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Take your learning in your own hands, it is never to late!

Sometimes what you get out of it is not what you think or expect.

Even learning just one new little thing can be a game changer.

Just show up and do the work!

Consistent practice is the way to mastery.


Lately I’ve heard a lot of students having the light go off and things begin to stick. Hooray!!! This is very pleasing to me, every little hurdle that is overcome allow you to unlock even more. But often its not what you think you know or what you expect to learn that is the real lesson.

Last week students stretched and built their own canvases. This past Friday they prepped and primed them.

As our Spring semester gets on its way I’m reminded but the amazing act of courage and vulnerability the student mind exhibits. That bravery to show up as they are, ready to challenge themselves and learn. We had a great pop up course covering what every artists should know in preparing they own professional quality supports from the “ground up”.

Learning Bunny's secret card application tricks

I remember the most valuable thing I learned from one of the fall workshops had less to do with the course content and more to do with practical knowledge from an expert. It was a simple trick to cut my paper towels into quarters that way I'd waste less and use them more effectively. I did a quick calculation in my mind and the amount I’ll save from this one technique was definitely worth far more than the cost of the course. That being said I learned more in the rest, but it is definitely not the things I would have expected to gain that I thought would have been valuable to take away.

Prepping a wide variety of textures adn finished on canvas and panel

In all the Atelier Artista courses I hope to offer more than anywhere else. I try to approach content it from an academic standpoint in an effort replace the thoughts and judgements one may have with more useful information. On example from the portraiture course that just began is to calling the "white outer layer of the eyeball" by the scientific nomenclature “Sclera”. This reminds us to stay away from the pitfall of keeping the sclera pure white when we draw or paint. The "white of the eyes" most often appear off white or in shadow due to eyeballs being inset in the skull and spherical in nature, and so our work must reflect their three dimensional form. I most often paint them with raw umber and a touch of white and one leave my true whites for specular lighting effects which make up a very small percentage of the overall composition.

At the end some socializing as we wait for paint to dry

Many types of learners like an umbrella approach. They like to get a general overview of everything they are going to learn before diving not the individual details. Anyone who has taken a class with me knows that courses are packed full of info at the start then we get focused on all the little details and nuances as we go. I think all art should start with simple basics forms before jumping into the details. This is true in our classical drawing courses and the same for life drawing. It reminds me of one of my favourite cartoons by Cheney which I keep on display in the classroom.

By being heavy on the notes and concepts I hope to "teach a man to fish" and to arm all my students with the ability to learn further in their own practice on their own time. This Atelier is not a craft place where we waste away the hours playing, here we are working out our at muscles like a serious weightlifter does in their gym.

That being said, I should remind you of a new session beginning this Thursday as part of our coming up for Extended/Continuous Pose sessions which take place on Thursday evenings 7 - 10 pm.

This session is hosted by the talented Keith Springall, you can follow the steps from start to finish for creating your artwork drawing - painting. We will have model and muse: Vera May assume the same pose for 5 Thursday sessions. You can come get a good spot, or move around the room and return every week to work on the same pose. This is a chance to go from drawing and value study and to work up layers for paint, and this is the only place in town you can do it. You can drop in Thursdays 7 - 10, pay in person, online and/or use your multi-pass

So jump in get your practice in and work out your art muscles.

It is never to late to begin!

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