Still Life Painting

Still life is an excellent practice. Students learn color values, composition, and how to paint the different textures of wood, metal, leather, fruit, and flowers. At the Golden Gate Atelier, we favor the impressionist techniques of Chardin, Fantain-Latour, and Emil Carlson. While an important genre in its own right, still life assists with figure work. An earthenware pitcher, for example, has similar colors and forms as the human body. Working with gray and brown is useful because it helps the student mix the colorful grays that are so necessary for flesh tones. And studying brightly colored objects —vermillion tomatoes, for example—helps one see these colors more clearly in the human body.

Landscape Painting

The Golden Gate Atelier offers workshops in plein air landscape painting. Atelier students in Nineteenth century Paris spent their summers in Barbizon; the Russian Academy students had summer landscaping ventures by the river Volga. Similarly, the Golden Gate Atelier offers landscaping outings in Northern California. From the giant redwoods to the Victorian buildings of San Francisco, from the seascapes of Pt. Reyes to Yosemite Valley in the Sierra Nevada, this is one of the most beautiful areas in the world. California weather allows for plein air painting all year long. so students who feel the need to escape the studio can always go paint out of doors.

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