October 22-23 Still life Composition & Painting Workshop
David Cheifetz Studio, Seattle
Saturday and Sunday: 10am-5pm (lunch break 1-2pm)
Tuition: $309 non-refundable
Limited to 6 students.
We will work together on still life composition, brush painting, and knife painting.
ALL SKILL LEVELS. I adjust my advice for each person’s level. More advanced students will find it easier to focus on the subtleties of composition. A drawing background is recommended.
Composition! I will work individually with each student to compose a still life setup. The goal will be to create compositions with a powerful sense of focus. This is an important stage and we will give it some thought. I also encourage students to listen to the composition problems faced by fellow students--it is a great way to learn and process. If you are finished earlier than others with your setup, you can begin setting out your paints.
The rest of Saturday:
After everyone has a good setup, I will explain my own composition and intentions, then I will begin a demo of my painting method and answer questions while I paint. The more questions the better. At some point I’ll stop and everyone will begin on their own paintings and I will circulate to help each person.
You will paint and I will circulate. I will periodically come back to my demo. Depending on the needs of the group I may also decide to do quick demo-ettes such as a piece of fruit just to show effective turning of a round form. However, priority is given to your work time so that I can give you practical advice. You may choose to create a new composition each day if you like, or you may dig in and get to a more finished stage. I love talking about composition, and the beginning stages are so important, so I encourage more starts. That is how I was taught, and it did wonders for me.
Note: I would hope that you are not overly concerned with producing sellable work during the workshop as it will hinder learning. If you end up with something great, that is a bonus, but I don’t want students to feel rushed or obsessed with production. I am mostly concerned with communicating some key concepts in a way that really sinks in. I want this knowledge to be useful for you later on. We will work hard and enjoy the process together.
-Small Portable easel with a compact footprint. We have limited space.
-A few black cloths AND white cloths.
To use as your still life background/surface cloth (and to provide extra shade for your setup if necessary). This is an important step in the composition process. Any normal cotton cloth is great.
-Holbein MX no 1 painting knife or Holbein 1066S-303 painting knife. Both are excellent...303 is a little smaller and more delicate.
If you have no intention of knife painting, you can stick with brushes. But I will be teaching both. I love both.
-Filbert Natural Bristle Brushes, a variety of sizes.
Good brands are Robert Simmons Signet filbert, Trekell Hog bristle filbert, Jack Richeson Signature. When painting with brushes I use the whole range, but my workhorse is usually size 4. To make things simple, you can just get some even numbers: 2,4,6,8....
-Medium: Gamblin Neo-Megilp
Be sure to avoid student grade brands (like winton etc): the oily handling properties and weak pigmentation will hinder your progress. I like Winsor Newton Artist's Oils and there are plenty of decent brands in that price range. If you'd like to experiment with a fast drying paint, I really enjoy W&N Griffin Alkyds.
cadmium orange (Winsor Newton Artist’s Oils preferred)
cadmium yellow (Winsor Newton Artist’s Oils preferred)
a quality white (I mostly use titanium)
-A variety of toned panels to paint on. Some different sizes: 8x10, 9x12, 11x14, bigger if you like, maybe a square if you want. It is nice to have a choice while composing. I’ll probably demo on 9x12
My favorite is Ampersand Gessobord or Jack Richeson Premium Gessoed Hardboard. Raymar or Trekell linen panels are also fantastic. No Mona Lisa/Speedball panels, they are far too slick. Tone the panels in advance of the workshop to make sure they are totally dry. Can't go wrong with an umber color. Often I like to prep a few in different tones and then make a game-time decision.
-Paper towels. I like Viva or those blue shop towels, both are thick and cloth-like.
-Your other basics...palette, container for gamsol, gloves, whatever else you need.