Saturday, March 10, 2018

JSS in Civita Affiliate Course "Corot, Tonalism and the Roman Campagna" July 23-August 6, Civita Castellana, Italy.

After the drawing, washed in with tints made with lead white on a grey ground. Weekend plans with model to finish.
#seattleatelier #michaellane

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Tree Study 4/16/2017

SeattleTree Study II, oil on panel, 4x8 "
Painted on site, 18th and Cherry, Seattle. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

West of Seattle

3 1/2 x 8 inch pochade study, painted from life with handheld box, on the beach, in West Seattle.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Things are Rolling Along.

This allows me to paint wherever I want in Seattle. Everything rolls along, effortlessly, by my side. Chair, umbrella, box, easel, other tools. I love it. It's out there, on the street, every day, rain or shine. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Pochade Bliss

I like going to this area, it's at the corner of Pike and Melrose in Seattle, in a parking lot overlooking I5, with my pochade to paint. This was done on a recent rainy day, a single morning's effort, and I'll be returning on the next rainy day to finish it.
"Gray Day, Radio Towers, Seattle"
April, 2017
6x8 inches
oil on cardboard

Monday, April 8, 2013


It's been a great Winter with all the students working very hard on their drawings and paintings and growing as artists.
I'm very much looking forward to working with many of them again this quarter.
The courses that I will be teaching at Gage this quarter are as follows:
Wednesday evenings 6:30-9:30pm
Beginning with rapid block-in exercises, students become relaxed with drawing the figure directly in oils in a limited palette.
The goal is to accurately record the gesture, balance and proportions and separate the figure into large simple, clear shapes.
After doing this a number of times the poses get longer and a couple colors at a time get added as students have more time to paint smaller plane changes and detail.
Short, explanatory, instructor demos begin nearly every class and get things rolling.

Thursday mornings 9:30am-12:30 pm

Beginning with exercises that explain the use of tone and line to convey depth, students gradually add the components of linear perspective to their work.
One-point, two-point and three-point perspective are covered as is the use of perspective in still life, portraiture and figure drawing.
A gradual immersion and one that is, at all times, geared toward image-making.

Friday evenings 6:30-9:30pm
In this course students begin with simple exercises on proportions and tonal rendering.
Mastering the basics is what it is all about and the lessons from each class are always repeated in every subsequent class.
The ideas are progressive and each lesson builds on the previous ones.
Clear assignments on the head and features go into detail so that students are aware of exactly what they are looking at, where it is in space, what shape it is and how to render it in a clear and pleasing manner.

Saturday mornings 10:00am-1:00pm

In this course students cover all the basics of painting a head in oils.
Plane changes, features and how to render them using tone and color are covered repeatedly throughout the course.
Explanatory instructor demos begin almost every session.
Optional homework assignments reinforce the weeks lessons and point to what's ahead in class.
Below are examples of weekly homework assignments executed by students.
We cover the use of a limited and full palette in class as well as introduce some glazing ideas at the end.
A popular and fun course and a great way to get your weekend off to a good start and get in some learning and painting time.
Saturday afternoons 2:00-5:00pm

A single pose for the full quarter gives students the chance to do a preparatory drawing, a small oil study and finally a formal portrait (at whatever scale they like).
It's perfect for beginners or experienced painters as it covers a lot of information about form, composition, rendering and color.
Thank you!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Saturday afternoons at Gage Academy of Art
Seattle, WA

In this course students are given the chance to work from the portrait model for a 10 week long pose and thoroughly explore the model through the creation of preliminary drawings, studies and finally a formal portrait painting in oils .
No experience in necessary and fundamental concepts of drawing and painting as well as how to handle paints are covered throughout.
2:00-5:00 pm
1/19 - 3/23
Gage Academy of Art

Friday, June 1, 2012


Summer is always an exciting time for me at Gage because it means that I get to teach intensive introductory courses in foundation subjects and also offer some unique courses that are based on some pet passions of mine.
As a student at the Pennsylvania Academy there was often much discussion of, what in the medical field is referred to as, "continuity of services".
What this most often means for an art student is that one can create a series of progressively more in-depth courses with a particular instructor which will tie together and create an immersion in certain principles or an area of expertise which must be repeated in order to be mastered.
While I wholeheartedly believe in studying art a-la-carte and taking advantage of the great and impressive variety of knowledge and wisdom available, it is a great idea, at some point, to move seamlessly throughout a set of courses taught by a particular artist that represent a total approach.
Drawing exercises which easily lead into painting and painting exercises which form a continuation of drawing are what I believe in, teach and practice.
It is great to able to offer this particular set of classes which can be taken individually or as a short series or in preparation for longer classes in the Fall.
Following is a list of what I will be teaching.

