Monday, November 05, 2007

Workshop 2007 was a blast

workshop 3I had a great group of people at my workshop this past weekend. Everyone seemed in very good spirits, eager to paint and to learn, and filled with enthusiasm despite the challenges of painting from life in front of other people. We had a lot of fun together. The models were great. Good character to their faces, and just fun people, too, as we all got to know them. It is such a pleasure to paint from life from professional models who take their work seriously (I have painted from pros who are nonchalant, and I can tell you the energy is much different!) workshop 3I started the first session with a 1.5 hour demo quick study in getting the light and shadow patterns down; thinking abstractly about the vague shapes you see while squinting, and putting this little patchwork of a puzzle together on the canvas. This was a purposely rapid portrait demo, using only 4 colors and white. Raw Umber, Yellow Ocher, Alizarin Crimson and Cerulean Blue) because I was trying to demonstrate the importance of value and shadow patterns over color issues. Color seems to bog most students down, when in fact Value and Drawing are far more critical. I spent a good deal of time in each session, except the last, helping attendees get a better feel for how I approach a painting. The individual attention one-on one with the students that wanted it seemed to set them in a new direction and get them approaching the task in a new way. workshop 3I didn't get much time to paint in Saturday's morning session. But when I did get going, I did a discussion about drawing the features in abstractly, how I measure, what I look for in line and proportion and rapidly banging in the shadows in bulk. This is the result of an hour's work. I also discussed how light and shadow describe form to the viewer's brain... how one shadow describes the forms of both the object that is casting the shadow and the object onto which it is cast. The characteristics of the edges of the shadows are critical in striking recognition within the viewer's mind. It was a great weekend, and I am already being asked when my next workshop will be. If you are interested in getting information about my next workshop by e-mail, be sure to add your e-mail address to my private mailing list. All info on my mailing list is confidential.

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