Workshops By David Garrison — For the students that will be in the south of France Pastel Workshop – June, 2010

When I give a workshop, I assume that each person wants to learn something about “painting from life” that can be applied to all future paintings. Having taught for the past 20 years, almost without exception, the success or failure of a painting created from life, is based on the foundation and procedure established in the beginning and middle of that painting. Even though people assume their problem areas have to do with the last half of the painting, including style and so forth, it’s not where the problems really are. Based on this idea, my workshops include three basic principles:

  1. Anatomy- All styles need one basic element and that is good sound drawing.
  2. Mood- Creating a flow to your painting that is beautiful and pleasing to the eye; a mood captures attention. This is done by way of technical use of edges, lighting, design values and the use of color. I do not use lines, I use value change.
  3. Finish- How not to overwork that painting, and when to stop in time and keep that fresh look.

These basic principles are explained and taught by way of demonstrations, questions and answers, and not being in a hurry to move on until everyone understands these concepts. No one will be asked to duplicate my style but rather learn where the trouble spots are in a painting and what to do about correcting them. At all times I keep the class cheerful and uplifting, and inspired to paint!

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