Art Place

Art Classes, Tutorials & Blog by Gisèle Grenier

Paint a Horse Portrait in Acrylics – Avalanche

paint a horse portrait in acrylicsPaint a Horse Portrait in Acrylics

When designing this “learn how to paint a horse portrait” workshop, I was listening to Mia’s calming music and figured that my strokes would be soothing, smooth and muted in intensity.  Boy am I glad that wasn’t the case.  Using bold strokes and high contrasting colours really gave this painting the edge that I was looking for.

One of the challenges that I’m going through is due to the fact that my graphite pet portrait classes and commissions are more on the realistic side and when I paint, I love to be more expressive and my left brain (logic) tends to try and fight the right brain (creative).  So in this “paint a horse” workshop, I give many tips and techniques that have helped me tremendously with being more expressive when painting…and for those of you that follow me/are my students… yes, I used Pthalo Blue for the background!  it’s awesome isn’t it :)

If you would like more information about this Paint a Horse Portrait in Acrylics workshop, please click here.

How to Paint an Emotion

despareI finished a design where I assigned myself two challenges… paint in a style to convey emotion and to freestyle the painting.  I enjoyed the process so much and the end result of the painting felt so right that I’m going to create a large format painting using “Despare” as the reference piece.

The one thing that I think I would change is a personal preference. I prefer matte finishes on artwork and the Multi-Surface Satin acrylics I used have a slight glossy finish.  After the piece has cured for 7 days, I’ll varnish it with DuraClear varnish – matte finish.  The full size painting I’ll be creating will be done with Traditions acrylics.

New Design – Vino

VinoI had a blast designing this workshop. Based on a background done in the Book of Background series, I go in explicit detail on how to paint something transparent,  making areas dark with transparent colours and using opaque lights to give the glass a pop of accent.  Also covered is using a mobile device as your reference material (in case you don’t have a printer), how to transfer a drawing without graphite paper and more.   Line drawings are also provided for the left and right placement of the glass.

Click here for more details on this workshop and I hope you enjoy it!

New Workshops Coming Up

I haven’t been doing too much blogging with my current schedule of commercial portrait work and designing.  But I can give you a hint on what’s coming up in the next few months.

Painting Portait Features - glazing the portraitFirst, I have a new article being released in the April 2014 issue of Interactive Artist Magazine, part 2 of a portrait – glazing stages.  Next… a new series I’m writing for the same magazine “Painting Portrait Features” in oils and for the intermediate to advanced painter.  The style of painting will be “Alla Prima” and is going to be a ton of fun!

in addition… here are some workshops I’m working on (there are more to come)…

  • painting and drawing studies and workshops featuring
    • still life subjects
    • animals
    • people
    • landscapes
  • a study of master artist John Singer Sargent
  • more art journaling of course
  • a series of new book binding videos
  • a new Colour Theory workshop – geared to those who hate to colour mix
  • a whole new series of mixed media videos later on this year to go along with the release of DecoArts new Mixed Media program.
  • and much more…it’s just too early to list everything here

With the fun and whimsical art to the formal fine art, I’ve changed the focus of the website from “It’s All About the Art” to “Where Left and Right Brain Come to Play”!

Latest DOUG 2014 workshop shows how to upcycle a background


Using a background created from the Book of Backgrounds 2013 series, work from prompts, ideas and inspirations to create art pieces using a variety of materials.

What makes this piece special is teaching you how to recycle something you don’t like… in this case, a background page I didn’t like, and transformed it into something beautiful.

This workshop is quite detailed and we also discuss composition, colour mixing, atmospheric perspective and values.

Length of Video: 1 hour and 33 minutes

Access it by clicking here.

Current Promotions


Promotion 1:  Buy One Premium Workshop, Get One Free
Buy any premium workshop in download format and get one free.

When checking out on PayPal, you can enter your free video choice in the comments section or after your purchase is made, click the Contact Me link and let me know what your choice is.


  • Premium Videos included with this promotion can be found in the right menu.
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Promotion 2:  Book of Backgrounds
For every $50 donation you make, you’ll get to pick ANY “FOUR” DOUG 2014 videos to download – free of charge!  You can see pictures of the DOUG videos on the right menu by clicking on the links.   Once your donation is made for any Book of Background video, in the Pay Pal screen, you can indicate which videos you want or you can click the Contact Me link in the top menu and let me know.  You need to email me your choice of DOUG videos the same day you make your donation.

You can make your donation on any of the individual Book of Background pages or you can make a general donation below.


Doug 2014 Series at the Halfway Point

ColdBoy has this been a ride!!!!   I’ve just released DOUG project 17 on DVD and I’m having a blast, primarily experimenting and pushing myself out of the “traditional” comfort zone.

To really push myself, I created this art piece on a Book of Backgrounds page that was crackled heavily with DecoArt Perfect Crackle.  It looked just like ice, but the project was inspired by a walk that Joe and I took with Mia.  Armed with my walking stick (Coyote defence) we walked a very, very long trail along the Mountain and I picked up this really cool branch that had broken off during the very damaging Ice Storm a few weeks ago and with difficulty, showing it on camera (Mia is obsessed with tree branches) I created this project using the branch as inspiration for a tree and expressed  temperature on my background page.

Book of Backgrounds Session 26

Book of Backgrounds – Session 26

Supplies can be found at the end of the Video
30 Minutes

It takes a tremendous amount of time and resources for the Bob & Doug project. For a limited time, I’m asking people who like this video, feel free to “pay what you want” to show your thanks and please check out our current promotions page by clicking here and see what you could get as a thank you :)

Book of Backgrounds – Session 24 & 25 Re-do

Book of Backgrounds sessions 24 and 25 video were corrupted during the rendering process so they aren’t available.  Session 24 is a monoprinting demonstration and I have an extensive video of a class I taught a couple of years ago, I may just use that video since it’s so much better.  Session 25 was a demonstration on how I prepped  the journal covers for the start process to the DOUG series.  That I can’t re-film since the covers are already prepped, but when it comes to the end of the DOUG series when I formally decorate the covers, I’ll do a little intro before I start.

The last video is Session 26 which shows a Suminagashi Demonstration.  It’s much better when just done with thinned ink, but art is all about experimentation isn’t it :)

Painting Portrait Features

Painting Portrait FeaturesLatest article I’ve written for Interactive Artist Magazine.

This is it, time to work on a formal portrait using everything you’ve learned in our past lessons.

In part 1, you will learn how to do a portrait in a grisaille style, creating your artwork with monochromes using Traditions black, value 3, 6 & 9 greytones and white acrylic paint.  Click here and go to Written Lessons.

After April 1st, you’ll find it in the Archive section linked at the bottom of their page. Part 2 of the lesson slated for April 1st, will feature the oil glazing stage for this portrait.

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