Every week I open my home studio to artists who wish to work together in a safe and positive environment on projects of their own with supplies they bring from home. I provide individual consults and the spirit is collaborative. For those who wish it, we open up the critique to the room and gather meaningful feedback on "next steps." The atmosphere is more like an art retreat than a formal class or workshop but the results are big. Artists make progress on their paintings and drawings and come away refreshed. Space is limited and on a first come basis. Artists are free to choose their own projects and medium; some will come to paint with watercolors while others will opt to draw with graphite, charcoal, pastels, etc. I am not accepting acrylic or oils into the studio space. Most artists who attend are intermediate to advanced, although some beginner level students do attend and are very happy with the attention they receive to develop their skills.
Call or text Angela with your interest to determine availability at 503-705-9193.
Until further notice, regular classes at the Tualatin Heritage Center and on Zoom are suspended. Instead of the traditional class format which I have taught in person and online, I have shifted to an OPEN STUDIO format to satisfy the dedicated group of local artists who have been with me for the past many years who come with strong personal interests and prefer to work off of their own inspirations. Some artists who come will have a particular focus (i.e., portraits or landscapes.) Regardless, there is much for all to learn from each other and being able to socialize as artists is wonderful.
SUPPLIES AND NEW STUDENTS
You will notice I offer two options for paint trays which include professional paints for sale if you are in need of supplies and would like to use the same supplies I use. The trays I offer are based on my basic paint tray of what I consider essential colors. Most professional artists use about twelve or so colors to complete their works. The colors I suggest I consider an excellent starting point. As you paint more you will want to experiment with other colors because it is fun to experiment and try new things, rather like trying new spices in the kitchen. My goal in offering these trays (and they exist in limited supply) is to lower a student's cost of entry for the class. The trays are sold at replacement cost given prices you can check at any online retailer. If you were to buy each individual tube of paint and a tray with a lid to put them in, your cost would be close to $300. These trays are a way for you to have the best experience possible without the heavy entry cost.
MORE ABOUT COLOR AND PAINT
For years I’ve taught Watercolor classes in which we used a basic palette including 13 essential colors and an extra 8 for convenience. Let me explain. Some colors are “primaries”; these colors are not created by mixing other colors together. It used to be that only certain reds, yellows, and blues were “primaries” because those colors couldn’t be made by combining other colors. They existed in pure form in nature. Because of innovations in paint technology, there are now primary colors for almost the whole color wheel. So many new wonderful translucent colors right out of an expensive tube.
Here’s the good news though. You don’t have to spend a fortune buying expensive tubes of paints. Almost all colors (except for the three original primaries) can be created by color mixing. Gorgeous oranges, blues and violets (secondary colors) are created by mixing the primaries. Same with everything in between.
It is a delight to have beautiful colors from a tube that could be hard to achieve consistently if you had to create them yourself each time you sat down to paint. So, having a “Gamboge” (a lovely yellow-orange) is “essential.” Ditto for “Maroon Perylene”. On the other hand, there are hundreds of greens you could buy in a tube, or you can learn to mix the most gorgeous variations using a few basic colors available here. One of the things students learn in my classes is how to understand color and mix lovely colors you can’t get from a tube.
USING YOUR OWN SUPPLIES & MIXING / MATCHING
If you are wondering if you can use you own colors from other manufacturers, and whether and if it is okay to mix manufacturers, the answer is yes. By all means, use whatever you have and always experiment with your supplies to see what happens. I believe one's goal should be to understand "what happens when" so you can begin to predict results--that way you can replicate them when you paint to get the result you want. Your result will be somewhat different than mine when you use different materials but that doesn't mean you won't like the results. If you've invested in another brand, use it.
TRANSFERRING AN IMAGE ONTO YOUR GOOD PAPER
There are several ways to deal with tracing. I start by printing the image to the size I want to paint it. Then, I usually take a sharpie and trace around the main shapes on the image to bring them out. Then I either use carbon paper underneath the image and press through the printed image over the sharpie lines, OR I put the image against a light table or bright window to shine through the image underneath my good paper where I capture the lines with a pencil. If it makes more sense to you to trace out a line drawing from the black and white image and work with that, then do that first. There are also helpful phone apps now to assist you.
Everyone is different. Some of us are realistic in our style and careful, thoughtful, slower in how we approach our subjects. These artists make us admire the discipline of study and patience as they develop their work. I marvel at the beauty of artwork that seeks to reflect the beauty of the subject as it is before us in nature, in life. This kind of approach would be described as almost journalistic and providing a record or document of the subject for historical reference. Then there is the opposite personality and approach which is less patience, perhaps more impressionistic, and looser overall. These artists (I am one of those) want their artwork to make an honest and accurate reference to the subject; we want our subject to be recognizable but the feeling of it may be a bigger priority than the smaller details.
We are who we are. In my years of teaching, I have found that my more realistic students come to class wanting to learn technique that helps them to "loosen up" and capture the fluidity of the medium. The students who come with a faster approach, like the realists, want to know how to control the medium to do what they want it to do when they want certain effects. I encourage people to be comfortable with who they are as artists and "own" your style. Keep learning and experimenting and integrate the new with the you. If you check in with me and express what your personal goals are for your art, I will do my best to help you get there.
WHERE IS OUR PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP?
You can find a wonderful community that has built up around our class online at Facebook. Our private group name can be searched as "Angela's Art House." Request to be admitted and I will bring you on board. Sometimes is works faster and easier if you request to be my friend at Angela Wrahtz. Then I can add you without you doing anything more than accepting my invitation to join.