Demo For the St Albert Painters’ Guild

I did an urban landscape workshop for the St Albert Painters’ Guild on Saturday.  That was my first time to St Albert and I was very impressed.  Lovely city, nice buildings and a beautiful location for the workshop.  It was held in the big civic/library/courthouse complex.  The main floor has a number of lovely, bright studios on the main floor.  We were located in the painting studio.  What I liked in particular is that the entire set up gave the impression that St Albert really values and supports the arts.  As an artist you love to see that.

Anyway, once again, I made the decision to do more of the little practice studies that participants seem to get so much out of and to de-emphasize the actual main demo.  So I just got the demo started when we ran out of time.  I let everyone know that I would finish it at home and either photograph all the stages or do a short video.  As you can see I did a video.

First I just wanted to show some photos of the day.  It’s so interesting how excited people get when they see how easy it is to paint figures when you don’t treat it as a drawing exercise but instead let the mark the brush makes create the figure.  It relieves all the stress to just push the hairs of the brush into the paper and see what happens.  Often you get marks that are full of  character and interest.  That is clearly  illustrated by these 2 samples done by some of the participants.

In the top image the figure right in the middle just oozes character and attitude.

Rex Beanland, St Albert Painters Guild, figures 2 Rex Beanland, St Albert Painters Guild, figures 1


In the bottom image the figure in the middle just reminds me of the student I always dreaded showing up in my grade 5 home room.  I knew he was going to be trouble.


Here are some photos of the group in action.  Just outside the windows is a lovely river and park.

Rex Beanland, St Albert Painters Guild 3 Rex Beanland, St Albert Painters Guild 2, Rex Beanland, St Albert Painters Guild 1,



















Our formal class photo.

Rex Beanland, Class photo, St Albert Painters Guild






And this is the video detailing how I finished the painting.


Just because of a great question from one of the participants I’m including the photo that this scene was based on.

Rex Beanland











Thanks so much to everyone for an excellent workshop.

3 thoughts on “Demo For the St Albert Painters’ Guild

  1. Cheryl Moskaluk

    Hi Rex
    Thanks so much for the workshop. I learned a lot and have watched your full video of the Edmonton painting you finished. So intriguing how you interpret photos. You have inspired me to start with better washes and let them do their thing. One question: where did that big light standard near the CN building come from… the other two are closer in the street and are much smaller. Also why didn’t you feel that the negative space around the CN building held its own as a focal point without the street light? Just curious,

    1. Rex Beanland Post author

      Hi Cheryl: Thanks for your comments and great question. In the photo there is a light very close to where I stood that did in fact cut into the sky just like this one even though it was on the other side of the street. I used it because it gave me a way to connect the ground with the sky and to break up the shape of the sky and make it more interesting. I often find that adding something that cuts into the sky is useful and in this case I just felt that way. Now, whether it does what I was hoping for is another matter but I’m happy with it. I definitely find it useful to look at the photo or the actual location (when painting plein air) as just a collection of objects and shapes that can be arranged and used to create a composition that says what I want it to say. I’m not often bothered by being faithful to the actual scene. It’s just my interpretation of it.

      1. Rex Beanland Post author

        Hi Cheryl: I just added the actual photo to the post so you can see that street light. My question would be to notice the difference in this photo with and without the light. Not that either is the best way but they are each is just different and I like having the light there.


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