I am setting up a studio at home to teach oil painting. Here is my studio:
It leads off the dining room which we will use when it is too dark to paint by daylight. (Just wait for the ‘lighting the dining room’ saga. I have been learning about Kelvins and Lumens and much more.)
It is a large conservatory where I do most of my work, despite me having an upstairs studio. It is filled with natural light and fills me with joy, as I am in touch with my garden, and I have my little Westie for company. By using the reception rooms and the conservatory I can accommodate 6 people comfortably and have invested in easels, stools and materials.
Here is the description of the introduction to first few workshops, where we will exlplore this still-life going from grey-scale-tonal to natural colours to vibrant expressive colours:
I really like the Notan concept, which is Japanese for a dark-light harmony and you paint it using black and white choosing which shapes to be painted as either black or white. I think it is a difficult project for people starting out, but working with just five tones makes some of the drama of light and dark accessible. So everyone did sample boards and mixed a grey-scale to paint with.
- light grey
- mid grey
- dark grey
This introduces people to using oils, mixing it and painting tonally. It is very tempting for beginners to just paint a blue jug blue, and throw in a little bit of shadow. But beginning with a grey-scale tonal painting, then doing a colour painting, will enable everyone to think tonally.
And when new artists are challenged by something abstract like this, they become absorbed and are less likely to panic or feel nervous. After doing the tonal sample board, they started on a small painting with a burnt umber ‘wash’ over the gesso, and drew the still-life with diluted mid-grey. Because you can continually make changes in oils, it is not as scary as watercolour!