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Franciscan Life Process Centre Art School

Painting a demo at a nearby 200 year old farm rich in visual and historical appeal!

Painting a demo at a nearby 200 year old farm rich in visual and historical appeal!

I recently taught a 3 day workshop entitled 'Painting The Emotional Landscape' at the beautiful Franciscan Life Process Centre Art School in Lowell Michigan August 3-to 5 ,2017.

Day1 was basics: equipment, colour theory and colour
mixing, composition, values in black and white, values in
colour, the light planes. These last 3 were taught
through a demo and student one on ones after lunch. The first topics were
covered inside by me on stage using a visual Keynote digital presentation. 

Day 2 was a demo in the morning by me demonstrating
the previous days lessons but we added  in 'How to see
simply' (break down and design a complex scene). Afternoon was
student painting while I did a one on one instruction.

Day 3 was a demo by me again in the AM going over all
the points one more time and one on ones in the afternoon.

I asked my students to pick up the book, 
"John Carlson's Book To Landscape Painting", the SOFTCOVER edition here:

My workshops are for painters who want to paint more simply with an emphasis on strong compositional design. I'll also show you how to get more mood and atmosphere into your work and give it a 'sense of place'.  

All levels are welcome but unfortunately my workshops aren't for novices who have never painted before. While i work in Oil and Acrylic, all media is welcome. But my demos will be in oil or acrylic.

This from some of my students:

What a pleasure to be a part of David Sharpe’s Painting the Emotional Landscape Workshop at the Franciscan Life Process Center in the beautiful countryside in Lowell, Michigan close to Grand Rapids.David has an accomplished career in illustration and paints ethereal landscapes as well as expressive abstracts. David takes great care to understand where YOU are as a painter and what knowledge he can share with you to make the workshop experience more meaningful.A highlight of the three day workshop was learning how David incorporates the use of an Apple IPad, pen and the inexpensive drawing program ProCreate in his painting process. All artists know how important composition and tonal values are to a successful painting, so why not embrace technology to save time and materials in the creative process. This new way of seeing is very empowering. Thanks for the inspiration David! 

 Karen F. Rose/Pointe Vedra Beach, Fla

“I recently attended a David Sharpe workshop and LOVED it! David is a warm, approachable teacher with a great sense of humor and a WEALTH of design knowledge. I liked how he personalized the workshop for each individual artist by “knowing” a little bit about each of us beforehand and what we were looking to learn. The slide presentation was a great tool to start your brain thinking “design”, and his very simple question to ask yourself before you start painting was a lightbulb moment for me in how to progress to a deeper approach to my painting. As a full-time, experienced artist, I gained some important tools to use and would highly recommend David’s teachings – would have only liked better a longer workshop in order to fully immerse and see him paint more, more more!”

Trish Morgan/Charlevoix, Michigan


For the past few years I’ve renewed my painting with acrylics, with modest success. David’s work inspired me to attend his workshop in Michigan. My two main goals to take away from his workshop were a better understanding of the power of light, and the role of value.  His command of relevant art history and asking yourself, "why am I painting this". His teaching of light and value, totally met my goals. With ample class time and field experience, David demonstrated how ‘the imagination can be more emotive than the eye'. Despite my hectic schedule, I’ve been super motivated since the workshop. Thanks, David!

Martin C Gray/Guelph. Ontario Canada


This from Kathleen Bechtel, The Life Center's Art Director and workshop organizer:

"We recently had David Sharpe come and give a workshop at the Franciscan Life Process Center in Lowell, MI.  I could see, right from the start, that David was determined that no one would leave his workshop without solid fundamental training in plein air painting, and interpreting the landscape.  He gently worked one on one with every single student in the workshop.  When we were out on site he demonstrated from start to finish a beautiful painting, teaching that a thumb nail value drawing that he clipped to his easel would help all of them as a guide -  to in the end of the painting the beautiful elegant strokes that are signature in his beautiful paintings.  As they left there were thank you's for bringing him in, and genuine pleasure in being his student - smiles everywhere.  We've already booked him for 2019 and are happy to add him to our strong lineup of excellent teachers. 

-Kathy Bechtel, Art Director, Franciscan Life Process"

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Later Event: June 21
Painting the Emotional Landscape