Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Trees/Skies/Water Workshop

As usual, I'm blown away by my students work; how hard they worked and how well they incorporated new ideas into their paintings and what great painters they are! It was a great three days! I forewarned that although the subjects were as the workshop was entitled, we would not be painting trees, but rather "treeness", "skyness" and "waterness"! All painting is the same. We're picking the right values, the right colors and putting them in the right spot. That and the infinitely more complex idea of making poetry while doing so!

We got a good start with trees on the first day. We spent much time discussing the approach of planning for the foliage masses and NOT painting the sky in first across the entire background, as this leads to a less than luminous result. We also talked about the character of trees; their gesture, how they are rooted, the density of their foliage, etc. Here's my yet to be completed demo:

Terracotta Colorfix

On the second day we tackled skies. I did two demos. One with a lighter touch on burgundy Colorfix paper. I chose this color with the idea that I could get the paper color to do some of the work for me by serving as a warm undertone to the sky. The other on white Wallis museum with a watercolor under-painting. I chose the paper according to the "feel" I was after. The first was more of a nuanced sky with many cloud layers and types. The clouds have subtle greys, both warm and cool, so the colorfix which lends itself to a lighter touch and seemed fitting. The second was a more bold and dramatic stormy sky which begged for a bolder approach. So this time I selected the Wallis paper, knowing it would grab the pastels, especially some Terry Ludwig darks which I intended to employ. Not wild about the composition of this one, but think I can work it out!

Burgundy Colorfix paper

Museum Wallis with watercolor under-painting

For the final day of the workshop, we were immersed in water. Get it ;-) Keep it simple was the mantra. Think, reflection, movement, transparency, but try to see it simply, then paint it simply. This day's demo, was on Colorfix paper. I used a piece of reference that was taken in the height of summer green in Wisconsin. Too much green, so I warmed it up a bit.

Leaf Green Colorfix

As usual, I emphasize the great value of mileage in becoming a better painter. I talk about how I go about managing to gain lots of mileage despite the speed of everyday life. Sometimes I succeed, others I don't. But persistence is key. Thank you class for your input per new workshop offerings for next year. I'm on it!

Jacob, Lise and Barbara working away

Wendy and Jacob discussing Wendy's piece

Me realizing I'd put those trees smack on the center line! Do as I say, not as I do!

Group photo! BE HAPPY!!

1 comment:

Maineland said...

What happened to today's post. Did you remove it? Annie M.