I borrowed this phrase from the recently deceased Canadian painter Robert Genn who believed that there is only so much we can learn about how to paint from the many fine instructors and resources available today. The true learning comes from going off on our own and just doing it - Go to your room!

I have had the good fortune to take instruction from outstanding artists in Canada and the USA. I continue to work on my own development ( Going to MY room!) . I share, through this blog and workshops, what I have learned and what others have shared with me.

I created this blog primarily for those attending my workshops to keep in touch and to further share as we grow together. If others are interested in following that would be great.

Enjoy the journey.

Monday 30 March 2015

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - Sketching from Square One... to Trafalgar Square

Sitting in our RV in Tofino. Two days of pouring rain. No painting done.
But it gave me a chance to read a new book recommended, if I remember correctly,  by the blog of Kathleen Dunphy.

I have many books on drawing, many of them good and recommended by others, but this one has moved to the top of my list as a book on the basics of drawing - particularly for painters. It focuses on the foundation skills: composition, drawing (measuring, proportions, perspective), value and edges. Its how to use drawing effectively for planning your paintings.

The book can be purchased from Amazon, but nice to order it directly from the author :

Friday 27 March 2015

New Acrylic Workshop - Coast Collective, Victoria.

New acrylic workshop scheduled at Coast Collective, Victoria. For details: Coast Collective 

Acrylic Landscape Painting with Brian Buckrell

Acrylic Landscape Painting with Brian Buckrell
Instructor: Brian Buckrell
Date: October 31 - November 1, 2015
Time: Saturday & Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Class Cost: $250.00 plus GST
Class Code: 1015-BB-AW
Registration Deadline: Oct 27, 2015
This workshop is designed to expose students to three different approaches to starting and developing acrylic landscape paintings.  Students will be provided reference for a coastal landscape, a seascape and a mountain scape. We will work together to plan, design and develop each painting as far as time permits. Each will be started using a different approach:  
  1. by creating a value under-painting using dark transparent paint; 
  2. beginning on a dark or black ground; and
  3. beginning on a brightly toned canvas. 
Emphasis will be on planning, design, working with values and colour, critiquing our work, and finally making the paintings "stand on their own", free of reference. 

The workshop is for serious beginners, with experience in working with acrylics, to intermediate painters wanting to try different approaches.

Sunday 22 March 2015

Play Day - Oils on Burnt Umber and Large Legatto Brush

Spent the last two months on large acrylic pieces. Feeling burned out and needing a change and some fun. I spent a lot of that time using Liquatex Burnt Umber gesso as the dark underpainting and used a line of brushes new to me:  Legatto brushes from Opus Framing and Art Supplies in Vancouver. I liked working with the both in acrylics.

Next week we are off to Tofino for some plein air time so I thought I should start playing with oils again for the first time this year - expecting to paint with both acrylics and oils ( water mixable). I decided I would try them on surfaces treated with the burnt umber gesso and use the large 1 1/2 inch Legatto bright brush and try to "bang in" colour shapes quickly and bold. The Legatto is quite stiff and holds an edge. It spreads paint thinly or can apply almost like a palette knife. I tried the combination on course linen, canvas and  gessoed MDF board.

I layed in a rough sketch using a dark red acrylic marker. Each of the pieces was completed using only the large stiff bright Legatto brush. Each needs further  refinement but I was pleased with how the brush handled the oils and once again I enjoyed working on the dark underpainting. Each subject was used in a painting I had done recently in acrylics so I painted from memory and imagination. Total time just over 3 hours.  Sizes 8x10 , 11x14 and 12x12.

I will let them sit for a few days, then revisit and reconsider.

Legatto brush 1 1/2 inch bright

Red acrylic marker sketch on burnt umber on canvas and colour shapes begun
That was a fun morning and I think useful as a different and efficient way for quick starts. The brush makes very angular lines which can be left ( I kind of like them) or modified with continued work.