Michael Untiedt Workshop

Artist/Teacher: Michael Untiedt

 

Workshop Title: "The Focal Point: Finishing a Painting"


Date/Time: November 7-9; 10AM to 4PM Daily

Location: Evergreen Fine Art, 3042 Evergreen Pkwy, Evergreen, CO 80439

Cost: $375 for 3 days

Class size: Minimum 6/Maximum 10

 

Workshop Description :
I paint both landscape and figurative works. A problem that I see arising in landscape work, and not as readily apparent in more figurative pieces is the lack of a coherent focal point.

A focal point is that part of a painting that demands the greatest center of attention. It usually brings the composition together into a cohesive whole, both visually and conceptionally. The focal point is where the artist completes their “statement”.

With figurative groupings and particularly landscapes, to provide a focal point can be difficult. Because of the organic nature and overall beauty of a landscape or group of figures, many artists rely on spreading the “beauty” over the entire piece, creating a “grand view” of the subject; or rely on placement of a “center of interest” by the redundant usage of the THIRDS rule. Unfortunately, in my opinion this is not the best practice to create a strong work of art. A focal point must be developed that works within the confines of the chosen composition to make a cohesive statement and conclude the piece............to finish the statement.

In this workshop we will examine this problem and seek creative adjustments and solutions. All skill levels and mediums are welcome. I will demonstrate in oil and watercolor if there is enough demand. Participants will work with me individually to discover their “path of best steps”.


Supply List

FOLLOWING IS A GENERAL LIST OF MATERIALS YOU WILL NEED FOR MY WORKSHOPS: I USUALLY DEMONSTRATE IN OIL OR SOMETIMES WATERCOLOR.

DEPENDENT ON YOUR CHOSEN MEDIUM, you will need an easel, palette, etc. to work on. I encourage people to make “sketches” out on location, and then “paint” back in a studio setting more conducive to good painting. I often plein aire sketch with a small watercolor kit, colored pencils or sketch in pen and ink, which doesn’t require a backpack full of equipment.

 

BRING THE PAINTING MATERIALS AND SUPPORT SUPPLIES FOR THAT MEDIUM THAT YOU PREFER TO WORK IN. I welcome any medium. I work primarily in oil.

I DO NOT SUPPLY ART MATERIALS, SO COME PREPARED! If you are flying, remember you can’t bring solvents with you on the plane. Airport banned materials may be purchased after you arrive.

 

FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF MATERIALS I RECOMMEND YOU STOCK UP WITH:

SKETCHING: Here are some sketching materials you should always have on hand: 9x12 spiral bound sketchbook several #2 pencils pink pearl eraser pencil sharpener assortment of BLACK Sakura nylon tip pens small case of colored pencils, 12 colors I find I can get a lot of plein aire sketching done with this simple list of materials, and all of it fits inside a small shoulder bag that is easy to carry around.

 

COLORS: Here is a list of the oil palette I work with:

Prussian Green...................................Windsor Newton

Prussian Green...................................Grumbacher’s Pre-tested Cobalt Blue..........................................Utrecht

Thalo Blue............................................any manufacturer

Dioxanine Purple.................................Grumbacher’s Pre-tested Payne’s Gray.......................................any manufacturer

Lamp Black..........................................Winton

Quinacridone Red................................Grumbacher’s Pre-tested Cadmium Red Light.............................any manufacturer

Transparent Red Oxide........................Rembrandt

Alizarin Crimson...................................any manufacturer

Cadmium Orange.................................any manufacturer

Cadmium Barium Yellow Deep............Grumbacher’s Pre-tested Cadmium Yellow Light.........................any manufacturer

Titanium White.....................................Weber Permalba

Yellow Ochre.......................................any manufacturer

 

Though I don’t use a lot, I prefer Weber’s Resingel to have on hand for a thinning/drying medium.