Tuesdays, 6:30-9:30

In this course students will get to work on 4 foot high drawing boards to render a 2/3rds life-sized, full-length figure drawing or a life-sized, partial figure.
Here is an image of some students (in my Portrait Studio course) at work on the boards.
The approach in this course will be tonal, meaning that students will work on brown kraft (or any other tinted) paper with a combination of charcoal and grey scale pastels to render the forms of the figure completely.
Here is an image from my regular Intermediate Figure Drawing course which approximates the intended effect of this course  (although this photo depicts a 40 minute study).
 This class will include the execution of smaller, preliminary gesture, block-in and tonal studies before a beginning the large scale drawings.
The pose will last for the full length of the course (5 weeks).
The clarity and sense of form that one can achieve by drawing a figure on a large scale is considerable and if you have never tried it, I strongly encourage you to give it a try.
Numerous demonstrations throughout will cover materials and techniques as well as method and goals.

Thursdays, 9:30-12:30

In this course students cover the planes of the head, the features and working with a limited palette to a fuller palette.
Practical color theory and mixing, palette management and medium usage are covered repeatedly and throughout the course.
Frequent instructor demonstrations SHOW you exactly what the goals of each exercise are and convey a lot of information which can not be verbally given.
Here are some images of student work and student's at work from this course.

Saturdays, 10:00-1:00

A thorough introduction to drawing portraits and ideally suited to those wishing to progress on to painting the portrait.
The approach of this course is tonal with an emphasis of seeing shapes of tone and understanding form and structure.
Here are some examples of student work done in this subject.

Saturdays, 2:00-5:00

A course which covers the strategies and most effective techniques and material usage for rendering a portrait study in a limited amount of time.
The emphasis is on alla prima painting (or painting in one go) and frequent demonstrations break down how best to approach this way of "drawing with paint".
The planes of the head, practical color theory, palette management, medium usage and rendering features are some of the major points which will be covered repeatedly.
Here are some images of students at work in this course.

Tuesdays, 1:30-4:30

As part of Summer session B at Gage (later in the Summer) this is the same course that is offered in Session A.

Tuesdays, 6:30-9:30

In this class we will cover the essential information for rendering the figure from life, i.e., proportion, balance, gesture and the large, core forms of the torso, pelvis and the extremities.
The approach is simple and clear and the goal is to see from large to small, seeing large shapes in their correct position in space and adding detail.

Frequent demonstrations and hand outs which cover and review each lesson and include material for independent study make up this essential introductory course.

Thursdays, 9:30-12:30

A great chance to recreate the works of this perennial favorite and one of the most influential masters of painting.
In a clear and logical series of steps each student will be given hands-on experience in understanding and developing a copy of the work of Caravaggio.
There is no way that these ideas and techniques will not influence the way that you paint (as they have been influencing other artists for centuries) and make your work richer and more dramatic at the same time that they provide you with additional options for approaching subject matter.

