Artist Round Table Bi-Monthly Zoom Session Follow-Up Newsletter (11.12.2023)

Greetings, you are receiving this newsletter because you are registered for our Artist Round Table Bi-Monthly Zoom Sessions. We will be sending a follow-up newsletter like this after each session to highlight the key points discussed during the roundtable.

All of us at the ANI Art Academies wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! May the good things of life be yours in abundance, not only at Thanksgiving but throughout the coming year!

Congratulations to Tanja Gant! Her two drawings, Moon Shine (30x19", Colored Pencil) and Jade (28x16", Colored Pencil), are part of the Colored Pencil Society of America’s Exhibit at the Granville Arts Center in Garland, TX. Show dates: November 4 - December 3, 2023

Debra Keirce is represented in two separate Miniature Art shows this season.
The 33rd Annual Miniature Art Show at MonDak Heritage Museum in Sidney, MT. Show dates: 11.15.2023 - 1.27.2024. And the 90th Annual International Miniature Exhibition at the Strathmore Mansion in Rockville, MD, which will open this weekend.

PAINTING AND DRAWING REALISM - Date 6.2.2024 - 6.2.2024. This workshop will be a painting demonstration where Debra discusses what it’s important to think about when painting realism, beginning with the drawing, then hue, value and saturation, ending with the details.
COPY A MASTER OIL PAINTING - 6.12.2024 - 6.14.2024. All skill levels invited, learning how to copy a master painting.
PAINTING AND DRAWING REALISM IN TUSCANY - 9.18.2024 - 9.25.2024. This workshop is an all inclusive art retreat to the beautiful Tuscan countryside. Lodging in an upscale hotel with private rooms and baths, food, wine, excursions, transportation to and from Florence airport are all included. And of course, the workshop instruction will include fun painting experiences that emphasize how accurate drawings result in more realistic paintings.
A DAY PAINTING WITH DEBRA KEIRCE - 11.1.2024. More information to come.

Congratulations Debra! She snagged a couple of awards as well. Her painting Small Town (9x12", Oil on panel) was awarded the BoldBrush FAV 15% for September 2023. And her painting Play for Me (3.5x2.5", Oil on Panel) won 1st Place in the Gateway to the Rockies Annual Miniature Show of the Aurora Artists Guild in Colorado.

Make sure to pick up a copy of Artists Magazine (Nov/Dec issue) to check out Jamie’s Lindholm article the Lessons Section. Jamie’s article, A Kaleidoscope of Light and Color, covers different aspects of interference paints.

No Rules, But Don’t Break These Laws is the article written by Daniel Keys that Anthony mentioned this past session in regard to the issues that some may take with the idea of rules or objective analysis of art.

Books and articles mentioned this past session:
Values for Pictures Worth a Thousand Words: A Manual for Realist / Representational Painters by Apollo Dorian
Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter by James Gurney
The Art of Color: The Subjective Experience and Objective Rationale of Color by Johannes Itten
Interaction of Color by Josef Albers
Opticks: Or a Treatise of the Reflections, Refractions, Inflections & Colours of Light by Sir Isaac Newton
Coloritto: Harmony Of Colouring In Painting by Le Blon

Paints that were mentioned: Sevres Blue, Kings Blue, Payne’s Grey, and Van ■■■■ Brown.

Draw Mix Paint program by Mark Carder was mentioned this past session. Mark Carder is a highly regarded artist who started painting in 1986. He has painted commissioned portraits of two US Presidents and a US Secretary of State, among others. Mr. Carder started painting seriously at the age of 22. He taught himself to paint and then went on to copy works by John Singer Sargent, Rembrandt, George Inness, and Henry Raeburn to complete his training. He considers John Singer Sargent and Diego Velázquez to be his greatest influences.

Thank you, Paul Beckingham for sharing your experience at Mark Carder’s Class.

“I took the Mark Carder week-long 1:1 class. He wandered in and out, making comments only in the form of questions (“How do you feel about the chroma on the highlights?”), never elaborating, never pointing to anything, never touching a brush. 12 hours a day in the studio, minus time for lunch and a good cry.”

Please see below Paul’s progression through the days.

