art classes

Acrylic is Perfect for Multimedia

Photo of a table holds a large colorful paper.

Printing with acrylic pigments yields rich and colorful results.

We used a giant gel plate for experimental monotypes, and I have to say the colors are always much brighter than when we use block printing ink. The other big difference is that the results cannot be altered as acrylic is not water soluble. But these prints can become a background for play with other paint with watercolor or ink, for example. The gel plate was created using a variation of a recipe I found on the internet. 6 months and $150 later, I found the right combination of gelatin and glycerin and now share it with my students. I love gel plates, not just because of their sensitivity to textures but because they require almost no physical exertion.

colorful acrylic paint pouring off a canvas

Liquid acrylic pigments change quickly due to gravity.

Pours on small canvasses are the happy experiments on which anyone can build a larger or more complex piece. I buy packs of these 9 x 12″ canvasses and do my teaching demos on them. The pours are exciting because the colors change right before our eyes. Anne Marie from BeadFX because has a much better description of what happens: “layer up various densities of paint dollops (heaviest on the bottom, and lightest on top). A couple of light swirls with a stir stick, and then you pour on your background. When you’re done, you start tipping the substrate, for a wonderful, swirling explosion of color saturated eye candy!” In our case, we sprayed liquid acrylic, poured some using a different recipe, and added latex paint at the end.

hand tilting colorful canvas

Another “dirty” pour in process!

You don’t really need to take a class to learn how to pour acrylics on a canvas. I find that what people want to learn is how to prepare the various pouring recipes. But I always tell them that the internet has so many instructions for the curious. Michael Townsend has written an excellent article that goes beyond recipes. It is more of an overview, explaining how the various mixes behave on a level surface. I would start here first and then go to You Tube for the many variations.

Impasto!

Small painting of clouds, hills and grass

Realistic effects are part of the impasto mistique.

The third acrylics class was just like a food network show. We gathered round to see the making of modeling paste “recipes,” then we saw an impasto demonstration, and then it was time for us to try it for ourselves. Impasto is the application of thick paint to a surface. This can be done in a variety of ways with acrylic, thanks to the many applications of this medium and  to all of the additives in the market.

We worked from simple references, mixing colors first on the palette, then applying the thick paste with a palette knife onto primed cardboard.

A student's arms and hands hold a brush and a palette knife.

A student gets ready to apply impasto with a palette knife.

Woman's hands applying thick paint with palette knife.

Several acrylic additives give paint a thicker texture.

People like impasto because it visually reminds viewers of the very physical nature of paint while simultaneously creating an illusion. It gives you the opportunity to work with paint that is easier to control. Application with a palette knife does not require so much skill and some even say is more ergonomic than holding a brush. For people with arthritis, it is physically easier to spread heavy paint on a surface than to beat paint into a canvas.

I advised everyone to get the largest surface they could bring to class. Something we all discover sooner or later is that impasto call for a large palette or mixing surface. It is also more comfortable to use larger gestures to apply paint, and to be able to tilt the easel. Some people get rid of the easel altogether and use a table.

One-On-One Coaching or Instruction

Illustration of Rebeca talking with student

You talk, I listen.

My mission as painting coach is to help my students gain new technical skills, overcome the fears and obstacles we face as painters, find their own painting voice, or expand their expressive repertoire.These sessions can also be done virtually if you are traveling, using the communication tools with which you are most familiar.

Summary: I coach my students by listening carefully, asking good questions, and discussing at student work in a supportive manner. If the student requests it, I can assign individualized exercises or set up an instructional session with me painting alongside or assisting the student in the completion of a project.

Format: The session usually begins with a short check-in which is followed by a discussion of work the student has done and the way in which this work reflects the student’s own goals.

Cancellations: If you cancel the booking you will be entitled to a refund of half of the session fee. This fee will be refunded if you reschedule your session before the end of the month.

Rescheduling: Students receive a full refund if able to reschedule another date before the end of the month. The cancellation fee will be refunded at the rescheduled meeting.

FAQ

I am a total beginner (or a more experienced painter). Should I take your classes?
Yes! Not only will you receive individualized attention in a small class setting, you’ll also receive the full benefit of Rebeca’s 10+ years of experience teaching painting to adults and teens alike. Every week, you will receive the agenda for next class and a reminder of any work to be done in advance.

Do you offer any discounts?
Get a friend to enroll online to the classes I offer independently and you get 20% discount. The discount will be reimbursed to you on the first day of class. This discount does not apply to the institutions where I teach; however, the Richmond Art Center offers a discount to Richmond residents.

Do I have to enroll online?
Although I would prefer you do it online, you can also send me a check by mail along with an email with your name, your phone number and the name of the class you want.

Where is your studio located?
My studio is located on Parr Blvd and GiantRd in Richmond, CA. I am currently not teaching in my studio but you can make an appointment to see and purchase my paintings.

Can my teenage son or daughter take this class?
Even though this is a class for adults, teenagers older than 15 can take it. I interview them first to make sure they are interested.

Can I use the materials I already have?
Of course! I can also send you a list of recommended materials if you need one.

How can I contact you with my questions?
Just use the contact form on the sidebar. I check my messages every day and respond promptly.