Hope that you can join us!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Here are my regular Saturday morning portrait painting in oils students at work.
The class has been going well with everyone working (so far) on classroom and homework assignments in a limited palette, to understand some principles of drawing with the paint and refining an image in successive passes.
                                             Here are last weeks homework assignments.
They have progressed from planar studies of the head (the Sargent and Eakins copies shown here were one part of those assignments) to rendering shapes of color within the light mass.
They are a hard working group (it is a full capacity class) and we have been making rapid progress through the fundamentals.
Additionally, the Saturday pm class, Portrait Painting Studio, has been moving along well.
This image, by Steve Momi, is a head study done in preparation for the larger works to be executed in the class.
It is not an indirect approach (glazing a monochrome under-painting),  but, in order to better understand the convenience of working on a darker ground, students work with a severely limited palette at first.
The emphasis is, at first, on rendering form before expanding to a full palette.
Here's the pose, it is being held for the full 10 weeks by Tess and students have done charcoal head studies, compositional drawings, large scale (30x40) drawings in charcoal, small head studies in oils and are about to begin working on 30x40" canvases of the pose.
We are, due to cancellations, only in our 4th week!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Time flies and it's been too long since I've taken the time to write about what has been happening in the classrooms and studio.
This one was a real treat to get to teach.
The pose was 10 weeks long and students executed charcoal drawings, oil sketches and 1:1 contour drawings (which they transferred onto  their 30"x40" canvases).
Additionally they were working on a dark ground with set palettes in a slightly indirect way.
(Pictured above are model, Lessa Lamb and, L to R, artists Julie Hougham and Dorje Bellbrook)
Here are Aron Hart and Zooey England at work on their portraits of Lessa Lamb in week #6 (of 10).
My regular Portrait Painting in Oils (for beginners/all levels) which has met every Saturday morning for the past several years has also been going very well.
And there was an exhibition of the student's work in my Perspective for Painters class.
In this class, students deal with the problems that a painter is mainly concerned with when seeking to render or check their renderings by using traditional perspective systems, with an emphasis on tonal drawing.
The assignments explore and dissect historic works with an eye to incorporating the information acquired to create personal works from life.
The image above is an example of what students are doing by week #2 (one point perspective with an emphasis on atmospheric effects) and the image below is from week #3 (the interior of St Marks, Seattle. Also one point perspective with an emphasis on atmospheric effects).
Additionally my classes on Figure Painting in Oils and Drawing for Beginners have also been going quite well.
(Lessa Lamb posing)
This weekend I had the pleasure of teaching a three-day Portrait Sketch in Oils workshop at Gage Academy, here in Seattle.
It was a full capacity crowd and students executed rapid studies (with me shifting the light and the model changing position) every morning and longer poses every afternoon.
Day one was grisaille, day two was limited palette and day three was full palette. The models ranged greatly in age and coloration so there was a lot of emphasis on gradually expanding the palette.
I demonstrated at the outset of the session every morning and afternoon.
There will be many more classes and workshops of this sort in the next 6 months and I will try to write about them before, during and after.
Two hour grisaille study by workshop student Heidi Aubrey.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


seattle atelier, founded by michael lane, seattle wa
This Summer, Gage Academy of Art will have it's regular two Summer sessions, during which 5 week courses will be offered.
This is an excellent opportunity to receive condensed classes which encapsulate the regular course work at an accelerated pace, be introduced to new, specialized ideas and skills to take away and use independently, or get your feet wet on a few subjects which will provide a foundation on which to add further study during the regular, ten week quarters.
I can tell you that they are a bargain because I teach just as much information and provide homework assignments and supportive materials which more than make up for the lack of studio time.
This Summer I will be teaching:
seattle atelier, founded by michael lane, seattle wa
Drawing for Beginners. Saturdays, 10am-1pm (7/2-7/30) Thursdays, 9:30-12:30 (8/4-9/1)

This course will focus on still life subject matter in the mediums of graphite and charcoal.
Essential principles such as perspective, proportion and  understanding how light operates on your subject will be covered extensively and repeatedly through exercises which will range from simple to moderately complex.
The focus will be on creating drawings that form a bridge to painting.
As such you can expect to train your eye to see and render shapes and tones with fluid edges just as you would in painting, always striving to see from large to small and to simplify what you see to create a pleasing pattern that is uncluttered with confusing information.
Demonstrations in every class.
seattle atelier, founded by michael lane, seattle wa
Portrait Painting in Oil. Thursdays, 6:30-9:30pm (6/30-7/28)

A rare weeknight scheduling of my popular Saturday, Portrait Painting in Oils, Class.
In this course we start on a toned ground, as I learned to work at both The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and privately with Nelson Shanks in his studio in Andalusia, PA, with a limited palette gradually working in more colors as we progress through our classroom and homework studies.
The planes of the head and features are all covered repeatedly as are tone and temperature and color relationships with a particular emphasis on drawing with the paint and fluid handling.
Weekly homework copy-assignments further emphasize all of the issues we cover in class while providing examples of time honored methodology from the old masters to currently working contemporary masters.
Demonstrations in every class.
seattle atelier, founded by michael lane, seattle wa
Beginning Oil Painting.  Saturdays, 2-5pm (7/2-7/30)

