Figure Painting Essentials


Karen Offutt










9 – 4:00 PM

Hull Art Academy

1404 W. Hebron Parkway #100,

Carrollton, Texas 75010

Mary Hull




September 21-23, 2018

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In our efforts to understand painting as a visual language it is important to see what we will paint as an abstract form. To eliminate our preconceived assumptions of what we see and break them down into parts. These essential elements will give us the foundation to understand what we see and allows for a more intuitive paint application.


Karen will divide up the workshop into 2 parts. First day, she will teach an alla prima portrait class focusing on the fundamentals of direct painting. The goal is to achieve a 3-dimensional likeness with a simple block-in of the larger shapes and then to build on that by carving out the smaller shapes. Along the way she will discuss, in more detail, the use of value, color and temperature as well as how to adjust edges to create a sense of atmosphere within the painting.


On the second and third day, we will work on figure painting with the same model and same pose for the 2 days. That way the students can take more time working on a more finished piece. She will start off the first half of the day doing demos and then assist students as they paint from a live model.



Karen Offutt was born and raised in Dallas, Texas by a creative family who encouraged her to explore her artistic talent from an early age. Her father was an artist and her mother is a designer and owner of a needlepoint company. Throughout her formative years, Karen excelled in art classes and participated in several art exhibits. As a young adult she sought a more serious outlet for her talent. Not finding the ultimate education for the type of realism she sought, Karen found art related jobs to keep her motivated. Learning to paint with oils was her goal and found that opportunity Austin Fine Arts Classes where she learned a more classical approach.

From there, she attended workshops from nationally renowned artists and from there began to find her own path in her creative journey.

From her studio in Austin, Karen approaches her paintings with an atmospheric sensitivity combining shape, tone line, and color. The inspiration of her preferred subject matter comes ultimately from the figure.  "I have always loved painting people whether in natural surroundings or in a more staged setting."   “As an artist, I am very aware of my environment which invites me to be a constant observer. I see potential in everything and my emotional reaction guides me to the specific inspiration. There are different aspects to my painting, for example technical skill, creative freedom and emotional truth. My goal is to create work that guides all these elements in a direction that moves me."

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These are recommended not required.


1.  3-4 canvas boards or gessoed panels approximately 11"x14" to 12"x16


2.  Viva paper towels or rags


3. Pocket mirror or the MVP - (Mirror Value Planner) by Peggi Kroll Roberts.

4. small container of linseed or poppy oil


5. steel palette knife


6. Brushes - 5 - 6 filbert brushes ranging from size 0 - 8


Oil colors - (Gamblin is an inexpensive brand with low toxic paints)


Titanium White

Cadmium Yellow

Yellow Ochre

Cadmium Red

Alizarin Crimson

Transparent Oxide Red

Cerulian Blue

Ultramarine Blue

Burnt Sienna

Burnt Umber

Ivory Black




FALL Semester II:  NOV 4 - Dec 21, 2019

Winter Semester:  Jan 6 - Feb 22, 2020

Spring I:   Feb. 24 - April 18, 2020

Spring II:   April 20 - June 6, 2020

Summer:   June 8 - Aug. 1, 2020

Fall I:    Aug. 3 - Sept. 19, 2020

Fall II:   Sept. 21 - Nov 7, 2020

Mini Winter session: Nov 9 - Dec. 19, 2020

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(after consultation)

1404 W. Hebron Parkway #100, Carrollton, Texas 75010