Film as Visual Narrative: a Resource for Painters (six-session workshop)

This painting workshop will explore the intriguing relationship between film, photography, and painting. We’ll look at many different film stills, and directorial styles to examine the technical aspects such as composition, tone, texture, value/lighting, design and symbolic use of color in order to thoughtfully consider how to paint narratively. Each session will be about an hour of visual presentation, and two hours of painting. We’ll be examining several films, specifically certain individual frames from those films, covering a different element each week.

Sample films include The Shining, There Will be Blood, Boyhood, The Royal Tenenbaums, and Peaky Blinders.

What you will learn in this workshop:

  • Students will learn all about those components that make up the frame of a film: composition, symbolic use of color, value and tone – and how this translates into composing a successful visual narrative

Required supplies:

  • 1 primed canvas or panel, at least 16” x 20”

  • 3 small painting surfaces – at least 9 x 12” – can be gessoed bristol paper, canvas, or panel

  • Oil paint: Titanium White, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, Cadmium Red (dark, med.), Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Yellow (dark, med.), Yellow ochre (or Raw Sienna), Cadmium Green, Raw Umber, Cobalt blue, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Violet

  • Palette (light grey recommended)

  • Palette knife

  • Brushes: assorted sizes, soft white bristle flats and filberts

  • Mineral spirits or Turpenoid

  • Medium – recommended: 2/3 linseed oil, 1/3 mineral spirits

  • Sketchpad

  • Vine charcoal

  • 2B pencils