What will we do during the workshop?

Absolute Beginners
If you are an absolute beginner, you will be very welcome. During the week I will give you a solid foundational course on the most essential elements you need to understand in order to paint well. The course will include topics from workshops A and B of the Virtual Art Academy course.

Advanced Students
If you are a more experienced or professional painter, we will work on more advanced topics tailored to your interests.

Topics
The foundational elements we will cover for beginners are:
  • the secrets to improving your drawing and making your drawings accurate.
  • the essential of color mixing and organizing your palette for efficient painting
  • what are values and why they are critical to master if you want to paint well and make things look real
  • the essential technique of comparing values to make sure your values are accurate
  • the importance of developing a strong notan design as the foundation for the abstract design of your painting
  • the visual poetry and music model, or how to make your work both meaningful and at the same time beautiful to look at 
  • the use of cropping and unequal space division, the foundation of composition, to create interesting and unique compositions
  • the essentials of atmospheric perspective and how to give your landscapes a feeling of depth
  • the essentials of observing color and light relationships and why they are essential to creating color harmony in your work
  • the 9 step alla prima painting process for quickly and accurately capturing a scene outdoors
Media
All media are welcome: oils, acrylics, watercolors, and pastels.

Will I be doing any finished artwork during the workshop?
The focus of my workshops is on learning how to become a better painter, and not on doing finished paintings. You will learn far faster (at least ten times faster) by doing the structured assignments I give you rather than by trying to do finished paintings. For this reason, do not expect to produce a finished painting during the workshop.

Will I be painting better at the end of the workshop?
I want to set your expectations to a be realistic. It is impossible to improve your skills much during a one week workshop. Getting better at painting needs a lot more practice than that. For this reason do not expect to see much difference in your paintings at the end of the week. If you set your expectations too high, you would be putting far too much pressure on yourself and would get frustrated and this would slow down your learning. Instead, what I am going to teach you during the week is how you can improve your skills in the six months after the workshop has finished. If you repeat the exercises I give you during the workshop over and over again for six months, you will begin to see a considerable improvement in your paintings. If you don't do the exercises I give you for six months after the workshop, your paintings will not improve. I have found that this is the best approach to teaching painting. That is why I usually have repeat students in my workshop. They know the process works and come back for another workshop so I can take their skills to a new level the following year.

Personal development plan
At the end of the workshop you will leave with a solid plan of action to work on for the following twelve months after the workshop in order to take your work to the next level. The plan will be based on the Virtual Art Academy Apprentice Program curriculum, so you will need to be an Apprentice or Premium Apprentice member in order to benefit from this plan.


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