View Full Version : ArtistNetworkTV freebie

04-02-2010, 11:55 AM
If you have a credit or debit card, you can sign up for ArtistNetworkTV for a four day free trial, the $99 subscribe to everything version. I got the coupon for it in my email because I subscribed to their newsletter. So if you don't already get the newsletter, maybe you'd still get the free offer if you sign up now. I hope so, the four days are still on through this holiday weekend.

Richard McKinley's video is on it and so are lots of other good pastel ones including a couple of Colin Bradley pastel pencils ones. You have to cancel the subscription before the trial is up though, or you'll be billed for the $99 subscription. I'm considering keeping it, set aside money for it even though that would leave me seriously broke again all month.

04-03-2010, 07:31 PM
Thanks Robert for the heads up - especially the part about canceling your subscription before the trial is up! I missed that part when I first read the offer in my email!


04-05-2010, 10:17 AM
Well, last night I sweated over the decision and decided not to cancel. I had not managed to view all of the ones I wanted during those four days and had meant to subscribe sometime anyway. I kept putting it off in favor of assorted supply orders and other things.

So now I have, and may wind up losing an issue or two of my favorite magazines for it. But maybe not, at least I subscribed Pastel Journal for two years last time so that one's not coming up due.

They are still doing the offer apparently so the four days counts from when you activate it, not from the date they first sent the offer.

Deborah Secor
04-05-2010, 01:00 PM
Robert, I'd love it if you would do us a favor and give us a brief review of the pastel workshops you view. I'd like to know a little more about the content of some of them, especially what materials they use or techniques are taught--in your "spare time" of course! :wink2:


04-10-2010, 09:12 PM
Well, there's these two really good ones by Deborah Secor, who uses Wallis paper, charcoal underdrawing and assorted pastels and a honking big Colour Shaper that I'm bound to get someday... okay, that's just off the top of my head at the moment. Since you asked. Those are a couple of my favorites, the one on beginner landscapes and the one on outdoor shadows are great. I think if I'd seen these before trying any pastels or buying any products I probably would've started with better materials.

Your techniques are layered and cover all the wonderful possibilities that a sanded paper, especially with a savage tooth like Wallis, can give. They're very painterly and you explain everything so well that if I were going into it cold I still would've got it on my first few tries.

There's also several in pastels by Margaret Evans. I have to admit that I love a British accent, she's got a lovely voice. She uses paper that either is Canson mi-Tientes or something very similar like Ingres, the cheaper tinted pastel paper and goes into the basics very well. She has a different style, very economical. Because she's not using sanded paper, her techniques are well suited to getting great effects with a minimum of reworking and layering.

I think if I were recommending one to someone who'd just gotten a student grade set and a pad of Mi-Tientes I would probably steer them to Margaret Evans's ones first, so they can get good results with the materials they have. Her pastels look like Rembrandt that's been peeled or some other round stick peeled and broken in half. But it looked like her projects would turn out well even if done with cheap student pastels on random brand of tinted paper available in their area, which is an advantage to the dabbler or the seriously broke.

She's good at a wide range of subjects from classic landscapes in exotic (to me) locations and very good at getting people and animals into a scene with very few marks. One of the great benefits of the Margaret Evans videos is to convey more with fewer strokes, it sometimes connects with my sumi-e and Asian painting experiments. Her style is very suited to being able to wander off with a pad and a small kit and sketch a place quickly, I'd watch these again before going out plein air to get preliminary studies because she'll capture everything important in a scene pretty fast.

I really wanted to go take a live workshop with her on a UK vacation after seeing these, it would just be so much fun to do those areas she works in. I suspect many UK viewers feel the same way about yours, Deborah, that the place is compelling and they'd love to see and paint it in person rather than just watch the video.

Richard McKinley's videos are good too. The one on underpainting goes into great depth on it and it was fantastic to see the variety of different types of underpainting techniques you can use and how they look when applied. I've been reading the pastel blog for years so a lot of Richard's methods were familiar to me but seeing him in action was great. He gets a little more technical at times with some of it but explains things well when he does. He went over a wide variety of surfaces and pastels in depth in the one on underpainting. So that one would be very good for a beginner who hasn't actually bought any of the stuff yet and wants to see it in action in the hands of someone who knows what to do with it first.

Three Stages to Successful Pastel Painting builds on the underpainting one and carries it through a complete painting, with more of the finishing techniques included and a lot of important ideas on how to plan and prepare for a painting. I think McKinley's videos opened my eyes to how much better a painting can become if I take it past the stage of just painting something on impulse because I liked it, and take the time to give it thorough attention and planning, critiquing everything about it right up to the end.

