Phil Starke Studio Newsletter

May 2015  ✦

Sycamores Near Patagonia, AZ - oil - 18 x 24 - SOLD

Sycamores Near Patagonia, AZoil - 18 x 24 - SOLD


I started off the month on the road. Teaching a workshop in Kansas at the Overland Park Arboretum, teaching a plein air workshop for the Stems event which is later in the month. I then taught a studio workshop at the Wichita Center for the Arts. Thanks to everyone who attended, it was a great 2 weeks. It's always good to get back to the midwest.

For the rest of the month I'm getting ready for the Drunch at the Grapevine Gallery in Oklahoma City. The show starts on June 12 and ends on June 14. It coincides with the Prix de West at the Cowboy Hall.

I do have an online workshop through the Tucson Art Academy Online starting June 1.  It's a focused 4 week workshop on painting architecture and street scenes. Check it out at this link.

I have upcoming workshops in Sheridan, Wy, August 3-7 and New York City in September, check out my website for more details.

Phil Starke
Phil Starke Studio


When painting a street scene, or even a rural area with buildings and structures, there are elements involved that make things a little more complicated. First is linear perspective, finding the horizon line, and the vanishing points to give the buildings and roads depth. There are a lot of small simple books online that explain artistic perspective, easy to read and understand. Just a simple understanding is all you need. John Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting has a good chapter on linear perspective. But the most important part is simplifying the scene. Finding that overall shadow pattern that sets up the larger shapes and makes it easier to paint. It's easier to see the whole composition and set up the drawing with an overall shadow pattern.

Always working with large shapes first, getting the right value and color relationships, then working smaller deciding what details to use and what to leave out.

It's a good idea to do a smaller value study first, using ivory black and white or raw umber and white. This way you can concentrate on the values without thinking about color. Remember values are always more important than color. Then do a color version, using the value painting to check the values of your color.

John Joseph Enneking

John Joseph Enneking was born in 1841 in Ohio. He started painting at a young age, but was orphaned at 16 and moved to Cincinnati to live with his aunt and uncle.

Enneking served in the Union Army during the Civil War from 1861 to 1862. He was badly injured and spent a long time recovering before he set off for New York to start his art career but decided to go to Boston and study lithography and painting with Samuel Gerry

Later he went to France and studied painting Leon Bonnat. He also studied with Barbizon painters Louis Boudin and Charles Daubigny.

Enneking identified, at the time, with tonalist Millet and Corot as well as impressionists Pissaro and Monet. His style changed from a darker tonalist palette to a much brighter impressionist palette that he is known for.

Ennking returned to Boston where he settled with his falmily and had his first show in 1878. This opened up the field of illustration for him with Scribners and Harpes magazine as well as teaching and traveling. He painted and traveled through Maine and Cape Cod. John Enneking died in 1916.

Time to Register for The New York City Workshop

A Bonus has been added to this year's workshop:  A Special FREE Bonus Package Of 4 Videos Will Be Handed Out At The End Of The Workshop. Each Video Will Address Different Elements Of Landscape And Plein Air Painting To Help With Further Study Following The Workshop. This Video Package Has A Value Of $200 But Will Be FREE To Participating Students Of This Workshop.

Details are up for the 2015 New York Central Park Workshop.  The workshop has been schedule for Sept. 3, 4, 5, 6, 2015.  I've added a fourth day to the workshop with the first day being a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where we will study the plein air and studio works of John Singer Sargent, Willard Metcalf, Corot, American and French impressionists. The goal at the museum is to glean some understanding of how these painters simplified, used values and broken color. There's a lot to learn at the Met so it's a great place to start.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday we will be painting in beautiful Central Park. The subject matter is breathtaking with gardens, lakes, flowers and endless trees and figures. The quality of light is beautiful, whether it's sunny or cloudy.  All the details are on the New York Workshops here:  New York Central Park Workshop


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The Plein Air Tip Guide Package. Click here to see all the new options.

The Plein Air Tip Guide Package.
Click here to see all the new options.

Exhibitions & Gallery Shows

Grapevine Gallery Annual Drunch
June, 2015
Oklahoma City, OK

Buffalo Bill Art Show and Sale
September 21 - 28, 2015
Buffalo Bill Center of the West
Cody, WY

Traveling The West Art Show
October 22 - 24, 2015
Southwest Gallery
Dallas, TX


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