November was a Learning Month
November was a Learning Month

November was a Learning Month

For my birthday present this year, I asked for a gift that keeps on giving. I signed up for two online art classes with artists I've admired for years.

Principles of Abstraction

The first class I took was called Principles of Abstraction with Larry Moore. I've been a fan of Larry's art and teaching, and I love his book, Fishing for Elephants.* Larry is a big advocate of expanding our creativity and finding our creative intention.

I did so many small studies for homework!
I did so many small studies for homework!

This four-week abstract painting class has been challenging, fun, and inspirational. I did a boatload of small studies - I lost count but well over 100 - focusing on line, value, color, and shape.

It's been a treat to see the variety in everyone's work, considering we are following the same parameters. There are around 20 people in the class and we all paint so differently.

I still have the final project to complete for the last big hurrah next week and I'll be sad to see the class end. I have many great takeaways and I will revisit and apply the concepts presented.

Water and Rocks in Gouache

The second class fell right in line with my birthday. Painting and learning are great ways to celebrate! This 2-day class was on painting water and rocks in gouache with Mike Hernandez.

Mike is such a pro at using gouache. His paintings are beyond beautiful and dynamic. And since I live on the OR coast, how could I resist a class on painting rugged rocks and crashing waves?!

The first day was a captivating lecture followed by an impressive demo in the afternoon. Mike encouraged us to paint along with him. I started to paint, but then I stopped so I could concentrate on watching Mike. He can paint, describe his process, answer questions, adjust the camera, and still come up with a knock-out of a painting. You can see the painting he did for us here https://www.instagram.com/p/CWl3--shxZ3/

The second day was a critique of our work followed by another great demo. Mike is an expert with digital art and was able to take images of our paintings and do in-depth critiques using photoshop. It was fascinating to watch the transition. The most common 'fix' was simplifying areas that were overly complex. Also, it was great to watch him adjust values to make areas of interest really shine.

What a treat to take these two great classes and not even need to leave the house! Technology and Zoom are amazing and painters are very fortunate to have this caliber of education available at an affordable price.

*Amazon affiliate link

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