Painting Best Practices is now two technical workshops that teach skills not taught in art schools and universities—a comprehensive understanding of artist’s materials, what they are designed to do, when to chose them and how to provide considerable longevity to your finished art work. The workshops covers the most important aspects of painting that have proven to be the best practices over the centuries.

These information-packed workshops includes all aspects of constructing a painting from the support and ground to the final layers. Practical procedures are clearly explained and demonstrated on how to build your paintings based on conservation research during the past century. Painting Best Practices workshops are designed for painters of all mediums, but special emphasis is given to oil painting.

Learn more about the three-day Painting Best Practices Workshop.

Painting Best Practices Workout is the latest technical workshop on artists materials and best painting practices. This six-day course provides hands-on learning on preparing supports for painting, making and applying grounds, paint making, pigments, and selecting and applying varnishes. All materials for the Workout are provided with the tuition.

Workout attendance is limited to 12 students. Register early so you do not miss out on this annual event.

Register early as the previous Workout was filled within the first two weeks after it was announced!

Six-Day Painting Best Practices Workout

Painting Best Practices Workout is the latest technical workshop on artists materials and best painting practices. This six-day course provides hands-on learning on preparing supports for painting, making and applying grounds, paint making, pigments, and selecting and applying varnishes.

Date and Location

Date: October 7–12, 2019
Location: Natural Pigments, 291 Shell lane, Willits, California

Instructors

George O'Hanlon

George O'Hanlon is technical director of Natural Pigments and executive director of Iconofile, an nonprofit educational organization dedicated to promoting understanding of sacred art. George received his fine arts education and apprenticeship in Mexico. Upon his return to the United States, he worked as art director and then creative director for advertising agencies in Silicon Valley, working on such major accounts as Sony, Hewlett-Packard and Ricoh. He then established a marketing communications firm that was later acquired by the Japanese chemical giant, Shin-Etsu, where we was retained as president of U.S. marketing operations. In 1992, he left this post to study traditional art techniques and then in 2001, he founded Iconofile and then Natural Pigments to promote an understanding of these techniques among contemporary artists. Since that time he has formulated hundreds of artists paints and materials, including Ceracolors, a water-soluble wax paint.

Tatiana Zaytseva

Tatiana Zaytseva is administrative director of Natural Pigments and secretary of Iconofile, an nonprofit educational organization dedicated to promoting understanding of sacred art. Tatiana received her education in Saint Petersburg, Russia in fashion and design and a second degree in engineering process controls. After moving to the U.S. in 2001, she helped to establish and Iconofile and then Natural Pigments in 2003.

Why Attend

Read why students of the first Workout (October 15–20, 2018) attended:

"Hands-on is best for me to learn, I need to process the ways to use the valuable information taught. Also I needed review."

"Because you guys provide the most thorough material education in the industry!"

"The subject is disgracefully neglected by art schools throughout the United States. Students receive next to nothing substantive on how to actually build a painting or a drawing. My aim is to move in a different direction by introducing elements of sound practice to the learning cultures with which I engage, and direct."

Do Participants Increase Their Skills and Knowledge?

Did former students think the Workout increased their skills/knowledge of painting materials and practices? Find out what they said:

"No brainer... greatly increased. Thank you."

"The Workout was structured enough to feel very directed and productive, but also fluid and malleable enough to meet the unique needs of each participant. With this structure, I think there's no way it COULDN'T increase one's skills and knowledge!"

"George and Tania have been instrumental in awakening a conversation about what artists are using, how they construct their materials, and why it makes sense to be informed on the consequences."

"This workshop/workout was fundamentally a more involved, hands-on and informative learning opportunity."

Skills Attendees Found Most Useful

"I really liked the all activities. Listening in the morning and €œ'doing'€ in the afternoon was great."

"The ground preparation and application are all skills that I use and teach on a super regular basis, so it was useful to find different/better ways to do familiar processes. I frequently make paint and mediums using extender pigments, but was able to experiment with so many new pigments and oils that I had never used before—TOTALLY awesome. Varnish is something I had barely used, so was good to get my hands on it. Point is, the activities were equally useful, no matter my prior experience level."

"I continue reflecting on the benefits of having that extender pigment day [Day 4]—the conversation that we had and the opportunity to profoundly change the behavior of oil paint with substances, such as barite. This experience alone was worthwhile because it replaced years of guessing."

