This instructional documentary follows artist Thomas Kegler as he completes an oil painting on a linen panel outdoors. Over the course of two late summer days, Kegler captures the image of a veteran maple tree on the edge of a forest. The film focuses on the experience of painting outdoors—with an emphasis placed on observational, cognitive, and intuitive plein air approaches. It is intended for intermediate to advanced painters who already have a rudimentary knowledge and skill level in oil painting techniques and materials. Kegler’s commentary during the film explains his philosophy and processes of traditional plein air painting. His technique mirrors the efforts of the Hudson River School greats of the mid-1800s such as Durand, Cole and Church. The final painting reveals a deep connection and understanding of his subject.
The video documents the entire two day painting process including:
• Choosing a subject and composition—starting with a strong concept and design
• imprimatura and grisaille underpainting—imparting a warm base
• Premixing colors—ensuring efficiency and accuracy of hue, value and temperature
• First color pass—rough-in big mass relationships
• Secondary layer—brushwork and impasto
• Glazing—impart a veil of depth and harmony, adjust value and temperature
• Final details—articulate and resolve, refinement and focus to specific areas
“Hands down the best instructional painting video I have ever seen. Pure visual poetry, very informative and a joy to watch.”—Bob W.
“Got my video I ordered from you. I am half way through it and I am blown away. By far it is the best DVD I have ever purchased and what a bargain! You're selling yourself to cheap, seriously. I could listen to your voice all day, it is so soothing and accurate in everything you say. I will be sharing this with my painting buddies in the up coming weeks. The quality of the DVD is also just beautiful. Keep up the good painting and teaching! I appreciate owning your DVD.”—Ray L.
“I'm a landscape painter living on cape cod and have just finished watching your video (and taking notes) for the 3rd time. I'm pretty experienced, but you have presented the essence of our work in a really helpful way that will improve what I do. It's probably the best, most straightforward and practical video I have run across (I've been painting full time for 10+ years).”—Hal D.
“Your aesthetic is so calm and appealing, with this wonderful undercurrent of emotion, and a grounded and thoughtful (not in your face) spirituality. The technical explanations were clear and concise, and precisely the kind of thing I need to review again and again, especially color mixing. Apart from draughtsmanship, this is, obviously, key to any kind of successful result. But your work is really visual poetry, and I look forward to seeing what you will be painting in the next decade. I admire your discipline.”—Amy M
”I watched your DVD, it is excellent! I really loved seeing your process. I think it will be a really valuable resource for artists curious about pre-impressionist plein air methods.I particularly loved the end, where you apply glazing and final refinements. I have never heard of glazing being used en plein air so it particularly educational for me! The painting itself is gorgeous of course.”—Sadie V.
“You are an amazing teacher... direct with a kind soft voice... very clear and confident in how you are doing what you do and communicating that to the viewer. I am so amazed on the powerful attitude toward paint and the confidence you apply the medium with.... as I remember how you were painting before... the work is beautiful and the handling of paint masterful... the demos are excellent and the photography exceptionally well done... bravo. You have made me fall in love with that TREE!”—C. P.
“Just watched the video, simply… heartfelt... the patience you have comes through tremendously. I especially found the glazing techniques to be excellent—and value graphs (the gray circles) great to see. Are you sure you won't end up in Siberia for letting these secrets out? I kid... Watching you work the block in value phase in the beginning it really has only form, where as I, being a beginner, after block in am ready to signature stroke the whole panel! which obviously is way to soon—I could go and on and on. You are really inspiring teacher and it shines through at every step not to mention the tree itself, which stands like an aging sentinel amid the chaos... the video is really really well done. You should be very proud”—Jason W.
“It was great for me to sit back and just watch the presentation unfold as a cohesive whole that clearly informs the viewer of your process which ultimately helps them "see". For aspiring artists, or anyone artistically inclined, easily worth the cost of admission. You should feel nothing less than great about it as a finished product.”—Andy B.
“I have just watched your breathtaking documentary. I can't tell you how beautiful the video is, and your painting, and your process! Thank you so much for sharing your profound knowledge and experience. It is incredibly inspiring.”—Elizabeth D.
“I wanted to let you know... how moving it was... I knew it was going to blow me away, make me feel unworthy and inspired all at the same time. I was right! The opening scenes, when you were packing up your gear and driving to the tree, really made me think I was watching some sort of time-warp TV, getting an inside scoop on what it must have been like to head out with Durand and Church and Cole. Your personal process came across really clearly, and I hope the DVD has been and will continue to be a bit hit.”—Nick H.
“Received your DVD today and immediately had to view it. Your DVD is beautiful! All you really need, a workshop forever. I've been struggling with alla prima for years, now I'll be free of it. Your paintings are breathtaking. Thank you for showing us in the West how Hudson does it. I frequent the Scottsdale Artist School and will certainly tell my artist friends about you.”—Laurie
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