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The Fundamentals of Composition for Painters

Date & Time: July 14, 9am-4:30pm
Registration Deadline: July 11

Have fun learning how the simple fundamentals of artistic composition will make you a better painter. Explore the basics of scene selection and design; the easy to understand principles of visual perspective; massing and building of form; scale; light and shadow; near and far; capturing and developing atmospheric distance; the elements of line, shape, texture, repetition, rhythm, and weight; the importance of color and balance as compositional elements.

The class will start with a slide lecture on the history of artistic composition from the ancient Egyptians to today’s David Hockney, with stops to discuss Giotto, the Renaissance, the golden ratio, Hieronymus Bosch, JMW Turner, Degas, Kandinsky, and abstract expressionism. We will discuss how the eye/brain works to compose what it sees and how the environment and culture influence the result.

There will be frequent demonstrations by the instructor. Each student will get individual attention to help them progress at their own pace. Part of the course will be inside and outside, so wear comfortable clothes to get paint-stained and bring sunscreen. Bring a sack lunch and plenty of water.

Hank Feeley is an author, painter, and sculptor whose second book Painting the Joy of Sleeping Bear County published in 2016. He is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Harvard Business School. He has been a Visiting Artist at SAIC, an Artist in Residence at Ox-Bow, taught at Roosevelt University and the Dennos Museum, and Interlochen. His work is held in public and private collections nationally and internationally. He is represented in Chicago by Aron Packer Projects and, in New York, by First Street Gallery.

This list is for oil painters. Watercolor, pastel, or acrylic painters should bring the equivalent. Call Hank if you have questions: (312) 560-3916.


150 ml tube of Gamblin galkyd gel

Portable easel – I suggest a French easel or something like a Stanrite 500 aluminum

A small portable/fold up table to hold pallet and paints

Four medium canvases

Pallet (get the 16 “x20” tear-off pallet at the craft store)

At least a quart of low odor mineral spirits

A brush cleaner jar with wire inside (get at a craft store)

Lots of tee shirt material wipe cloths

Paper towels for cleanup



-Titanium white

-Yellow ochre

-Cadmium yellow medium

-Cadmium red medium

-Venetian red

-Sap green

-Sevres blue

-Ultramarine blue

-Alizarin crimson

-Burnt umber

Minimum Enrollment
Glen Arbor Arts Center reserves the right to cancel any class or multi-day, sequential-day workshop that does not meet its minimum student enrollment prior to the first class session. If a class is cancelled by GAAC for lack of enrollment, GAAC will offer a full refund to the student in the manner in which tuition was paid (Cash payments will be refunded by check). Please be aware that GAAC is not responsible for losses incurred due to housing, travel or other arrangements.

Requests for cancellation by the student at least seven (7) days prior to the first day of class will be honored (minus a $20 processing fee). NO REFUNDS will be given for a student cancellation made less than seven (7) days in advance of the day of the class.


To ensure the safety of our students and staff, we have implemented new procedures for our 2021 programs, to mitigate the spread of COVID and still allow participants to have a wonderful time creating art.

  • Class sizes will be limited to 12 persons or less for outdoor programs and 8 or less for indoor programs.
  • All students must wear face coverings inside the center when social distancing isn’t possible.
  • Students and staff will wash and sanitize hands frequently throughout the day.
  • Common areas and touched surfaces will be sanitized regularly.

To keep pace with the evolving conditions related to the pandemic, any new policies or procedures for classes will be communicated by June 15, 2021.


July 14, 2021
9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Event Categories:
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Thoreson Farm
3694 S Thoreson Rd
Maple City, MI 49664 United States
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Hank Feeley
Beginner / Intermediate
In Person

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