Saturday, July 2, 2011

Workshop Monday [Carol Marine, Benalto, Alberta]

As I mentioned last Monday, the first day of our workshop we began with introductions.  What a talented bunch of ladies!  I’ve added the bloggers among them to my list of “Blogs I Follow” on the right side of my blog…

Here’s a photo of 4 apples Carol set up for her painting demo…  and her complete painting.  This took her about an hour, what with all our demanding questions [lol].  She’s fast and so fun to watch!

apple setup apple painting

Carol had several teaching points Monday including:

  • Boxing up fear…  she even provided a cute little folding box to put it in :).  We reviewed the wonderful benefits of painting small and daily vs big and infrequently…  I’ve experience many that she mentioned – reduced fear of failure, more playful, increased confidence, less emotional involvement.  Try it – really!!!
  • Materials – lots of great points from Carol and tips from the other artists including:
    • Carol’s medium mix – 2 parts linseed oil, 1 part stand oil, 1 part mineral spirits.  I’ll be trying this out after I’ve used up my current supply of Maimeri’s ecoblend
    • using burnt umber [a color I don’t currently own]
    • brushes – she needs a new one every month or so
    • brush cleaning – she rarely does more than clean with mineral spirits.  Uses Murphy Oil every couple of weeks to clean them.  I LOVE this idea – brush cleaning is a pet peeve
    • brush storage tool – PVC pipe and cap makes a good seal and then brushes don’t dry out.  That makes cleaning with soap and water less necessary :-)
  • Painting method:
    • try painting the most “vulnerable” bits of your painting first.  These are usually areas of color that would be harder to paint later [think orange slices on a blue ground – would get muddy if you did the orange first – so logical]
    • Carol paints island first, ocean second.  This just means the background usually goes in after the focal areas. 
    • don’t get hung up on painting inside the lines of your drawing, cutting in and/or overlapping the background in places creates some beautiful effects.
    • Squint, squint, squint…  in fact we stopped on Friday morning and took a photo of the class watching Carol’s demo SQUINTING.  We had a great laugh over that – it won’t be easy to forget!
    • There is no “right way” to paint

Painting Exercise:

Value [light versus dark] is essential.  Carol gave us 30 minutes to set up and paint a little still life that had a dark, medium and light monochromatic pattern.  We used dominant, secondary, and “smidge” values.  The dominant value in my still life set up  [the cup below] was “mid” [takes over half the painting], my secondary value was “dark” [takes up most of the remaining area], and there was just a smidge of “light”. First I wrote down my pattern, then I painted the cup in a neutral color to match the pattern I had noted in my subject.  Good exercise in SEEING.

value is essentialAll week, Carol amazed me with her ability to SEE in every way possible – the value, color, intensity, shape, etc. of both her subject and the painting she was making. More tomorrow!


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