Painting with A Swirl Creates Space For Students To Get Colorful

Graphic Design student Van Thang demonstrating for viewers the finer points of painting

Artists both amateur and professional were welcome last Wednesday to spend an evening together on Zoom to create gorgeous landscape portraits.

The event was hosted by Eastern New Mexico University’s own Associated Students Activities Board, featuring graphic design student Van Thang in the driver’s seat. Thang led students in an open ended exercise to render a cloud filled sky over a mountain range, with a flower rich valley nestled underneath. While Thang gave tips on how to best emulate fluffy clouds or create other effects with the brush, he encouraged participants to add their own touches and details as they wished.

“This is not a class,” he assured his fellow artists, emphasizing that all that was required from them was to relax and have a good time.

Suggested materials for following along were three simple acrylic paint colors, one small brush and a canvas to paint on. As with many ASAB interactive events, the cost of materials for students was kept in mind and kept intentionally low to encourage accessibility for all participants.

Participants ranged in age and medium, some being on art tablets, some being college aged, and one being a young and enthusiastic girl under 7 years old who was well praised for her focus and painting talent.

Leaning into the interactive medium, Thang frequently took breaks from his own painting to ask participants to show off their own work. Given the relaxed atmosphere there was little hesitation from anyone to show off their picture via webcam, especially with Thang generously giving out compliments to each piece.

To participate in future ASAB events, one can check out their social media to stay aware of all upcoming Zoom-style classes and hang outs to beat back some of their quarantine isolation.

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