Paul Schulenburg: Painting Interior Spaces Utilizing Photo References



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May 17 and 18, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Digital photography can make it easy to gather reference material to use for paintings, but there are still many hurdles to overcome. Paul will discuss how to look for compelling subject matter in interior settings and demonstrate his technique in translating  photos into successful paintings. 

Cameras see the world differently than the human eye. This workshop will cover some aspects of digital photography and discuss how to adjust photos appropriately using photo programs to help create a more effective painting. Paul will also show students how to avoid problems with contrast and exposure and camera-distorted perspective.  He will demonstrate his painting technique using a photo reference.

Students will go on location to take their own interior photos, which they will then use to work on creating a finished painting. 


Digital camera or phone with camera. 

Oil Paint List:  (Acrylic, pastel and watercolor artists are welcome as well)
Oil paints and the usual equipment (brush washer, mineral spirits etc).
Galkyd SD painting medium or Liquin. Or other similar painting medium. 
NOT Turpenoid or Turpenoid Natural. Those are good for washing brushes, not for use as a painting medium. 

Canvas panels or canvases (12 x 16 is a good size  (but from 9×12 up to 18 x 24 preferred)
or flat smooth panel such as Gessobord panel by Ampersand. (I often work on this type of panel) 

Bristle oil brushes as well as a few sable brushes of various sizes would be helpful. 

Cotton rag (old tee-shirt is good) 

Students can bring whatever colors they are used to using. The following are colors I typically use. (I don’t use pthalo blue or pthalo green very much as they are very strong and tend to become too prominent.)
These are currently arranged on my palette starting with white in the upper right corner, moving through the spectrum counter-clockwise on my palette to yellow in the lower left corner.  

Quinacridone Red
Alizerine Crimson 
Dioxyzine Purple
Ultramarine Blue
Cobalt Blue  (sometimes)
Prussian Green
Sap Green
Raw Umber
Burnt Sienna
Terra Rosa
Raw Sienna
Yellow Ochre
Cadmium Red Dark
Cadmium Red Light
Cadmium Yellow

Instructor Bio

Paul Schulenburg grew up near Albany NY in the small town of Niskayuna, in a home filled with paintings created by his grandfather. Compelled to draw and paint at an early age, he was encouraged by his family to pursue his passion. He attended Boston University School of Fine Arts in the late 1970s. Contrary to the trends of that time, Boston University provided an educational foundation that emphasized the fundamentals of classical art training: anatomy and form, color, composition and draftsmanship. He graduated in 1979.

Paul now lives and paints primarily in Massachusetts, in the outer parts of Cape Cod. He was featured as the cover artist on the July 2007 issue of American Art Collector magazine, and was also featured in June 2009 and June 2010. He has had two solo shows at the Cape Cod Museum of Art. In 2004 Paul was awarded a one month residency at the Fine Art Work Center in Provincetown, MA. He is a member of the Copley Society of Art in Boston, MA.

You can find his paintings at Addison Art Gallery in Orleans, MA.