art coaching

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.

Finding Your Painting Voice

Two students drawing a skull at a table

Adults appreciate setting their own goals and pursuing them at their own pace.

You’ve done the workshops, bought the books and seen the demos, and now you’re ready for the next stage. For my students this means interacting with a practicing artist to get answers to many types of questions as well as support through the difficult tasks involved in the business of painting.

Summary: This coaching class takes place once a month, with 1-2 other students. You get dedicated time with me, focused on you and your painting needs, in the media you choose. The group discusses the work you’ve done at home during the time between classes. You receive as much or as little support as you specify. The presence of other, congenial students help us maintain the supportive environment that is so important for your development as an artist, and helps you stay accountable to this small community.

Format: Our first session will be spent talking with me about what you want to accomplish as a painter. I use that in the next sessions to craft anything from in-class exercises, meaningful painting assignments that lead you to discover more about yourself as a painter, or questions I will use to get you to expand your repertoire, increase your skills, and realize your untapped potential as a visual artist. All enrolled students have access to the private part of the website where additional resources are posted.

Booking Group Dates
Finding Your Painting Voice is a monthly, 3 hr class for a small group of students who set their own monthly date after consulting my calendar. Class dates need to be booked at least six weeks in advance. For a class to be booked, all of the students enrolled in the class will need to have paid for a session taking place on the same day and at the same time. It may be easier to designate an ongoing, repeating date each month (i. e. first Saturday of each month).

 

Individual Cancellations
In this small collaborative setting, an absence can have a large impact on class quality. For that reason it is very important that students communicate with each other to find a date where individual cancellations can be avoided. It this cannot be avoided, the class will have to be rescheduled within the same month.

 

Whole Group Cancellations
A monthly meeting can be skipped by the whole group if you let me know 30 days in advance. If this is not possible a make-up session will have to be scheduled within that same month.

 

Rescheduling
The student canceling is responsible for finding a make-up date within the same month that works for all three students. Payment for the cancelled class will be applied to the rescheduled class.

 

If no good date for all students can be found within the same month, the class will continue as originally scheduled, but the canceling student will not receive a refund.

Classes

Cal Create Program
CREATE (Creative Residencies for Emerging Artists Teaching Empowerment) is a student-led group that promotes arts-based services. Through CREATE, Berkeley undergraduates teach classes in visual arts, theater, dance, and/or creative writing to meet the enrichment needs of local schools and community organizations. I am proud to be the visual arts mentor who advises them on curriculum design and age-appropriate activities. Access my CREATE portal with resources here.

Landscape Plein Air at the Richmond Art Center
Spend time painting au plein air at several beautiful great East Bay outdoor locations. Whether you are a beginner or a more advanced painting student, you’ll enjoy discovering beginner-friendly painting spots, and improving your technique in the company of new friends. You’ll receive support through the difficulties of painting outdoors. This summer, you will be able to choose one of two days for your plein air class starting June 17. Click here for more info.

Fundamental Drawing Class at the Richmond Art Center
Introduces drawing beginners to concepts and techniques artists use to draw realistically. Gain confidence in your art-making by sharpening your drawing skills with charcoal, graphite or ink. Learn various approaches to drawing and expand your strategy repertoire. Whether you are a stark beginner or a person returning to art after a few years doing something else, this class is sure to leave you excited about drawing, more confident and with a repertoire of strategies to help you tackle difficult subjects. Every Thursday night, beginning June 20 from 6:00-8:00 pm. Register here.

Painting for Total Beginners at the Richmond Art Center
Geared at adults who have taken little or no previous instruction in painting, this 8 week class will allow you to use the media of your choice to explore self-expression in a nurturing environment. Even if you haven’t done much drawing, plenty of short demos and individual assistance during the two hours you’ll be painting will ensure you get the most out of each class. Get more out of the paintings you see in galleries and museums. Gain confidence and a new awareness of your voice as a painter. Begins the first week of September, from 1-4 pm. Check the Richmond Art Center’s website over the summer for exact dates.

Gel Printing Addiction Workshop at the Richmond Art Center
 It’s so much fun you won’t be able to stop! No previous printing knowledge is necessary to print multiple gorgeous, multi-hued textures for your collages, sketchbooks, and greeting cards. Use household objects and supplies found in your pantry. After a ten min demo, spend  the rest of your time experimenting with colors, techniques and layering. Learn how to create and reuse your own durable gel plates. Leave with a treasure trove of resources. Taught on Saturdays. Taught on April 7, from 9-12 pm. Register here.

Portraiture Basics Workshop at the Richmond Art Center
Set yourself up for success in portraiture, using the media of your choice. Learn how to analyze and “block” the structure of a skull to get a likeness, mix flesh tones, observe and paint facial features, and maintain key value relationships as you complete your portrait. We’ll spend 10-12 reviewing key concepts with demonstrations, and after a lunch break begin the guided painting of a live model until 4 pm. No fume-producing substances can be used. $75, plus a small amount for the model’s fee payable at the workshop. Taught on Sunday, April 28, from 10-4 pm.

Landscape Plein Air at the Richmond Art Center
Spend time painting au plein air at several beautiful great East Bay outdoor locations. Whether you are a beginner or a more advanced painting student, you’ll enjoy discovering beginner-friendly painting spots, and improving your technique in the company of new friends. You’ll receive support through the difficulties of painting outdoors. At various East Bay locations starting June 2019.