Yesterday morning I had a wonderful conversation with Carolyn Anderson, the talented figure artist and workshop instructor from Montana who teaches at some of the top art schools around the country. I was fascinated by the amount of knowledge and insight she had on the visual language of art, the process associated with how our brains interpret information, and the science behind why things appear as they do.
Oil painter Josh Elliott strives to paint tones and designs, not just picturesque scenes.by Bob BahrEvening Shadows, Swan Valley2006, oil, 12 x 16.All artwork this article privatecollection unless otherwise indicated.Josh Elliott is 33 years old, but in the best tradition of good artists—or anyone whose job requires continual growth—he remains an avid student of his craft.
“One of the biggest reasons painters get into trouble is because their pictures don’t have a solid foundation of accurate and expressive drawings,” says New York artist Jon DeMartin. That’s why his drawing workshops are so helpful to figurative painters.by M. Stephen DohertyWhen it’s clear there is no pill that will quickly relieve the pain of a painting that has gone wrong, DeMartin can help you understand how to deal with the underlying problems of inaccurate proportions, distorted features, or lifeless forms.
Depicting features is only the beginning. Putting life into a head drawing requires assimilating it with the rest of the body, capturing an attitude—and much more.by Dan GhenoStudy for the Angel inMadonna of the Rocksby Leonardo, silverpoint, 7 x 6¼.The eyes in some Old Masterpaintings and drawings often seemto follow you as you movearound the room.
This veteran painter conveys powerful meaning in his still lifes by continually shifting the backgrounds and settings in which they appear.by John A. ParksIcon1994, oil, 18 x 12.All artwork this articleprivate collection unlessotherwise indicated.James Tormey paints still lifes with a meticulous and almost ferocious clarity.
In the winter 2006 issue of Workshop magazine, we explored how James M. Sulkowski showed students how to paint people posing in lush garden scenes during his Pennsylvania workshop. In this online exclusive gallery, we offer more of his oil paintings.Fox Hut2002, oil on canvas, 16 x 24. All artwork this gallery private collection unless otherwise indicated.
View a demonstration of artist-instructor Dan Thompsons figure-painting techniques. Be sure to check back in the coming weeks for a more detailed video demonstration of Thompsons work.Step 1: Thompson set up the model in a sitting position in front of different colored pieces of hanging cloth to create a background for the portrait.
In the winter 2006 issue of Workshop, John A. We present an excerpt from the article with Parks advice about the basic principles behind painting figures in landscapes.Parks narrowed down his advice to 11 items for this article:Consider the figure in its context. How are the landscape and the figure tied together?
In the fall 2006 issue of Drawing, we explored the sometimes daunting task of drawing accurate heads. Here, we suggest one technique from the article that will help you use perspective to better gauge the tilt of the head.by Dan GhenoStereometric Manby Albrecht Dürer, 11½ x 8From the artists Dresden Notebook.
By M. Stephen DohertyWinter Aint Far Awaywatercolor, 15 x 15.Can a pharmacist who describes himself as cheap actually convince artists to trust his advice about buying art supplies? He can if he is passionate about art, respectful of painters, cheerfully disposed, and committed to serving the needs of creative people.
Debbie Cason Rankin explains how drips, puddles, and runs can capture a subject’s emotional state.by James A. MetcalfeLife Is Good2004, watercolor, 14 x 20.All artwork this articlecollection the artist.“Hopefully this painting leavesthe viewer with a happyfeeling,” the artist says.“The response of most peoplewhen they view this paintingis usually a happy one.
Helen Klebesadel offers tips on how to introduce the sometimes daunting medium of watercolor to novice painters.by Leanne MacLennanCedar Dance II2004, watercolor,30 x 22.All artworkthis articlecollection theartist.Watercolor instructor Helen Klebesadel fondly refers to watercolors as rich hues that are created by light passing through transparent pigments.
After Colorado artist Stephen Quiller finishes presenting exercises, demonstrations, lectures, and critiques during a workshop, students often comment that no other instructor has covered that vital information with such depth and clarity. Even experienced painters and teachers say they benefited from the way Quiller clarified the fundamentals of selecting and mixing color.
In past issues, we explained how to analyze and correctly draw different areas of the body. In this tutorial overview of the figure, we bring it all together.by Dan GhenoWeighted Stasisby Dan Gheno, 2006,colored pencil and whitecharcoal on toned paper,24 x 18.You wouldn’t build a house without referring to a blueprint or try to take a trip without consulting a map, anymore than you would set up your DVD player without looking at the instruction manual.
We present more of Pauline Roches figure paintings that capture contemporary viewers mesmerized by the genius of Old Master work in the May 2007 issue of American Artist. View an audio slideshow demonstration of Roches still-life work Spring Flowers.Little Dancer at the Met1999, oil, 30 x 30.
My goal, says Andy Evansen, is to finish a painting in only three washes. Through simplification, bold brushstrokes, a bit of planning, and confidence, the Minnesota watercolorist capitalizes on the mediums ability to render a scene in a manner thats both believable and spontaneous.
A Nocturne Painting PaletteSeveral years ago California nocturne painting artist Thomas Van Stein taught seven students his process for how to paint night scenes.Of the many challenges students faced, the most difficult ones seemed to involve value and color: specifically, learning to see values correctly in the dark and properly mixing colors to achieve the subtle nuances of night.
A look at the anatomical structure of the ear, and some helpful tips on how to draw people.by Ephraim RubensteinMaddie2005, pastel on sandedboard, 19 x 15.In this portrait of my daughter,Madeleine, her ear is litvery dramatically from behind.In backlighting such as this,the thinness of the skinand cartilage makes the ear quite transparent.
Veteran California oil painter Meredith Brooks Abbott explains how she has maintained a devotion to the routine of painting every day, with continually improving results.by Molly SipleBird Refuge2006, oil on linen, 11 x 11. All artwork this article private collection.Meredith Brooks Abbott has been painting for 50 years, but she feels that doesn’t exempt her from going to life-drawing sessions once a week at the local community college.
Nine years ago, Mark Norseth moved his family to Hawaii and discovered the perfect place to record the power, movement, and coloration of the sea in pastel paintings.by Tamara MoanIt’s easy to spot Mark Norseth around the town of Kailua, perhaps down by the boat landing on the beach or under a tree at the edge of the marsh.
Ned Mueller discussed how to properly mix the right colors with which to convey a scene.by Bob Bahr“Many students want to learn as much as they can in an expedient manner, but it does take some years to achieve a fairly competent level,” says Mueller. It is what most beginner, and some advanced, students need, but if you gave a workshop and announced that the students would do black-and-white value studies for the week, you wouldn’t get too many sign-ups.