Get the most out of your paintings

Techniques class 1 Recap

By taking the time to work out your design and values before hitting the canvas can make the experience more enjoyable and result in a better painting. If you haven't decided where you are going with the painting or what are the most important elements, you can spend most of your painting time trying to work through all that and it will show.

Here is a recap of what we covered in class today. Working from a photo, create as many gesture sketches as needed until you are happy with the design. These need to be fast and are meant to help you work through your ideas about the composition. Make as many adjustments as you need. Next step, create a value painting using black, gray, and, white. By taking away the color in a study, it's much easier to see what is going on in the painting. Again, make any adjustments to make a stronger painting.

In this example, I am working from several different photos.

Below are my initial gesture sketches.  The wagon is the focal point and the house is just the back drop. But in my first sketch the wagon is a minor player. I switched to oil pastel and tried agin. It wasn't until the 4th one, I came up with something I liked. I finally made the wagon the major part of the painting. I was able to work through this in about 30 mins. That's the beauty of a rough drawing, just keep tossing them out until you get a good one.

Gesture sketches for wagon painting

Next week  - block in the painting with color. 

I often will do this step in acrylic so that I can make quick adjustments before starting with the oils. When you"re happy with the overall design and color palette,  it's time to paint!

Blocking in color for wagon painting

All of this took under and hour, and the time and struggle it will save for the rest of the painting will be well worth it. 

We will work on blocking in the color in next weeks class.

Second week making color notes.

Below you can see  the next steps. Making color and value decisions. 

Until then - have a great week!


Hope to see you out there.

Happy fall, Dawn

Art Adventures & classes

  Dawn Kinney Martin

Fall is a great time to get outdoors to paint. The cooler temps are pleasant and the fall leaves are beautiful. But we have had so much rain 

lately, it has really pushed me as an artist to try to capture all that color in low light. I love that there is always a new challenge!

I'll be headed to Coastal Carolina for a week of Plein Air the first week of November. Despite the exciting challenge of painting on gray days, I hope the rain stays away!

          Classes and Workshops                

Color Workshop 

Color Confidence 2 Day Workshop

Nov 14 - 15, Sat & Sun 10:00 - 3 

This will begin with demos and exercises followed by working on a painting. - 175.00

More Info

Weekly Classes 

Nov 11 - Dec 9, Wed 10am - 1 pm,  4 weeks 

No Class  Nov 25

 3 hour Painting Techniques class - 150.00

Dec 1 - Dec 15,  6:15 pm - 9:30pm  3 weeks 

Tues Painting Studio  -  95.00

Classes held at DawnArt Studios

180 A 11th St NE, Atlanta GA 30309

Check out all classes available online: click 

Classes and Workshops

Other News - Plein Air Awards 

I recently took 2nd place and received a Purchase Award at the September Plein Air event in Stone Mountain. A big thank you to the Art Station, who presented the event; I am honored to have my work as part of your permanent collection!

Hope to see you out there.

Happy Fall, Dawn  

Questions? Get in touch 

Great weekend for and art show!!!

The weather was perfect this weekend and people came out to see the art and listen to great music. It was just hard to be in bad spirits this weekend at the Brookhaven Art Festival. I haven't done this show in several years, and I am glad I came back.

 A few of my favorite paintings found new homes this past weekend.
Flowers from a Friend, 20 x 20 oil on panel. This painting is based on flowers from my friend  Stuart's garden in my favorite vase. Talulah River, 16 x 20 plein air painting on canvas. This is my favorite painting spot when up at Parker Ranch.  Red Maple, 12 x 16 oil on panel. This was from the Olmsted plein air paint out, and I was pleased with the dappled light in this one.

It is so rewarding when your work in appreciated. A big thank you to my new collectors!!


Oct 3 Sat 10:00 - 3:00 Intro to Plein Air 
Oct 9-11, Fri - Sun Painting Retreat at the Parker Ranch Clayton, GA
Holiday Classes**
Nov 11 - Dec 9, Wed 10am - 1 pm Painting Techniques
November 14 - 15, Sat & Sun 10 - 3  2 Day Color Confidence  Workshop
Dec 1 - Dec 15,  6:15 pm - 9:30pm Tues Painting Studio 
**classes held at DawnArt Studios, 180 A 11th St NE, Atlanta GA 30309, unless noted.

Check out all classes available online click Classes and Workshops and choose the Classes and Workshop heading. 

Still trying to capture color in low light.

