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The Fundamentals of Composition for Painters

Date: July 27 and 28
Time: 9 am – 4:00 pm
Registration Deadline: July 24

Location: Thoreson Farm

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 along the way 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 influences the result.

There will be frequent demonstrations by the instructor. Each student will get individual attention to help them progress at their own pace.

You will be amazed at the paintings you will develop over the two days.

The course will be inside AND outside, so wear comfortable clothes that you do not mind getting paint-stained and bring sunscreen.

Bring a sack lunch each day and plenty of water.

Hank Feeley is an author, painter, and sculptor. 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 and an Artist in Residence at Ox-Bow. He has taught at Roosevelt University and the Dennos Museum and currently teaches at McKee Gardens and The Gifford Youth Achievment Center, both in Florida. 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 or email Hank if you have questions: 312 560 3916, [email protected]


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

Twelve medium canvasesâ•©

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

Please read the GAAC cancellation and refund policy here: http://www.glenarborart.org/terms-and-conditions/

To ensure the safety of our students and staff, we have implemented new procedures for our 2022 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.
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.


starts July 27 @ 9:00 am
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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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