Were Students Satisfied

Students were overwhelming happy with the time and expense of the Workout. But don't take our word, read what they said:

"First-rate. I really enjoyed Anton as well. He did a great job."

"You guys are the best!"

"Outstanding instruction."

"You are all terrific teachers."

Workout Curriculum

The schedule provides essential hands-on skills to prepare supports, understand paint and mediums, varnish your painting, and with additional skills to clean paint films. You will also receive the most recent information on the composition of modern oil paints and an opportunity to experiment with different paint vehicles, such as egg tempera and casein.

Each day of the Workout begins at 9:00 a.m. and finish at 5:00 p.m., except Saturday, when the Workout will finish at noon.

Day 1: Monday

Introduction

Tour of Natural Pigments Factory
Review of best practices and introduction to Workout curriculum

Preparing Supports for Painting
Review:
Surface Polarity, Wetting and Contact Angle, Tensile Strength and Adhesion
Hands-on Skills:
Preparing animal collagen glue size for canvas and wood
Preparing and applying pavoloka (fabric) on solid wood panel (Poplar board) in preparation of traditional gesso
Applying fluid medium on wood panel (MDF) to prevent support induced discoloration (SID)
Applying tempera grounds on wood panel (MDF)

Day 2: Tuesday

Preparing Supports for Painting

Hands-on Skills:
Preparing and applying traditional gesso on solid wood (Poplar board)
Applying alkyd grounds on ACM panel
Demonstration:
Mounting canvas using BEVA 371 film onto ACM panel
Hands-on Skills:
Mounting canvas with polymer adhesive onto ACM panel

Paint Making
Students learn the fundamentals of paint making to help them become more skilled in handling paint in their work.

Day 3: Wednesday

Paint and Mediums

Review:
Pigment Hydrophilicity and Hydrophobicity, Pigment Wetting, Oil Absorption, Daniel Flow Point, Pigment Volume Concentration (PVC), and Pigment Dispersion
Demonstration:
Pigment wetting, oil absorption and Daniel flow point, pigment dispersion (Hegman)
Hands-on Skills:
Paint making with several different pigment types: inorganic, natural and organic synthetic in drying oil

Making Oil Painting Mediums
Participants are briefed prior to preparing their own painting mediums from a large variety of materials.

Day 4: Thursday

Paint and Mediums

Hands-on Skills:
Paint making continued with extender pigments in different oil types: bodied and unbodied
Paint making with egg yolk tempera
Understanding and using oil painting medium

Varnishing Session
Workshop participants prepare test panels of multiple varnishes on their own paintings to determine the best varnish for their work.

Day 5: Friday

Varnishes and Solvents

Review:
Solvents and Solutes,
Hands-on Skills:
Cleaning paint surfaces in preparation of varnish
Varnishing your painting with four different resins
Advanced application techniques to overcome varnish problems, reduce gloss and using wax paste

Day 6: Saturday

Modern Paints, Additives, Pigments and Lightfastness

Presentation and troubleshooting problems encountered in painting techniques
Awards of Certificates of Completion

Drawing and Painting Session
During evenings we organize drawing/painting sessions with live models.

Requirements

To participate in the Workout, you must have already completed the Painting Best Practices Workshop or obtain approval from the instructors.

Learn more about the three-day Painting Best Practices Workshop.

Tuition and Registration

Tuition for the the six-day Painting Best Practices Workout is only $850. A deposit of $425 is required upon registration. The balance must be received on or before September 1, 2019. The tuition is non-refundable except in the case the Workout is cancelled. If you are unable to attend the Workout for any reason, we will allow you to attend the Workout at a future date.

All handouts and materials for the Workout are provided with the tuition.

On each day of the Workout, we provide coffee, tea, and water throughout the day. The workshop also includes light breakfast items from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. each morning, and lunch (sandwiches, wraps, salads) from about 12 noon to 1:00 p.m. You are responsible for your evening meal each day.

The tuition does not include meals (except as noted) and lodging. To register please add the Workout Deposit to your shipping cart and proceed to pay for the deposit. You will receive confirmation of your registration.

To register add the Painting Best Practices Workout Deposit to your cart.

Register early as the previous Workout was filled within the first two weeks after it was announced!