Ron Mulvey✏️, Artist / Art Teacher

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11 Lessons (1h 40m)
    • 1. Still Life Preview

    • 2. Materials /Set Up

    • 3. Tonal And Final Drawing

    • 4. Ink,Local Color,Neutrals

    • 5. Still Life 'Directions To Go

    • 6. Major Chord With Thalo

    • 7. Discovering Neutrals

    • 8. Deepening Neutrals/Colors

    • 9. Deepening Major Chord

    • 10. The Final Touches

    • 11. Still Life Abstract


About This Class

Doing Still Life: From Real To Abstract 


This class will teach you how to paint vibrant watercolors using Major Chords and Neutrals with two types of art: Realistic and Abstract.

Class will start with a tonal drawing and then a simple pencil drawing of our still life set-up.We will then ink it and add local colors and some first wash of neutrals. A major chord will be developed with brilliant color notes. Two easy abstract studies are added halfway through to teach major and minor chord tonal values.

We will finish up with an abstract watercolor using all the skills from the realistic project,

Realistic painting is when you render your subject in a realistic manner.
Abstract painting does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality but instead uses shapes, colors, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect.We use the word abstract as a verb that means to separate or withdraw something from something else.

We will learn 2 different ways to make neutral colors.

1- By blending two complementary colors together.

2- By blending all three primary colors together.

Neutrals are usually described as greys. Variety in grey is achieved by mixing complementary colors I.e. Blue, orange; red, green; yellow, purple.


Major Key and Minor Key Painting

Minor chord tonal values feature predominantly light tones with a few well placed major dark tones.. Paintings are light airy and fresh.

Major chord tonal values contributes to a moody, dramatic, mysterious ambience enlivened by lighter accents. These are our feature paintings for  today. Notice the Major Chord Dark Tones in each painting,


 In this complete introduction, you will learn how to handle watercolors effectively by becoming acquainted with the essentials of theory, technique, practice, and design principals. Unfold the tricks behind:

  • Choosing the right materials and tools, along with discerning differences between brands
  • Mastering basic skills, such as composing, rendering shadow and light, and perspective
  • Understanding color theory, harmonies and chords
  • Painting still life realistically and abstractly

The Secret To Artistic  Growth

  1. You don’t want to orphan your core strengths. Keep becoming a better artist.
  2.  Always develop skills that extend your impact and make you more confident and relaxed.


Don't search for more of the same type of skills

Challenge your concept of yourself. I was useless with mechanics and gardening. I got an old tractor and learned how to fix it and then started a small market farm with garlic. Just because you are a poor at drawing realistically does not mean you can't learn to excel at design.

Find a skill that will amplify your core skills. Today's class will most certainly give you this.

Here is an email from one of our most devoted students that demonstrates all of the above statements. I have watched this student progress and blossom as an artist with their engagement in class and with class projects. Questions always lead to answers. Here is their email.

"For drawing I'm lacking confidence in making the initial sketch en plein aire. I've seen you demonstrate it with paint and you also show your sketches from the ferry or traveling. I probably just need to make time to practice it, but some reassurance of how to get the scene drafted could be nice. I rely on my camera, maybe too much. Also, you're so good at landscapes, I could use tips on how to see shadows and get them in my first draft and how to add them when I am imagining a scene. Love your classes!"

 This student is looking for some new skills so let's get ready to learn some in this class.