How to describe light: two new Zoom classes

How to describe light: two new Zoom classes

Massif in Sedona, AZ in morning light. Private collection

As you know, I’m on vacation, pummeling the soles of my feet on the Yorkshire dales. That means Laura gets to handle the arrangements for my next series of classes, which is the only set of Zoom classes I’ll do before late autumn. There are limited seats in these classes and when they’re gone, they’re gone. Other than that, you’ll be limited to taking one of my in-person workshops. (Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that.)

Here are two approaches to how to describe light:

Words+Pictures—Monday evenings

In addition to the more concrete examples of combining words and images, we’ll experiment using text as a graphic element.

Words+Pictures has been on my mind for a while. As a graphic designer, I did lots of illustration and as I transitioned to painting full time I wrote and illustrated two books. Despite my love of kids, I’m whimsy-impaired, so that wasn’t the career path for me. However, I love to write and I love to paint, and I spend lots of time at the intersection of the two.

Even if you never plan to illustrate anything, thinking about your paintings in words expands how you approach your visual art.

Sometimes a picture is really a narrative.

This will be an exploration we’ll undertake together, as I’m as excited about it as anyone. We’ll cover:

  • Haiga
  • Storyboarding
  • Illustration—story
  • Illustrated—poem
  • Designing type into a painting
  • The travelling sketch book. I’ll be working on this as I amble through the Yorkshire countryside!

This class will meet Mondays, June 10th, 17th, 24th, July 1st, 15th, 22nd, from 6-9pm ET.

Same massif in evening light.

The Color of Light—Tuesday evenings

The Color of Light is more tightly focused on painting. Lighting effects are intimately tied with composition and together these two elements can make a painting sink or swim. If you’ve ever had a painting “go dull” on you, it’s because you haven’t properly integrated lighting effects from the beginning.

This class is designed for people who already know how to handle their material. Once one gets past getting the paint to properly stick to the surface, painting is less about how to paint and more about how to see. We’ll cover:

  • Global color and complements
  • The optics of light (and why a lightbox is a terrible idea)
  • Deep shade
  • Fragmented light: the lessons of Impressionism
  • Reflection
  • Indoor lighting schemes

This class will meet Tuesdays: June 11th, 18th, 25th, July 2nd, 16th, 23rd, from 6-9pm ET.

Although I’ll try to steal moments with my laptop, everything will fall in Laura’s lap while I’m gone. I’ve turned my cell phone off, so email me here instead. Laura has a toddler, so it might take a little longer than usual, but she will help you, I promise.

My 2024 workshops:

  • Painting in Paradise: Rockport, ME, July 8-12, 2024.
  • Sea & Sky at Schoodic, August 4-9, 2024.
  • Find your authentic voice in plein air: Berkshires, August 12-16, 2024.
  • Art and Adventure at Sea: Paint Aboard Schooner American Eagle, September 15-19, 2024.
  • Immersive In-Person Workshop: Rockport, ME, October 7-11, 2024.