Saturday, August 1, 2015

Painting the Figure Outdoors

I just finished this summer's session of painting the figure outdoors with the North River Arts Center in Marshfield, Ma. On this last day, my friend and fantastic artist Nancy Sargent Howell offered her beautiful property to paint on and her beautiful self as our model.
  We all traveled to the Third Cliff in Scituate and unpacked our gear for a lovely day considering it was the end of July. Nancy's house is perched on a hill overlooking the North River in Marshfield. The view is so heavenly, it is a wonder she gets any work done!!! I think it is one of the best views in Massachusetts! She has a majestic tree on the edge of her property, so we placed her comfortably in the shade lounging on a chair with her figure heading into our scenes for a great composition.
   Everyone was in a great mood because of our location and gracious host. I gave a quick demonstration showing how to simplify the scene. My students were all set to go! Because we were in the shade with plenty of room for each student to set up with a great composition, my students were ready to get going!.
   After two + hours, everyone had a wonderful painting to show. I saw smiles on everyones face. They worked hard and learned a lot!

In each class, I try to set up an example to help my students grow. In the first class, we did a simple portrait. This way, when we worked on figures, we would know how to map the face into our figures. We did that for a few classes till everyone understood how to do it. The next session was a little more difficult. I had the model lay on the ground. This helped the student to map in the model using discipline and skill to get the figure accurately on the canvas. They had to really paint what they saw not what they knew to get this down right. It was a fantastic class. I was surprised how well everyone did.

The next few classes were setting up models in ordinary and mundane ways. We always had great scenery around. I always tell my students, "even though you may do a lousy job, you are painting in these very beautiful spots!" You have nothing to lose!"

In my classes, we have beginners to advanced. Everyone always ends up with a smile on their face! So if you are afraid to take a class. This is one you should really try! I will show you how to begin and continue at your speed. I will conquer your fears and help you move in a disciplined way. If nothing else, you will have a lot of fun with some great people!
New classes start in September. There is something for everyone! Still life helps you with technique. Landscape helps you with color and painting quickly and portrait and life drawings are important to learn drawing. Tackle your fears and take a class with me. See my schedule at


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