Commercial Work





Painting Class at Riley Street in Santa Rosa:

Intermediate/Advanced Painting for Oil and Water-based Media 



Fridays, Janurary 10, 17, 24, 31,   1:30 - 4:00 PM



Tiger Dreams

In art school I often felt my time was being wasted. After I graduated, and started working with "pros," I discovered my intuitions were correct. That's when I really started learning, and wondered why art classes don't teach more of what works out there in the real world. 

This is the class I wish I could have taken back then. I've taught it several times, including once as an art school prep course for high school students. It cuts through a lot of...let's be honest...boring crap that is, at best, only a little useful. 


Indy Poster




For serious artists ready to take their painting skills further, this no-nonsense art school "crash course" will cover many of the techniques and methods used by modern realist masters like Norman Rockwell, Drew Struzan, and Boris Vallejo. Working methods really do make a difference, and this class will cover techniques guaranteed to speed you up, while also taking your paintings to the next level. Added bonuses will include the use of mixed media and airbrush. 


For painters looking for magic tricks in the studio, this is as close as it gets.


 With a focus on demonstration, here's what we WILL be discussing:

Thumbnail Stage:  Developing ideas and composition through very simple, yet effective, methods of layout.  Balance, center of interesting, eye movement, etc., can be easily maximized by working with thumbnails. 


Collecting Reference:  The proper use of photography and found imagery.  As well as working from life and, believe it or not, a mirror.  Pitfalls to avoid. 


Final Layout/Composition Stage:  How to work from a good thumbnail design and reference to create a final layout as detailed or as loose as the artist requires.  And how to know what’s required.


Value Study Stage:  Value is the core element that holds an image together, and grabs the attention of the viewer.  There are some basic principles to follow.  Developing a good value scheme before worrying about color dramatically simplifies, and improves, the color in the end, especially for less experienced painters. 


Color Study Stage:  How to “find” color schemes; from life, from photographs, and from other paintings.  And how to adapt them by understanding why they work.  A student may learn color theory, but still not know how to mix color.  By jumping straight to a concrete, functional process for mixing color, they will learn theory automatically…and know how to mix it. 


Starting a Painting:  Surfaces, enlarging the drawing, and “blocking-in” will be discussed and demonstrated, with an eye to the many working methods of other artists. Several artists and their approaches will be demonstrated. We will be thorough!

Rendering Stage:  My experience is that a lot of students struggle with painting because they are really struggling with rendering.  Starting from a “core” method, we’ll develop a clear understanding of a variety of working methods, from wash to impasto, from dry-brush to glazing.  And in whatever medium the student chooses to work with.  This is where it really gets fun!


Problem Solving Stage:  Students often get discouraged early-on in a painting because it doesn’t seem to be “working.”  They’ll learn to recognize when it’s actually “on track,” even though it doesn’t look right.  And learn how to “fix” it, and get it back on track, if it isn’t.









 Operation Eco. © 2008 William L. Eaken.  All rights reserved.

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