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          Loosen Up: Techniques for the Painterly Approach

          2h 52min intermediate Resources

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

          Episode descriptions

          The Gesture
          1. Episode: The Gesture
          21min

          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.

          Blocking In Loosely
          2. Episode: Blocking In Loosely
          34min

          Start to paint a still life alongside Val as you learn how to mix colors, use medium to help your paint glide across the canvas, and loosely block in the major elements -- this time, in a different medium. Val shares valuable pointers on ways to use additive and subtractive painting techniques, pushing some details into the shadows and pulling others forward.

          Edges & Values
          3. Episode: Edges & Values
          33min

          Explore the boundaries between lost and found edges as you apply value and contrast to your still life. Learn how edges create depth in a painting, guiding the viewer's eye from object to object, making hard edges pop and creating the illusion that some objects are closer to the viewer. Next, discover how to push objects back in space as you add implied boundaries with soft edges, and surround them with similar values and hues.

          Brush Size, Speed & Direction
          4. Episode: Brush Size, Speed & Direction
          31min

          Experiment with brushwork as Val walks you through the creation of a landscape painting. Work with fast and slow brushstrokes as you assess the energy and movement that both styles provide. Next, practice ways to create volume and a sense of direction as you work to portray accurate perspectives in your painting.

          Varying Texture
          5. Episode: Varying Texture
          17min

          Create varying textures and painterly effects with essential techniques like wet-on-wet and impasto. Val demonstrates methods used by the old masters, such as painting reflections in water or glass, and walks you through additional developments that you can make in your landscape painting.

          Understanding Color
          6. Episode: Understanding Color
          15min

          Color studies are one of the most valuable aspects of oil painting, and Val explains how to assess, mix and apply color with confidence. Explore ways to merge the classical and modern palettes as you mix gradations of different hues and chromas to create the exact colors and values that you desire, avoiding troubling muddy color mixtures in the process.

          Finishing: Seven Key Questions
          7. Episode: Finishing: Seven Key Questions
          20min

          Nearly every artist will struggle with the age-old question: "When is a painting finished?" Val helps you solve this query with seven basic questions you can ask yourself as you assess your work. Learn how to step back from your canvas to see elements like composition, flow and value changes with new eyes. The final details you add will help guide the viewer's attention and create a palpable sense of dimension and separation between objects.

          About the Teacher

          Val Nelson
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          The Gesture
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          Loosen Up: Techniques for the Painterly Approach

          Val Nelson

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          Loosen Up: Techniques for the Painterly Approach