“I had the good fortune to have been able to study at the Art Students League in New York with many great and generous instructors. And I try to carry on that tradition in my own teaching by striving to always increase my students’ understanding and awareness of the importance of the basics, the principles, and the craft; because with these tools they can continue independently to hone their skill, deepen their understanding and find their own voice. When I teach my students now, in the spirit of my great teachers, I try to follow the tradition and "pass it on".
The topics I cover are the basic principles that create and orchestrate a successful painting:
- Learning to See:
- Light and Shade (Chiaroscuro) - how the light reveals the form, creates atmosphere, the strength and mysterious quality of shadow, the subtlety of planes revealed by light, half-tone, shadow.
- Values - how to use them to represent the principles of light and shade, how they make form, how they translate to color.
- Color - understanding the meaning of warm and cool color relationships, knowing how and when to control the degree of color intensity/chroma.
- Composition/Design - how to set up a still life, how to look at the positive shapes of the subject and the negative spaces around them, using these elements for the most dynamic design.
- Edges - lost and found edges, how powerfully edges can direct the eye
- Paint quality/technique - Where should the paint be transparent? Where should the paint be opaque? All the relationships to the aesthetic consideration of the surface.
- Painting the figure - combining all the principles and keeping the action of the figure in the painting.
- Portraiture - "Getting the likeness", attention to hair, drapery, costume, hands, the portrait setting.
- Still life - Setting up and designing a still life.
- Materials & Techniques - grounds and how to prepare them, brushes, paints, mediums, varnishes.
The entire painting process is covered, from the application of the medium, to achieving clean color, good value relationships, balanced compositions, even and very importantly, "how to hold the brush".
I encourage students to bring their portfolios or work for me to review, so that I can direct them in how to implement what they have learned in their future work. I believe in demonstrations; lots of student painting time; individual attention is emphasized. Each student receives personal instruction at their easel and is guided at their own level and style.
Workshop and Class Schedule