Build Your Own Workshop with Karen McLain

Date and Time

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM on 10/27/2019


This four-day workshop led by fine artist, Karen McLain, encompasses the complete process of field study, anatomy, photo reference and to complete a studio painting with the life and energy of paintings in the field. Build your own workshop by choosing the days best suited to you or all four days for a reduced rate.  Register here

DAY 1 – Paint the Magic of Assateague Island, a one-day Plein air painting workshop. This workshop is designed for participants who are familiar with working outdoors and are comfortable with their chosen media. This fast-paced day is designed to paint multiple small, quick studies to capture the immediacy and experience Assateague Island. As opportunity presents, we will paint the famous wild horses as subjects themselves and as part of the landscape. A demonstration and individual attention will be given.

A portable, (Plein air), easel is required. Please work with the media you are comfortable using. We will be working on several, 6-8 small quick studies, and will likely change locations several times during the day. The goal is to immerse yourself in the experience, paint with heightened perception, and improve your outdoor painting skills. Plein air experience is strongly recommended.

DAY 2 – Painting Horses-Anatomy and Accuracy, a one-day workshop. This workshop is designed to build accuracy. Through basic anatomy and by learning the most important areas to define form and relationships. This session includes seeing the general shapes, using units of measurements, finding areas that form shadows from bone and muscle mass, learning to use negative shapes, and finding new ways of seeing to overcome being overwhelmed.

A multimedia presentation will allow students to see and sketch wild horses in different poses and intense action. Materials for sketches with pencil/graphite, Sharpie marker/pen, and medium size sketch pad. (11×14 or 12×16). Anatomy knowledge and insight will also be given by expert, Meredith Hudes-Lowder whose science, medical, and biology background will add a depth that will greatly enhance experience.

Day 3 – Gesture sketching and Photographing Wild Horses for Studio Reference. This one-day workshop is designed to integrate quick field sketches, (Pencil, pen or watercolor), with improving photography skills. Ideas and paintings based on field sketches are full of life and energy. Once we return to the studio, we need to have good photo reference for accuracy. Photography sessions are led by Meredith Hudes-Lowder of Equus ferus Wild Horse Photography and Gesture sketching by Karen McLain.

Day 4 – Horse Painting Studio Workshop. This one-day workshop is focused on completing a painting from photo reference and field studies. Combining the gesture sketches, anatomy, and photography as a foundation for a studio painting. A demonstration and individual painting time is aimed at simplifying the process of plein air to studio painting. Expressing the energy of field studies, simplifying accurate form and communicating excitement into a painting is the goal of this fun studio session.

*Prerequisite sessions of Painting Horses-Anatomy and Accuracy, and Gesture sketching and Photographing Wild Horses for Studio Reference are strongly encouraged, but not required.

Limited to 12, participants will gain skills and techniques in the classroom to prepare for capturing forms when painting from life. Karen McLain’s main painting subject is wild horses including those at Assateague Island National Seashore. This is an excellent opportunity to learn from a subject matter expert in an intimate setting.

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