"Misty Morning on Lake Clair Meer"

9 x 12 oil on panel, Plein air

This weekend, despite the rain, I taught a really fun plein air workshop. This was an introduction class geared to helping beginners get out there for the first time.  We started in the studio, covering how to get started and then hit Piedmont Park to practice. We found a covered spot over looking Lake Clair Meer and got started.  We got about 2 hours of painting in before heading back to beat the next round of rain storms.  This turned out to be perfect practice for me. I have really been struggling with how to paint color without the help of the sun.  Above is today effort. Seeing progress from last weekend, but still room for improvement.

A couple of the painters below, they really had a nice time. Even with the rain, we where covered and the temperature was great. 

Our inspiration for the day.

You can see what I mean by a gray day

Until next time, Dawn

Upcoming Classes

Summer teaching schedule

I am wrapping classes until the fall and packing my van for a 3 week painting trip, YAY! After looking at my schedule, I decided that I do have time to run a 4 week painting studio class on our usual Tuesday evenings.  Take a look at your summer plans, and if you have time, join me in the Studio! 

Classes begin June 30.  

Happy summer! Dawn

2015 Classes and Workshops

Tuesday Night Painting Studio 6:30 - 9:30    June 30 - July 21

DawnArt Studios

180 11th St Ne, Atlanta GA

404 399 0853

Full Class Description

Supply list


Click on the link below to register

4  Week Studio Classes

Joy of Painting - Painting Techniques / Beginning Painting Wed 10 - 12:45

Classes will start back in  September

DawnArt Studios

180 11th St Ne, Atlanta GA

404 399 0853


Supply list 

6 week 225.00


                                               This is a techniques class to design to give you the tools needed

 to solve problems in your paintings.  Have you struggled with knowing how to get your creative ideas on the canvas? Than this is the class for your. 

Each class will show a specific painting technique with demos and examples.   Followed by a painting assignment to reinforce the technique. The class will cover composition, value, color . and finishing techniques. You can use my example for your projects or bring in your own photos. All levels are welcome  - 

appropriate for beginners. 

Class size is limited to 6.

Kick off for the Olmsted Plein Air Invitational

Join me Wed, April 22, for plein air demonstrations at Callanwolde. Callanwolde has partnered with the Olmsted Plein Air Invitational and will be hosting plein air artist for their first home school festival. I'll be out there painting from 10 - 2 on Wed, and you can find me at the Olmsted Parks the rest of the week. This is going to be a great event! 30 professional artist from across the US and over seas will be out at the Olmsted Parks for the painting competition. If you'd like to try your hand at plein air, there is an event on Sunday for all artists. It's the Paint Quick Event. It's 20.00 to enter and there will be awards and an opportunity to sell you painting as well.

Hope to see you out there.


Annual Spring Home School Festival!
This brand new event at Callanwolde promises to be a wonderful start to a tradition for families with Home Schooled children.  Come celebrate the power of learning outside of a classroom setting with our expert faculty in the beautiful setting of the Callanwolde estate. Spring is also a time to celebrate the wonders of nature, so Think Green! All activities will enrich the lives of children by teaching them about the environment and nature. 

Come Paint with me in Callaway Gardens !

April 17 - 19 No Stress Intro to Plein Air.  

Deadline to Registar is April 14

This is a plein air workshop for everybody.  I try to create a relaxed and fun environment for you to learn in. The class will be taught in oils and use palette knife and brush techniques.  I use a limited palette that helps control and harmonize the color and  If you've never tried plein air  and want to give it a try, come on! I even have a few extra plein air easels that you can use if need. I will discus topics ranging from tips on setting up, how to narrow down the scene to dealing with the elements to  flying with your supplies and wet paintings. Each morning will begin with a talk and a demo. Then, I'll help everyone get started and keep working with each student one on one and with group demos. We'll paint at Callaway Gardens, (the azaleas should be in full bloom), and the charming towns in the area, Warm Springs and Pine Mountain. Everything is within a few miles. You'll be surprised how much this area has to offer.

I love to get outside and really try to capture the essence of the landscape.   All levels welcome, even complete beginners. Let me know if you will need an easel as I only have a few. 

We'll paint from 10 - 5 each day.

$255.00   Max 10 Students

100.00 deposit to hold your spot

Pay online 


By check

DawnArt Studios LLC

180 11th ST NE

Atlanta GA 30309

Deadline to Registar is April 14

Any questions? Email me at

or 404 399 0853

Class includes  entrance fee to Callaway Gardens, daily instruction and demos, maps of the area, and a wine and cheese social.

