If you think you can’t draw, this course is for you! This jumpstart into drawing expands the student’s ability to perceive and render the world around them. You will be introduced to contour drawing, gesture, mark-making, approaches to basic portraiture and figure drawing without measuring, and more. Don’t worry, you don’t need to know what all of this means!
No experience necessary. 😉
SUPPLY LIST: Bring your 2B pencil, an eraser and a stack of inexpensive paper or a sketchbook
COURSE DATE: Sept 6, 2023 9:30am-3:30pm
TUITION: $90 incl GST
TO REGISTER: An E-transfer secures your spot! Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org
LOCATION: Val’s studio in Courtenay, BC (location details upon registration)
CANCELLATION POLICY: Please note as this is a small class, there are no refunds, but I am happy to credit you toward a future class. Thank you for your understanding! 🙂
I so love teaching this class because I get to watch my students quickly move forward with their painting technique. My goal is for you to gain confidence to paint independantly in your home studio, and have some fun.
Not sure if this class is for you? Below are some common questions I am asked that I hope will inspire you to jump right in and get the paint flowing:
“Do I need to have painted before?” Some of my students are taking up their paint brush for the first time. We all knew how to make art when we were children. We were born creative! It’s just that some of us kind of forgot somewhere along the way! Be assured, it does come back with a little coaching. Some of you have enjoyed playing with paint and experimenting, but may have felt frustrated because of some technical questions you just couldn’t find a way around. That’s where I come in!
“I don’t really know how to draw.” Don’t worry! Learning to paint is largely allowing yourself to open up your perception. I take you step-by-step through a process that helps you train your brain to learn how to see more deeply. It’s super cool. In fact, you might even notice that as you expand your abilities in painting, you see the world around you differently too.
“What will I learn?” In six information-packed three-hour sessions, you will learn important steps to building an acrylic painting using a loose, impressionistic approach. As you paint a simple still life, I give demonstrations to help you understand the block-in, develop your work with more detail, and learn about how value, basic colour theory, edge control, and brushwork can be used to create a dynamic painting with strong structure. By the end of the class, you will have begun and possibly completed your own personal project.
Below is the final project of a student who had only “dabbled a little with watercolor” and done some introductory drawing with me before completing this course:
“Yikes, that sounds complicated!” Nope. The class begins with limited colour and gradually expands to full-colour projects. And the class size is small, so you get plenty of one-on-one instruction.
“I have a crazy schedule. What if I have to miss a class?” If you must miss a class, I will do my best to fill you in when you return.
“Great! When does it start, and how much does it cost?” Classes start Tuesday afternoons, 4-7 pm beginning October 3, 2023. See below for more details!
PAINTING FOR BEGINNERS
Six 3-hour sessions, Tuesdays 4-7pm Oct 3-Nov 7, 2023
ClassFee: $425 (includes GST).
Location: Val Nelson Studio, 2270 Cliffe Ave, Suite #228b
Supply List: Provided upon registration
To secure your spot in the class, please register by sending an E-transfer to : email@example.com 778-865-2650
Cancellation policy: Please provide 7 days’ notice if you need to cancel, at which point you can receive a credit toward a future class.
I offer in-person classes for up to five students at my professional art studio in Courtenay, Vancouver Island. Check the Classes menu above for current offerings. These often include Painting for Beginners, my One-Day Drawing Crash Course,Painting Skill-builder, Landscape Painting, and sometimes my Loosen Up! painting course. If you have a class idea you would like me to offer, let me know.
Take a look below to see other options that are available, such as private lessons, lessons for two, drawing and painting demos, mentorship for serious students wanting to build a professional art practise, and art talks. I am also offering Zoom classes depending on space in my schedule. Feel free to reach out if you would like to learn with me! firstname.lastname@example.org
GIFT OF ART Coupon: Do you have a loved one you would like to inspire through gifting them with a class coupon? Email me and we can set that up! email@example.com
CUSTOM PRIVATE CLASSES for Individuals and couples – Bring a friend, family member, or co-worker! I design lessons just for you, based on your needs and your schedule. You get plenty of personal attention in these intimate classes! Choose from some of the lesson ideas in the Class Menu, or let’s chat and come up with a plan.
Privates: $120/hr / Package of 4 hours $425
Classes for two: $160 / Package of 4 hours $640
Group Classes: $400 half-day / $750 full day (half-day is 3 hrs/full day 6 hrs)
Artist talk: $350
Painting Demo: $350
*Cancellation policy: Please provide 7 days’ notice if you need to cancel, at which time I will be happy to credit you toward a future class within a year of your class purchase.
About the Instructor: For Val, painting is an act of devotion, offering a profound pathway to self-realisation and transformation. “Pigments have a consciousness. When I paint, I imbue these materials with the focussed energies of my heart, mind, and gestures of my body. The pigments absorb these energetic frequencies, and project them back out to the viewer. Painting is its own language, beyond words and the limitations of the logical mind.”
A former professional ballet dancer, Val went on to study at Emily Carr University, where she graduated in 1988 with honours and received the Helen Pitt Award. A finalist in the Royal Bank Painting Competition, Val has been painting full-time since 2003, exhibiting for a number of years at Bau-Xi Gallery in Vancouver and Toronto, and Galerie de Bellefeuille in Montreal. She has attended residencies at Vermont Studio Centre and St Georges’ Senior School in Vancouver, and has taught painting at the Shadbolt Arts Centre, Emily Carr University, Vancouver Island School of Art, and since 2009, out of her private painting studio. Her work is in public collections including Canada Council Art Bank, Surrey Art Gallery, Vancouver General Hospital, and many private collections. Val has 1800+ students and five-star reviews for her online painting course with Craftsy.
