Class #3 Ellen Cooper

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All I want to do is paint; however, we have spent the last 2 weeks endlessly reviewing Ellen’s drawing techniques, which incorporate the best qualities of Burt Silverman and Degas.  Let’s not forget the infamous “envelope,” which  Tony Ryder invented and Ellen force feeds to us.  The first week we began sketching “envelopes” and we have not stopped.  If Ellen divided our class into sections based on envelope sketching ability, I would certainly be in the remedial envelope class.  The good news is that I am actually getting ever so slightly faster.  As a result, I have finally begun not only to finish drawing the envelope, but I have also been able to start drawing the actually subject inside the “envelope”.

The “envelope” is extremely hard for me to draw.  It seems so silly and easy, but it isn’t.  I am embarrassed to say, I don’t like doing things at which I am not very good and I am definitely not good at this.  I also like to be able to look at  something nice after standing in front of an easel for 4 hours.

Well, maybe practice makes perfect, but not so far.

It is true I have been known to cut an appendage off here and there, if it didn’t fit into the painting.   OK, maybe the envelope is not such a bad idea for me. It is just torture!

Watch: My ugly envelope movie

Shelli Alford is an artist and author, who enjoys learning from master oil painters from around the world and reviewing their classes, workshops and demonstrations.

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