Monthly Archives: August 2016

Lots of fun art learning opportunities coming up. I will be teaching 4 classes at The Atelier in Minneapolis, and a Wednesday evening class at The Art Academy, LLC. in St. Paul. There will also be a special lunch presentation at The Atelier. Read on.

At The Atelier

The Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art is a friendly little traditional art school located in Northeast Minneapolis, MN (a bit on the outskirts of Dinky Town). The school is on the second floor of a red brick warehouse on the corner of Stinson Blvd. and East Hennepin Ave. Off-street parking is available. Feel free to contact me with any questions regarding the classes.

Special Presentation

Lunch & Learn Thursday: Papers

papers-lunch-and-learnChristine Mitzuk will discuss the different papers we use in creating our art and the many choices we have. She will answer questions on what papers to use for what media. You will also learn useful terms and the different properties of paper to consider when buying paper to use for your own projects.

Please arrive a few minutes early and bring your own lunch.

THURSDAY, Sept. 29, 2016, 12:00 noon - 1:00 PM. $10

Fall and Winter Classes at The Atelier

Gestural Figure Study

Gesture figures study done in soft pencil on paper.
Gesture figures study done in soft pencil on paper.

Gain a better understanding of gesture of the figure. This class will mesh The Atelier and Studio Arts figure study methods. Students will explore what gesture is and ways to capture it through quick poses, progressively longer poses, and experimentation. A materials list will be supplied upon registration. Beginners welcome.

Fall class starts TUESDAY, Sept. 13, 4:15 - 6:45 PM, $250, 15 weeks.

(Gesture will be offered in the Fall and Summer. It will not be offered in the Winter session. Instead look for Costumed Figure Drawing and Painting in the Tuesday afternoon class spot in the Winter-Spring class brochure).


digital painting of earth elemental man with antlers surrounded by green flame playing the drum by christine mitzuk
Earth Elemental

Stretch your imagination! During this class, students will develop imaginative pieces based upon a story or individual ideas. We will move from idea generation to preparatory work and on to final art. Emphasis will be placed on composition, and storytelling. Students may choose to work in the medium with which they are comfortable. Christine has experience to support watercolor, colored pencil, pen and ink, or oil paint.


Fall class Starts THURSDAY, Sept. 17, 7:00 - 9:30 PM, $230, 15 weeks.
Winter class starts THURSDAY, Jan. 28, 7:00 - 9:30 PM, $230, 15 weeks.

Portrait and Interior

portrait class at the atelier in minnesotaStudents draw in charcoal and may progress to oil or pastels. The portrait model will be set within an interior. Advanced students can take advantage of the entire composition. Capturing the likeness is emphasized. Color and techniques in oil and pastel are covered. Instructors: Christine Mitzuk (Tuesdays) & Laura Tundel (Thursdays).

Fall classes starts TUESDAY, Sept. 13, 7:00 - 9:30 PM
or THURSDAY, Sept. 15, 7:00 - 9:30 PM, $250, 15 weeks.

Winter classes starts TUESDAY, Jan. 24, 7:00 - 9:30 PM
or THURSDAY, Jan. 26, 7:00 - 9:30 PM, $250, 15 weeks.

Exploring Color: Color Theory and Color Mixing

Color Mixing Class - Paxton Palette ValuesExperience color hands-on through creating color boards, wheels, and value scales. Using the colors of The Atelier’s Paxton Palette, we will explore the attributes of color: hue, value, and chroma. Projects will be paced by order of completion and students will work at their own pace. We’ll discuss the color wheel as it relates to painting with the Paxton Palette. Topics will also include mixing “mud”, Munsell and Gamblin color space, direct vs. indirect painting, color temperature, color harmony, color psychology, and a bit of color history. Plus we’ll demystify the information on paint labels. Please contact Christine ( for what to bring to the first class.
Starting THURSDAY, Jan. 28, 4:15 - 6:45 PM, $230, 15 weeks

Register for Atelier classes one of four ways:

Option 1: Call The Atelier at 612-362-8421. Main hours are 9am - 4pm Central Time or during evening classes. Please leave a message if you don't get a live person.
Option 2: Print out the registration form from the current course catalog PDF.
Option 3: Contact me and I'll help you out,

At The Art Academy, LLC.