 

EASEL / PALETTE: You will need something to mix your paint on. I use a wooden box that has a cover on it. Inside is a sheet of glass to mix oil paint on. I use old metal enameled butcher trays for watercolors. Disposable palette tablets work well. Make sure you match up for the medium you are working in. I use and recommend an “Open M” painting easel when oil painting out on location. You will need something to hold your work. Check with friends or call me for recommendations for this plein aire equipment.

 

Here are some hot links to excellent manufactures and suppliers of plein aire, painting outside equipment: Open Box M, Cody, Wyoming...some fine equipment http://www.openboxm.com/ Judson’s Art Outfitters, Fort Collins, Colorado....a family business that makes some great equipment http://www.judsonsart.com/pleinair/pc/Guerrilla-Painter-Boxes-c2.htm

 

BRUSHES: You will be surprised at the variety of brushes, both large and SMALL, that I use when oil painting. I have no preferences of manufacturers. I usually go with the best brushes for the cheapest price. I find people generally paint with too large of brushes, and instead of masterful, painterly brushstrokes, get an awkward clunky look to their painting. I also use palette knives, credit cards, sticks, my hands, and whatever else works to get paint on the canvas in a creative and painterly manner. I am very particular about watercolor brushes. I have a range of sizes and styles. I find Richeson to be an excellent manufacturer of reasonably priced watercolor brushes of exceptional quality.

 

PAINTING SURFACES: This is dependent on your medium. Unless otherwise prescribed in the workshop syllabus, I suggest sketching in a small size, 12x16 or smaller when painting in a workshop. If painting plein aire I find 9x12 or 11x14 a very comfortable "outdoor" size canvas. For finished studio work I would suggest not working larger than 16x20 or it may become difficult to get work completed by the end of the workshop. I will usually demonstrate in oils on 9x12 and smaller panels. If you are painting in oil or pastel, you need to have a means of storage to protect finished/wet work. For painting plein aire, I like oil painting on Frederix Green Label Linen Panels or on gessoed masonite. If you paint on masonite, make sure it is UNTEMPERED MASONITE. This material will have a light brown color and usually is quite rough on the back side. TEMPERED MASONITE has a very dark brown color to it and will not allow paint to permanently bind to it. The masonite, as well as raw canvas, needs to be “sized” with two or three coats of acrylic gesso. I like the quality of the surface when I use Kilz acrylic house primer, which I often use in place of gesso.

 

ALWAYS BRING LOTS OF PAPER TOWELS!!! ALSO, PLASTIC GROCERY SACKS FOR PORTABLE TRASH BAGS. DIGITAL CAMERA: I find a digital camera to be of tremendous value when gathering resource “notes” for paintings. Any digital camera will work well. To be of greatest use you should also bring a laptop computer or other means of viewing the digital photo images you have collected. MISC.: In a plein aire, painting outdoors workshop, think about your personal comfort and health. Bring comfortable clothes that can be layered depending on the weather. A rain jacket is helpful. I wear gore-tex hiking boots when out on location so my feet don’t get wet depending on circumstances. If at a high altitude or dry climate, bring water bottles/canteens and drink a lot of water to prevent altitude sickness. Also, I suggest long sleeve shirts and pants, and a good wide brimmed hat to prevent sunburn. A folding stool or chair will add to your comfort. In summertime, don’t forget mosquito spray! When painting outdoors it doesn't hurt to keep a roll of toilet paper in your materials! If most of the workshop painting occurs indoors, tables, chairs, lighting, trash containers, water, and restrooms are provided.

 

ALWAYS BRING LOTS OF RAGS AND/OR PAPER TOWELS FOR PEOPLE WANTING TO LEARN HOW TO CONSTRUCT A GOLDEN PROPORTION: In almost every workshop I teach someone asks for me to show them how to calculate the golden proportion of a canvas or paper. This is a way of dividing up the "pictoral plane" into segments pleasing to the eye. If you wish to be taught this, bring a compass, the kind you draw circles with, and a straight edge such as a ruler, a pencil and eraser and sketchbook.