Sometimes I like to just sketch whatever comes to hand, but I've come to regard that as different from the slower process of working on a serious painting in more than one session. The results of that sort of organized painting are gorgeous and do go beyond what I can get in just a quick session -- but I like doing both.

I think Richard McKinley's ones are more intense in the amount of information that needs to be absorbed, depending on your experience it's probably good to watch them through several times while doing experiments and such before jumping in to do a painting. Margaret Evans's videos are well suited to the "paint along" and do your version of her work or a similar subject while it's going on.

So it depends on what you're looking for, really. I'm enjoying them all, have yet to find one that I didn't like.

There are two good ones on drawing with Trudy Friend that stirred me up to fill many more sketchbook pages than usual. Her videos are great for that draw while she's talking type of feeling, it's more fun to watch them with a pencil in hand and try everything either copying her drawing or just picking up some similar subject in sight and drawing that while glancing back at how she's doing it. Those were fantastic. I may be putting them on fairly often in background just to keep up that sketchbook habit.

I had a lot of trouble getting to watch Pen and Wash with Wendy Jelbert. My access isn't that great and for some nasty coincidence, every time I tried to start that video it would cut out in the first two minutes. I got very familiar with the start of the video before I finally got to watch it through and really enjoyed it. I came away with new techniques for pen and wash, finally saw someone using a dip pen in ways that I hadn't really tried back when I used to use one, and came to see the possibilities of washing over pen sketches done with washable ink. I usually stick to waterproof pens for pen and wash sketches so they don't blur, but what I got from that was how to use the blurs and runs on purpose for cool effects. And that it really helps to do that sort of thing on watercolor paper instead of a regular sketchbook.

She did a good one on watercolor pencils too that also inspired me to fool around with them in new ways.

So with the full subscription going I've been wandering through a lot of mediums. I haven't watched any of the oils or acrylics ones yet, partly because I haven't felt up to digging out my oil painting stuff to try it. There are so many to choose from and I'm still mostly going through the ones for the mediums I have available on my table. I'll get into them eventually though, just need to get out the stuff to use with those.

I'm sure some of the oils and acrylics ones will give me ideas that I can use in pastels too. A lot of the good watercolor ones give me ideas on color and mixing that apply just as well to pastels or colored pencils.

Oh, colored pencils. I finally indulged and enjoyed Gary Greene's colored pencils one. I've read eight or nine of his books so most of the techniques weren't new to me but it was fun seeing them in person -- and a lot of the things like how he uses thinners became easier to understand seeing him do it.

The advantage of videos is the stuff you see the artist doing that they didn't mention. Watercolor video artists often do mention exactly how much water to use in a given technique, but it's rarer for that to come up when it's washing a dry medium. But you can see it in what they actually do, like blot the brush fast on a cloth before applying it to the pencil stuff.

I've made this a horribly long post! Maybe from now on I'll stick to one video or series per post, but I don't feel like deleting all these observations so I'll let this one fly. Thanks for asking, Deborah! Opened up the floodgates! lol

04-11-2010, 05:22 PM
McKinley's are great! Two, the first focuses on underpaintings. He takes good time getting the underpainting up, talking the whole time, a flood of great advice. Totally packed with great stuff. Likewise in the second video, where he gets to pastels. Definitely something for the more advanced pastellist too. There are short parts of repetition of the first video (the one focused on underpainting), but the bulk of it is new. Highly recommended, the kind of video you can watch again and discover the things you missed the first five times of you viewed it.

Katherine Hurley's (one pastel) is amazing, she paints in a poetical way, rather delictately, but with her strong value contrasts, they get dramatic and poetic. Well worth it to see how she feels her way through a landscape. A revelation for heavyhanded me (as was McKinley). More meditative in character.

Margaret Evans, three, is a pleasure to watch. Her demo of how to get a portrait from an egg-shape is wonderful, definitely worth it. It is amazing how a few "dots and squiggles" create the impression of a busy café in Tuscany. I learned quite a bit from her. There are many demos, and most are not brought to full finish, but are great loose paintings. How to catch the essence of moving chickens with a few strokes.

Jackie Simmonds, two, goes through the basics, in a fun and relaxed way. Wish I had seen this when i started, I would have learned much more about strokes, and it was great to see it now. Will look more, as I didn't watch to the finish, got interrupted. Definitely gives a solid base to build on.