The MorriguIllustration and Imaginative Painting

Explore your creativity by developing an imaginative picture based upon an existing story that you select, or an idea that you originate. Work at your own pace to learn the time-honored steps of the creative, visual process – from idea generation, through preparatory work, to completed project. Emphasis will be placed on storytelling through composition and character development, as well as how color theory enhances visual communication. Students choose to work in the medium with which they are comfortable. Christine has experience to support watercolor, colored pencil, pen and ink, or oils.

Starts WEDNESDAY, Sept. 28, 8-9:30 PM, 8 weeks.

The Art Academy's mission is "to provide excellent traditional art education for beginning to advanced children, teens and adults." At The Art Academy emphasis is placed on practice over talent.

Learn more about The Art Academy and how to register on their website.

The Art Academy is located in St. Paul on the corner of Snelling and Scheffer Avenues.
651 Snelling Avenue South, St. Paul, MN 55116. Some off-street parking available.

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

photo of ornage and black butterfly on sidewalk by christine mitzuk
Butterfly I saw on somewhere in Iowa our way back from Kansas City, MO.

MidAmeriCon 2 (WorldCon 2016) has come and gone. I had a lot of great experiences and conversations.

One such experience was a conversation I had with a wonderful jewelry artist and writer. I asked her a bit about her creative process (her piece titles are wonderfully evocative). One particular tidbit from that conversation keeps replaying in my mind, and I'm paraphrasing here, that we're reminded a lot of what we're struggling with so it's helpful to have a reminder of where we're headed, what we're striving for in our creative work. A talisman of sorts. Many writers feel inspired by a piece of hers and end up feeling propelled to create something from it. I also felt that from several of her pieces. I think this is something I'd like to explore. I'm not sure how yet and I think that's just part of the process.

Another fabulous afternoon at Paws on Grand! Thanks to Virginia at Wet Paint for inviting me to participate again. I had a lot of fun and I hope to do it again next year.

To get through the line of pets and owners we had to keep our sketch time with each sitter to 8-10 minutes max. Some dogs were okay with a stranger looking at them so I was able to sketch them from life, but many were not or were too excited/stressed or way more interested in the other dogs than in sitting still (totally understandable). For those dog sketches I used my phone's camera to capture a pose and then drew from that while checking for color and uniqueness when I could entice the actual dog to look my way. Yay for technology! I must say there were so many very well behaved pets.

Here are a few of my favorites (I used a combination of the Conté white pencil, with Derwent Drawing Pencils, and sometimes played with my Koh-I-Noor Woodless Colour Pencils). Wet Paint supplied some lovely 8"x10" sheets of Strathmore paper in various colors. With the triple dog sketch I used a little extra time and they were at the end of the day. Man I had fun!

Paws on Grand 2016

Paws on Grand 2016 Basset

I think I fell in love with the little gray Chihuahua. She had the most beautiful soft gray fur, with a little bit of rusty color in her ears and eyebrows. Her eyes were the color of a rainy spring sky.
I think I fell in love with the little gray Chihuahua. She had the most beautiful soft gray fur, with a little bit of rusty color in her ears and eyebrows. Her eyes were the color of a rainy spring sky.



Sneak Peek of Work in ProgressThe piece is almost done. It just needs that something more to finish it up but I'm losing steam. Here are a few things that have helped me reinvigorate myself to finish a project.

Try and go back mentally and emotionally to that initial seed idea, or nugget that I got excited about in the first place. This doesn't mean redraw or repaint anything. It just means I'm trying to regain that initial excitement.

Try to image myself as the character, maybe act out what they're doing or ask myself what they might be feeling.

Try to imagine and experience the scene with my senses (touch, taste or smell, sight, sound) either as the character or an onlooker

Is the environment hot, cold, temperate, wet, dry, damp, etc?
What do I feel on my skin, the hot sun, a gentle breeze, the spray from a waterfall?
Do I feel anything in my hands?

taste or smell
Is there a scent or something to taste in the environment? Is it pleasant or something else?

Is it dark, light, dusk. Can I see? What do I see?

What, if anything, can I hear? Is it loud or quiet, near or far, jarring or pleasant, or something else?