Live Painting Class | Index Card Art | Edward Seago Study

by | Apr 28, 2020 | Art, Artistic Endeavors, Oil Painting | 9 comments

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Last week, I almost decided to take a week off of the live painting classes, but they have been such a bright spot in my week and I have received messages and e-mails from many others who feel the same way, so we’ll keep them going!  Minnesota is still under a stay-at-home order through May 4 and there is the possibility that will be extended, but we’ll see.

Anyway, last week, we did an Edward Seago study on an index card.  The point of this class was to try working on a different surface (paper and gesso or just paper), and to study the colors, composition, and mark-making of a master artist.  Whether the participants knew it or not, they were learning so much about handling the oil paint, mixing colors, and training your eye to paint what you see even if you’re not sure what you’re looking at!  What are the white specks in the distance?  Sails from boats on the water?  Light reflecting off of a roof?  We’re not looking at what Seago was looking at, so we’re just following his lead.

Here is how my index card turned out…

I tried something different with my camera set up for this class and it ended up being a bad idea!  I used my camera, but the self-facing lens reversed the image, so that was an extra challenge for the participants!  Paint what I’m painting, but in reverse!  So, I’ll go back to using my computer camera this week until I figure out something better.  As I’ve said a few times, I’m learning the best way to teach while you’re learning to paint.  We’re just all learning together.

So, here is the live class on Facebook…

Here is the same video posted to YouTube (although the clarity is better on Facebook)…

And here’s the short and sweet 2.5 minute time-lapse…

One of my very favorite parts of these classes is receiving e-mails and messages from participants showing their work.  I am consistently blown away with all of the interpretations and styles showcased.

And this series is by a high school student who’s been taking these art classes and started her own #idexcardartproject …

She is so good, isn’t she??

This Friday, we’re going to paint some landscape minis.  I’ve had a great time painting some to give away as a part of the #happymailmovement and I thought it would be fun to paint a few for my “class.”  The great thing about painting small is that you can complete them quickly and there is no pressure to make everything perfect.  The sky can be painted in just a few short swoops.

The supply list will be the same as our last few classes, with a couple of additions and changes (those are in bold)…

  • Oil Paints – Buy the best you can.  This is where you want to spend your money, because artist-grade paints have more concentrated pigments, so you can mix the colors without making mud.  I like Windsor & Newton and Gamblin.  (See below for some alternatives.)
  • Gamsol (This is to thin the paint and clean brushes.  You can also use turpentine, paint thinner, etc.) – Gamsol 14 oz bottle
  • Container for Gamsol/solvent (You can also use a glass jar with a screw-on lid) – Leak-Proof Solvent Container
  • Mini canvases (2×4, 3×3, etc.) OR a canvas pad, index cards, card stock, watercolor paper, craft paper, etc. 
  • Acrylic Gesso if you’re using paper
  • Palette – I use a wood palette, but you can order a glass one (white or gray), a paper palette (again, white or gray), or use a paper plate, a piece of cardboard, or even a piece of glass in a cheap/old frame.
  • Paper towels
  • Ziplock bag
  • Soap to clean brushes & hands – I use Murphy’s Oil soap to clean my brushes and baby oil to clean my hands.  You can also use an olive-oil-based soap or any soap that will clean off oil and grease.
  • Easel – You don’t have to buy an easel, but could purchase an inexpensive tabletop easel.  If you want to get a little fancier, you can buy a pochade box that has an easel and palette built-in.  Really, though, you can paint flat or just prop your canvas up on some books or a cardboard box.  Don’t let the lack of an easel stop you from joining us!  I have found it’s best to clip these minis to a piece of cardboard or thin MDF board.  (A clipboard would work well, too!) 
  • Brushes – One note about the brushes!  The bushy brush I’ve been using is actually not an Eclipse, but a Master’s Choice Long Filbert No. 4.  You can get it HERE, too.  I’m so sorry, but I just realized the mistake a couple of days ago.  The stiff-bristled brush I use is the No. 1 Ivory Long Flat (you can get it HERE, too) both from Rosemary & Co.  Both of these shops (one in the US and one in the UK) are shipping to customers.

If the paints are sold out or back-ordered, try Blick, Jerry’s Artarama, or Utrecht.

I used all of my mini canvases and didn’t find it very easy to locate more, so a canvas pad cut into 3 x 4″ pieces has worked great.  To prepare for the class, you can use whatever you have on hand.  If you are using paper and gesso, just apply the day before or earlier in the day Friday, so it can be dry.

As usual, I’ll see you on Facebook Live on Friday, May 1, 2020, at 2:00 pm CST.

I’ll see you there!

You can find my other live painting classes below…

mixing color charts & books for beginners

landscape oil painting for beginners

painting clouds in oils for beginners


  1. Wendy

    Thank you again for doing this for us. I know your week is already packed full…..

  2. Judy Karlson

    While I’ve not been a part of your painting clouds class, I have really enjoyed the posts where you have shared your work. And I have been noticing real clouds with much more appreciation and often stop to think about how one would actually paint each one; they are all so unique! No two alike. Thank-you for opening up my mind and eyes to the sky!

  3. Carol

    I love the little windmill painting!
    I had to cancel my trip with some fellow gardening friends to see the tulip festival this month due to covid. Too sad. Maybe next year!!! 🙁

  4. Michelle Kunze

    This class was so enjoyable! I’ve never tried to paint from a master painter and I learned so much! Thanks for doing this it’s a new way of learning virtually!

  5. Diane

    Can’t wait!! It is fun learning from you. I know I and others do enjoy you. I am going to make some for happy mail movement

  6. Joan

    wow Marian, so glad to see your painting!!! it’s such a GORGEOUS study…..
    I know I said this earlier, but I’m just amazed,….
    you did all that while talking to us and explaining things and juggling all our questions,….
    and then you ended up yet with your beautiful painting at the same time….pretty amazing,
    Love the texture and detail, love seeing the brush strokes up close!
    It’s sooo pretty.
    also, love seeing all the paintings of others too !!!
    I love seeing all the different styles, and wow, mine is in there too! AWWWW THX Marian !
    That’s so exciting 🙂
    Hope you’re catching up with all….really appreciate your time and want to thank you for sharing your talent,
    painting has been so incredible, I feel each time you teach I learn and realize new things…large and small !…
    feels like such good stepping stones, just appreciate all so much! THANK YOUUUU…
    also, have to say, I go looking for clouds, check the weather and see if there’s going to be cloud cover and get all excited…. lol……
    I run outside with my camera even more now…just seeing everything with fresh eyes and new light…love it!

  7. Karen Young

    Thank you so much for these videos. I’ve watched them and now I am so inspired to try painting.

  8. Kathy

    Thank you for being so generous to share these tutorials with everyone! I just recently “discovered” you from Meghan Gray on Instagram, so happy I did! I bought oils paints (I usually use acrylics or watercolor) for the first time and love them. I only ordered 5 colors to make sure I liked it…had to order more! waiting to finish my Edward Sego study when my cad yellow medium comes in. I couldn’t get the brights in the painting without it. I’m a life time follower now!

  9. Debra

    Wow, how did i miss this going on. I will order supplies and hope this continues.I luv clouds.


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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