Tag Archives: christine mitzuk

oil painting of the may queen in color sauntering down a gray drab city street by christine mitzuk
May Queen, 12"x16" oil painting

Come check out my art at the 25th Annual Women's Art Festival. ONE DAY ONLY.

I'll have originals, prints, and cards for sale. There will also be a few special holiday deals.

Over 130 Women Artists, Live Music, Food & Drink, Lots of fun!

Saturday, December 9th, 2017
9:30am - 4:30 pm
Colin Powell Center
2924 4th Ave S, Mpls
Plenty of free parking in the Wells Fargo ramp within 1 block!
(Street parking is limited and the No Parking signs are not very visible so parking in the ramp is strongly recommended).

Free admission/$1 per person donation suggested to musician's tip fund.
For more information: www.WomensArtFestival.com

25th Annual Women's Art Festival

Pencil Figure StudyAre your drawings lacking life? Perhaps it's a lack of gesture. Gesture is much more than just quick drawings, it is an amazing asset that helps bring life to pictures. I'll be teaching a 4-hour Figure Drawing Master Class at Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts focusing on two of my favorite gesture tools, rhythm and flow.

Figure Drawing Master Class: Rhythm and Flow.
Saturday, November 18, 10am-2pm

gesture studiesThis class is for Intermediate to Advanced students. You will need charcoal, pencils (preferably B or softer) and plenty of paper! Read the details and register for the class on the Banfill-Locke website (you can also find it through their calendar page).

Feel free to contact me with any questions regarding the workshop.


Drawing with Gesture

I'm excited to show you The May Queen (this is the piece I posted about last week). She is a companion piece to Jack in the Green and prints of both are available through my online store. Both original paintings will be at my IlluXCon Showcase table this coming Friday, October 20th (8 p.m. to MIDNIGHT) and Saturday, October 21st (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.). IlluXCon is being held in Reading, PA. Learn more on their site.

oil painting of the may queen in color sauntering down a gray drab city street by christine mitzuk
May Queen, 12"x16" oil painting. Click JPEG to view larger.
pencil drawing on duralar of may queen walking down drab city street
May Queen, approximately 9"x12". preparatory drawing. Click JPEG to view larger.


Classes at The Atelier start up in about two weeks! There's still time to register for a class.

I have some exciting news! This year I will be an instructor in the Full-Time Day Program, as well as teaching my usual afternoon/evening classes. I went through The Atelier's four-year full-time program with a fifth year to focus on imaginative art so I'm looking forward to helping out and sharing art knowledge with the students. My Tuesdays will be a full and wonderful immersion in our Atelier community.

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 building (The Fisk) 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.

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. 12, 4:15 - 6:45 PM, $250, 15 weeks.

(Gesture will only be offered in the Fall and Summer, not 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. 14, 7:00 - 9:30 PM, $230, 15 weeks.
Winter class starts THURSDAY, Jan. 25, 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. 12, 7:00 - 9:30 PM
or THURSDAY, Sept. 14, 7:00 - 9:30 PM, $250, 15 weeks.

Winter classes starts TUESDAY, Jan. 23, 7:00 - 9:30 PM
or THURSDAY, Jan. 25, 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 (cmitzuk@gmail.com) for what to bring to the first class.
Starting THURSDAY, Sept. 14, 4:15 - 6:45 PM, $230, 15 weeks

Color 2 will start THURSDAY, Jan. 25, 4:15 - 6:45 PM. A class description will be in the Jan. - May brochure. Color 1 is strongly recommended in preparation for Color 2, or contact me if you have previous color theory and painting experience, are familiar with color attributes and wish to take Color 2.

A few options for registration

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. Visit http://theatelier.org/index.html for more information about The Atelier.
Option 2: Print out the registration form from the current course catalog PDF.

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

My interpretation of the May Queen is a companion piece to Jack in the Green. Their world is bleeding through to our own.

I'll show more of the process some time after I finish the painting. For now, here's a shot of the drawing. I hope you enjoy it.

drawing of woman as the May Queen  wearing flowing gown turning into flowers, and a butterfly wing corset walking down a gray city street
May Queen, 9"x12" drawing on Dura-Lar

oil painting of red yellow orange wyvern hunting a caterpillar among branches
Wyvern Hunting, 11"x14" oil painting

Lunch or dinner?

