February 29, 2016

figure drawing tonal studies

 Last week my students began tonal studies with our male model and a few came in on the week-end for the free session Continuing Education offers enrolled students on Saturday afternoon. This evening we had a lovely female model to inspire our tonal studies this week. My students toned their paper by rubbing in charcoal and smoothing it in with paper towel, chamois or other such tool.

One student in particular really raised his own bar and created the best drawing he's done so far to date. It makes me proud to see their personal improvements and achievements with each passing week. Well done guys!

February 28, 2016

Oil Sampler at Swinton's

End of Feb 2016.

Last week I hosted an acrylic sampler and this week I hosted one for oil. Though messier at times, and harder to grasp the first time I think this group did really great. I even had a young lady with her parents take part. Below are some of pieces at various levels of progress throughout the 3 hr. session.
 Here is my colour wheel and grey scale demo palette and some supplies.
Nicely grouped Winton oil paints and supplies waiting to be utilized.

Not bad for first time painters in oil and only one short class!
If this look like fun I have two more coming up in march and one is already sold out, but you can keep your eyes peeled on the Swinton's website for more Sunday Sampler days int he future.

February 26, 2016

Acrylic sampler at Swinton's

It is always a mixed batch of people coming from a variety f backgrounds and interests that really make my Sunday Samplers at Swinton's such a dynamic event. I feel like I'm the guide on the journey of creativity. Kind of like Willy Wonka opening the doors to his chocolate factory. Except in this case its better not to eat the ingredients. They are a plastic polymer after all.
In the Acrylic sampler we start out getting used to the stickiness of mixing colours before we get a plan of attack for the individual compositions. I show a variety of ways of getting an image down onto the toned support and then we prepare colours.
Except in the case of abstract, then you can probably just begin attacking the support with pigment.
We start with blocking in the big shapes with a big brush so that there is a base to work on.

Working towards detail while thinning the paint further and reducing the brush size along the way.
every individual has a different approach reflecting their different interests and unique goals in paint.
By the time the dust has cleared and the work spaces are tidied up, the participants leave with their first acrylic painting.
As their guide I bask in the glory of their achievements on that most noble adventure of art:D

for more info on the samplers I offer at Swinton's visit their website here:

February 23, 2016

Colour Theory class opportunity

I was asked to substitute teach a colour theory class. I imagine walking into a class much like a cold call. I dread it in many ways. It can be nerve racking. I know my stuff so all I can I hope is to liven up the room and make learning enjoyable, but you never know the dynamic of the group.
 This Monday night I got my chance to instruct a Colour Fundamentals course for another teacher who was away.  I had built  a curriculum for a similar course in the hops to teach it last fall, but it didn't run due to low enrollment. Now I got my chance and my fingers are crossed it went well.
 I think I offered a "colourful" FUN-damental class based on the outline and assignments I had to give. I managed to scrape together 3 corresponding slideshows for the monochrmatic, analogous and complementary colour scheme assignments.

I really like all the different set ups an materials they were experimenting with. And the chicken soup can reused and recycled for art. I also appreciated the bright colour true lighting in the colour fundamentals classroom.
Near the end of the class I offered additional notes on Plutchick's (colour) wheel of emotions and showed a video about colour and storytelling in cinema that is a real eye opening approach for any artist to understand the value and use of colour in motion pictures and how it can relate to their artwork. It was a great class and I hope to be able to offer some of the teachings again in the future.
I also wanted to share the beautiful colourful painting I saw created live at the latest Swinton's Demo night featuring artist Donna MacDonald. Its a cheap event to attend on a Friday night that I highly recommend. Her workshop is already full but who knows there may be another listed for the fall so keep your eyes peeled.

February 19, 2016

Figure drawing class Feb 18/2016

Hi all, I've been hiding away in my studio when I can and I'm not working one of 5 jobs or teaching. When it rains.... as they say. In the in-between time I've been working on something new in the studio which you may have seen in the background on my Episode 5 - Youtube channel video.

You can watch that here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qwx8IOFGx3o

 I have my french Arches paper taped to a drawing board. I begin blocking in the dark values and background tone focusing on simplified shapes and trying my best not to get distracted and focused on favorite areas of interest until I have material down over the entire surface.
As I progress I leave some areas more sketchy, these areas are often like gems so I like to keep them for as long as I can.

Back to school.

I'm instructing a figure drawing course at the Alberta College of Art and Design one evening per week.  We are already on class three, but because there is a model in the room I am hesitant to take photographs out of respect for the model. I took these after the model left the room, when on break or at the end of class to give you an idea what the work looks like on class 3 when we focused on creating values on toned drawing paper.
It is awfully bright in the classroom but you need to see your paper when you are drawing. The best tool the artist has is to squint to simplify the shapes and values.
I loaned a student one of my figure drawing reference books, this picture is to remind me who has what.
When the lights are turned back on the pieces do look quite different and you get a sense of the depth and breadth of the values in the pieces.
Some quick poses on the neutral concrete classroom floor.
The lights and darks by adding more material to the paper or by erasing out help to create the illusion of form on a 2D surface.

My favorite part of this drawing is the foot that just gives us a sense of detail of what is there. Our eye only focuses on one area at a time so this helps bring the attention back up to what the artist wants you to look at the head area.
The students discovered the push and pull of darks and lights in the final long pose of the session and the work turned out great.

February 12, 2016


My latest article for the swinton's newsletter just came out.

Read it on the link below:



Here's some  pictures from the recent Acrylic Sampler I hosted down at the studios.

If this looks like colourful fun and you'd like to try it out sign up for a sampler on the Swinton's website:D