Oil Painting

Thomas Fluharty

INSTRUCTOR
Thomas Fluharty
EXPERTISE LEVEL
Intermediate to Advanced
LESSONS
6 Lessons, X Hrs Total
COURSE LENGTH
6 Weeks

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Course Description


Learn the historic approach of the Dutch Flemish masters through the incredible brush of Thomas Fluharty! In this course, Thomas will lecture on the principles of Dutch and Flemish painting and guide students through the process of creating a portrait in this method. He will discuss his techniques for creating a strong initial sketch, methods for laying down a good underpainting, color, and final adjustments. And of course, throughout the lectures, Thomas will reveal his best oil painting tips, tricks, and secrets that help set his work apart from all other painters. This course will be presented over five lessons and will run for nine weeks.

MATERIALS LIST
  • Adobe Photoshop

Lesson Plan

We will start the course off by talking about the preparations I make prior to painting. Like any artist, I have my favorite materials, which I will discuss at length. I will talk about my favorite paints, mediums, turps, varnish, brushes, canvases, boards, and pallet layout options. Also, we will answer the question, "Why do some paintings grab your attention over other paintings?" We will examine some ideas on what makes a great painting and how to achieve it. (Note: I buy my paints from www.wetpaintart.com and my canvases from www.newtraditionsartpanels.com. If you can't find the materials that I talk about where you live, you can try them if you don't mind paying shipping.) For your first assignment, there are three portrait images attached to the Assignment page in JPG format. Please select one and sketch it in detail.

In this lecture, I will demonstrate how I make a sketch, paying particular attention to lighting, drawing, and form. This will be followed by how to transfer the sketch and size it properly on the board. For your assignment, please do a sketch of Mike and transfer it onto your canvas. We will be building up this portrait as we go along.

The underpainting phase is crucial to the success of your final piece. All problem solving occurs in this phase (which is why I love it!). In this lesson, I will talk about how to control the canvas with the underpainting through a series of set-ups using indirect painting. This lecture will be very extensive and cover such topics as hard and soft edges, lines and transitions, lighting effects, lines vs. forms, form plane changes, and opacity vs. transparency.

The underpainting phase is crucial to the success of your final piece. All problem solving occurs in this phase (which is why I love it!). In this lesson, I will talk about how to control the canvas with the underpainting through a series of set-ups using indirect painting. This lecture will be very extensive and cover such topics as hard and soft edges, lines and transitions, lighting effects, lines vs. forms, form plane changes, and opacity vs. transparency.

My goal in this lecture is to show how little work is actually done in this stage because, while the color phase is critically important, it is built upon the success of the underpainting phase. I will talk about my palette, the colors I use, and how I apply them to my painting, their thickness and transparency. For your assignment, start applying your colors using the techniques from the lecture.

The goal of the adjustment phase is to establish the obvious. In this lesson, I'll discuss how to achieve this by adjusting planes and lighting effects, refining the painting form, and using glazes to solidify the image. For your assignment, perfect your image by adding highlights, subtle details (such as hair and skin texture), and adjusting lighting.

MEET YOUR INSTRUCTOR

Thomas Fluharty


Thomas' freelance career started with his first cover for MAD Magazine in 1995. After moving from New York City to Minneapolis, the New York Times called and things took off from there. Today, Thomas' clients include the Village Voice, TIME, DerSpiegel, Entertainment Weekly, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Times, Fisher Price, and Coca-Cola. Some of Thomas' favorite work is done weekly for the Weekly Standard.

Thomas' work has been selected by the Society of Illustrators in New York, the Society of Illustrators, Los Angeles, and Communication Arts. In 2005, Thomas won a gold medal for his portrait of Hillary Clinton in Spectrum, the best in contemporary fantastic art. He has a TIME cover that hangs in The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, and currently has five covers featured in the international traveling show "The Art Of DerSpiegel, Cover Illustrations Covering Five Decades."

Thomas lives in Prior Lake, Minnesota, with his wife Kristi and their five awesome daughters.



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