I finished this piece back in May. Wyvern Hunting is now varnished, framed, and ready for display at Gen Con. Loose prints area available through my online store, and I will have both loose and matted prints with me for sale at Gen Con.

Read on for a peek at some of the process.


This piece was initially inspired by a photo I took YEARS ago on a trip in Arizona.

photo of bird in a bush by christine mitzuk
This photo I took while on a trip in Arizona inspired my Wyvern Hunting painting







pencil on vellum drawing of a wyvern type dragon sitting on a branch staring at a caterpillar by christine mitzuk
An initial idea for Wyvern Hunting. Pencil on Vellum.

Here's a VERY early version. At this point I decided the gesture and design of the creature needed something more. I decided the "lying in wait" pose wasn't interesting enough, it needed to be more dynamic so I thought about how some birds sort of waddle down a branch and how their heads and necks move in relation to their bodies.

As part of the process for this piece I went on a "field trip" to a local reptile shop. They kindly gave me permission to take photos, without flash, of their critters. I found this extremely helpful because I could then study a variety of reptiles from different angles.

pencil drawing on vellum of wyvern type dragon hunting a caterpillar by christine mitzuk
Pencil drawing on vellum

I did studies of skulls, scales, and various animal skeletons in an effort to better understand what might be going on with my Wyvern. Then I came up with this version.

Something wasn't quite working. I'm thankful for the input I received at IlluXCon from an artist who specializes in creatures. He suggested a few body mechanic changes and suggested I create a maquette. (A while back I posted about the maquette I created for this project).

pencil drawing on vellum of wyvern type dragon hunting a caterpillar by christine mitzuk
Pencil on vellum.

Here's the final drawing. I created a line drawing on Canson Vidalon Vellum, scanned it in for later use, then completed the drawing with values on the other side of the vellum.

(The drawing is currently available for purchase. Contact me with inquiries).




drawing of wyvern type dragon hunting a caterpillar among branches by christine mitzuk
Wyvern Hunting drawing on vellum (various pencils used: graphite, white Conté, and Creatacolor Nero).








Digital color added to scanned pencil drawing of a wyvern hunting a caterpilar
Digital color added to scanned pencil drawing

This time around, I made a few digital color studies. They helped me get the color idea in the ballpark and then I just decided to dive in and paint.


Nature is one of the best places from which to gather reference. I've been working on a piece that is set during twilight. Using my memory, I made several attempts at a twilight color and value scheme in color studies but the look and feel just wasn't coming across. I was trying to get that feeling of the gauzy, dusty, purplish-blue light that seems to cover everything in certain twilight situations I've seen here in Minnesota.

I needed more information. I needed to do some studies from life.

oil paint studies of a creature in twilightA toy dinosaur of similar color to the creature in my painting made a great stand-in set up outside at twilight. The three attempts all happened on different nights with relatively clear sky because there's only about 30-45 minutes to study the general twilight lighting I wanted.
First attempt: Painted all in natural light outside. Toy, canvas, and paint all under the same natural light. When I brought everything inside, the painted study looked like the toy in regular light.
Second attempt: Painted from memory, and using the first study as a guide for shapes. I thought dusty purple was the way to go for the light parts but it still didn't look right.
Third attempt: I set up outside again. The toy was in natural light. I purchased a two-headed LED music stand clip-on light to shine on my canvas and palette. The packaging doesn't list the Kelvin temperature of the light. To me it seems to be a fairly neutral "white light" if not maybe shifted a little cool. Either way, this made a huge difference for my twilight study. I was able to separate what I was seeing on the toy from what I was painting. I like this third attempt the best and will be using the information I gathered about values and colors in my imaginative piece.

Colors used: Permalba White, Winsor Yellow (PY4), Gamblin Quinacridone Magenta (PR122), Gamblin Manganese Blue Hue (PB 15:4), Gamblin Napthol Scarlet (PR 188), Winsor & Newton Permanent Green (PY 138, PG7, PW6), Utrecht Ultramarine Blue (PB29). The first two studies I used pretty much all these colors. The third attempt I used primarily the white, yellow, magenta, and manganese blue hue.

