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Atelier Dojo’s Figure Painting in Oils: From Monochrome to Limited Palette (Session 8)

David Robinson 3 years ago

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









Tonight was the last class session and the class painters had their last three hours producing a painting of one pose of six hours. Even though we were told repeatedly to squint and slow down, everyone seemed to work earnestly, with rapid brush strokes.

The class has now declined to eight members, from eleven. Those remaining are the more goal-oriented types, who wanted to get something out of the class. Lacking grades, credit, or Continuing Education points, the goals must have been internal and personal. So I reassessed my own and decided that my goals were to become a better artist and participate more in the Atelier Dojo arts community.

last class

Example of Jennifer’s work | Photo courtesy of Jennifer Balkan

Goal Part 1 meant I had to work harder to catch up with the class in this last project. I was starting from the sketch I gained last week. My cat Lori is much happier and healthier this week, thank you. I hurriedly mixed paint in the tones Jennifer had taught us. That and my practice in mixing in this complex system paid off in my quickly gaining a set of acceptable tones on my palette.

Jennifer brought a spray can of restoring varnish, to recondition the surfaces of our week-old paintings. None of the students were familiar with the stuff, but it seemed to work. The painted sections of my canvas were sticky after the spray, and my later paint applications seemed direct and solid and well-bonded with the earlier paint.

Jennifer circulated among the easels and did not paint a demo along with us. She gave me some help with application of the tones onto my sketch, which helped me make a lot of fast progress. By the end of this last session I had advanced the painted imagery to include an acceptable background. I also had realistic lighting tones on the human figure that give the illusion of shape on a 2D surface. I had still not gotten to the last aggravating step in the process—brushing no more than three highlights on the painted figure. Oh, well, next class.

Session keywords:

Goal orientation

Self reflection


last class

David’s final painting | Photo courtesy of David Robinson

Cover photo courtesy of Mike Petrucci, Unsplash

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