Leroy Forney

Artist, Oil Painter

Rose Frantzen Workshop


Earlier this month (since we still do have two days left in February) I attended a fabulous workshop by Rose Frantzen, at the Scottsdale Artist’s School in Arizona.  Rose is outrageous, funny, and a great storyteller with superb skills as an artist and as an instructor.  Her workshops always fill up as soon as they are announced, so I was fortunate to study with her.

The paintings behind Rose are from the group

“Start with a clean pallet, and mix your three basic colors to the same value before you start painting.”

A word about this post, before we continue:  It has been about a year since my last post – until my  Sarah Komba post, yesterday.  So: I am resolved to regenerate this blog, and to use it not only as my personal diary but as a marketing tool, along with my website (that I have also allowed to fall into disrepair).  So KEEP TUNED, and CHECK BACK OFTEN to see what is happening here.  Clicking on the RSS icon on the top right of this page would inform you of new postings!

Back to Rose.  Recognized both for her landscapes and portraits, her series of 180 portraits of people from her hometown of Maquoketa Iowa has been exhibited in many museums, including the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.  In fact, she gave a delightful talk at the Smithsonian that is on-line and that you really MUST look at.

In the workshop we painted portraits of two professional models under Rose’s guidance, and benefitted from her demonstrations and discussion of pallet technique.  Her pristine pallet, colors and technique were antithetical to my deliberately muddy approach, but it produces amazing results.  She stresses pre-bringing a red, blue and yellow to equal values on the pallet, so they can be mixed as needed without trying to modulate value.  She stresses the use of color to “turn a surface”  in flat lighting, rather than relying on value change.

I am enjoying using what I learned from Rose.  Took lots of notes on techniques and tips.  So, what was actually produced at the workshop?  Well, here are my portraits of our two very different models.

Brittany was very fair

And Robert provided quite a contrast

Here’s a lineup of my group’s Brittany portraits after two days with her:


I did stay on a few days longer in Scottsdale to paint at the School, and also to paint a real Arizona landscape, from Camelback Mountain.  I was struck by how sharply the distant mountains are defined – there is none of the softness with distance that characterizes eastern vistas.

 Mountain range, viewed across Phoenix from Camelback

Quite a trip!


Author: Leroy

A scientist by training, I retired to travel, then landed in Philadelphia to paint - and recently, to explore alternative materials for art. Currently I create Bas-relief Cardboards as my unique environmental medium.

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