Online Class

Loosen Up: Techniques for the Painterly Approach

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Learn essential techniques for the painterly approach. Embrace a looser look to bring energy, movement and depth to your oil paintings.

Skill Level


What You Get

  • 7 Streaming HD video lessons with anytime, anywhere access
  • Class materials
  • Hours of close-up instruction
  • Answers to student questions from instructor Val Nelson
  • Closed captioning available (web only)

How it works

  • Once you purchase, find your class in your class library.
  • Watch on any device anytime.
  • Find downloadable class resources in the class viewer.

Class Overview

Achieve painterly effects while retaining strong structure with lessons from award-winning artist Val Nelson. Create a gesture drawing that captures the volume and energy of multiple elements. Learn essential color mixing theory and tips for avoiding muddiness. Fade details or bring them forward with additive or subtractive techniques. Enhance the spatial quality of your work with lost and found edges. Use brushwork techniques to enliven your work with focal points, movement and volume. Achieve different textures and impressive effects with wet-on-wet and impasto methods. Adjust hues and chromas to the colors and values you want on your canvas. Plus, learn seven questions that will guide your painting to a professional finish. Create painterly paintings with inspired movement and spontaneous energy.

Lesson Breakdown

1. The Gesture
Meet painting instructor Val Nelson as you learn how to see and understand the elements that make up a strong composition. Next, learn how to loosely block in the forms as you attempt to draw gesture, add energy and establish relationships between elements.
2. Blocking In Loosely
3. Edges & Values
4. Brush Size, Speed & Direction
5. Varying Texture
6. Understanding Color
7. Finishing: Seven Key Questions

Recommended with this class

  • Oil paints, brushes, canvas or board
  • Standard art supplies: pencils, pens, surfaces, kneaded eraser, craft knife

Taught by

Val  Nelson
Val Nelson
Val Nelson is an award-winning visual artist and sought-after painting instructor, who has taught painting at Emily Carr University and Vancouver School of Art, with rave reviews. An honors graduate of Emily Carr University, Val was honored in 2003 as a finalist for the Royal Bank painting prize. Val's work has been shown and collected internationally, and her work is included in the survey book International Painting 3, published by Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center. Val is represented by Bau-Xi Gallery in Vancouver and Toronto, as well as Galerie de Bellefeuille in Montreal.

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