Tag Archives: painting instruction

The Artist’s Daughter – Work In Progress, Day 1

Earlier this month, I finished a sketch of my daughter Grace. My intent is to work through this painting in a method akin to the school of academic realists currently working in New York and around the world.  I’m a big fan of Jacob Collins and his contemporaries at The Grand Central Academy and I’d love to spend some time there with guys like Scott Waddell and Graydon Parrish.

In the meantime, while I contemplate the pipe dream of a summer studying in New York with these guys, I’m going to take a crack at working through this method and approach to classical painting.

With that in mind, here’s the start of the painting of “The Artist’s Daughter” that I worked on this afternoon. After finishing the sketch, I made a transfer outline onto a 14″x18″ belgian linen board that I hand finished myself. (More on how to do that in another post, methinks!) The board has been primed and sanded, and then received a coat of raw umber a couple of weeks ago just to tone the surface. I used raw umber to start this, and I’ll post more as I go along.

Here’s the initial sketch:

The Artist's Daughter: ©2012 Janice Tanton. Graphite on paper. 18x14.

The Artist's Daughter: ©2012 Janice Tanton. Graphite on paper. 18x14.

And here’s a quick one minute video I cobbled together this afternoon from some shots of the painting as I worked. I wanted to change the image slightly and tilt her head into the painting more. Nice to try something new! These are just the first stages of the painting. I thought it would be nice to share my process on this with you.

Please follow this blog for updates on the progression of works. Share your process with me. I’m interested in how you approach a painting or a work of art in any form.

Related Posts:

The Initial Sketch

The Artist’s Daughter – Work In Progress, Day 2

The Artist’s Daughter – Day 3 – Learning When to Stop Painting

Art Tip of The Day – Allergic to Oils? Go Nuts!


"Lie To Me" © 2009 Janice Tanton.

"Lie To Me" © 2009 Janice Tanton. 40x60, oil on linen

For years, one of the things that kept me back from painting with oils, was an allergy to them. At the age of 12, my parents bought me a set of oils, which I dove into down in the basement of our bungalow in Oshawa. Less than an hour later, I emerged, hardly able to breathe, my eyes swollen, itchy and my skin all blotchy with hives, as I was trying to paint a picture of a horse. An hour after that, I was in a doctor’s office, getting a massive dose of antihistimines. Needless to say, the oils were packed off to the garbage while I was being packed off to the hospital.

Thirty plus some years later, after painting in years with watercolour and egg tempera, I thought there must be some “modern” solution for me to expand my media.

Brushes!When I took up painting with oils, I did a lot of reading on what might be the best way to approach it, from a health and useability standpoint. I think my allergy may have been to stand oil – but I’m not about to take a stab at it again without an epipen nearby!

The solution that I found was in M.Graham oils. Based with walnut oils, this did the trick for me! The medium is wonderful, silky smooth and the pigment quality is excellent. I love them, and I wouldn’t trade them again for my watercolours or egg tempera, although each of them does have a spot in my studio and my work.

The Palette with oil paints

Typical palette setup with M.Graham paints

The walnut oil is non-yellowing over time, unlike some other drying oils, and I find that there are many ways that I have been able to avoid the use of heavier solvents with the walnut.  It seems to clean up very well with Murphy’s oil soap, and the M Graham alkyd medium is an excellent way to work through lightening the consistency of the pigment-rich paint.

Overall, I love my “new” medium and the way that the oils are performing. The happiest thing of all – is that I can actually use oil paints now without having a terrible allergic reaction.

Genius Teacher and Guru, Artist Jerry Fresia

Cover shot - Jerry Fresia - The Practice and Philosophy of French Impressionism

The Practice and Philosophy of French Impressionism by Jerry Fresia

Right then. Let’s make this simple. You NEED to have this book.

If you are an artist in the true sense of the word, you owe it to yourself to give this a thorough read and practice with intention, the philosophy and methods.

Jerry Fresia is an expert in “becoming” a painter’s painter. His approach in tackling French Impressionism is a must-know tool in every artist’s arsenal, no matter the genre, medium or intent of your own personal work. Everyone can take away something of value and learn from this kind, intelligent painter’s guru. I have personally learned more from Jerry than I ever could have hoped for. He is a gracious man, willing to give his time and knowledge and engage you in the philosophy as well as the skills of this method.

If you are looking for a hands-on experience with Jerry, you can pack your smock and straw hat and head to Lenno, Italy, on the shores of beautiful Lake Como to indulge yourself with some one on one instruction.

Jerry and his wife, Conchitina, host (and I mean HOST – she’s a gourmet cook!) workshops at their gorgeous lakeside Villa de Herraro. One and two week courses are scheduled in April, May, September and October of 2011. Running  Sunday through Saturday with all of your painting materials supplied, you will be wined, dined and turpentined to your heart’s content.

They offer accommodation in their villa (a studio apartment with a private bath, kitchenette and 2 French double beds as well as a Mac laptop and WiFi…..ooo….I want this one!) Accommodation can also be arranged at San Giorgio Hotel and Albergo Lenno, both looking on the internet like they are well worth the relaxing Italian stay on the shores of Lago Di Como. Did I mention George Clooney is a neighbour?

If you’re interested in picking up a copy of Jerry’s book, (and you should be!), you can order and view it HERE . At only $44.95 CDN, that’s a whole lotta art education on the topic.

For the chance to learn from the master himself, visit Fresia Studios or email Jerry or Conchitina directly from their site.