Okay I’m in, I have a new studio! So great to spread out and have a real art-making space once again. Now that I’m sure I am staying in Courtenay I decided it’s time to put down roots. I’m thrilled to share this new bright space with you, a quirky old office building very near downtown. There is a bank of four windows facing east so I get some gorgeous morning light, then it evens out the rest of the day for fantastic painting illumination.
The Courtenay River is a half-block away so I can ride my bike to and from work, and take airy walks to view the ever-changing estuary and observe the bird and rabbit action (yes, rabbits!). Oh and there is a Bean Around the World just five minutes’ walk away for a little social time and great coffee.
Those of you who have signed up for my most recent course please take note of my new address:
#228b-2270 Cliffe at Mansfield Centre in Courtenay. It’s near the Airpark on the main drag before you hit downtown (that is if you are travelling north).
Do you feel a bit stuck in your painting process? Do you yearn to find your own “style” and get out of your own way in the studio so you can have more fun? Part of the solution lies in mindset, and part of it is technical. By working through a series of painterly problems, you will come away with a number of strategies that you can apply to your refresh your studio time beyond the lessons.
Some experience recommended. Oil or acrylic. Supply list provided upon registration.
I will be demonstrating a copy of a 16th century anonymous master for the Chemainus Art Group next week. I did this open acrylic study on cardboard to prep for that. I used a very limited palette: Titanium white, yellow ochre, cadmium red, and raw umber, similar to the Zorn Palette but replacing black with the warmer umber. It’s fascinating to see how much range you can achieve with only four colours.
I’ve been working on a 24 x 30″ canvas of Sans Souci Palace. Sans Souci means “without a care”.
I’m pretty stoked, because I got up at the crack of dawn yesterday and was at the easel by 8am, which was totally awesome.
What made yesterday’s session work? And how can I repeat that?
Hmmmmm, well maybe it’s helpful to look at what does not work? It seems that on days that I check my email before painting, it kind of scrambles the brain and gets me thinking about all the niggling things I feel obliged to do.
The golden rule: Paint first, admin later!
Maybe you painters out there have your “go-to” rituals that get the good stuff going in your studio, like lighting a candle, or a playing a certain song of music.
Here’s what works for me:
Up early after a solid sleep, a quiet breakfast of clean food with an excellent coffee avec oat milk, and while clear-headed, calm, relaxed, remaining playful and curious–
That sweet-spot mode of non-attachment to outcome, focussed like a laser on colour-mixing nuances and paying attention to USING THE RIGHT BRUSH for the job at hand.
ergo: no teeny tiny brushes in the background!
it flattens the space!
and makes things too busy!
and no “trying”!
Kind of a zen thing–“try/not try”.
At the start of a painting session it takes a bit of time to switch into “painting mode”. First I take a few minutes to assess where this piece is at and get a glimmer of understanding of what I need to develop. You have to set some kind of intention, even if it ends up changing. No flailing desperately. Okay, sometimes flinging paint on randomly CAN jumpstart you, just make sure you are relaxed about it!
And through the doing, the brain becomes wordless and judgement-less and something magical starts to happen after I have put on enough wet paint with which to have a conversation. Now we’re in business.
There’s a method that is pretty effective called “Tomato” (it seems to have come out of someone using their kitchen cooking timer which was in the actual shape of a tomato).
I love when I remember to use this handy trick to get some sh*t done on my canvas. Set your timer for 30 minutes, and just go for it. Do not stop and check email. Do not go and eat chocolate. Do not sort your laundry or make phone calls or cut your toenails.
Just paint, already. Only for 30 minutes. You can do that, right?
For the first time at the Culture Crawl I’m offering a limited edition print of one of my paintings, Rush Hour. There will be only 10 in the edition, 10 x 10 inches on archival paper with archival inks. A framed sample beautifully put together by Fine Art Framing will be on display in my studio. I will be taking orders for this and a few other limited editions also available at a price point that allows for affordable gift-giving, for a loved one, or for yourself!
Rush Hour, 10 x 10 inch limited edition print on archival paper
Also available: A 50-page book of select paintings from twelve years of my Tourist series.
As well you will find six new paintings, and a drypoint print, Syon House Interior that I recently re-discovered in my print portfolio, along with some framed 7 x 7 inch 3-colour pencil crayon drawings.
For the past 15 years, I’ve painted opulent European 18th and 19th century interiors. Designed as theatrical displays of status and power by wealthy aristocrats and bourgeoisie, these formerly private sites are now museums, providing entertainment and pleasure for touristic consumption, while also opening up a space for philosophical contemplation.
Although I use photography as a structural device through which I enter the painting process, with each piece I always seem to arrive at a point of crisis where I need to break free from the tyranny of the image. Through partly destroying the image I discover fresh solutions to painterly problems I set for myself.
Throughout my childhood and into my mid-twenties, I was a ballet dancer. That intense training of spatial awareness and interpretive questioning is still deeply stamped in my DNA. A painting to me is a kind of choreography; there’s a haptic dance that takes place from my optical experience of an image, through to the way my nervous system signals to my body how to translate and record it. As painter/dancer I tease out meaning through working and reworking, coming up to speed as I gain understanding, and making the last strikes with absolute commitment.