Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer Workshop

My workshop yesterday was a real treat.  There were only six participants, all eager and interesting.  One participant has painted for 73 years and at the other end of the scale, one was painting for the first time.  This was not difficult to deal with with such a small group.  The primary theme was painting en plein air.  The weather was about 15C, breezy, and quickly varying clouds and intermittent sun.  So the strategy of dealing with quick changes from warm to cool light became paramount.  We worked on painting first what was going to change quickly, and leaving that which would remain more or less static.

Judi and Irises, Wagonside

The effect of light on her subject was Judi's concept.  A big challenge.  We talked about block studies and the Monet Hensche connection, and learning how to see.

Alison Simplifying

Alison was working on simplification and the elimination or reduction of detail.  Squinting exercises gave her some insight.

David and Warren

David was working on an unfinished sketch in an effort to get rid of his usual super detailed approach.  This concept was used while attempting to capture the movement in the reeds and water.  His composition was restricted to two shapes to which he did considerable design.  He was using watercolour and pen and ink.

Warren used a knife to pile on the paint on top of a burnt sienna ground.  He was challenged with edge control and management.  It takes time to master the knife.

Chris in the Spireas

Our rookie Chris had an interesting day.  We tried to get him to relax, put on some paint, and see how the process works.  He did some work with a fairly complex composition.  By the end he was seeing colour mixing possibilities and how putting simple masses down with the correct value brought the image together without too much fuss.

John Hiding from the Wind

John worked on a sky scape aimed at capturing the movement in the turbulent sky.  He saw how he could control the viewer's eye by changing his edges and his contrast away from the intended subject.

Aside from the cool breeze everyone seemed to have a good day, all promising to keep on painting.  We have to thank Rosemary Armstrong for her hospitality and the use of her property.

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