Only in Scottsdale

The other day in open studio I heard talk of a painting demonstration at the new Scottsdale Museum of the West. I was taken back when I found out who the artist was. This was a stroke of luck, one of my favorite painters, Scott Burdick was to be the featured artist, in town because his wife, Sue Lyon was giving a workshop at the school.

Scott Burdick
Scott Burdick

We arrived early enough to grab a seat in the second row of the auditorium. Scott was there in his usual ball cap and jeans, so unassuming for the master painter that he is. After introductions he began his painting of a dramatic black model.

Scott and his Model at the Western Heritage Museum Demonstration
Scott and his Model at the Western Heritage Museum Demonstration

He began drawing with burnt sienna on a white canvas, stressing how important it was, even at this stage, to be accurate with placement. Next he blocked in all the darks with one tone of burnt sienna. Instead of mixing a violet on his palette, for the head scarf, he layed in a red tone than a blue on top of this, mixing them together on the canvas which created a lively effect.

Scott Burdick demonstration

His next goal was to cover all the white canvas as he painted carefully  around the edge of her face with the background blue.

Building up to a thicker and thicker paint layer, it was amazing to watch him massage the heavy paint in order to get interesting edges as all the elements registered more and more dimensional.

Scott Burdick Demo
Scott Burdick Demo

In the above image the painting was 80% completed, I wish I had a photo of the finish painting, but the crowd rushed down and enveloped Scott and his painting. Many patrons wanted to get their names in the hat to purchase it for $1,200., a great discount for one of his paintings.


Scott Burdick painting

He also sold two others he had brought, again, more buyers than paintings, so they drew names.

It was a great afternoon of watching a master work and listening to his entertaining stories.

First Workshop While in Scottsdale

Monday was a day I had been looking forward to for months, my one week painting workshop with artist David Shevlino.

David’s work intrigued me because of the fluid way he uses paint. His active subjects have life and motion, with simplified backgrounds.

This class has twenty students from all over the country, a very friendly and diverse group. On the first day David did a demo to show us his unique approach to painting.

David Shevlino workshop demo

This was the first stage of his demo. He started on a dark grey toned canvas, which was a reverse of what I usually do.

I have always used a white canvas, sometimes with a light grey wash, but never this dark. The problem this presents is judging the light values against a light canvas is hard. I usually go too light with my flesh tones, which makes it hard to model the form before I’ve run out of light values. But starting on a dark grey surface made a medium value flesh tone appear very bright so I still had four solid lighter tones to work with which was awesome.

Second Stare of David Shelving's workshop demo
Second Stare of David Shevlino’s workshop demo

In this second stage of the demo he added warm tones in the shadows which really started to bring the painting to life. He does all this with a 2″- 3″ brush.

David Shevlino's demo
David Shevlino’s demo

At this stage David put in some of the lighter tones as well as some half tones in the light areas. Between answering our questions (of which there were many), and model breaks he didn’t get to finish before we begin our afternoon painting session, with our choice of two models for the rest of the afternoon.

Using the dark grey canvas, the large brushes and lots of oil medium, I was out of my usual comfort zone for the afternoon, but loved it! Tomorrow one model, one pose all day, see what happens …