October 23, 2011
Pumpkins & Silver, 9x12 oil on canvas
This painting was done with just 4 colors: ultramarine, cadmium red light, cadmium yellow medium and titanium white. I painted it alla prima as a demo for my painting students in about 45 minutes. The painting process does not need to be complex in order to be successful. In fact, I find it better to keep it as simple as I can when it comes to the number of colors on the palette, particularly if I am painting plein air or doing a live demo.
I began with a mixture of ultramarine and cad red light, plus a tiny bit of cad yellow medium to make a dark neutral. This was used for the underpainting. For my darkest darks, I used the ultramarine and cad red light leaning more heavily toward the ultramarine. Next I pulled a bit of white into the mixture and added some of the cad yellow to neutralize it a bit for the greys on the metal tea pot. For the pumpkins, I used a mix of the red and yellow leaning toward the yellow, while the table cloth is the same mix but leaning toward the red. The white pumpkin and bright highlights are made up of titanium white and a bit of cad yellow medium. It’s amazing how many colors you can create from a limited palette. It’s a great exercise for getting to know the colors you have in your paintbox!
October 1, 2011
Iron Truss Bridge, pastel study, 6x9 in.
This is a simple but dramatic, one point perspective sketch done as a demo for my pastel students.
Whenever I have a piece that has one point perspective, I typically start out at the vanishing point and work my way outwards. Your lines in a one point perspective drawing can only go in 3 directions: vertical, horizontal or back to the vanishing point. If you are above the horizon line, your lines leading back to it will angle downward, if you are below it, they will angle upward. Forget memorizing this, just put it into practice a few times and it will become second nature. By putting it into practice, I mean sketching from life as often as you can and learning to see the perspective naturally. I can’t emphasize the importance of this enough. Once you understand and automatically see it, you can work from any source: photos, your on site sketches or as I typically do, a combination of the two. Remember, photos often distort perspective, you can include, eliminate or exaggerate as much of that distortion as you choose, as long as you understand the basic principles outlined above.
September 7, 2011
Figure study on cardboard, acrylic, 8x10
If you are looking for a class where you have the opportunity to focus on acrylics, Experimenting with Acrylics might be right for you.
This course will feature demonstrations of acrylics on both paper and canvas, as well as on alternative surfaces such as cardboard, gessobord and other supports. Working both transparently with water and opaquely with mediums, students will have the opportunity to try a variety of techniques including underpaintings, wash drawings, monochromatic studies and much more. A still life set up will be provided but students may choose to work on their own individual projects. The course runs for 10 weeks on Tuesdays from 12:30 pm to 3 pm beginning Sept. 13. For more info and to register, click here.
September 4, 2011
Riverside cafe in winter, Clinton, NJ - ink wash drawing over splatter background
If you are looking for a course that will help you to discover and develop your own individual style of painting, Paint It Your Way! might be right for you. This course focuses on universal concepts of drawing and painting that can be applied regardless of the medium and painting style that you prefer to work in. Demonstrations are done each week in alternating media such as oil, acrylic, pastel, charcoal, and water media. Students are encouraged to experiment and try new media while identifying and clarifying the painting style which suits them best.
The course is held on Wednesdays from 9:30 to noon at the Visual Arts Center of NJ in Summit and runs for 10 weeks beginning Sept. 14. For more information on all of my courses, visit the art center’s web site. Questions? Call the art center at 908-273-9121, or send me an email at email@example.com.
September 2, 2011
Delancey Place, Philadelphia - watercolor 6x9 in.
It’s September! How quickly the summer went by. It’s time once again to register for fall courses at the Visual Arts Center of NJ and the Center for Contemporary Art. This week, I’ll be posting about my course offerings so you can select the class that will best suit your interests. First, I’ll talk about my newest offering at the Visual Arts Center of NJ:
Wet & Wild: An Alternative Approach to Watermedia – 10 weeks beginning Sept. 13, Tuesdays from 3:30 pm to 6 pm
This is NOT a traditional watercolor course!!! In this class, we will explore alternative methods of working in watercolor as well as other water-based media such as drawing inks, acrylics and markers. We will also combine mediums and work on alternative surfaces such as cardboard and Yupo paper.
Students who sign up for this course should be open to experimentation and ready to try something new. Basic drawing skills are needed if you plan to work representationally (an understanding and ability to apply concepts such as form, value, proportion and perspective).
Here are just a handful of the topics I plan to cover:
- Splatter backgrounds with ink and watercolor – an exciting way to add interest to both representational and abstract subjects
- Masking fluid and other “resist” methods of creating with water-based mediums
- Figure studies in acrylic on cardboard – improve your understanding of the figure and the importance of gesture while working with acrylics on this fabulous recycled surface
- Monochromatic ink wash drawings on cold press watercolor paper – build your knowledge and ability to see form and value with this fluid medium
- Markers as a sketching medium – one of the most convenient ways to sketch on location
In this course, you may choose to try as many or as few of the mediums and techniques demonstrated. Bring what you have to the first class (pick any water-based medium) and we can discuss materials further so you don’t have to run out and buy things you won’t need. I will also have a supply of acrylics on hand that first day that will be suitable for the first project–whatever you bring, we will make it work! 🙂 Looking forward to seeing you in class. Questions? Call the Visual Arts Center of NJ at 908-273-9121, to register, click here
for a link to all of my fall courses.
August 17, 2011
Collage with acrylic and pastel on corrugated cardboard, 12x12 in.
Now is the time to sign up for Fall classes at the Visual Arts Center of NJ. I’ll be offering 6 courses in drawing and painting, including my newest “Wet & Wild: An Alternative Approach to Water Media”. If you are looking to experiment with water color, acrylic, drawing inks, marker and pastel in a NON-TRADITIONAL manner, this is the class for you. It will be held on Tuesday afternoons from 3:30 to 6 pm and runs for 10 weeks beginning Sept. 13.
I am also offering my Drawing and Painting courses in oil, acrylic and pastel the same as last semester. For details, visit the Visual Arts Center of NJ web site at http://www.artcenternj.org and go to the “Create” section.
August 11, 2011
Nauset Beach, oil on canvas, 18x24 in.
I will be offering a one-day workshop at the Visual Arts Center of NJ in Summit entitled “A Day at the Beach”. Students will learn to capture the motion and vibrancy of the ocean in the medium of their choice (oil, acrylic and pastel will be demonstrated). The workshop runs from 10 am to 4 pm on Aug. 14 and costs $100 to attend. Call the art center at 908-273-9121 for more information and to register.