What you can expect to learn at the Halstead School

plasterhead-l-199x300You can expect to learn everything you can take in, at a pace and in an order that works best for you. Mr. Halstead will

  • meet you at your level of expertise and understanding,
  • listen to your goals and frustrations,
  • gauge what you need to learn next, and then
  • customize his instruction to help you accomplish that.

Consequently, in addition to eventually mastering the technical aspects of your chosen medium and learning the rudiments of drawing and painting, you will probably find that your process for creating art will evolve in ways that make creating easier. Hesitant perfectionists often become freer. Impatient painters tend to develop more deliberate, successful approaches to painting. Inexperienced artists acquire the solid base of knowledge they need to venture into new mediums and modes of expression. And well-established artists often finally grasp concepts and develop skills that had somehow eluded them or seemed to be beyond their reach.

What, specifically, will you learn about creating art? The painting program at the Halstead School is a natural extension of Mr. Halstead’s approach to drawing—a tonal interpretation of form and space. He explains basic methods of drawing and painting in a “nuts and bolts” manner to help each student tailor-make a hybrid method for him- or herself that suits his or her natural way of working. More specifically, he teaches students:

  • to use the gray scale to create the illusion of form and space
  • to create balanced, effective compositions
  • how to mix basic color combinations for flesh
  • how to manipulate warm and cool colors in relation to each other
  • how colors interact when they are mixed
  • a reliable system, based on the color wheel, for working intuitively yet effectively in color
  • anatomical construction
  • methods and techniques—from the most basic to the most advanced—for using one’s materials
  • how to ensure a work’s permanence
  • to see and appreciate the beauty of the human form
  • to interpret the subtleties of individual character
  • how to build a story or a symbolic environment around the figure