While searching the internet for tips on plein air painting at night, or nocturnes, or plein air at twilight, I found James Gurney's post about painting at night http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/2014/09/night-sketching-in-alleys.html. Thanks Mr. Gurney! He lists several different little lights. I ended up going to my local music store and purchased a portable, battery operated, dual-head gooseneck music stand light.

oil painting plein air box with canvas on board and light shining on it
My plein air set up with the clip-on dual-head gooseneck led light

Illustration Workshop (1 week)

watercolor of hummingbirds singing in a barbershop quartet by Christine MitzukLet your imagination fly! Get a taste of illustration during this week long, half-day workshop.

We’ll work to develop a strong drawing for an imaginative piece based upon an existing story or your own idea.

Topics covered will include composition, brainstorming, thumbnails, research, sketch development, and studies for value and color. Emphasis will be placed on composition, and storytelling.

For the first class please bring a sketchbook, and your drawing tools. If you have a laptop or other device with internet access, you are welcome to bring that too for reference research. Students are welcome to work in the media they are most comfortable. If you have a specific project in mind, please contact me.

June 26 - 30, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
$200, 1 week

Recommended supplies to start:
  • Sketch or drawing book no smaller than 8"x10"
  • Graphite pencils: HB, B, 2B, 6B
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Vinyl eraser
  • Derwent Drawing Pencil (Ivory Black), or similar dark black pencil

Register for classes one of three ways:

Option 1: Call The Atelier at 612-362-8421. Please leave a message if you don't reach a live person.
Option 2: Print out the registration form from the course catalog PDF.
Option 3:  Contact me and I'll help you out,

This coming Saturday is full of art!

oil painting of balloons ribbon and cupcakeThe MN Landscape Arboretum will be hosting a show of works from The Atelier titled "Breathing Classical Life into Today’s Art: Works from the Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art in Minneapolis".
Reception: Saturday, June 3 1:00-4:00 pm
There is a fee to enter the Arboretum but once inside the event itself is free. I will be displaying several works you most likely have seen before, however there are 4 other artists participating in the show who's beautiful work you most likely have not seen.
Learn more about this event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1517928704916081/

digital painting of water elemental mermaidNatur Ball: Hidden Persona
The Second event I'm participating in is Natur Ball: Hidden Persona
Saturday, June 3 at 6:00 pm - 11:30 pm
Location: Artspace Jackson Flats
901 18 1/2 Ave NE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55418

All are welcome and admission is free! There will be a child-friendly portion of the evening and a more adult portion of the evening. Opening night is a masquerade themed ball with Aerialist, Juggling, Fire breathing, Dance, and other fantasy themed performances!
Learn more about the Natur Ball here: https://www.facebook.com/events/765789503598639

My 4 elementals printed to the larger size of 12"x16 will be on display as well as many more nature and fantasy inspired works from many different artists.

I hope to see you some time this weekend. Feel free to share this info with someone you think might enjoy either of the events.

Attend Our Atelier Instructor Art Show
and Fundraising Sale 2017

Friday, May 19, 2:00-9:00pm
Saturday, May 20, 12:00-8:00pm
Sunday, May 21, 12:00-5:00pm
(This is also the weekend of the 2017 Full Time Student Show).

Enjoy and purchase prints, drawings, watercolors, oils, and sculptures of figurative, still life, landscape, and imaginative artwork created by Artists and Instructors of The Atelier. A portion of the sales will be donated to The Atelier.

The Atelier is also having a raffle for a masterfully executed still life painting created by Dale Redpath, co-director of The Atelier. Cost of one ticket is $10, or 3 tickets for $25, and may be purchased until the time of the drawing. Find out more here http://theatelier.org/show/index.html

I plan to be there all three days and will have a lot of my imaginative art on display and for sale, both prints and originals. My metalpoint drawings on shells will be available, as well as many other works.

metalpoint drawing of a seamare unicorn on the inside of a seashell framed
Metalpoint on prepared shell, framed. Shell is approximately 1"x1", frame is 6"x6".
digital painting of blue and purple water elemental with female head and torso and fish serpent tail playing a shell lyre with orange and red flames coming out of it by christine mitzuk
Water Elemental

For more information about the show visit http://theatelier.org/show/index.html

The Atelier is located at
1681 East Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55414