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Atelier Dojo’s Figure Painting in Oils: From Monochrome to Limited Palette (Session 3)

David Robinson 5 years ago

Painting with Jennifer: Atelier Dojo’s Figure Painting in Oils – From Monochrome to Limited Palette (A Blog Series)




How does she do it? Jennifer Balkan stepped up the game yet again. Tonight we had to paint two monochrome paintings on 12″ X 16″ canvases. But tonight Jennifer did not lead us into it with a demo. Scary. We had to apply monochrome tones as she had taught us the previous two weeks as a kind of review, practice, and quiz all at once.

The previous two weeks’ monochrome/value painting class content was detailed, well presented by Jennifer, and I thought I had it down. But the quiz/exam qualities of the assignment gave me nervous anxiety, and I had a frustrating night of it. I restarted both paintings, and I’m usually a quick, accurate sketcher. The restarts meant I had less time to advance my work; I didn’t make it to even one of the three highlights (see last week’s blog). Other students expressed similar levels of frustration.


Intimidatingly good paintings in the studio | Photo courtesy David Robinson

It wasn’t for want of flinging paint. I’m halfway through a large tube of white and all the way through a tube of raw umber. There’s paint all over the students and the studio. Cleanup is a mess. I estimate the interior of Atelier Dojo will be completely repainted about once a year.

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Cover photo courtesy of Jennifer Balkan

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