Help me choose

We are here to help!

Students often want to take a workshop but have a hard time choosing the one that is right for them. We are here to help you understand the differences in the types of classes we have to offer.

Every class taught by Dru Blair encompasses the methods he uses in every painting he creates. Each class has it's own core focus which might be one or more of the following:

  • Color matching and blending
  • Specific techniques or surfaces
  • Multi-media and other supplemental tools

Workshops of guest instructors offer their their own unique teaching methods depending on subject, style and medium.

"Project" Classes

In our project classes, we focus on elements within a single work and follow through to its completion.

  • All of your work focuses on one single image you will leave with a single  piece, which may or may not be completed during class depending on the complexity of the image.
  • We provide free open studio time in the evenings where students can go back and rework areas or practice skills learned in the lessons.
  • Best suited for those with a some experience as we move quickly and address all elements within a single work.

Some of our project classes include Portraits (male, female, children), Automotive (Skull & Fire class), Wildlife (Tiger or Birds of Prey), and more!

"Sampler" Classes

  • Instead of painting one complete image, the focus lies on individual elements from different images each done as its own small work.
  • Focuses on mastery of singular elements of a work, such as a bird's claw, an eye, surfaces or textures such as skin, glass, or stone, etc.
  • Easier for those who are new to the medium as every mini-project is a chance to start over with a clean slate to apply new skills and focus on areas of improvement.

Some Sampler classes includes Wild Kingdom, Textures, Portrait Sampler, or General Realism. No one type of workshop can be considered a better or worse option than another - the courses are broken up to accommodate students' various skill levels and work preferences.

As with all of our classes, the primary goal is to bring the student closer to their artistic potential by learning and practice, not solely to finish a painting or leave with a masterpiece.

Color mixing and matching

You may wish to consider how in depth you'd like to explore Color. Dru Blair's signature Color Buffer Method is an in-depth study of the way color is perceived, how paint behaves and how it must be applied in order to emulate reality. For almost every airbrush workshop, Dru's Color Buffer Method is covered on the first day (please inquire or read course literature on the details of each workshop).

  • Different classes and subjects require differing amounts of accuracy when it comes to color - for example, Portraits demand a higher level of accuracy and have a full day devoted to color matching and blending.
  • Some workshops don't rely as heavily on color accuracy, so it may only be covered to the extent necessary to complete the project(s) at hand. Examples would be the Textures class (where the use of the tools plays a more important roll than color matching ), or the Automotive class (where colors tend to be more fanciful and more emphasis is placed impact than accuracy), while our Wildlife classes fall in the middle for color accuracy.
  • You can always opt to take Dru's Color Buffer Method independently (see course calendar).

Beginners

For our airbrush workshops, we recommend that beginners take our "Foundations Day," which is typically held the day before most 4-day workshops. We get everyone up to speed with the very basics of the airbrush and set you up for success in the other classes we offer.

Some workshops are better suited for beginners. For example, many of our Sampler workshops qualify as beginner workshops. See product descriptions for individual workshops. 

Looking for more targeted beginners-only classes? Let us know by clicking Request a workshop! We are continuously working on forming new classes based on your feedback and requests.

Prerequisites

Most classes do not require any prerequisites, with the exception of those listed as "Advanced". The main reason for this designation is that in order to achieve success for these workshops, it is best to have basic working knowledge of the concepts, color matching, etc. that we teach in our other workshops.

"Advanced" classes also tend to move more quickly, and while the classes are still taught step-by-step, students are left for longer stretches of time to complete the assigned lessons. "Advanced" classes tend to be both longer in length and with more time devoted to practice than lectures, so students spend most of the class on their projects.

We hope that reading though the class descriptions and keeping the points above in mind will help you find the class that is a perfect fit for you. If you are still having difficulty choosing a workshop, call us at 803-635-8060 or email classes@schoolofrealism.com and we will be happy to assist you.

Are you looking for a class you don't see listed? Let us know by clicking Request a workshop. New classes are always forming based on feedback and requests.

Guests Artists

We often invite guest artists who are masters in their fields to teach at the school. As each workshop can differ dramatically, we are happy to answer any questions and give you additional details about the upcoming classes to help you decide what is right for you.

If you would like to request a workshop or are interested in a teaching opportunity, fill out the form on the Request a workshop page.

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