Not included are lodging and meals.

You will need to bring all your painting supplies. 

Supply list 

I will have a limited number of easels for rent for $10. Let me know ahead of time if you need an easel, as I have a limited number.

I have family in the area, so I have a list of great restaurants to try. I'll have those links up soon.

Lodging suggestions

Callaway Gardens

- This is a great option if you'd like to bring the family.  Free access to the park and many of the amenities****If many of you'd like to stay at Callaway, let me know and I'll try to get a group discount.

Pine Mountain



Camping / RV

Pine Mountain 

 RV Park

FDR State Park

Spring Schedule

March 28 Tues Painting Studio at DawnArt Studios 

3 day workshops

April 17 - 19

Callaway Gardens/ Warm Springs  - Plein Air Retreat - Azaleas in full bloom!

May 15 - 17

 Parker Ranch -  No Stress plein air workshop

The Atlanta Dogwood Festival is almost here!"

Olmsted Parks 12 x 16

Red Maples 12x12

DawnArt Studios in Midtown  Now open for Classes

Join me in charming Clayton GA. There is so many great painting spots all around!


allulah Gorge12x16

Sailing Buddies 12 x 24

Dogwood Festival April 10 - 12

After traveling and painting for months, I am so excited the 

Dogwood Festiva


is almost here! I have all new

paintings and I can't wait to see what people think. 

Artist Market hours

Friday 12 - 7

Saturday 10 - 7

Sunday 10 - 6

I'll be in booth 120 -  near the 14th street entrance on Piedmont AVE. Just walk left when you enter the park and I'll be a few booths down

There are so many great things to do at the

Dogwood Festival

. Music last until 11PM Friday and Saturday. There will be cooking and painting demos. Come out and enjoy the show.

It's going to be a great weekend!!

Check out the


for a list of all the events.

Hope to see you there!


New Studio in Midtown  Open for Classes

If you'd like to stop by my Midtown studio to see new work, talk about a commission, or take a class, just let me know. I'd love to hear from you. Reach me at


Stay tuned for new evening classes and 

workshops over the summer and fall.

Joy of Painting - Techniques and Beginning 

April 29 - June 3

10:00 - 12:45  -  Wednesdays

Class held at DawnArt Studios in Midtown

 Full class description.

Supply list

$ 225  class fee   

Sign up


Find out more about my plein air workshops

3 Day Workshops

April 17 - 19

Callaway Garden / Warm Springs GA

No Stress Plein Air

May 15 - 17

Parker Ranch in Clayton GA

Palette Knife and Plein Air

Hope to see you out there or in the studio. Happy painting my friends!


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Class party and new projects

Can't believe spring quarter is coming to an end! 

Rob made his savory gumbo for the last class. He makes it all from scratch and it's a real treat. It ended up turning into a real party and we all had a great time! I know it doesn't look like any painting is getting done, but there was a little progress tonight before the food came out.

Part of the fun in taking an ongoing class is getting to know everyone and having a little fun!

This is the first or my shabby-sheik painting racks.

It should hold at least 10 canvases up to 2" high.

I've limited my self to just one building project a quarter. Otherwise I'd never get any painting done! 

Over this  break I'm going to build storage / drying racks for the class. These will go in the kitchen and I'm hoping these will add enough storage space to accommodate everyone. And...well, if I get enough time, I'd really like to build a few more of my second generation studio tables. They've been a big hit in the classes and they save a lot of space as well.

It's come a long way since this summer. Now that the class rooms are finished, time to tackle the kitchen.

Joy of Painting - Painting Techniques / Beginning Painting March 25 -May 13

Joy of Painting - Painting Techniques 

/ Beginning Painting 

6 weeks


April 29 - June  3 

Wed 10:00 am - 12:45pm

DawnArt Studios

180 11th St Ne, Atlanta GA

404 399 0853


Supply list


6 week 225.00


This is a techniques class to design to give you the tools needed to solve problems in your paintings.  Have you  struggled with knowing  how to get your creative ideas on the canvas? Than this is the class for you. Each class will show a specific painting technique, with demos and examples and then have a painting assignment to reinforce the techniques.  The class will cover composition, value, color and finishing techniques. You can use my examples for your projects or bring in your own photo. All levels welcome - appropriate for beginners. You will we able to  leave your wet canvas and supplies in class. Class size limited to 6 students. Street and pay lot parking.

