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I began to experiment with a technique known as “dry brush” which I learned by imitating the works of Egg Tempera artists, who use a small brush to cross-hatch tiny brush strokes, building up very strong and solid forms. I found that this technique was very relaxing and somewhat meditative, and in a group it would seem as if everyone was off somewhere into an alpha brain state. So I began to call it “Mediations in Watercolor” because of the repetitive stroking becoming a kind of mantra. It became my favorite means to achieve a more solid painterly form, in a very difficult medium, that is hard to control.
I am so fond of using pastels! They are unmatched in the strength of color. My method is somewhat painterly, and I never use a blending method, rather preferring to blend tones with the pastel itself. The difference between painting and drawing is that the background is left unfinished in a drawing, while a painting is worked over the whole. Today there are exciting new grounds and methods, as well as a huge selection of pastel papers and a very fine array of pastels themselves, both very expensive and more moderately priced. We can’t resist adding a new box to the mix whenever we can.
My booklet is a step-by-step demonstration of an orange on a blue plate. It is worked on a lovely sanded paper that grabs a lot of pigment.
This is a 38 page monograph on basic drawing techniques that will help you learn how to see proportion and perspective using a simple sighting stick.
To draw “realistic” (but not necessarily photographic) images you must draw what you see, not what your brain says you see. There are illusions everywhere and learning how to recognize them and decipher them is the secret to making a good drawing.
It includes a section on tools and materials, and some information on Silverpoint.
Six Stages of Painting is the 12 page painting manual I give to all my oil painting students. It is a very simple approach to building a canvas, using the methods that were used by many of the Impressionist painters. It is divided into stages, and each stage has a purpose and a technique, such as scumbling an underpainting or reconstructing the form. There is a brief description of each stage, as well as a description of elementary color theory and some inexpensive paint that I like to recommend
I was incredibly lucky to have studied with two portrait painters who were considered to be among the top artists of their generation; Robert Brackman and Aaron Shikler. I learned so much from both of them, and at one time, when people wanted painted portraits and not photographs, I was able to do quite a few. Since 911 and our unstable economy who can afford it? Time and money are scarce these days. But I found myself missing the challenge of portrait painting and so I decided to teach it, and forget about commissions. I wrote this booklet for my class, using digital photography and a clear plastic overlay as the “helps”.
Photo editing is key to making the overlay, and you might find this a bit challenging, especially if you have never done it. There are workarounds, but if you want to learn a good method of improving the accuracy of your work you might want to invest the time to learn how I do the overlay method. It is neater than using a projector for your artwork.
A few years ago Carrollwood Cultural Center asked me to teach a class that covered several of the common media so students could investigate their properties and decide which one(s) were a fit for them before signing on to a full time class. It has proved to be very popular and in the Winter of 2015 I decided to consolidate my handouts for this class and make this booklet. I was printing so much for each class it seemed difficult to keep up with the demand! In this 16 page booklet you will find articles about each of the 4 media and a suggested supply list to get you started in each of them. The materials I suggest are as basic as I can be, but are based on supplies I use myself, and not cheap alternatives to professional supplies.
The revolution in art started before the group known as “The Impressionists”. It began an enormous change in the way art was viewed, bought and sold, and exhibited. With the advances of technology, travel, and income, art could now be shown in other parts of the world, and the influence of Asian Art is reflected in the work of the Impressionist artists, and there were colonies of artists who brought these new ideas back to America, as well as other parts of Europe and Russia. It is a fascinating story, and many of the artists who were drawn into the inner circle have become household words; known and beloved by people whose backgrounds and education did not predispose them to have an affection for painting.
that work, all that prep time, and the learning curve. My booklet will help sort out what is necessary and what you don’t need to know. It has a list of suppliers of the pigments, pigment dispersions, and gesso panels. You get the eggs from the local supermarket, or the neighbor with chickens, or the farm stand down the road. I have not noticed much difference, and recently the farm eggs had very weak yolks while the supermarket had strong yolks. Go figure. You’ll find out what sort of magic it is to get your eggs ready to mix with those delicious pigments that come from exotic places around the globe.