Milan Art Institute Mastery Program Part 1 Review

Milan Art Institute Mastery Program Part 1 Review

Reflections on my experiences with oil painting during the first part of the Milan Art Institute Mastery Program.

Over the course of fourteen weeks, I witnessed my skills evolve, and my understanding of colour deepen.

From my initial attempts at painting with warm and cool paints to the completion of a self-portrait, I discovered new techniques and gained confidence in my abilities. Let's delve into the transformative process and the lessons learned.

Comparing my first oil painting from Week 1 to the self-portrait completed in Week 13 revealed a significant improvement in my grasp of colour mixing. Initially, I found myself relying on colours straight out of the tube, without fully exploring the possibilities of creating different hues and nuances.

The parrot painting felt like a mere colouring activity, lacking the vibrant life I envisioned.

oil painting of parrot and portrait comparing week 1 to week 12 of the mastery program

However, in the self-portrait, a more sophisticated approach emerged. Multiple shades of blues, greens, skin tones, and whites blended harmoniously, creating depth and visual interest. Utilising a complementary colour palette, the figure seamlessly stood out against the background, providing a sense of balance and visual impact.

Over the span of three months, I noticed a remarkable advancement in my drawing skills.

It felt like rediscovering a talent I had neglected. With enough time and focus, I was able to draw realistically, a feat I had often neglected, due to my lack of patience. This newfound realisation has given me more confidence when I paint my portraits. It’s really important to have these drawing skills when paintings go wrong, it means I can see where something is not the right size or shape or if it’s not in the right position.

The Milan method of palette layout proved immensely beneficial in developing my colour mixing skills and creating captivating hues.

However, old habits die hard, and while working with acrylics, I still found myself resorting to ad hoc paint application. Breaking this habit and adopting the disciplined approach of mixing acrylics akin to oil paints will be a challenge, but one that I'm eager to undertake. By embracing these new techniques, I hope to further enhance my artistic repertoire and expand the possibilities within my creative practice.

Throughout part one of the Mastery Program, I experimented with different mediums and their effects on my artwork. Among these, I discovered my preference for liquin, a medium that provides a matte finish. Although I was initially excited by galkyd for its potential to create dripping effects, I found it less conducive to my artistic style. The glossy nature of galkyd made it challenging to accurately perceive colours, as the reflection of light interfered with my ability to see my painting.

A creative life is often filled with excitement, challenges, and personal growth.

The first part of my Milan journey has been an eye-opening experience. From gaining a better understanding of colour mixing to nurturing my drawing skills, every step has contributed to my growth as an artist. The challenges I’ve encountered and the lessons learned have laid a strong foundation for me to incorporate oil painting into my artistic practice.

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See the Paintings from the Mastery Program

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