22FALL Introduction to Abstract Painting Workshop THR 6:00PM (11/10-12/08)

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Instructor: Rebecca Madura / 4 weeks / Nov 10 - Dec 08 (No class on Nov 24) / Thursday / 6:00PM - 9:00PM 
Class Size: 5-10

Description: Discover the beauty of abstract painting by exploring some of the concepts behind non-objective art.  In this workshop, a variety of mark-making, use of color, and painting techniques will be introduced to encourage the development of new ways of applying paint and composing the visual space.

During this workshop, participants will create a small series of abstract painting exploring different methods of creating abstract works. Participants may work in either oils of acrylics according to their preference and comfort with the media. The focus of this introductory workshop is to improve visual perception and enhance an understanding of abstract language to help the individual artist strengthen their own creative voice and build confidence to explore new concepts. The workshop is an ideal starting point for study of abstract painting through more advanced courses, or to explore within one’s individual art practice.

Prerequisist: It is recommended that participants have some painting experience with oils or acrylics. The focus will be primarily on mark-making, composition, and creative processes. 


(If you already have paints/supplies – bring what you have. I will have a variety of oils and acrylics for experimentation)

Beginning Oil Palette (cool)

  • CERULEAN BLUE              
  • TITANIUM WHITE (large tube)
  • Naples yellow (can be mixed-yellow ochre, white, yellow)
  • Magenta (can be mixed-red, white, ultramarine blue)


  • Galkyd, Liquin (wax optional), Neo Megilp, (liquin works the best with the wax – galkydand neo megilp don’t need the wax) 
  • Bar of soap (ie. lava), rags or good quality paper towels (I like the blue automotive towels), baby oil (preferred) or safflower oil (clean up)
  • Enamel, glass, or disposable palette.  (Dollar store baking sheets, glass plates also work well)
  • Palette knife.
  • Painter’s tape
  • Brushes- various sizes (ie. 2,4,6,8,10,12,14) …Brights or filberts. A couple of rounds maybe be useful.  Sable, Sable essence, natural white bristle or Synthetic mixed brushes are recommended.
  • Painting supports and surfaces: various sized canvas (stretched or unstretched), canvas panel, gessoed cardboard or arches, or a pad of ARCHES oil paper for beginning pieces. (I suggest 8” x 10” or 12” x 16” max…square surfaces are good too!) Since this is a workshop, much of what we will be doing is considered studies, so inexpensive surfaces are fine!)

NOTE: Solvents (gamsol,turpentine, turpenoid etc…) are not necessary! Oil brushes can cleaned with baby oil, and soap and water. Well cleaned brushes will last until you wear them out!

Beginning acrylic palette:

  • Cadmium Red - Cadmium red is a yellowish, warm red and relatively opaque.
  • Phthalo Blue -  is an intense, extremely versatile blue. It goes very dark when combined with burnt umber and, because of its high tinting strength, only a little needs be mixed with white to create a lighter blues. 
  • Cadmium Yellow -  You can easily create a lighter yellow by adding white to this, though if you find you’re doing this regularly, consider buying a tube of cadmium yellow light too. Remember that if you want to darken yellow to try adding its complementary color, purple, rather than black, which tends to produce an olive green rather than deeper yellow.
  • Titanium White -  An opaque, bright white with a strong tinting power (meaning a little goes a long way). Some manufacturers also sell a "mixing white", which is usually the cheapest and, as the name suggests, formulated to blend well with other colors.
  • Mars Black -  A relatively opaque color and should be added to other colors in small quantities until you've got used its strength. Another option is ivory black, but only if you’re not squeamish about it being made from charred bones (it was originally created from ivory).
  • Burnt Umber  - A warm chocolate brown that’s extremely versatile and likely to provide itself indispensable. It’s great for darkening the tone of other colors. Raw umber is very similar, but slightly lighter and cooler.
  • Phthalo Green - Greens can be hard to mix consistently unless you’re meticulous to note the colors and proportions you used. Phthalo green is a bright bluish green. Mix with cadmium yellow to get a variety of shades of greens.
  • Purple - It’s worth buying a very dark purple as you can waste a lot of paint trying to mix one.
  • Paynes Grey - a versatile, transparent dark blue-gray made from a mixture of blue and black, often with some red.
  • Yellow ochre – a rich golden, yellowish brown.

For your reference:
Color Palettes

warm palette:                       neutral:

Cobalt Blue                           Yellow Ochre

Cadmium Yellow                    Naples Yellow

Cadmium Red                        Raw Sienna

Cadmium Orange                   Titanium White

Permanent Green

Burnt Sienna

Flake White

Mars Black

Cool Palette:

Ultramarine Blue

Ultramarine violet

Cerulean Blue



Winsor Newton Red

Raw Umber

Burnt Umber

Ivory Black

Cadmium Yellow Pale or Lemon Yellow

Additional Details
Skill Level:
Madura, Rebecca

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