This 6 week session will focus on composition, different ways to begin your paintings and, how to work from photos.

Contact Dawn with any questions

3 day workshops

April 17 - 19

Callaway Gardens

/ Warm Springs - Plein Air Retreat - Azaleas in full bloom!

May 14 - 17

Parker Ranch -

No Stress plein air workshop in the beautiful North GA Mountains

Contact Dawn with any questions or


Supply lists

See more paintings at

Check out the class FB page 


About time! I finally updated my art page!

It is amazing how long it can take sometimes to go from painting, completing a painting, photographing your paintings, uploading them to your computer....months later trying to remember what file they are in...... cropping images, and then finally getting them up on your website! Holy Cow! I have to come up with a more organized way. Well, it is a new year, so here's hoping! I have lot's of new paintings up in my Square Market. You can check them out by the link below. Let me know what you think.

Cheers! - Dawn

Order Online

End of the year Classes and workshops

1 Day workshop Nov 22 , Sat 10 - 3:30  Color 2 - Controlling  Your Mixtures
DawnArt Studios
180 11th St Ne, Atlanta GA
404 399 0853
Click on the  photo link to register

3 Week Mini Open Studio Tues 6:30 - 9:30  Dec 2 - 16 
DawnArt Studios
180 11th St Ne, Atlanta GA
404 399 0853
Click on the link below to register

Capture the light 1 day palette knife workshop
Dec 13, Sat 10 - 3:00
Spruill Art Center
5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd, 
Dunwoody, GA 30338
770 394-3447

Ready to sigh up for Winter Studio classes

Tuesday Night Painting Studio 6:30 - 9:30    Jan 13 - March 3

DawnArt Studios Midtown, Atlanta
180 11th ST NE
Atlanta GA 30309
404 399 0853
More info
Click on the link below to register online or pay in the first class

8 week session 240.00
4 week session 140.00

DawnArt Studios

Dec 2 - 18 Mini Tues Painting Studio 6:30 - 9:30  DawnArtStudios

Dec 13 Capture the Light Spruill

Winter Schedule in the works

Feb 7  10 - 3 Color Confidence 1 Painting Workshop DawnArt Studios
Feb 20  2:00 - 5:00 Color confidence 2:00 - 5:00 AME
Feb 21 9:00 - 12:00am Palette Knife Workshop : Vibrant Sky AME
See more paintings at
My art now available to purchase online click here to go to my secure market.

Contact Dawn with any questions or 404-399-0853

Check out the class FB page Dawnart Classes

Sign up for my newsletter

The Inaugural Class!

 Well, the studio is finally open and last night was the first class. It was such a hubbub of activity, I completely forgot to take any photos. But here it is the next day. I love having all this activity in the studio. Just feels great to walk through it. Maybe next week I'll remember to take a photo of artists at work. 

Happy Painting!



Sept 23  Tues Painting Studio 6:30 - 9:30 4 or 8 weeks DawnArt Studios***FULL***
Sept 28  Color Confidence 1 Painting Workshop DawnArt Studios***Only 2 Spaces Left***
Oct 1   Wed Painting Studio 6:30 - 9:30 - 6 Weeks  Callanwolde
Dec 13 Capture the Light Spruill

6 Days, 10 Palettes, 9 Tables Later....Studio's Almost Ready!

The bulk of the work is finished and I'm ready to start offering classes in my new studio space.
Despite all the thunder storms this week, I was able to finish my studio project. I set up a tent in the back yard to be able to keep building and then used the front porch for the finishing work, mainly the sanding and painting.
Classes start on September 23 and I needed furniture for the students, mainly tables to hold their supplies. I decided to build my own out of reclaimed wood to match the feel of my cottage styled studio in Midtown. I made each table a little different, all about the same height, but I played with the pattern of the wood and made a few full-sized tables as well. I want it to be inviting, a place that students can feel comfortable and creative! So here it is ...6 days, 10 palettes and 9 tables later.

I hope my classes love the new space !


Upcoming Classes - Happy painting!                           


Sept 28  Color Confidence 1 Painting Workshop DawnArt Studios
Oct 1   Wed Painting Studio 6:30 - 9:30 - 6 Weeks  Callanwolde

Dec 13 Capture the Light Spruill 

Contact Dawn with any questions or 404 399 0853

See more paintings at
My art now available to purchase online click here to go to my secure market.