Saturday, July 25, 2009

Karen O'Brien's Collage Character Class

Diane's two canvases

The two canvases above are not mine. They are Diane's. I put them first because I think they are a" show stopper," and will entice you to read on to see what we were doing in Karen O'brien's class last Friday.

My Mr. Grimm's unfinished

Friday at Stamping Details in Poway a bunch of my friends (4) took Karen O’Brien’s Collage Character’s class.

Karen is such a great teacher who used to live in San Diego and now lives in Oregon. Her daughter still lives here so she and husband come down a couple of times a year, usually during Comic Con and the Art Walk in Little Italy.

In the classes I have taken from Karen so far, we always make backgrounds first with inexpensive paints and with black and white collage items.There are several layers to this process. After that was completed we then got to work with the sheet of b/w vintage people and then some b/w sheets with animals, flowers or birds to play with as our focal point. We cut them up and then put them back together to create a mythical character. It was a perfect project for a weekend when Comic Con was here all weekend also where the curious abound.

One of the best things about Karen is that she comes around the table where we are working the entire time to help you with your focus piece and with colors or anything you might be struggling to complete. (Trust me, not all teachers do that. . .). There are always hand outs and she always does a demo to demonstrate the technique the we are going to be doing in this class. Plus, she always has samples of her work available for you to see close up and personal.

Background before collage and more color

My other two canvases looked exactly like this canvas above before adding the collage items and more color. This is your basic background for some of Karen's techniques.

I have not finished either of my canvases and did struggle with colors. But, I wanted to share the concept which is so much fun.

My Miss Frogy Girl unfinished

Both Miss Forgy Girl and Mr. Girmm's are not finished. Both need more care and attention with color and pen detail work. Almost all my friend's completed at least two canvases and we all finished backgrounds on 4 canvases. I'm just a little slower and more unsure of myself. But, LOVED the technique and class.

Delicate Flower Girl by Nina

Here is my friend Nina's completed canvases. She even has them matted already. The little girl is my favorite. She just put the focal point together so quickly. I think she did an incredible job. And then, there's her crazy crock. Nina and I met in Karen's previous class where we sat next to each other. Consider visiting Nina's new blog called Voices in my Big Head and leaving your comments.

Baby Blue Croco by Nina

In the canvas below, you can see there is quite a lot of detail in Deborah's Flower Girl hat. She did a lot of work with her white pen . We also used either a stabilo pencil to define our characters or Golden's Payne's Gray to outline with a very thin brush.

Deborah is also taking K.C. Willis' online Collage Camp class. Deborah has one of her finished projects from that class on her blog., the Art Room in the Back.

Deborah's finished canvas

I met Angela in a Chris Cozen's class. She lives in Tijuana and comes up and plays at my house with other artists. She is a trained in the classics and has worked almost exclusively with oils and sketching. She has just started to work with acrylics. I have learned a lot from Angela.

Angela's Canvas

I spent all morning putting together some family vintage photos to share with my friends and take down to Kinko's to be copied so that I can continue to play with all that I learned yesterday in class.

Be sure to look for her classes in the future. Your money will be well spent on a class with Karen O’brien.


Nina and/or Ruthie said...

Hi Sally, Wonderful posting, great photo's shared, stellar class and great fun had by all at Karen's class!

Deborah Truesdell said...


Thanks for getting the word out about Karen's class. She is one of my very favorite teachers for all the reasons you listed. I was up until 1:00 a.m. working on my second piece. I love working on these silly little characters! It was a very fun time and I can't wait until we get together on Thursday to do more!

allYson said...

I love ypour Mr. Grimm! Yellow, agian maybe your new color...I like :)