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The Fundamentals of Composition for Painters

Feeley Dent in Universe

July 24 – 25: Have fun learning how the simple fundamentals of artistic composition will make you a better painter in this 2 day class. You will learn 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, J.M.W. Turner, Degas, Kandinsky and abstract expressionism. We will discuss how the eye/brain works to compose what it sees and how 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 with the paintings that you develop in just two days.

Bring a bag lunch each day and plenty of water. Part of the course will be inside and part outside so wear comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting paint stained and bring sunscreen.

[tabby title=”Instructor Bio”] Hank Feeley is an author, painter, and sculptor whose second book Painting the Joy of Sleeping Bear County was published in 2016. He is a graduate The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Harvard Business School. He has been a Visiting Artist at School of the Art Institute of Chicago, an Artist-in-Residence at Ox-Bow School of Art, and has taught at Roosevelt University and the Dennos Museum. 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.

[tabby title=”Dates/Times”] Wednesday, July 24, Time: 9 am – 4 pm

Thursday, July 25, Time: 9 am – 4 pm

[tabby title=”Supply List”] This list is for oil painters. Watercolor, pastel or acrylic painters should bring the equivalent. Email Hank if you have questions: [email protected] 

150 ml tube of Gamblin Galkyd Gel

portable easel (French easel or something like a Stanrite 500 aluminum)

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

twelve 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 craft store)

lots of T-shirt material wipe cloths

paper towels for cleanup


Paints: titanium white, yellow ochre, cadmium yellow medium, cadmium red medium, venetian red, sap green, Sevres blue, ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson and burnt umber

[tabby title=”Refund Policy”] We understand that your plans might change. If they do, notify the GAAC office as soon as possible. Requests for cancellation by the student at least thirty (30) days prior to the first day of the workshop will be honored (minus a $20 processing fee). NO REFUNDS will be given for a student cancellation made less than thirty (30) days prior to the first day of the workshop.



starts July 24 @ 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

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