Summer Art Oil Painting Masterclass To Go

Yahoo my friends! Are fine weather has finally arrived 🙂 And of course, I have an idea…

Summer Art Oil Painting Masterclass To Go!

“I’ll have three colour mixing tips, two reference gathering methods and a handful of composition considerations please!”

“Would you like a side of perspective and underpainting suggestions to go with that as well today?”

Yes! I am considering piloting my Beauty of Oils Skill Building Masterclass so you can take it with you this summer as an independent online study course. It is all the same great material and more packaged for access anywhere you have an Internet connection. You can work at your own pace, review lessons and do the painting activities as many times as you like… and be invited join a bonus Painters Group monthly live painting problem-solving chat for extra support.

Sounds good? Let me know by comment, private message or whatever works for you! If there is enough interest, I will make it happen in the next couple of weeks.

I know! I am always up to something and this I think is going to be really, really good 😉

What do you think?

UPDATE: You thought “yes” and the independent study class in oil painting is now available. More information is available HERE.


© 2018 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Creative Potager – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

For gallery and purchase information about Terrill’s photographs and paintings go to

28 tries 2 finalists and a tie for 1st

Are you wondering what I might be talking about? Photography. Yes photography. More precisely I am talking about what goes into getting a composition that has that special zing!

I recently complimented someone on what I felt was an excellent capture.

The reply was – yes but do you know how hard I worked to get that one shot? I took tons of photographs and only this one turned out.

Have you had this experience too? I know I sure have! For some reason when a person is a “professional” photographer, loosely defined as a person with a camera that sells her work or is commissioned to take photographs, it is assumed that this person just picks up her equipment and goes out to take great photographs. Not so.

Let’s look at some round numbers. I usually photograph something every day. Most days I take between 50 and 200 images. On a full shooting day I might take 500. These are small numbers for a full-time photographer. But none-the-less these are my numbers. If I take an average of 100 photographs a day times 365 days a year that would be 36,500 photographs. In the past two years on my redbubble site, how many images do you think I have posted for sale?  10,000? A 1,000? 500? Lower still. I have 335 including today’s two winners. Yes I have some keepers that are not for sale. But still – you get the idea. To take good photographs a person must take photographs and a lot of them. Not in a shot-gun style hoping that you get something. But with purpose and intention, building on our learning as we go.

How about we get more specific? In my humble opinion, the most critical decision photographers and artists make is the composition of their subject. For example, after 28 tries at photographing the fog drifting through the trees across the valley, I came up with four compositions I wanted to work through the editing process. I am going to  share with you my personal critique so you can see how I chose the two winners. This doesn’t necessarily make my decisions right. In fact, you might have made different decisions. We each have our own eye and our own intention when capturing an image. However, humour me for a moment and if you like, argue later in the comments.

The first image – A Time to Wonder.

Yes this first image is okay. I like it but the overall square composition is indecisive about whether the darkest tree is the subject or the fog. There is too much room over the top of the trees and my eye keeps wandering around in the fog in the middle wondering what to look at. I will keep it though because if someone wanted to put words at the top as in an advertisement, it would work well. But it is not strong enough to stand on its own.

The second image – Fog Sun Trees

(image is available for purchase HERE)

It is much like the first but with a landscape composition rather than square as in the other. These are typically easier dimensions to work but I have been enjoying exploring the square. The darker tree is dominant with the fog providing a supporting role. With the space on the right it provides visual room for the fog to drift which is underpinned by the tree branches that have been shaped by the predominant winds. The image breathes. The sunlight is catching nicely here and there like frosting on a cake. The frame is tight and dramatic. It is a winner. Off to my  redbubble TREES portfolio it goes!

The third image – Where Our Dreams Go

Yeah, well what can I say? The composition places the significant tree to the right. The front trees take up two-thirds of the image. The fog is nicely dispersed in the background. It is a “nice” image and it should have worked but it doesn’t. There is no “zing.” The image remains flat, dead and uninteresting to my eye. So what is wrong? Huh-uh! There are too many trees the same size and value as the tree I want to stand out. There is the one in front on the right, part of one on the left and two overlapping on the same plane of the photograph on the left as the tree I want to hold our attention. My tree of most interest is lost in a crowd of trees. Trash bin here we come. But I am going to keep the title. I like that!

