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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Urban Realism Workshop with John Salminen

I have just completed a workshop on Urban Realism with the master John Salminen, in Colorado Springs. This workshop had been in my goals for a few years now and I finally had the opportunity to attend, and it delivered: John is a great artist and instructor; his wife Kathy the perfect assistant! The three day workshop was instructive and inspirational, and the twenty participants did a wonderful job under John's guidance. Some of the highlights were:
  • John emphasizes a value plan, but unlike other instructors who used this as a device to maximize contrast in center of interest, John stressed the way to use values to separate the planes of the space and create depth.
  • John demonstrated different ways of reserving whites, and of rescuing light areas, and shared his recipes for warm and cool grays and darks.
  • We learned the use of a mouth atomizer to adjust value and temperature in our paintings.
  • We also learned practical techniques for creating soft and hard edged reflections.
  • One of the most important takeaways in my view was the importance of related middle values.
Another fringe benefit of the workshop was the opportunity to meet a group of wonderful artists, most from the Colorado Springs area, including the master Tom J. Owens.

In my next post I will include more notes and a photo of my painting from the workshop.


  1. Sounds really interesting, looking forward to your next post!!

  2. Wow, what an experience!
    Can't wait to see the painting you produced
    In your photo, is John holding the mouth atomiser you mentioned?

  3. Thank you.
    Ian, you are correct, in that photo John is showing a mouth atomizer.