A great foundational class dealing with the oil painting medium and it's various uses.
Beginning with quick tonal drawing exercises in charcoal (in order to see the large pattern of light and shade through tonal relationships) we then dive right into painting using still life subject matter that is selected to gradually increase in difficulty and pertain directly to the palette settings and techniques being introduced.
Grisaille (or painting in a gray scale) limited palette and indirect methods (glazing) are all covered.
Panel and canvas preparation, color theory, old master study-copies (as homework), mediums (oil, resins, solvents- their use and safe handling) are covered in addition to learning to see like a painter and think some steps ahead in your process.
Frequent demonstrations cover paint handling and classic techniques throughout.
seattle atelier, founded by michael lane, seattle wa
 Master Palettes 1, Baroque to Rococo. Thursdays, 1:30-4:30 (6/30-7/28)

In this course we explore the use of the toned grounds and set palettes of the painters of the 17th and 18th centuries (such as Simon Vouet, pictured above, and his fellow Caravaggisti, or followers of Caravaggio) through the Rococo Era, with particular emphasis on the English portrait painters (Reynolds and Romney) and their English trained American contemporaries (Stuart, West and Sully).
These artists exploited the tones of their grounds to great advantage and laid out their palettes in a sequential fashion from sitting to sitting with great understanding of underpainting vs. overpainting and finish.
These ideas are used extensively by many outstanding contemporary realist painters (Bo Bartlett and Vincent Desiderio spring immediately to mind).
I recently taught a 5 day workshop version of this course to the Aristides Classical Atelier, to some significant acclaim from Juliette, and can tell you that it is filled with valuable, hard to find information which will serve you well whatever the style in which you wish to paint.
We paint nude figure and portrait models in this class and we get started painting on the first day.
Demonstrations and introductory presentations in every class.
Intro to Portrait Drawing. Mondays, 6:30-9:30 pm (8/1-8/29)

This is the class I have been eager to teach again.
We use a wipe out method and work in charcoal in a very painterly approach that considers the planes and forms of the portrait at the same time it considers edge qualities and seeing from large to small.
We use the medium (charcoal, chamois, stump, white chalk, etc.) in a manner which mimics the use of paint as we learn to see and render and design with an eye toward painting.
Planes, features, tonal relationships, simplifying at first leading toward selectively emphasizing, historical precedents are all covered and repeatedly discussed and emphasized.
Demonstrations in every class.
seattle atelier, founded by michael lane, seattle wa
Beginning Figure Painting. Tuesdays, 1:30-4:30 (8/2-8/30)

Beginning with short (single session) poses we learn to mass in the figure based on anatomical and proportional references and guidelines and the pattern of light and shade.
Using a simple, dual temperature, palette at first we create a clear dichotomy of light to shade, careful about our edge qualites and tonal relationships.
Onto this "drawing with the paint" foundation we build our further studies, utilizing more color and more refined rendering (which occurs in successive passes) always striving to see from large to small, macro to micro and general to specific.
A very popular and successful course.
Demonstrations in every class.
seattle atelier, founded by michael lane, seattle wa
Master Palettes 2, Goya to Degas. Thursdays, 1:30-4:30 (8/4-9/1)

Part two of the Master Palettes course (offered in the same time slot) takes us through the 19th century which was book-ended by the Rococo trained, proto-romantic genius, Goya and the Renaissance obsessed, experimental, modernist Degas.
Each of these artists used their love and understanding of past masters ( for Goya it was Velasquez and for Degas it was Mantegna, Holbein, Raphael, Bellini and Ingres) to create groundbreaking works which are still being analyzed and admired.
Their palette settings and toned grounds, the concepts on which they based their choices and the ways that they used these means both traditionally and toward new ends will be covered in this class and provide an enhanced completion to Master Palettes 1.
Nude and portrait models will be the subjects and we will begin painting on the first day.
Demonstrations and explanatory presentations will be part of every class.