A Great Painting Lesson

Tuscany Farmhouse

I photographed a farmhouse last spring while driving though Radda in Tuscany, Italy. This section of the farmhouse is now housing chickens and it suggests a slightly abandoned, yet once beautiful, appeal. Lucky chickens!  

This weekend I took a landscape workshop with Christopher Zhang and decided to try painting the old stone building. Christopher is an amazing oil color artist, a master signature member of the OPA.  I learned SO much from his demonstration and his critiques. Chris amazed me with his expertise as a painter, his kindness, and his teaching skills.

Christopher begins by painting in all negative spaces, saving the light, and then layering in shapes. He uses many brushes and a palette knife for painting his oil canvasses. He helped me understand color value, warm and cool colors, shadows, and texture. I felt very fortunate to partake in his workshop.

This watercolor painting is on Arches 140 cold press, 14 x 20.


About mehrlich125

Since I was little I liked to visualize and create things. Painting with watercolors is what makes me happy now. That, and spending time gardening and reading. I love long walks, biking, and the beach. Cape Cod is where I spend a lot of my leisure time.
This entry was posted in Art, landscape, Landscape Art, Marian's Art Studio, nature, trees, Tuscan Landscape Art, watercolor, watercolor painting, watercolors and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to A Great Painting Lesson

  1. Elizabeth Carey says:

    OOOH! I love that one. It would look fabulous in my living room!! Liz Carey

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dana says:

    Makes me want to eat pasta and drink red wine!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Linda B. says:

    I almost feel a sense of mystery in what is inside the building. Feels so Italian!


  4. mehrlich125 says:

    The secret is there are chickens in this building! Fortunate Italian chickens!


  5. lesliepaints says:

    Beautiful light in this, Marian!


  6. mehrlich125 says:

    Thanks so much, Leslie!


  7. I can see where the negative space approach helped to structure this painting-marvelous!


    • Marian says:

      What kind words, Elena, thank you, thank you! Christopher Zhang is one of the best (and most patient) instructors I ever had. I registered to take a portrait class with Chris in early June on Cape Cod. I will give acrylics a try for this class. I just got John Singer Sargent’s book on drawing portraits to practice and prepare for this workshop. I have no background in portrait painting so this should be very interesting! 🙂 All preparation suggestions appreciated!


  8. namesi says:

    beautiful work!


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