I originally painted this piece a number of years ago. This is a good choice because we’ve been working with greens all month. Those pesky greens of summer which are hard to manage and in a certain regard can be overwhelming. For me frankly, sometimes it can be a little bit boring when there is no relief from the greens. So we are going to dive in to something that’s going to deal with managing the greens and the nuances of greens where if we really let ourselves sink into it where going to find a lot of beauty in nuance there.

This is a relatively simple composition but the thing that attracted me to to painting it for you is the patterns of light and shadow, reaching back to the horizon. The reference material that you guys have been provided is really an image of the painting that I did. As for the reference photo that used when I originally painted this, you’d see that it’s quite a bit cooler and it has a flattered quality of light. So when I was doing the piece, I really infused it with a bit of warmer greens and I created those patterns of light and shadow more definitively.

This is a two-part lesson. First a Follow-Along Demo. Follow along at your own pace but remember my suggestions for time limits!

Next is an Independent Assignment meant to expand on some of the principles presented in the Follow-Along Demo and to personalize your work. When you have completed both parts you can upload one or both images to receive a personal video critique on your work. Remember that the more mileage you get, the more progress you make, so I recommend that you complete both parts before submitting your images.

Who it’s for – This lesson is for beginning to advanced painters.
What’s it’s About – Follow along session of By the Nursery with Q&A.
Set a Personal Focus – Try to focus on just a couple aspects of the painting. Don’t worry about the composition too much.
Set a Time Limit – Keep it simple and don’t spend more than an hour and a half on it. If you find yourself spending two or three hours on it, it’s time to STOP and try another version!

Materials

  1. The largest set of pastels that you have*
  2. A 15 x 15 piece of sanded paper. I used Leaf Green Colourfix for this lesson, but you could use a different color or different brand of paper if you like. Please use sanded pastel paper!
  3. A Black Conte’ Stick

Extras

  1. Easel
  2. Baby wipes
  3. An apron

Part I
Follow-Along Demo
Before You Start, a Few Tips on Following Along

  1. Stop the video whenever you need to – it’s one of the great things about learning this way. Plus, you don’t need to take notes!
  2. Don’t feel funny about copying my pieces! It’s a time-honored way to learn and I know you’ll develop your own “style” in due course. I give you lots of ways to take off on your own and expand on the demos/lessons.
  3. Take your time, but not really! I want you to speed up a bit so you can start to develop the “whole” piece all at once.
  4. Do it differently. If it feels uncomfortable, you’re likely on the right track.
  5. Remember the three “P’s” Perfection, Procrastination, Paralysis. There is no such thing as a perfect painting, so don’t even worry about it.
  6. If you have trouble, ask for help! My team and I want you to have a great experience doing the lessons!!
  7. There are 5 stages in each lesson. The beginning of each stage is a good time to pause the video, take a short break and check in on how you’re doing.

Part 2
Independent Assignment

Do another version from the alternate your own reference. That’s entirely up to you, but try to make the two versions significantly different in some way. This might be an opportunity for a photo expedition depending on the time of year or your location. If you don’t have your own reference, please feel free to use one that I’ve provided!

When You’ve Completed Both Part 1 & 2
When you’re done, click here to upload pics of your painting and I’ll send you a Personal Video Critique. I’m curious what you’ll come up with! The first critique request is a free bonus for you. If you’d like additional critiques, normally a Personal Video Critique is $97 but you can send a message my support team to get a discounted critiques package – I’ve already told them that since you are taking lessons from me, you get at least 40% off.

If you aren’t ready for a personal critique from me, then be sure to upload your work to our Community page where your peers can take a look. I often comment on the Community submissions as well – it won’t be a video critique but I really enjoy seeing your work and helping you when I can.

The Stages (applies to both part 1 & 2)

  1. Planning
    • Crop your reference, (feel free to crop it just like mine or change it up a bit).
    • Do a quick 5 to 10 minute thumbnail. This is a great way to get a feel for the piece and visualize the final version.
  2. Drawing
    • Scale up your thumbnail to the correct proportion. Watch my video on scaling a sketch!
    • Lightly sketch in the essential shapes
    • Use your thumbnail sketch more than your photo reference at this point
  3. Blocking In
    • Establish the essential shapes of the piece, (3 to 5 largest shapes) Use the sides of the sticks)
    • Establish the values of those main shapes. What is the overall or average value of each shape?
    • Get a feel for how the piece works as a whole.
  4. Adding On
    • Add a variety of hues, and intensity to each shape.
    • Add texture and smooth out gradations where needed. Watch my video To Blend or Not to Blend.
    • Add a light source or direction of light.
    • Add any detail.
  5. Finishing
    • Resolve any areas that need attention or TLC.
    • Slow down make color adjustments where needed.
    • Go the extra mile and exaggerate contrast and intensity where needed. Give yourself permission to do this!

Download the Lesson PDF

Enjoy “By the Nursery”!

To Download the PDF file:
Ctrl-Click (MAC) and choose “Save File As”
Right Click (PC) to download files.


Click Here to Download the PDF
Download the Images PDF
To Download the PDF file:
Ctrl-Click (MAC) and choose “Save File As”
Right Click (PC) to download files.


Click Here to Download the Images PDF