Welcome to Evolve!


It’s a great idea to have Kevin do a welcome video helping people get into the right mindset. Basically, the idea is to NOT CUT CORNERS. I have a feeling that I’m not just going to learn art and oil painting from Evolve, I’m going to learn a new way of life 🙂

Okay, without further ado, here are my notes on each section:

Notes on the Welcome Lesson

Kevin starts by saying you need to be patient.

Defined by: When you work, take your time. Don’t scramble to get things done in 30 minutes. Art takes what it takes. It’s all about quality of results. Nothing else matters (not speed, technique). Get your mind into the mindset to work, don’t have any plans for anything else until you get a feeling for how long things take.

As you get into the program, you will get a better sense of how to break up your time.

Kevin recommends doing 7 hours a week, if you want to finish Block 1 in a year. This foundation block will bring you up to Kevin’s career painting ability as a commercial illustrator. You will have professional level skills. The amount of time and energy you put in determines your result. You have to care about each mark.

Viewers aren’t dissecting art, or thinking of what went into it. But a painting is actually the result of hundreds or thousands of decisions along the way (regarding quality of each mark you make). Every decision builds on your first mark. And the quality of each mark determines the end result. You can’t clean everything up at the end, tight paintings are generated by each decision along the way.

So take your time and make every mark with intent. No sloppiness! Control your mark. In the beginning, you will use transfer lines which will be like color by number. Learn to paint right up to those lines, be absolutely flawless! Watch for tight spaces where you need to make a razor sharp edge.

How careful are you with a mark? How perfect does it need to be? If you give an 80% mark, that’s how perfect your painting will be. If you give a tiny bit of extra energy over and over, a perfect painting will emerge from your choices.

You get out of this what you put in, no more, no less. Take your time, don’t rush. Make sure you know each idea before you move on. Block things in properly before you move to the next thing. The amount of energy it takes to do things right the first time is 1/10 the energy of fixing things later on.

If you put something down and it doesn’t look right, fix it, don’t move on until it’s what it’s supposed to be.

Each little thing diminishes your work. “Death by a thousand marks.” Paintings rarely die from a catastrophic injury, if you know what you’re doing. They live or die by how many nicks and cuts you leave in it.

Remember why you’re doing this: To develop incredible skills.

And in order to do that, don’t cut corners! Nothing is good enough if you know you can do better. 

Notes on How to Use the Portal

courses.evolveartist.com is where you sign in to your course dashboard.

After watching all the videos, cic on “Homework submission” at the bottom to do your first assignment. See the image, read the instructions, submit your homework at go.evolveartist.com (homework portal).

Here you can see past assignments and what you’re currently working on. You can click and drag images and add questions here. You can see other students’ examples. The bottom of the screen has a chat function for help, if an instructor is live, you

At the top of the homework tool you can watch events, previous video instructions, etc. The videos don’t expire.

At the bottom you can see the student wall, which has the best work students have completed.

For questions, email customersupport@evolveartist.com

[Some of this content is available for patrons only!]

Notes on How to Join Live Calls

[Some of this content is available for patrons only!]

If no one-on-one times work for you, send an email for a custom one on one.

To join a live call, whereby.com. You can join with camera and mic on or off.

Click on the initial at the top right to set display name. You can share screen, chat, etc.

There’s also a private FB group with posts, schedule updates, live videos, etc.

Notes on Materials in Your Box

Supplies in box one cover blocks 1 and 2. They include:

  • Old Holland grayscale paint (4: 2 shadow, 2 lights)
  • 1 set Old Holland brushes (2 #2 tiny, 5 #6, 2 #12 large)
    • Use #2 only for the TIGHTEST places
  • 1 bottle linseed oil for paint thinning
  • 1 eye dropper for oil
  • 1 palette knife for mixing paint for all blocks of the program
  • 1 knitting needle for measuring from direct observation
  • 1 paper ruler to draw measured proportions for block 2
  • 1 pad of palette paper (40 sheets for paint mixing)
  • 1 packet of checklists to ensure each painting stage is properly completed before moving on
    • This is what is used to grade you
  • 1 set of reference images (17 pictures)
  • 1 set of transfer images for block 1, not 2
  • 8 pieces of transfer paper for both blocks
  • 3 pads of canvas for your paintings

If anything is missing, contact customer support. Once you’re halfway through block 2, you can order your next box for blocks 3 and 4.

Note: 100 sheets of carbon paper can be reused. For block 1, only use 10 sheets to save the rest for block 2. Reuse each one twice.

Notes on Additional Material You Will Need

From the site itself:

For the Evolve program, we have sent you all of the painting and reference materials you will need in your box. However, while you wait for your box to arrive, you will need to source a few additional studio items.

Additional Materials Needed for Block 1:

1. Table Top or Standing Easel

An easel is required to be able to properly work on your paintings. You may purchase whatever size works for your budget and space.

Here are a few options:

– Table Top Easel (Martin Angelina on Amazon) ($14.99)* This tabletop easel should last you through the entire program

– Standing Easel (Weber Avanti 2 Steel Studio Easels)  (Depending on your location, these easels can be found in many art supplies stores at a discount)

– H-Frame Wooden Easel (Soho H-Frame Studio Easels)

2. 3/4 Inch Thick Piece of Plywood or Masonite

In order to paint, you’ll need to tape your canvas sheet to a piece of plywood or masonite (Available from Home Depot or a similar store and cut to 18″ x 24″). You can also use a wooden drawing board or an artists’ board.

3. Painters Tape

You will need painters’ tape for transfer drawings and hanging your painting on your artist’s board. A good option is the ScotchBlue 0.70 in. x 60 yds. Original Multi-Surface Painter’s Tape.

4. Pencils

You will need several pencils with which to do your transfer sketches and direct observation drawing in block 2. Any basic type of lead pencil will work here.

5. Paper Towels

Paper towels or rags are necessary to clean your brushes as you work.

6. Ivory soap or Brush Soap

In order to wash your brushes, you will need a bar of soap. Ivory bar soap works beautifully and will keep your brushes soft and clean. You may also use any sort of artist’s brush soap if you wish.

The Items below are necessary for BLOCK 2. You do not need to purchase them now, but make sure to get them before starting block 2!

7. A Small Work Lamp

– IKEA Jansjo LED Work Lamp (This or a similar model can be found on Amazon, any similar lamp will do)

If this is discontinued in your area try these models:


CeSunlight Clamp Desk Lamp from Amazon

8. Cardboard Box to create Shadow Box

Approximately 18″ Length x 18″ or 24″ Width x 16″ Depth

Any box similar in size will do, this does not have to be exactly those dimensions! 
The box can be purchased from Lowe’s, but any box will do – it’s just a cardboard box!

9. Duct Tape

To be used to make your still life box.

10.  X-Acto / Utility / Boxcutter Knife

To be used to cut your still life box.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at hello@evolveartist.com

[Some of this content is available for patrons only!]