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Still Life Painting Workshop Recap

I had a wonderful time teaching my still life painting workshop, graciously organized and hosted by M Gallery in Florida. We painted at Susan Foster's incredibly idyllic and perfectly appointed studio.

After blogging about all of my workshops over the years, it was an amusing switch to teach the workshop myself, and have my students do the blogging! Two of my students, Loriann Signori and Deborah Elmquist, both accomplished painters themselves, wrote several beautiful posts describing the process and philosophy I teach. Check out their links and enjoy their paintings!

The challenge of running a workshop based on the way I work is to condense what is usually at least a 60-hour process, down to 15 hours of demo time for me and 15 hours of painting time for my students. Therefore, I had each artist paint a teeny tiny painting, 5 x 7 inches. Even given the Florida humidity, which unexpectedly slowed the drying time for each layer, every single artist did a formidable little painting!

I had a truly enjoyable time, and I feel incredibly lucky that "work" for me is hanging out in a beautiful studio with a highly skilled group of artist students, all eager to learn.

During the week I also had the supreme pleasure of meeting two artists I have long admired, David Kassan and Susan Lyon, both of whom were also invited to Sarasota, Florida for demos, teaching and exhibition.

Below is the demonstration panel I painted during the workshop, it's 6x8 inches:

Pencil drawing blocked-in on trace paper or mylar

Pencil drawing transferred to the panel and refined.

"Open grisaille" or sometimes called a "wipe-out": raw umber and turp

"Closed grisaille", or "dead layer" painted with grays mixed with:
flake white, raw umber, ultramarine blue.

Full color, work-in-process. Would need another week to finalize!

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Reader Comments (7)

thanks for those series of shots. why flake white and not titatnium?

March 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrahina q.h.

Hi Sadie,
Thank you for mentioning me in your post. I would recommend your workshop to anyone and everyone, no matter what they paint or where they are in their journey as an artist. I am not a classical realist, nor do I paint still life but I learned so much from working with you. Best of all it gave me new fodder and produced what seems like endless questions that will help guide my work for years to come.
Sadie you are an amazing teacher and artist: extremely knowledgeable, generous with your time and knowledge, warm, open and even funny. What a dynamic combination! Thank you for everything!

March 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterloriann

Beautiful Sadie!

March 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAriel

Lovely work, Sadie. Thanks for sharing the wip.

March 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCathyann

That's a beautiful painting. Are you planning to finish it? I saw your ecorche at the studio. It's looking really good. Makes me wish I could have joined you guys for that one.

April 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMatias

Hi Matais, thanks, no I'm not planning to finish the demo, it was just to show the steps of my painting process. Plus it would be almost impossible to get the still life set up the same way back at my own studio.

You should take ecorche next time Andy offers it, it's an amazing class.

April 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSadie J. Valeri

Cool, thank you for showing/sharing.

April 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJala Pfaff
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