Friday, November 13, 2020

Seattle Atelier Classroom Demonstration of Tonal Impressionist Principles, Perceptual Painting.

Michael Lane Dounder of Seattle Atelier painting in front of students.

Class demo at Seattle Atelier, explaining tonal extensions, tone key, tonal relationships, multiple colors in five values or less and the order of visual importance. 

(Image features works by Max Meldrum, Percy Leason, Joseph Allworthy, Graeme Inson and John Singer Sargent.)

The program’s general textbooks are “The Science of Appearances” (1950) by Max Meldrum and “Experience in Painting, an Analysis of the Visual Impression as Applied to Painting” by Percy Leason.

Little Saigon Neighborhood, Seattle, WA.

(JULY 2021)

Seattle Atelier listed on the Seattle Street-Art Map. 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Michael Lane invited by Israel Hershberg to teach at the JSS In Civita Catellana 2018

From left: Students Kathy Paul, Min Zhong and Eve Parker make Alla Prima paintings at some marshes north of Seattle.

I’ve been invited by Israel Hershberg, for the third year in a row, to join the affiliate faculty at the JSS in Civita Castellana.
The title of the course this year is "Corot, Tonalism and the Roman Campagna" 

Dates are: July 23-August 6, Civita Castellana, Italy. 

Seattle Atelier students painting at Alki Beach, West Seattle

Seattle Atelier students painting at Pike Place Market, Seattle
Seattle Atelier students painting on a beach in West Seattle

Monday, June 26, 2017

Seattle Atelier Color System (intro)

Seattle atelier student painting

Once students have begun to master tonal divisionism or correctly related tone groups or families (referred to by Camille Pissarro as “the greatest innovation of Impressionism”) they begin working in color.

Our system uses three hues (warm, straight, cool) for all primaries and secondaries, so it’s an 18 hue color-wheel.

Students mix ten complete color wheels on top of a set of ten gray-scale value cards, matching the value of each. 

Seattle Atelier color chart lesson

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Meldrum: The Scientific Artist

Max Meldrum diagram from The Science of Appearances, Seattle Atelier, WA

Max Meldrum diagram from The Science of Appearances. Seattle Atelier

Hayward Veal walks the full length of his narrow studio because this is the only way to paint. 

It is Max Meldrum’s way. 

Examine the subject from a distance. 

You are objective. 

Detached both from the subject and yourself. 

The artist, Meldrum says, is a scientist of appearances.

Max Meldrum self portrait. Seattle Atelier

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Bibliophile Confessions

A partial view, from a video, of the Seattle Atelier library where many ring-bound copies of print-outs of old manuscripts and very rare artist's teaching and studio notes, letters and diaries from the archives at Harvard, Yale, the Smithsonian, National Gallery-Archives of American Art and many other libraries wait for you.

Open to the public without charge during business hours, with several scanners for free use and very inexpensive flash drives available for purchase.
There are couches, tables, chairs, natural light and a kitchen on the other side of the door with free coffee and snacks.

Visit us soon on historic Jackson Street in Seattle’s arts-filled Central District and Little Saigon neighborhoods, where there’s usually some kind of great festival happening.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Seattle Atelier Still Life Courses

All our still life classes are alla prima and solvent free.
Students finish each painting in one session after carefully creating their palettes as a scale of relationships.

In the above image student Jennifer Will creates a sight size Alla Prima still life in less than an hour, walking back and forth from her focus point, after first taking a couple hours to create a group of pre-mixed correctly related tone families and colors within each. 

Students enjoy getting at a subjects visual essence in this objective way and the classroom is open to students at all times and they often say well past the four hour to six hour class times. 

In the image below student Kathy Paul stands at her “focus point” twelve feet from her canvas, sensing out her shapes as she tries out her initial tone group “hypotheses”, adjusting constantly at this stage by physically adjusting large piles of paint on her palette and testing them against each other. 
That is not a value-match of each area but a painting of their relationships. 
 Anyone familiar with the general textbooks for the program also knows how many diagrams, charts, exercises and other practices help explain this both natural and analytical process. Frequent instructor painting demonstrations show the process.  

(Below: Student’s Alla Prima works in progress. Limited and full-color palettes)


Twice Yearly Free Introductory Classes and Painting Demonstrations, Daniel Smith, Seattle (2014-2020).

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Perceptual Painting in the Pacific Northwest

Students of Seattle Atelier have been rising to the challenges of painting in a perceptual painting program with outdoor painting built into every class, no matter the weather, year round. 
Many urban settings close to the classroom have been where we head out to work, rain or shine, using the same principles with which we paint alla prima still life in the classroom.

Students (above) making Alla Prima copies of the work of Corot, creating their palettes as a scale of relationships, tested and adjusted, before they all go outdoors to repeat the process while executing another Alla Prima painting in the open air on the streets of Seattle.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Teaching at JSS in Civita

I’ve been invited by Israel Hershberg to join the affiliate faculty at the JSS in Civita, Summer Art School & Residency in Italy. 

To learn more about his amazing program look here:

Monday, August 25, 2014

Founding an Atelier at the Request of Students.


Last winter I was asked to interview at DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, Washington for an over-hire, adjunct position in the BFA dept. to handle overflow in figure drawing courses. (They are a school which specializes in the creation of video games.) When I interviewed by demonstrating the anatomy-based, constructive figure drawing lessons I had been teaching for a while in front of the assembled faculty they offered me a full professorship. I was in complete shock.

It’s a great school and it was a great experience but after one year I’m ready to begin a teaching project which can only be done within the framework of a truly independent program. 
A perceptual painting program (no drawing) that is logistically too costly for other schools, too lengthy and also not currently super marketable (like the “classical” or digital illustration oriented things which I’ve been previously asked to teach). 

In fact, it was my own long-term, firsthand experience of teaching at, and of the teaching within, a mass-marketed “classical” atelier in Seattle which made me sure that these perceptual, tonal lessons, which form a foundation for understanding Corot, are needed. 

The general texts for the program are “The Science of Appearances” by Max Meldrum and “Experience in Painting, An Analysis of the Visual Impression as Applied to Painting” by Percy Leason.