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Friday, July 21, 2017

Thinking Outside The Box

Day 1 Thinking Outside the Box
Art Camp.
We started art camp this week with plein air painting
on the farm looking over the valley at a neighbors barn.
So many shades of green!
We painted this scene in my yard.

 It's hotter than blue blazes this week,
so we set up a tent to give us some shade.
We aren't under the tent,
but it created this shade we're standing in.

It was at least 10 degrees cooler in the shade.

 One of the main goals  was to learn how to show the distance from us to the barn and the next hillside over and those trees.

In order to do that, you have to paint the furthest trees
using a bluish, greenish, purplish color.  
As the trees come closer, they need to get brighter and warmer.  You also need to use multiple values of green.

Each shade of green had 3 values of green,
dark, mid tone, and light.

You need all the values to create the depth and roundness of trees.
In this video we are working on the trees in the distance.

We are just about to finish up in this video.
And here we are with the finished painting.
We had a great time on Day 1.
Click HERE if you would like info on my last upcoming summer art camp.
 This camp is for teens, 13-18,
August 7-10,
and your student will learn to draw cartoons, 
begin an art journal,
do a still life 
and make a t shirt,
as well as several other things. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Ever Paint with a Q-tip?

What Tools Do You Paint With?

Today in the Blue Iris Studio
my little 4-year old student
painted with several tools besides brushes.

She did paint with brushes,

But I totally screwed up that video.

And after she got the background on,
then she painted some stems for her flowers.
But she also painted with 

Blaire used a bottle cap from her water bottle
to make circles on her painting. 

Then she used her q-tips  to add centers to the circles.

She also painted with a fork.

 After we got lots of flowers on,
she added some fluffy stuff on her stems
with a fork.

This is Blaire and her finished painting.

 We got lots of paint on our hands.
I had already washed Blaire's hands once
but you know how it is,
we get a lot of paint on our hands in a short amount of time.

If you would like to take art classes with me,
whether individually or as a group,
you should know I take new students of all ages
and abilities who want to learn using acrylic paint.
You can email me at 
and put "Art student questions" in the subject line.

If you'd like to host a party,
click HERE for all the info. 

Click HERE to browse my Etsy shop.
There's lots of my original paintings there,
and there are vintage linens,
and some pretty interesting glassware.
Sometimes I have some interesting jewelry making supplies.

Thanks for stopping by today.
How about leaving a comment
 so Blaire and her mom can see.


Monday, July 10, 2017

What We Can Learn From a 4 Year Old

She Knew What She Wanted
 Her Butterfly To Look Like!

I have a new student,
a fun student,
a determined student,
an unafraid student,
a 4 year old student.

And we could all learn a lot from her.

 Often when I teach children to paint the top, sides and bottom of their painting, they don't understand.
I show them, then I tell them, then I re-show them,
then I basically forget about it because I'm not going to make a tug of war out of it.

But Blaire got it right away.
Once I showed her what I meant,
she took it and ran with it.
There was no "Am I doing this right" from her.

When I asked her what her favorite color was for her background, she knew immediately.
Great choice.

Often, new painters, young or old, are timid.
Timid with color - Nope
Timid with strokes - Nope
Timid with knowing what they want - Nope.

When I first met her, I held out my hand to shake,
and she shook my hand with a great grip.
Looked me in the eyes when we spoke.
Wasn't afraid to tell me what she wanted.

Yes!  Blaire will go far.

She knew how to mix color
and she knew how to use her brush,
and she followed instructions.

and she's only 4!
 All lessons many people need to learn.
(especially following instructions)

 This is Blaire with her finished butterfly painting.

We'll see what we do next Friday.
She has 3 more lessons through the summer.
I think we'll be great friends.

If you would like to paint in my studio or your venue,
click HERE to find out how it's done.  

Please don't take my word for it that these classes are fun.
Click HERE to see what others are saying about them. 

If you would like to sign up to receive my blog in your inbox, fill out the little form that pops up.
If you've already closed it, you can scroll to the top and on the right hand side is a box that says, (wait for it)
 "Subscribe to my Blog" 
Put your email in the box and then you'll receive an email asking you to confirm you did sign up.  
You need to click that link.
If you don't, you're not really signed up and you're going to miss out on all the fun and the free paintings I give away every single month.
So let's get jiggy with it and get you signed up.

Thanks for stopping by today. 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Lessons Learned at Drawing Art Camp

Drawing On The Right Side of the Brain
What a week was had in Blue Iris Art Studio. 
This week was art camp for drawing and I had
3 fabulous young men join in the fun.

This is day 1 with a new sketch pad, pencils and eraser.
The 2 facing us are twins and the other one is their brother.
The older boy loves drawing and sketching and has had some training in school.
We started off learning what could be done with their pencils
and how to create form with shading and highlights.
They were amazed as things began to emerge on their papers.
 Day 2 found us working on landscapes.

 Learning to hold the pencil differently than
 when writing was a challenge.
They learned how to draw components of a basic landscape,

Here are all 3 landscape drawings.
It was very interesting from my perspective, 
to see how each boy struggled on different subjects.
Some were very glad to have landscape day over with.

Day 3 - Self Portraits.
We spent the first hour or so learning to draw the basic components of a portrait,
and how to use points on the photo reference to lay out the parts of their faces.
I took their close up pics on the Day 1 and then printed them out and that's what they used to draw their portraits.
It's a little intimidating getting started.
But there was a lot in this portrait he got right.

 This young man was the most timid
 trying to get everything perfect, but he persisted
and I believe he had success.
I assured him, I've drawn myself at least 12 times
and I don't have one that looks like me yet.
He didn't quite get finished in the 50 minutes we worked on them,
but his components look very good.

 This guy always wanted to the fastest and the best.
(You know how boys are about competition)

He did do a very good job 
and I think he was pleased.
 It's sort of hard to see their finished work
because we used fine pencils for the most part,
but you can see they learned a lot
and were brave enough, not only to do the work,
but let me video and photograph them all along the way.
They were some of the best campers I've ever had.
No matter what I threw at them,
they took on the challenge and worked at it,
regardless how nervous or timid they might have been.
We could all take a lesson!!!
July 17-20 is my 4th Art Camp of the summer.
It is about thinking outside of the box and your child will have the opportunity to use their creativity in many ways.
Click HERE to get more info and sign up.
Seating is limited.  
August 7-10 is Teen Week
and only students 12 and up will be able to participate.
Lots of things are planned for them, I hope they will enjoy.
Click HERE to get more info and sign up. 
Seating is limited.
I am putting together some adult classes for this fall.
If you are interested, please leave me a comment below about what you would be interested in learning and I'll make sure to keep you in the loop.
Would you like:
1.  Morning or evening classes?
2.  Private or group classes?
3.  To learn basic concepts and how to use them.
4.  To finish a painting in one evening.  
Thanks for stopping by the Blue Iris Studio today. 


About Me

My photo
Ghent, Kentucky, United States
I'm a nature artist and I love to paint old barns, rivers and lakes, trees and fence rows and flowers. I work almost daily. You can purchase paintings by contacting me at and there is also a tab across the top of my blog for available paintings and one for small paintings with buy now buttons. You can also purchase through my Etsy shop using the name of Fine Nature Art. . Thank you so much for stopping by.