2009 Workshops

Workshops, Demos and E-Classes


Yes, I have to pay bills too.
This is a list of upcoming Armand Cabrera events for 2009.



Study Studio Painting
Intense, pesonal instruction by Armand Cabrera




~ FEBRUARY 2009 ~
Saturday, February 7th


Our first demonstration of the year will be held at
Ayr Hill Gallery in Vienna, Virginia.
The demonstration is free, but you must register in advance
for the gallery to hold a place for you.
Limited space12:30 – 2:30ish

This is a BYOC event—-bring your own chair!

Please contact Gail Roberts to register.
Email Gail

Telephone: (703) 938-3880141
Church Street NWVienna, Virginia 22180


Thursday, February 12th


This demonstration will be sponsored by
The Vienna Arts Society
115 Pleasant Street N. W. Vienna, Virginia


This is an indoor demonstration – so come, rain or shine
10:30 am – 12:30 pm
We’ll begin right after their monthly meeting

Armand Cabrera Workshops


~ APRIL 2009 ~
Arts Center of Coastal Carolina
April 26 – May 1
Evening Orientation * 3 days painting in studio * 2 days painting outdoors
~ SEPTEMBER 2009 ~
Brazier Studio Workshops
September 24 – 27
If there is any trouble with the links above please visit the workshop page on my site


Vienna Art Society Painting Demonstration

The demo I did today was well attended. Everyone was very polite and asked lots of great questions. I painted a 20×24 painting from an 8×10 sketch in a little less than two hours.

The threats of my friends to show up with air horns and heckle never materialized which was a blessing.



Massies Corner Demo

Armand Cabrera

1. This is a beautiful overlook about twenty minutes from where I live. Many people and galleries claim an aversion to green paintings. I have always painted them and enjoy the challenge of capturing the different shades of green.
It was a perfect spring day and I decided to paint a medium sized 24×30 canvas. This is a preparatory painting for a larger 30×40 version that I will also paint from life.

2.I quickly draw my main areas in with a large brush. I’ve exaggerated the height ratio of the mountain to increase its drama and I’ve sloped the foreground more than it really is to create opposing angles in the design.

3.Starting with the mountain I block in the shadow shifting its color attributes as it comes forward towards the middle ground. The middle ground is also established increasing the contrast and color saturation between the elements compared to the background.

4.I finish off the sky color and then rough in the foreground grasses making sure to capture the temperature shifts and warmer hues.

5.Starting in the background I develop the form of the mountain and the middle ground trees by adding the sunlit sides to the geometric planes that are the underlying structure there.

6.Working on the foreground trees I model their shapes and add details. I also add detail to the foreground grasses. At this stage I continue to develop details for another twenty minutes.

7.The finished painting ‘Massies Corner’ 24×30 oil on linen. Working from big to small back to front I am able to finish the painting in just over three hours. By mixing my greens and carefully orchestrating their temperature and hue I’ve avoided the monotony green paintings can succumb to.

The Importance of Good Habits

Armand Cabrera
“I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time.” ~Charles Dickens
Good habits are essential for good painting.
Good habits include organization, discipline and a strong work ethic. While it is possible to succeed without these attributes, having them makes the difficult task of painting easier.
I recommend cultivating good habits from the beginning by implementing a routine for getting paintings done.
I have already outlined some steps for working outdoors in my articles called traveling light. This article will focus on the studio.
The number one thing you need is uninterrupted time to focus on your work. Multitasking and successful painting don’t go together well, so turn off the computer and PDA’s, screen calls before picking up the phone and keep distractions out of your studio.

Make sure you have some space that is setup as a studio, someplace where things will stay as they are when you aren’t working. Even if it is only a corner of a room, it is important to have a space that is dedicated to painting.

When I was starting out and in a small apartment I used my living room. I lived by myself and had no TV, so it was a great space for me. Then, when I was renting houses, I had a spare bedroom or a garage that worked. Now that I own my house, I use the basement as my studio when I am not painting outside. If you can afford it, a separate studio that is away from your house, even if it is on your property, is an even better solution.

My space is organized and things are neat and clean when I’m not working.

I have shelves for frames, panels and canvases and racks for wet paintings.

I have staging areas for framing and packaging work when I ship to galleries or shows.

My office is separate from my painting space.
I can view my studio easel from my desk while I work on business or use the computers for research and writing.

When you work, have a plan. If you don’t feel like tackling a painting from beginning to end, practice some aspect like drawing or color mixing or value control. Make good use of your time to maximize your effort. Focus on one thing at a time and always go into the process with idea you will do the best you can. Just going through the motions is a waste of time and you will not be able to improve your ability one bit. Focused effort, consistency and routine will go a long way towards a positive outcome for what ever you decide to accomplish.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~Aristotle

A Proactive Approach to Gallery Representation

Armand Cabrera

I am always shocked at how lackadaisical most professional artists are when it comes to their representation in galleries. In these economic times, it is more important than ever to have a proactive, professional approach to representation.

Most galleries are as ineffectual as the artists they represent. As some of you know, I have an Agent, Diane Burket, who deals with a lot of my gallery issues. Please keep in mind, I pay for this service. If you find you can’t manage all the details, perhaps you should hire someone, too.

For this article, I will refer to “paintings”. However, these tips apply to any type of art you may create and wish to sell. Here are 3 things you can do to help your painting career and give yourself an edge in the marketplace.

1. Always Provide An Updated Consignment Sheet To Your Galleries
It doesn’t matter if the gallery provides a Consignment Form or you generate your own— never leave your artwork at a gallery without getting a signed Consignment Sheet proving what you have delivered to the gallery. The form should include 1) Name of Painting, 2) Size of Painting, 3) Retail Price, and 4) Amount Due To The Artist. I include an updated Consignment Sheet every time I send or drop off artwork at a gallery. With galleries going out of business at record rates, this little piece of paper might be the only thing that helps you retrieve your art from a failed gallery. Make sure you have two copies– one signed by you to leave with the gallery and one signed by the gallery for your records. If the gallery will not sign the form, don’t give them any work.
2. Keep A Photographic Record Of Your Work
Provide the gallery with digital images of your work for their website; don’t wait for them to shoot your paintings. You know what your paintings look like. You shouldn’t rely on your galleries to capture an accurate image of your painting after it has been varnished. I want my galleries contacting customers and selling paintings—not spending their day shooting images for artists too lazy (sorry) to do it themselves. My best selling galleries charge a fee to artists if they fail to provide professional quality images of their work. Don’t know how to shoot your paintings? Take a class, pay someone to do it or figure out how to do it yourself (like I did).

Keep a high resolution JPEG of all your paintings. If the gallery calls you about press opportunities, you’ll be prepared to provide them with the images they need in just minutes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been included in national and local press because I had a usable image ready to go. Other artists were ill-prepared and missed the opportunity.

3. Provide Your Galleries New Work
Make sure you maintain a schedule with your galleries to provide them with sellable paintings on a regular basis. One of the biggest complaints I hear from galleries is that artists dump a lot of old and inferior work on them. Why the galleries accept this substandard work is beyond me. But if you want to be represented and sell paintings, you have to provide good work for sale. I recommend swapping paintings out once a year—sooner if you are selling well or if your work is improving rapidly and there is a noticeable change in its quality.