Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

You can send an email to [email protected] if you have questions about how to use this forum.

Private lesson

has anyone attended marks private lesson he offers on the site? I’m interested.


  • Have not been there myself but many former forum followers have and all had very complimentary things to say. I Wish I could go. 
  • Hi go read the @PaulB thread, it’s tells all you need to know about marks class 
  • Hi,
    where is the thread please ? I can’t find it. 
  • Thanks PaulB that’s just what I wanted 
  • I took Mark's portrait class several years ago when he had 10 people in the class.  It forever changed my painting.  If you can go to one you really should.  It is expensive I know, but still worth it and the associated cost of staying in downtown Austin.
  • Hi oilpainter1950,
    thanks for your reply. I’d love to go to Mark’s class but it’s not likely as I am in the UK and barring a lottery win and several lucky breaks I can’t see it happening. In the meantime i am grateful for any pearls of wisdom that students who have taken a class with him are kind enough to share - I’m sure that’s true for most people in this forum. 
  • PaulB  -  thanks so much for sharing your experiences of Mark’s class -  I’ve only just seen it for the first time. And your finished painting really is fabulous!!!
     I wanted to ask you a couple of questions if I may. 
    Was the lighting in Mark’s studio much brighter than you expected. I get the feeling from looking at videos and listening to what Mark says that most student’s lighting setup is not bright enough. 
    Also, was the lighting in the shadow box brighter than you would have expected?  My understanding from everything I have read is that the shadow box light needs to be a brighter than you expect but you have to keep the studio light out of the shadow box so you don’t ‘contaminate’ the SB light and shadow. 
    I would appreciate your thoughts on this when you get a moment. 
    Thanks so much for your insights so far. Insights from people who have taken Mark’s classes are invaluable. 

  • Thanks @pitbull.

    Yes, the light in the studio was brighter than I expected, or wanted.  I think the black ceiling, walls and carpet contributed to the effect of being in a spotlight. It was so bright I could clearly see myself reflected in the wet paint, and I think that's why Mark recommends wearing dark clothing and a hat. The hat was essential. I believe the bright, daylight lighting contributed to my success at color matching.

    Here's the setup:

    The shadowbox is covered in drapes to keep the studio light out. As you can see, there is only a very small opening for that reason. I think it's much darker than the studio, but that's the point, you're trying to achieve a pleasing effect inside the shadow box, so it doesn't matter how bright or white it is in there. The studio has to be bright and white enough to color match, but the shadow box is a separate world.

    Lighting is one of those perpetual questions around here. I firmly believe it is better to paint than to fret over lighting and not paint. I think there is value in using inadequate lighting and quickly coming to the realization that high CRI white light is important by yourself. I painted grey leaves under a yellow lamp, and they looked purple in the daylight. It was a great way to illustrate to me that lighting is important. If not for that, I might have got all the right lighting skeptically and never fully realized why.
  • Thanks so much for that PaulB. Very wise words. You are of course correct that too much emphasis is placed on lighting to the point where you become so paranoid about it that you never get round to starting. Better to start painting and it soon becomes apparent whether your setup is working for you or not. That way you learn what works so nothing is wasted when you learn lessons. 
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog and appreciate so much all your advice. 
    Now I have no excuse but to start on my journey 🤗

Sign In or Register to comment.