  • (Image A) The setup. Dark studio to cut reflections and control light. A life-sized printed, laminated reference. Reference whittled down from 50+ experimental still life setups using stock goodies. Studio kept frigid cold and illuminated only by 5000K lights. Hard chair. Utter misery.
  • (Image B) Drawing made using calipers and a yellow pencil on a beige toned canvas. Axis lines to help with symmetry.
  • (Image C) Premixed colors strings for everything.
  • (Image D) Palette after 5 days of painting.
  • (Image E) Half done. Only brush used was a Winsor & Newton Filbert size 8.
  • (Image F) Day 7, standing back six feet and identifying the largest flaw. Fix and repeat. Most of a day.
  • (Image G) End result. About 50 hours work. He ships the painting to the student a month later, when it’s dry enough.

Thank you Diane Davich Craig for sending in your Blue Colors swatch comparison. And thank you for recommending oral syringes as a good alternative to keep mixed paints.
Brandzig Syringe (comes in variety of sizes)
Plastic Syringe with Cap

Thank you, Victoria Herrera for sending your palette and insights into Munsell Color System.

“Anyone can mix any colors and don’t need a very expensive book to do it. That is certain. To mix the entire Munsell color wheel (including the highest chromas) you actually only need about 16 colors (see mage above). But the value of Munsell is ‘the consistency’ it offers with value/hue/chroma when mixing & matching the color notations to the book, which BTW, it now costs 1.6K not 1K. (Ridiculous to say the least! And totally unaffordable for anyone) I bought mine for $300 many years ago.
You can see on the picture above how I work with Munsell and why it is very useful for me. It takes a LOT of the guess work out of the equation and saves me A TON of time. For me, there is no ‘set’ palette. I mix according to my needs and the subject matter (Sargent used to do this also I read in one of his books a while back). I also tube my colors when the painting is pretty large and I don’t want to waste time mixing every time. I prefer to work with fresh color and avoid putting it in the freezer so having specific colors tubed is an excellent choice for me.”

Victoria Herrera

Thank you, Johnny Sells for sharing his mixing matrix, that he developed. See above.
“When I was originally taught to paint many years ago, I was given a limited palette (2 reds, 2 blues, 1 yellow, 3 earth tones, black and white) and was taught to mix any color by sight. When I got back into painting a few years ago, I studied the Munsell system like others in your group. After spending 43 years as an engineer though, I have become more analytical and developed the attached color wheel and mixing matrix. I don’t know if they would be helpful to anyone else, but you are welcome to share if anyone asks.”

Johnny Sells

Books on color systems Johnny mentioned:

  1. Munsell Book of Color
  2. Controlling Colour with the Munsell System by Paul Centore

Online Alla Prima Challenges 2024.
20 live painting alla prima sessions over 20 weeks (plus an introductory orientation) beginning on January 4th (orientation), 2024! (Registration starts December 5th!) For all my painter pals–I’m once again going to be hosting 20 weekly alla prima challenges via Zoom starting in January 2024. Sessions will be carried out each Thursday at 2 p.m. EST. Each session will last about 1 hour, which includes 30-45 minutes of painting time (depending on the challenge for that week) and 15-20 minutes of discussion about the goals of the exercise and some tips to make the effort more successful. After each session, participants will have one hour to share a photograph of their effort in a shared Dropbox folder that will serve as a private learning gallery for all participants. Links to the folder will be made available in an email like this one that precedes the session.

Prior to the first painting session, I will be hosting an “Orientation” session on January 4th. This will serve as an introduction to the challenges, a walkthrough of the primary goals, what is needed to participate, the role of the Dropbox gallery, and a general Q&A to ensure everyone is ready to go on January 11th!

If you are interested in learning about each challenge ahead of time, you can see the full schedule here: Alla Prima Challenges. Also, if you are interested, Smartermarx has additional info on the general strategies that I often use to approach the alla prima (specifically the SNAG concept – Survey, Notan, Anchors, and Gradations.) If you wish to join us, please sign up today! (You can unsubscribe from the list at any time.) To subscribe, follow the LINK. Please forward any additional questions to Anya Dribas, at

In between our bi-weekly Artist Round Table Sessions feel free to come and join the discussions on Smartermarx.

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