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Moody Still Life Painting Workshop

With Master Artist

Dan Bunn

3 Days | Fri. May 19th - Sun. May 21st, 2023

Fri & Sun | 10am - 5pm
Sat | 6pm - 9pm

Course Description

Painting unique and varied items in still life allows artists to quickly develop a wide range of skills, and at the same time produce compelling artworks. With depictions of animals, food items, and objects of curiosity dating back to Roman mosaic and frescoes of the Classical period, still life offers unlimited possibilities for picture making as varied as your imagination.

In this way, simple items can go way beyond their utilitarian purpose, and take on mood and narratives of their own. A grouping of objects can evoke a memory, a favorite food or dish (such as Luis Melendez’s hot chocolate), or or just draw your attention with glimmering light and the subtlety of forms obscured in mysterious shadow.

Over many centuries various sub-genres have emerged, such as tromp l’ceil, breakfast still life, forest still life, as well as opulent showy arrays and more symbolic narratives. During this 3 day workshop we will explore the ‘Moody still life’ using careful selection of items and lighting to achieve an intriguing picture.

We will begin by making a pleasing arrangement within the ‘miniature stage’ of a still life ledge or shadow box. From there, students will learn how to ‘draw-with-paint’ in a controlled manner, covering ‘block-in’ principles to achieve accurate proportions efficiently. Next we will make small color studies to capture the overall value, hue, and chroma relationships desired for our paintings, based on the still life set ups that we create. Next, students will learn to complete their painting area by area in a direct painting technique. On the final day, we will discuss glazing and finishing, and ways to amplify the overall effect of the painting, once the main rendering is complete.

This will be an introduction to building a painting in layers, using a hybrid technique inspired by Dutch and Spanish masters of still life. Dan will demonstrate with his own painting and give individual critiques daily.

What You'll Learn

Creating a visually compelling and ‘paintable’ set up

Picture planning and how to organize your ideas into a repeatable process

Traditional painting techniques: organized pallet, drawing concepts, paint layering

An introduction to rendering forms in space related to a light source

An introduction to rendering forms in space related to a light source

Experimentation to achieve a desired result

Kline Academy Visiting Instructor Dan Bunn


Dan Bunn

Dan Bunn is an oil painter known for conjuring mysterious scenes replete with fruit, animals, people, and objects of curiosity. He grew up in southern Wisconsin where he developed a deep love for the outdoors and observing nature. After becoming enthralled with fantasy art as a child and masterworks of the past as a teenager, he studied at various schools until he found his way to Grand Central Atelier to study with Jacob Collins and the crew of notable painters and instructors in NYC. He is now teaching in the core program at GCA and showing new works with various galleries. In his paintings, observations of nature meet a wandering imagination, as fantasy and truth melt into one.

Workshop Gallery
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