Techniques and Tips

How to Get the Most Out of a Painting Workshop

How to Get the Most Out of a Painting Workshop



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I dont get to attend as many oil painting art workshops as I would like, so when the opportunity to participate in one does present itself, I really want to get the most out of my time there. Here are a few of my own warm-up to workshop guidelines that I use in preparation for any oil painting lessons that I take so that when Im in the thick of the it, Im still focused, purposeful, and gaining ground in my art.

Be the teachers pet. Okay, this might just be me but I always have questions for my instructors. Whether it is wanting more advice on what oil painting supplies to use, what we are going to cover in terms of oil painting techniques that Im not familiar with, or what great oil painting gallery the instructor is a fan of that I should look at too–I always have tons of questions. A great way to appease my curiosity is to seek out the instructor before the workshop and ask all the questions I have buzzing in my head, and I encourage you to do the same. Theyll appreciate your interest and youll have a better sense of what to expect!

I would love to take an oil painting workshop with Dan McCaw. He has such a
strong compositional sense that he stresses with light and dark forms.
Morning Light, oil painting, 24 x 36.

Put blinders on. Im a social butterfly, so usually when I get in a group with a bunch of oil painting artists, I want to flit around and chat about their work and see how they actually put oil on canvas. But doing all this distracts from what Im learning and doing, so in workshops I try to steer clear of the socializing and only chat during breaks. That way Im not left with a sense that I didnt give myself the time to properly develop my own work.

Seated Figure
by Dan McCaw, oil painting, 12 x 9.

Demo equals memo. If my instructor does an oil painting demo, youll always find me as close to him or her as I can be, but off to the side so that Im not in anyone elses way. I dont take my eyes off the instructor. This isnt because I want to imitate and copy their process down to the last stroke, but the times that I actually get to learn oil painting by watching a painting actually being created right in front of me arent too frequent. So keep your eyes glued to the instructor, take notes if that is your thing, but definitely immerse yourself in their process and try to figure out how to apply their painting techniques to how you want to work.

Now we are ready to take on any and all art instruction, and it just so happens that our 2014 CD Collections for Pastel Journal, The Artists Magazine, Drawing magazine, and Watercolor Artist are now available with an entire years worth of tutorials, step-by-step painting lessons, and technique guidelines from some of the countrys best artists and art instructors. So learn confidently and smartly with these 2014 CD Collections because you have the know-how to make the most of any painting session–and there are plenty here to keep you busy. Enjoy!


Watch the video: HOSTING A LOCAL PAINTING WORKSHOP! Paige Poppe (August 2022).