The fourth image – Lifting

(image is available for purchase HERE)

This is my other finalist. It was one of the last images I shot and was an after thought. I had been at the farthest reach of my new lens. I was loving being able to get up close and kiss the trees in the mist across the valley. But I pulled back and took a couple more shots. One of which is this image. So why is it a winner? My special tree stands out amongst its cousins because now there are many more shapes surrounding it – building towards its uniqueness instead of competing with it. The fog is even more dramatic in this frame because of the heavy mass in the background on left accentuating the steepness and mystery of the hill in the background to the right. The little trees in the foreground left, though not a star attraction, keeping my eye moving back into the frame and towards the tree with the most personality. There is enough context in this frame that the eye lingers and muses on the scene. To put it bluntly, it can’t be eaten in one bite. I like that about it. A way to my redbubble TREES portfolio it goes!

So next time you take a hundred or five hundred photographs to get the one you want, remember – that is what photographers do. They take photographs – a lot of them. Everyday. For years. As we take each photograph we keep learning, studying, critiquing and deciding which ones are keepers. Overtime, our photographs improve and keep improving for as long as we keep taking them. There really are no experts just willing learners.

Well, what do you think?

Sprout Question: What are you willing to do a lot of to get the results you want?

News Flash: Our good friend Patricia from Patricia’s Wisdom has a special Thanksgiving guest post with yours truly and she is giving away a copy of Precious Seconds to one of the people who comment on For Such Beauty is Mine ~ A Guest Post. Might as well take a moment and get your name in the draw.

© 2011 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Terrill Welch online Gallery at

Mountain Stands Alone

It was a good weekend for art sales here at Creative Potager but I will tell you more about that later. Right now I am going to share with you how I use photography as study for future painting. When I tell people I sometimes take up to 150 reference images for one painting and that I use them in place of sketches, I can see the confusion slip into the corners of their eyes as they try and understand what I am talking about. Let’s use my fascination with Mount Baker for an example.

In fact, Mount Baker may be the single most motivating factor for me to buy a 70 – 300 mm lens with an image stabilizer. I do alright with my 17-85 mm lens which also has an image stabilizer for most things. But that mountain is too far away from Mayne Island and I don’t think it is going to get any closer anytime soon – at least I hope not.

A photo study of a subject for a future painting is not about standing fixed in one spot taking one shot after another. It is about getting to know the subject in its context. It is about feeling my way into the frame. It is intuitive observation. This is what I call discovering a realism of subject rather than of object. There is a difference and I will expand on this in a future post.

Most times I go back to the same places at different times of day, during different seasons. Each time these memories and images get stockpiled as internal references for the work that will come later with paint on canvas.

I am finding that these studies seem to offer more in-depth of understanding of my subject  than en plein air painting which I had assumed would be the ultimate in painting my subject in its context. This is a surprise to me. Maybe it is that I haven’t done enough en plein air painting recently. I would love to hear from other painters about what their experience as been.

Of this particular photo engagement with Mount Baker, this is my personal favourite frame.

(image available for purchase here.)

I like the soft focused foreground drawing our attention to Mount Baker yet somehow still reminding us that a pile of rocks – is still just a pile of rocks.

So there you have it. A few images from my latest study of Mount Baker and the mountain stands alone.

Oh I didn’t forget – you want to know about the art sales over the weekend.

The first of the large original oil paintings KEEPING WATCH in the STUDY of BLUE solo exhbition has sold to a collector inVictoriaB.C.Canada. This means six of the fifteen paintings in this show are now sold.

Also, large canvas print of the photograph of GOING, a medium canvas print of FOGGED IN and eight cards of photographs and paintings sold to an unknown buyer on redbubble. Thank you whoever you are. Your support and interest in my work is most appreciated.

And thank you to all of you who are part of my creative journey.

Sprout question: What mountain in your creativity stands alone?

STUDY OF BLUE  solo exhibition open until Wednesday July 27, 2011.

© 2011 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

FromMayne Island,British Columbia,Canada

Terrill Welch online Gallery at


Often, the underlying effect of wabi-sabi is melancholy beauty in its worn simplicity. Yet nature, as our life, is often a messy. Eco-systems thrive on an untidy tangle of old, new and diverse growth (particularly here in the west coast rain forest). The old saying of “not being able to see the forest for the trees” describes how easy it is to become overwhelmed and to lose our centre or still-point in the face of all that is. There are only a few vistas in my travels that have captured my imagination with their beautiful simplicity. A building on a hill at East Point on Saturna Island is one of these places. I have not yet researched to know if this grassy knoll is caused by human intervention or if it is natural. However, the minimalist coming together of nature and construction sang to me. The delight and challenge then becomes composition.

Here are my various efforts over two days to capture “a building on a hill at East Point.”

And finally “window” , my personal favourite, and a featured image today in redbubble group  The Woman Photographer. This is a great honour as there are 2,527 members in this group and 79,986 images.

View and purchase full resolution image here.

Sprout Question: What principles of composition help you to create simplicity?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.