Artist Charles Murphy likes to “zap” his paintings. And he’s teaching students at Twisted Fish Gallery how to zap their own works.
Murphy told students how to block in their paintings with complementary colors, then go into “degrees of value.” There are actually nine degrees, Murphy explained, but aiming for four of them — light-light, light-midtone, dark-midtone and dark-dark — will do the trick.
Murphy is best known for his watercolor works, but is teaching acrylic painting Thursday mornings through Feb. 4 in the Cottage Gallery. Classes are held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
There’s still room in the remaining classes, so call 264-0123 to register now. Each class costs $40 and you can sign up for as many as you’d like. A supply list is here.
As for colors, after the midtones, light-lights and dark-darks are painted in, Murphy likes to add the “zap.”
“These are the anomalies,” he said. “They stand apart from the complementary color scheme. It’s like adding a punctuation mark a sentence.”
“Zaps” in the painting the class was working on were bright orange and red, which Murphy help them mix. Plus, he assured them, one of the nice things about acrylic painting is “if you go overboard, you can go back and paint it out.” Not so in watercolors, he said.
The class used a model painting to inspired their own work.
Jan Gwinnell, who lives on the Old Mission Peninsula, is a seasoned painter, usually creating miniatures of northern Michigan scenes. She was inspired to take Murphy’s class at Twisted Fish thanks to previous classes and also because she didn’t like the books she’d been using to up her game.
“He’s better than the books,” she smiled.
Kristy Avery signed up for the classes because she likes learning new things and wanted to “learn from the best.” She, too, has art experience but said Murphy’s experience in watercolors was helpful to his classes in acrylics.