The Grammar of Abstract Composition In Acrylic Painting and Collage
Instructor: Jane Davies
Saturday, June 8 & Sunday, June 9
9 a.m.–4 p.m.
SVAC Member: $450; Non-member: $500
Ages 16+

Does “composition” conjure a set of rules that you should be paying attention to in your work? Do you strive for a “pleasing composition,” and is that enough to make a good work of art?

In this workshop we will approach composition as a more playful and exploratory inquiry, rather than a set of rules or guidelines. We’ll take a few visual elements and experiment with value, scale, arrangement, color, transparency, and more, to see how these aspects impact our images. We are not in search of the best composition. Rather we are generating as many variations as possible, and noticing our personal responses to them. The goal is to become more articulate in your expression through a deeper understanding of visual language. This method of inquiry, I hope, will allow you to discover your own personal way with composition.

This is not a beginner workshop. Though the techniques we’re using are accessible to less experienced artists, the concepts will be most helpful to those who have painted long enough to have struggled with composition.

Supply List:

  • Acrylic Paint: preferably Golden Fluid Acrylics in the following colors (a 1-oz bottle of each is sufficient):
    • Bone Black
    • Transparent Red Iron Oxide
    • Nickel Azo Yellow or Indian Yellow Hue
    • Payne Gray or Anthriquinone Blue
    • Other colors or your choice, though we are not focusing on color.
  • One 8 oz bottle of Blick Matte Acrylic White or similar opaque fluid white acrylic paint
  • One 4 oz or 8 oz jar of acrylic matte medium or soft gel matte
  • 9”x12” bristol or other sturdy, smooth paper to use as a substrate, about a dozen sheets. Blick makes a pad of 15 sheets of Bristol, but if you have printmaking paper, smooth mixed media paper, or hot press watercolor paper, any of those will suffice.
  • Several brushes, a variety, including flats
  • 9”x12” disposable (pad of paper style) palette, or whatever palette you are comfortable with
  • A 12”x16” disposable palette or a roll of freezer paper and some artists’ tape
  • Scissors
  • Spray bottle for water
  • One roll of paper towels – Bounty or Viva are good
  • A few pencils, ordinary graphite

I will provide:

  • 9”x12” cheap drawing paper for making collage paper
  • Tissue paper for staining
  • Plastic quart containers for water
  • A few drawing materials to share
  • Pearls of wisdom and pearls of stupidity.

Jane Davies is a full-time painter. Beginning as a potter in the early nineties, Davies transitioned into freelance art, using painting and collage as her medium. Since 2010 she has been teaching abstract painting workshops in North America and online, as well as making art full time. She has written five instructional books, produced one instructional DVD, and offers many demonstration videos on social media.

June 8 at 9:00 am — June 9 at 4:00 pm
9:00 am — 4:00 pm (31h)


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