-- Cindy Salaski, Co-founder and CEO of ArtMatch4U.com, and author of
"Oil Painting with the Masters: Essential Techniques from Today's Top Artists"
When I began to work with Phil from his DVDs, I was hoping to get help with painting trees. The video lessons did an outstanding job of making things clear to me. I benefitted most from watching how Phil laid in the background first. All of the online courses I took with him were the very best art instruction I've ever had. His video lessons and critiques are wonderful - second to none. And I'm so glad I was able to keep the lessons and critiques for future reference and study. I have made progress with my painting, thanks to Phil.
Phil makes each lesson so interesting that I want to keep learning from him. His video lessons are exceptional because he goes into great depth to explain what will make the painting better. Another instructor I had made only brief comments about my paintings that were not helpful at all, and another one gave good critiques that helped me but they were not nearly as good Phil's - especially since you paint over students' paintings to show how to improve their paintings. Phil is unique because I believe he really cares about his students. He puts so much time, energy, and effort into his teaching methods that, in my opinion, he leaves all the other instructors in the dust.
I would say, "Phil Starke is the best art instructor I've ever encountered. I highly recommend that you try his online lessons and instructional videos. His video lessons and critiques are outstanding, and offer a tremendous amount of help for the money. I also recommend his 5-Day Studio Workshop - I expected a lot from it and Phil delivered in spades. These videos were even better than I anticipated."
-- Brad Pearson, Arizona
Phil Starke's lessons have been the most useful to me that I have found. After years of art school and books getting me nowhere, a few truly useful tips from his videos have helped my paintings improve dramatically. Do yourself a favor and get these. If you like them like I do, let others know here and elsewhere. Phil's videos and lessons are full of extremely useful information. The demos utilizing Carlson's 4 Planes have done more to improve my paintings than any other course I have taken or seen. The video, “How to Create Distance with Color Temperature”, is extremely useful. It shows not only color temperature but how to best interpret photographs and contour brushstrokes to create a successful painting. Having the right tools and information has helped me make progress. I highly recommend any Phil Starke classes or DVDs to anyone serious about learning to paint.
Phil is a terrific artist with the rare gift of being a fine teacher. He is a true blessing. Thank you.
-- Sandy Smith, Arizona
I'm currently a student in your Online Mentoring Program. The things most beneficial to me about your videos are:
1. There is always an introduction section to the lesson outlining what the objective is for that particular lesson, you are also given references which are helpful.
2. I can replay my reference lessons at any time to reinforce something or to re-learn lessons I forgot, and use them in the current lesson you are teaching. When I get stuck on something in a lesson, or forget how to do something, my solution is to pull up previous videos viewed as long as 4 years ago. (I really appreciate this aspect of being able to access these previous videos to review and apply to the current lesson.)
3. The consistent emphasis you provide during the videos telling us not to skip the foundational aspects of the painting: to make several thumbnail values sketches; to try different orientations of the proposed landscape i.e. you tell us to make it more rectangular, more, square, more sky, less sky, gives the student a quick idea of what the finished product might be.
4. While not a formal part of your videos, usually Phil, I would see your paintings sitting behind your easel or hanging on your wall drying. As a student, I would pause the video religiously and study these paintings intently. While I could not always see them clearly, there were various aspects of these paintings I learned from. I just wished I had a close-up of them occasionally. When you showed us your paintings and shared with us the problems you felt you had with them, and then offered solutions about how you were going to correct them, this really helped me. It also demonstrated no one is perfect. We are always striving for perfection, and you “could” do things to correct/improve your paintings.
You have achievable objectives for the student in each video lesson, while consistently reviewing and relaying relevant lessons stated in past videos to the current painting. If a student wants consistent foundational instruction with access to a relevant critiques, and suggestions regarding how to improve his work, I would highly recommend purchasing your videos.
-- Donna Yeager, Pastel Artist & Instructor
I purchased your videos to help improve my color theory, mixing colors and paint application. I also wanted to review how you paint, or how to paint a successful painting.
You're excellent about explaining the basics of shapes, values, edges, the effect of light, color theory and their relationships. Watching you paint, how you apply the paint and even how you hold the brush is very helpful. Of course, it always takes practice, but your ability to expertly and quickly pack so much information into your demonstrations is extremely helpful to me and to all the students, whether the student is a beginner or a seasoned artist. You are able to pinpoint exactly what is working or not working in a student's painting and clearly explain how to improve the work.
I've taken classes and workshops with many of the top painters and instructors in this country, and without a doubt, you, Phil Starke are the best. You always give an informative and well thought out demonstration. You clearly are comfortable explaining each step of the way and you give your knowledge freely. You seem to enjoy teaching and working with your students, which makes it easier for the student to learn. You are truly an expert painter and teacher.
If someone were to ask me about Phil's videos, I would say that it is a great investment in their painting journey. Each video has so much information that you will want to watch it over and over again and keep applying what you are learning. As Phil says, "paint a hundred paintings before you expect to have something frame-able." Every time I paint with Phil, I come away a better painter. When I am stuck on a painting and can't figure out how to resolve the issue, I think "What would Phil do?" It always helps.