Desert Artists’ League will have a unique opportunity May 7, 8 and 9 when two talented artists, Bruce Robertson and Shelley Redford Young, from Visual Arts Institute in Salt Lake City will be doing a demo and then teaching a workshop, “Visual Vibrations - The Portrait in Watercolor.”

The workshop will be a FUN exploration of color and value in portraiture by working from black and white photo references. This will encourage hitting values but also allow each artist to choose color harmonies they like to work in.

During the workshop we will discuss block-in, features, skin tone, hair, and extras like glasses, scarves, collars, and backgrounds. We welcome all levels including beginners, intermediate and advanced.

While it may seem intimidating to try portraits, you will come away from this workshop with new skills to add to your repertoire. For those who want them, there will be line drawings to trace and use, as many of us are used to doing. You don’t have to bring your own portraits unless you want to.

Bruce is an artist of many talents. His emphasis is in mixed media painting, but he works in many media and genres, including watercolor, drawing, printmaking and one of his favorites, abstract works. He has an extensive knowledge about acquiring grants, which has been wonderful for Visual Arts Institute. He has been the Executive Director of VAI since 1998 and taught there in 95/96. He has taught at the university level for 26 years, U of U, BYU, and UVU in Utah. He works with children, teens and adults at VAI, where he believes a strong art curriculum is beneficial to children. He teaches a few week long figure drawing courses there in the summer, where students have a comprehensive experience working with live models.

Bruce has a BFA in Drawing/Printmaking and an MFA in Drawing/Painting from Brigham Young University as well as two years of post-baccalaureate study in Mixed-media Printmaking and Painting from California State University Long Beach.

Shelley Redford Young is also a multitalented artist, who works in various media. Her drawing and painting skills alone make her a wonderful teacher but it’s all made even more special by her wonderful, supportive ability to instill confidence and positivity in anyone.

Shelley began her art employment at OC Tanner, after graduating from school where she learned emblematic jewelry design and air brush rendering. While raising her 4 children, she ran an art school for youth called IDIZ in UT. She currently holds a three-year foundational degree from Watts Atelier, in CA with a focus in portrait, figurative drawing and painting, still life and landscape art. Shelley studied at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy where she learned old masters’ techniques of sight-size drawing and painting representational still life’s from North Light. She has instructed youth at Watts Atelier in CA, as well as instructing youth, teens and adults at Peterson Art Center and currently at Visual Art Institute, both in SLC.

Monday, May 7, will be DAL’s meeting/demo night with Bruce Robertson and Shelley Redford Young, open to the public. The topic will be “Visual Vibrations - The Portrait in Watercolor.” First time visitors are free, return visitors are $5. We will be at Church of the Nazarene, 571 N. Norma Street in Ridgecrest. Meeting is at 6:30 p.m.

May 8 and 9, DAL will host Visual Vibrations - The Portrait in Watercolor workshop with Bruce Robertson and Shelley Redford Young.

This will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days at Church of the Nazarene at 571 N. Norma Street in Ridgecrest. The cost is $140 for members and $150 for nonmembers. There are still some openings in this class so if you are interested, contact Holly Godard at eggclectic@yahoo.com or 801-597-3130.