Milan Art Institute Mastery Program, Week 4 Review

Week 4 Milan Art Institute Mastery Program

Hi! I've just finished week 4 of the Milan Art Institute Mastery Program.

It was a pretty intense week, and I had a lot to catch up on since I had been away on holiday for three weeks.

We started off the week with a still life in charcoal, which we drew from life using the scale tool. We learned how to set up a still life to create a good composition, thinking about focal points and how the edges of objects line up or overlap.

charcoal drawing of a still life with skull and cross, milan art institute mastery program

Then came the exciting part: we did three alla prima oil paintings, spending two hours on each one. For the first painting, we could only use three primary colours in both cool and warm tones. For the second painting, we were allowed to add two colours of our choice in warm and cool tones, and for the third painting, we added two more colours, adding complexity to the palette and our colour mixing.

three alla prima still life oil paintings in pink purple and peach milan art institute mastery program

I have to admit, the program didn't really cover how to mix colours, so if you've never mixed colours before, you might want to do a little lesson on how to create different colours and how complementary colours work.

Personally, I learned how to mix colours from Kelly Wynne at Colour Crush Creative, and I highly recommend her Colour My Life Course.

Our instructor, Dimitri, also taught us how to make the edges of objects in the background a bit more fuzzy, and how important it is to give our objects a shadow so that they are grounded in place and not just floating in space.

With each successive painting, I got faster at the process, and that's a big part of this whole program: to become a better, faster, and more prolific artist.

After the alla prima paintings, we went back to charcoal drawing and did a still life from a photo, which was much easier than drawing from life, so I was able to produce a better finished result.

Hot Tip

One thing I've learned over the last year of painting is that when things aren't going well, I can't seem to get in the flow, I'm feeling a bit down, depressed, and tired, I give myself a reset. What I actually do is take a 20-minute nap. I set an alarm, and when I wake up, I'm so disoriented that it feels like a new day, and I can come back to my paintings with fresh enthusiasm.


Next up is week five, which is a break week where I'll be retouching my oil paintings based on mentor feedback. But then, in week six, I'll be back at it. See you then!

I have to say that I'm grateful for this program and the opportunity to learn to paint at home, with the Milan Art Institute Mastery Program, I can continue my artistic journey and grow as an artist.

Stay tuned for awesome things!

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View the Paintings from the Mastery Program

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