Sunday May 1 10AM-1PM

Would you:

  • get in your car for a long road trip without a map or GPS?
  • start building a house without structural plans?
  • begin a painting without a sketch or design?

If you’re like me, you probably answered yes to the last question because you

are impatient to get to the fun part- the painting! BUT, I’ve learned the hard way,

(witness my cabinet full of ‘reject’ paintings), that to increase my success rate I

had to put on the brakes and spend a few minutes to plot my course, i.e., set up

a strong composition. Believe me, it’s worth the effort!


In this workshop we’ll discuss the elements of strong composition and design.

We will learn to ask ourselves the important questions at the early, sketching

stage when it’s easy to make changes and not yet committed to a large canvas.


Through demonstration and reference to other artists’ work, we’ll talk about:

  • format
  • size
  • the rule of thirds- or where to put your main subject?
  • symmetry-friend or foe?
  • simplifying
  • shapes
  • notan ( the balance of light and dark)
  • using values to create a sense of depth and space
  • emotional and perceptual elements
  • leading and holding the viewer’s eye
  • conveying the excitement of your subject

Then we will practice what we’ve learned so bring:

  • a few of your favorite photos,(you know the ones that make your heart skip a beat?), and
  • a 5X7 or 8X10 sketchbook for notes
  • and of course an interest in learning from each other!

I’ll provide

  • charcoal, erasers and newsprint for sketching.

pre registration required $60

$60 (includes materials fee)


June Shatken is an artist who recently moved full time to Shelter Island. From 2005-2015 she owned The Brookside Art Studio, where she taught classes in many different media.  She enjoys guiding and inspiring others in their creative endeavors.