Taking a Painting from Beginning to End
(Even when you get stuck in the middle!)


I'm ready to improve my art!

You Will Discover

Painting “Indian Summer”

This course is a comprehensive look at process, thoughts and materials as I developed “Indian Summer”, a 12x12in acrylic/mixed media on wooden panel, from beginning to end. The mini-course includes 5 modules with approximately 5 hours of video which documents the many techniques I use in acrylic and mixed media and how my thinking and action change as I go from PLAY to EXPLORE to CLARIFY. I even discuss what it feels like when I get stuck and tuck the painting away for a “time out”, and then bring it out months later to finish it! I show my final varnish and presentation for “Indian Summer” which gives a satiny, “encaustic look” to the final work.

Techniques in ACRYLIC and Mixed Media Painting

Included in this mini-course I give detailed information of the many techniques I use while painting “Indian Summer”, including additive (markmaking, monoprint, applying thick, smooth paint, collage, stencils, glazing, etc), subtractive (sanding, gouging, wiping back) as well as many additional techniques in the bonus section (stencil transfer, paint transfers, image transfers, etc!). The videos are shown predominantly in real time as you look over my shoulder so you can get a better feel for time spent in various techniques and the overall painting process. You will learn a great deal as I discuss what I’m doing and what I’m thinking in these comprehensive videos.

Why I don’t rush PLAY

I show you all the acrylic and mixed media techniques I typically use every time I paint using the acrylic medium, and share the “prompts” that allow me to really have fun and push boundaries – while maintaining a childlike attitude with no judgment, self-criticism or expectations. You will see that I spend quite a bit of time working hard to “be my inner child” while beginning this painting. This leads to a very “UGLY” painting. Good job, Pam!

I EXPLORE how to DIG myself out of the Trench

In my EXPLORE stage, I face my UGLY painting and keep pushing forward – but I also encounter that “Oh No! I’m Stuck” feeling that many artists have midway through a painting! I’ll explain what I did when this happened, and how I was able to overcome this and finish the painting. Rather than quit when things are “ugly”, I explain why there is no reason to get discouraged, even when things look bleak and hopeless – the key is to just keep moving your painting forward and be an “observer” of “change”- good or bad! You CAN get past the ugly stage as long as you don’t quit! Knowing a wide array of techniques will keep things fresh and interesting!

When is it time to CLARIFY?

After many, many, many layers of experimentation, I finally discover my “gems”; it isn’t always easy or fast, but if you stick with it, you WILL eventually find yours as well! When you do, it’s important to know which techniques are critical in order to clarify and edit away “noise”, harmonize your work and make sure its balanced so you can clearly see your “treasures”. I demonstrate fine tuning techniques in acrylic like glazing and how I use my “camouflage test” – especially in the final stages.

Lots of Bonus Material

Tip for working with gold leaf
How to do the “camouflage” test to determine the value of your color
How to use a gelli plate and make your own collage material
Comparison test using Golden “OPEN” acrylic medium with three different types of acrylic paint.
Comparison of Acrylic vs CWM/Oils
How to do a pH test for found collage papers to see if they are acid free.
Comparison test of glazes showing relationship between warm and cool colors
Videos on image transfer, spraypaint/stencil transfer and paint transfers!

Frequently Asked Questions

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I'm ready to improve my art!

Your Instructor

Pamela Caughey grew up in Wisconsin, where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from UW-Madison in 1983. After moving with her family to Hamilton, MT in 1986, she began her serious study of art, and in 2010 received her MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Montana School of Art. She works in many media, with special interest in cold wax/oil, encaustic, mixed media and acrylic. Her work is in the permanent collection of several museums and public buildings nationally and internationally and her work appears in the newly published book by Rebecca Crowell and Jerry McLaughlin, “Cold Wax Medium: Techniques, Concepts, Conversations”. After teaching foundations courses at the University of Montana, Bitterroot College, Montana, she is now a full time studio artist and teaches workshops from her Hamilton, Montana studio, within the US and abroad.

Pamela Caughey