Koo's New Hampshire Studio Workshops

 

"I really enjoyed this workshop and can’t wait to take my new knowledge into the studio. You’ve given me so much inspiration, both technically and artistically. Many, many thanks."

Workshop Descriptions

I offer the following workshops:

All workshops are open to all levels of painters. Alumni of Koo's workshops can customize curriculum of any class to suit to current goals.

Egg Tempera I

Old as the Egyptians and most famous during the Renaissance, egg tempera painting is becoming increasingly popular with artists today. Tempera has unsurpassed luminosity. Dozens of glazes and scumbles can be applied in a day, and yet the medium also allows for meticulous linear detailing. 

In this comprehensive five day workshop students will learn all aspects of the medium: egg tempera’s rich history, how to make genuine gesso panels starting from scratch, the characteristics of powdered pigments, how to mix fresh paint, dozens of ways to apply the paint, how to finish an egg tempera painting (including oil glazing over tempera), as well as some of the design principles that underlie old master painting. Each student will receive a copy of Koo’s book on Egg Tempera Painting. 

Among the topics and demonstrations students may select from are:

  • Brushes
  • Changes & corrections
  • Cloth
  • Decorative patterns
  • Finishing a tempera
    (including with oil)
  • Glazing & scumbling
  • Glass & metal
  • Lettering
  • Pearls
  • Portraiture & Flesh
  • Recommended reading
  • Society of Tempera Painters
  • Sponging
  • Stone & other faux surfaces
  • Suppliers
  • Tile floors (& perspective)
  • Transferring a drawing (& underpaintings)
  • True gesso & panels
  • And whatever other topics students request, as time permits.

Note: This is the only workshop in which students make true gesso panels from scratch. In all other egg tempera workshops there is no gesso demonstration; instead students are provided with pre-made panels.

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Egg Tempera II

Old as the Egyptians and most famous during the Renaissance, egg tempera painting is becoming increasingly popular with artists today. Tempera has unsurpassed luminosity. Dozens of glazes and scumbles can be applied in a day, and yet the medium also allows for meticulous linear detailing.

This comprehensive five-day workshop offers the opportunity for in-depth work in egg tempera: students will spend five full days working on a painting of their own design. Koo will help with the initial planning stages, provide on-going discussion and critiques, give painting demonstrations, and discuss the important design elements of old master painting. 

Open to all levels of painters, from beginner to advanced.  A demonstration on the essentials of working in egg tempera will be provided for beginning students.

Among the topics and demonstrations students may select from are:

  • Brushes
  • Changes & corrections
  • Cloth
  • Decorative patterns
  • Finishing a tempera
    (including with oil)
  • Glazing & scumbling
  • Glass & metal
  • Lettering
  • Pearls
  • Portraiture & Flesh
  • Recommended reading
  • Society of Tempera Painters
  • Sponging
  • Stone & other faux surfaces
  • Suppliers
  • Tile floors (& perspective)
  • Transferring a drawing (& underpaintings)
  • True gesso & panels
  • And whatever other topics students request, as time permits.

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Still Life in Egg Tempera

With its ability to render fine detail, create different textures, and build up countless glazes and scumbles, egg tempera is beautifully suited for still life. In this workshop you learn how to create a luminous egg tempera still life painting from start to finish. Koo discusses in depth the importance of the set-up, taking into consideration light, values, color, warm and cool, shapes, textures, and edges. There will be painting demonstrations as well as ongoing individual instruction and critiques. Koo will also work on a painting of her own, so you can see firsthand how she develops an egg tempera still life. A photography session will show you how to create visually strong still life photographs that already look like beautifully designed paintings. You may work from either life, your own photographs, or from photos of still lifes provided by Koo.

Open to all levels of painters, from beginner to advanced.  A demonstration on the essentials of working in egg tempera will be provided for beginning students.

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Portrait in Egg Tempera

Egg tempera is renown for its luminosity, making it an ideal medium for rendering the human face. In this workshop you will learn every step of how to develop a portrait in egg tempera, with ongoing individual instruction and critiques from Koo. Koo explains the traditional Old Master palette used to develop flesh tones. She will also work on a painting of her own, so you can see firsthand how she develops her egg tempera portraits. The workshop includes a photography session in which you learn how to light and pose a model, to create visually strong photographs that already look like beautifully designed paintings. You may work from your own photographs, from photos supplied by Koo, or from a copy of an Old Master egg tempera portrait.

Open to all levels of painters, from beginner to advanced. A demonstration on the essentials of working in egg tempera will be provided for beginning students.

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Three-Day Egg Tempera Workshop

Scheduled over a weekend, this three-day class is to accommodate students for whom time and resources are limited. It covers all the essentials of egg tempera painting: how to prepare and transfer an image, pigments, making paint, a variety of brushwork, and how to finish a tempera painting. Each student will be given a 6" x 8" panel to paint on, and can work from either an image supplied by Koo or one of their own.

Open to all levels of painters, from beginner to advanced. A demonstration on the essentials of working in egg tempera will be provided for beginning students.

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Composition and Design Workshop

Does the answer to great painting lie in the materials used, or in a particular working method? Not necessarily in either: after all, masterpieces have been made from many different mediums and methods. Instead, what underlies all great art—regardless of the
medium, style, subject, artist, or era in which a work was created—is a common visual language organized by universal design principles. To become conversant in this language and its organizing principles is essential to improving as a painter.

A pianist may have great technical proficiency, but to create original music he or she also must learn to arrange notes into a successful composition, to compose an original score. Similarly, it is not enough for a painter to be a skillful technician; an artist must also know how to organize the elements of the visual language into a compelling composition. The most skillful visual composers were the "Old Masters". Despite their preference for realistic subject matter, Old Master paintings are full of abstract visual elements and design principles.

All of my workshops discuss design principles to a degree, but none goes into as much depth as the Composition and Design workshop. A full five days are devoted to understanding the powerfully compelling, time-tested compositional principles of traditional painting. Guided by a wall of images that outline the history of western art, students and teacher engage in extensive study and discussion of paintings old and new. Students learn to recognize and incorporate within their own work the most important visual elements and compositional principles. Practical experience is gained through hands-on painting exercises. A photography session shows students how to create visually strong reference photographs that already look like beautifully designed paintings. Students also are encouraged to bring work of their own for discussion and critique.

Visual elements and principles to be studied include:

  • Light & shadow
  • Values
  • Volume
  • Color
  • Chroma
  • Key
  • Temperature
  • Positive & Negative Shapes
  • Massing
  • Edges
  • Line
  • Pictorial geometry
  • Paint characteristics
  • Imagery
  • Content
  • And more...

Open to artists of any medium or skill level; art historians; and anyone who wants to understand the history of western art, traditional design, and what makes paintings great. 

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Painting Best Practices Workshop
Taught by George O'Hanlon, Technical Director of Natural Pigments

This information-packed workshop includes all aspects of constructing a painting—from the support, ground and pigments to the final layers. Practical procedures will be clearly explained and demonstrated based on up-to-date conservation research. Although emphasis is given to oil painting, this workshop is designed for painters of all mediums, including egg tempera. Taught by Geroge O'Hanlon, technical director of Natural Pigments, who is a leading authorities on painting materials and practices.

I've taken this workshop twice; it is full of fascinating and invaluable information.  I highly recommend it for painters of any medium.

Please register for this workshop on the Natural Pigments website.
Phone: 888-361-5900

Note: Other workshops at Koo's NH studio will be taught by Koo, and may be registered for on this website or by contacting Koo.

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For authorization to reproduce any of the images or text, please contact the artist.
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