“Intro to Abstract Painting” with Karine Swenson


Intro to Abstract Painting
Instructor: Karine Swenson
2-Week, 6-Lesson Class • $85
This class is now available as a self-study class.

Price: $85.00



From Karine:

Have you have ever had an interest in abstract painting? Would you like to paint with more freedom or feeling?

In this class we will explore a variety of mark-making techniques with an emphasis on finding what works for you as an artist. I will demonstrate drawing and painting intuitively. I will also share with you a few of my favorite abstract painters and help you understand some of the concepts behind non-representational painting (painting without recognizable imagery).

I will encourage you to try new things as a way to experience breakthroughs and encourage you to work quickly. You will be finding ways to develop your own way of applying paint and to compose the visual space.

During this class, you will work on many (up to twenty) small sketches and 3 to 4 paintings.





Who is this class intended for:
-Anyone who wants to explore non-representational painting
-Anyone who wants to strengthen and develop their own voice as a painter
-Anyone interested in taking risks with their painting
-Anyone who wants to have more confidence in their own way of painting

Note: It is recommended that you have some painting experience in acrylic or oil paint before taking this class; I will not be showing you how to mix paint or choose colors. The focus will be primarily composition, values, mark making, and a search for individuality.


Class Itinerary

Week One

Lesson 1 – Monday: We will begin with small studies to explore drawing intuitively

Lesson 2 – Wednesday: Today will will draw from our other senses (not sight) to help us escape the need to use recognizable imagery and to help us tap into our emotions.

Lesson 3 – Friday: Take the favorite sketch from our previous two lessons and turn them into an abstract painting.

Week Two

Lesson 4 – Monday: Approaching a blank canvas with no sketch. (How to work intuitively.)

Lesson 5 – Wednesday: Explore how trying new things can take you in another direction. Do you normally work small? Try working large. Push yourself to do things you wouldn’t normally do.

Lesson 6 – Friday: Choose one of your paintings from the last two weeks and “wreck it” to save it.

How the Class Works
Each Monday-Wednesday-Friday you will receive an email reminding you to visit the class blog for your new assignment and video lesson. Videos are professionally produced. Instructor feedback will be given via a private facebook page (or via email with Karine, if you prefer). The class material will be up and available to you for one year from the date of purchase.

Sign up today!

Price: $85.00


Karine_PortraitKarine Swenson grew up just outside of a town called Rapid City, South Dakota in the Black Hills. The closest neighbor was a mile away. Reared in this environment, Swenson’s connection with the natural world was strong. After receiving her BA in painting from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, she moved to Colorado. She has spent most of her life in small towns that sit right next to the last remaining bits of wilderness. From the mountains of Colorado, the ocean surrounding Maui, Hawaii and now the desert near Joshua Tree, California, she feels the most at home out in nature. In the studio, her second home, she can explore her relationship with the natural world. Her oil paintings are reflections of this relationship. Swenson has been a full time artist for the past ten years.

See more wonderful art at Karine’s blog!


Materials Needed

• BFK Rives paper, 1 sheet of 22 x 30 inch, torn into smaller pieces, approximately 5 x 5 inches, or a sketchbook (I like Canson Mixed Media books).
• Drawing tools: Char-Koal, charcoal pencils (2B, 3b), or conte crayons. Kneadable eraser.
• Pencil. 2B or darker
• Three painting surfaces. 11 x 14 or larger. Use what you normally like to use: board, canvas, etc. Also, be sure the format of your painting surface is the same as your sketchbook or blank paper (square or rectangular). If you normally work small, get at least one large 30 x 30 inch or larger canvas. If you normally work on a rectangular surface, get at least one square surface, with square paper to match.
• Paint. Either acrylic or oil. I will be working in oil paint. Colors recommended: burnt umber, yellow ochre, titanium white, cobalt blue, black, red, cerulean blue, etc. Brands of oil paint I prefer: M. Graham, Utrecht, Georgian, Gamblin… If you are using oil paint, I use turpenoid oderless mineral spirits to thin, when needed.
• Brushes, rags, painting knife, brayer or other painting tools
• Get at least three different brushes. Flat, round, bright size 6 or larger and one large inexpensive brush from the hardware store. (3 inches or larger.
• One small watercolor set (gouache is okay, too).