eliminate other lights around my studio.

Anna drawing in with her painting brush after charcoal.

As you can see, Anna can see my beginning drawing from her easel and over on right Shannon can also glance over at me working. There is conversation intermittently during the hours of work to teach, remind and alert my students to what is coming up in their painting.

This is the studio with Anna on left, my easel in the far middle, Shannon on right and still life set up far right.+

This is the beginning of Shannon's lay in with color letting some of the cadmium wash show through.

This is Anna establishing her values in her work, slowly establishing the dark and light relationships.

This is my drawing established first with the light charcoal, then with a turpentine wash of ultramarine and burnt sienna.

This is Shannon's still life compared to the set up.Values laid in loosely and still transparent.

Shannon's work end of second day working. Using a palette knife she is laying on darks, middle tones and lights.

Mine at the end of the second day laying in darks, middle tones and lights

Anna working at the end of the second day of five. (dog is studio!)

Working with the palette knife here.

Anna's work third day. The paint quality beginning to build up and she is just beginning to learn what the paint can do for her with it's day. She has never worked with oil before.

I made this blog in two parts as I didn't want to bore my viewers. So stay tuned for part two. Do you feel like painting yet?

1 comment:

  1. It seems like oil painting is easy but when you are doing it, it is not. But you will be proud of your work.