Bottles, Bananas & Beyond!

Bottles, Bananas & Beyond!

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Bottles, Bananas, & Beyond!
with Alison O’Donoghue
Three-Week Class; 6 Video Lessons

Class Dates: September 20 – October 6, 2016
Note: Even though class has started, you can join in anytime!

Price: $95.00


Bottles. Bugs. Bananas. Dogs.
Cats. Fruits. Teapots. Logs.
Books. Cows. Horses. Flowers.
Couches. Pennies. Clocks & Showers!

(If you are a “more is more” kind of person, this is truly the class for you!)

Alison will share her unique acrylic painting techniques for creating a stacked, interactive, and harmonious world within the bounds of a 14″x14″ canvas. Alison loves painting on super smooth surfaces, so the class will begin early with a “bonus” lesson on how to smooth a canvas using levening gel.

The first exercises are designed to help you find your “go-to” imagery and begin the process of creating patterns with simple shapes: people, animals and objects.

Next you will build layers of acrylic paint (a black layer, the white imagery, then color washes and light highlights), and finish with Alison’s method of varnishing her paintings for a beautiful finish.


In this class you will:

• Make a canvas smooth
• Create a visual vocabulary
• Explore interlocking simple shapes to create pattern
• Limit your main palette to black and white
• Negative space awareness
• Apply washes of transparent color
• Create dimension with highlights


Class Itinerary

Bonus Lesson – Smoothing a Canvas
Have you ever wanted to paint on canvas but have it be completely smooth? Alison demonstrates her method of leveling a a surface. This step is optional… if you don’t want to use canvas, you can paint on a gessoed board (panel box) with two coats of gesso, sanding between coats.


Lesson 1 – Drawing Exercise
Here we are creating a simple visual vocabulary and loosening up. Don’t think  about the rules of gravity, perspective, or actual size relationships (small house, large shoe). No need to think of  content or meaning, just allow the  images to free associate and become neighbors in the drawing.

Lesson 2 – Prepare the Canvas; Draw it Out
Paint canvas or panel box with black acrylic. Then you’ll draw your all-over pattern. Keeping shapes simple, think of the spaces between, the negative space, as shapes also. Explore size relationships and lack of gravity.

Lesson 3 – Paint the Pattern in White
Follow your drawing lines, painting not the lines but the shapes themselves, keeping the shapes simple. Allow for changes and new imagery. Explore creating and repeating shapes to allow your collection of images to become a bold and almost abstract pattern.

Lesson 4 – Apply the Washes
Apply three transparent color washes to add subtle color.

Lesson 5 – Highlights
Paint into the imagery, creating a sense of light, dimension and pattern. Think about dappled light, even in its randomness it creates a sense of light.

Lesson 6 – Finishing Touches & Varnish
Adding Final details and Varnishing the Painting using oil-based varnish.





For a list of supplies, click HERE.



Here’s how this online class works:

• For the three weeks of class, you’ll receive an email on Tuesday and Thursday with a reminder to visit the class blog for that day’s lesson and video.

• A password-protected blog serves as our clubhouse; there you will find all of the lesson videos and class materials.

• A Facebook group has been created for you to (optionally) share your paintings, and enjoy and learn from the artwork of others. (However, if you are shy about posting your art, Alison is always available to look at your work via email.)

• You have indefinite access to the class materials.

• Upon registration, you will receive an email within 48 hours confirming your signup.

• Class fee is good for participants living in a single household.

QUESTIONS? carla[at]

FAQs – If you’ve never taken an online class before and would like to know more about how our classes work, click HERE.

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Join this class today!

Price: $95.00

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The artwork of Alison O’Donoghue can be described as contemporary folk art.

Partly naïve, sometimes illustrative, at times cartoony, with some of her pieces being heavily patterned. Her paintings are mostly playful with creatures and people that are quite often glowing with life… awash in dimensional color and shade in a mostly two dimensional world. In many of her paintings, she combines everyday objects such as; cups of coffee, fruit, plants, humans, birds and odd, made up animals, into a fluid motion of interaction of intertwined shapes. The playful next to the sinister, give the paintings a sense of humor and the complexity of an unfolding story.

In her larger work, Alison seems to have no intention of leaving a space unfilled or unpopulated as the figures become more of an overall pattern. It gives the viewer the feeling of looking at vines overtaking the world inside the painting in a kind of beautiful invasive force of nature.

Alison O’Donoghue’s contemporary folk art and patterned worlds invite us to explore visually the simple beauty, complexity, interactions and sometimes the humorously sinister aspects of everyday life.

Alison lives in Portland, Oregon.