Deborah Secor, two of them. She's a great talker too ;-), and is overflowing with good teaching. A quicker and rather vigorous style of painting teaching a lot about light and shadow, and how to layer colour. You'll learn shapes from her, and how to build towards details. Excellent teacher.

Could say much more.

I intended to take advantage of the weekend of free viewing, but ended up getting the whole package for 6 months, it was so good!


Both these ladies are perfect for the beginner, and self-taught people will learn good stuff. Both show that the painting isn't so precious, you can make mistakes and change things. Both are excellent teachers.

04-11-2010, 05:52 PM
I only did the free weekend, so I only saw a few videos - and in some cases only parts of some. The McKinley videos are full of information - quite possibly a bit too much for one viewing - but it''s all good information! Personally, I would have liked to see more actual painting (rather than just talking), but that's just me. If you like his blog for the Pastel Journal then you'll like these videos, too. He has an engaging personality and his enthusiasm for pastels comes through loud and clear. In many ways, those are the most important factors of a good video, in my opinion.

I. too, really like the Margaret Evans videos, even though I only saw pieces of them. A simple, direct approach. I think it would make good viewing for those who tend to fuss, as you can see how a loose approach can still capture the essence of the subject.

I checked out a couple oil videos, too, but that's all I the pastel videos I had time for. If you have the time and money, the videos on the site are well done and fairly lengthy. I would recommend looking into getting a subscription.


04-11-2010, 07:21 PM
Yep. Don, I have to agree with you. I'd been sampling little preview videos for over a year intending to subscribe sometime and this offer was just the thing to kick start me into doing it. There are too many good ones I want and they have a new one every week. The subscription to all of them really is the most cost effective if you have the money... but in terms of time it could be worthwhile just to pick one really good one like the McKinley and watch it enough times to really soak everything in it.

Charlie, you too! That rocks. I love your description of Margaret Evans's video -- forgot to mention the high-speed accurate chickens! One of the chickens was in the preview that I watched a few times idly over the year and I think it seriously helped me with my cat gestures. It gave me that approach of looking for the basic shape and getting it down quick before the critter moves.

I've started looking at the birds and squirrels outside my window the same way and may try for them sometime, just watching them in whatever pose they're in at the moment and get down the basic shape fast.

04-13-2010, 07:19 PM

I have a subcription to the "everything" version and first subscribed when it was quite new. My intension was to drop the subscription at the end of the first year. But, they keep adding fantasic workshops. I'm hooked! When I figure what I would pay to own all the DVD's, it is a no-brainer!
I get behind is viewing the new ones, but keep spending time there regularly!
I can watch the onces I'm most interested in over and over.
I did actually buy copies of that Deborah Secor gal's workshops! :p
I guess it is just the "fan club" aspect! :heart: :cat:

I find that watching the oil and acrylics workshops once actually teach me things that I can use in pastels. :)
I'll get Robert, our "review" king, do the better job of reviewing! Also, thanks, Charlie for your added reviews! :)

04-13-2010, 07:30 PM
Aww Elsie, thanks!

Right now I'm watching another watercolor one, Painting Outside the Lines with Linda Kemp. It's fun ... it's fun enough that I found myself doing one of the exercises while I was watching. I think that's one of my review points. If I actually get out the stuff and do the paint-along, then it's got that infectious quality. Deborah will remember some poofy clouds I did in Pans on Wallis shortly after I bought her beginner landscapes one... best looking clouds I'd done to date, no longer cotton balls glued to the page!

The ideas do translate well across mediums. Every one of them has something to say about design and composition in completely different ways, or color, or mixing, or how to draw in general. At the same time, ideas from Charlie's class come into how I handle watercolor too.

Kemp's workshop combines wet in wet techniques and hard-edged glazing wet on dry in ways that I wish I'd known years before. Watercolor is crazy and hard to control, but this one's helping me understand how to get the effects I want even if what I want to paint isn't quite as loose as what she's doing. The idea of drawing or painting from negative space has a ton of possibilities.

She explained the basic idea in just the first minute of the workshop, but what she's doing now is expanding on that into very cool things you can do with it. Very easy to see how this could be done in pastels too, especially on sanded paper where you can add layer after layer. It's a good one, even if you're strictly a pastelist.

04-24-2010, 12:59 PM
I just found your link for the free weekend...just finished my first 6 month subscription and LOVED having it. As money was tight when the renewal came I had to postpone it but plan to sign back up ASAP as I felt like it was well worth the money. Although my primary interest is WC with the subscription I found myself branching out and watching the videos for the other mediums, if I had to pay for each of those I simply wouldn't have had the money.