Every month I offer a live 2-hour online painting workshop to those in the Master Oil Painting membership. I thought I would share a couple of question & answer tips we discussed during two of our sessions.
In these workshops, we dive into one of the more than 30 painting instruction videos available in the members’ library. We use a Zoom room so everyone can see each other and speak directly when there’s a question or comment.
Our members range from those who are just picking up a paintbrush for the first time to those who have been painting for decades and actively sell their art. There is no way to fit enough voice over instruction and information into a 2-to-8-hour video to cover every question our students might have.
For those who are beginning painters, even a short 2-hour video can be daunting. Experienced artists often forget how many seemingly insignificant things we’ve learned that we now take for granted – like the difference between a filbert and a flat paintbrush. What does the word value mean? What is a dry brushstroke? The workshops help them navigate the complicated world of art terms and techniques in a direct and personal way because they can ask questions that may not have been answered during the video.
Until we started having these live events, I didn’t realize how fast I paint and how difficult it is for new painters to see how certain strokes were created. Now, our members point out those moments during the workshops so we can slow down the video to ¼ or ½ speed and discuss in detail how I’m using the brush with a specific technique.
For members who are more experienced, we get to discuss concepts in greater depth and bounce ideas off one another. Often our experienced painters are tighter realists who want to loosen up and learn to paint with greater freedom of expression. These workshops offer them the opportunity to ask me detailed questions about both my techniques and how I think, so they can discover how to use broad vigorous brushstrokes while keeping control of the composition.
We typically spend 2 or 3 monthly sessions covering each video so we can discuss several key principles and techniques specific to that video.
Many of our members are seeking to discover how to paint loose, convincing landscapes and flowers and we hope these workshops will help them learn much faster than trying to do it alone.
Whether you went to art school, take workshops, read books, or you’ve learned completely on your own, what experiences have helped you grow your skills and careers as artists?