Tuesday, May 19, 2015

From the last workshop

A few weeks ago I took a very worthwhile one-day workshop from Ingrid Christensen on painting the clothed figure. After a demo by Ingrid we had just over 10 minutes to do a 10x8 monochromatically. The idea was to work with raw umber, blocking in the directionals and then getting the silhouette. Then using raw umber and ultramarine blue, to note in the darkest areas, followed with some white for highlights. This was my result.
Then with another 10x8, we had just over half an hour to try one adding colour - and this time we should select just part of the figure. We started with raw umber, the silhouette and darks but did not add the white. Then we mixed colours and added them to create skin tones and shadows and complete what we could in the time available
Then we had about two and  half hours to work slightly larger and use the same method on a full figure study. I found working this quickly made the paintings more expressive and the limited palette did produce some good skin tones. I intend to work more in this approach.
I took these quick studies to a recent talk I did for some Seniors...partly to show some current work and also to show that art is something a person continues to work on- always looking to get better. Workshops can be useful -not because you want to duplicate the work, but because you want to try new methods and work out what adaptation of them works for you.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Back to the outdoors..

     "Bunkhouse Shadows" was the first painting I did in last years season of outdoor painting.  I was looking  out at some moored boats but the angle didn't especially appeal. The recommendation for outdoor painting is to look in all directions - so, when I looked behind me, I liked the look of the shadows cast on the bunkhouse at Britannia Shipyards.  We have started up our pleinaire sessions again this year.  I was out in Ladner last week but the painting is not totally finished. We didn't want to get stuck in the tunnel line-up, so left in good time - but also, the harbour boat I wanted to have in the painting was buzzing up and down the river so I'll have to finish it from a photo I took - ah, the challenges of outdoor painting ... and then there was the fish-boat that pulled up to the dock, exactly where I was painting. It was loading up for a trip to Alaska so there was an impressive amount of groceries going on board and I had to move in order to see anything else. Well, if I don't get to the painting in the near future, I can just print off the photo and have it for our indoor winter sessions.
     I was reading Alyson Stanfield's posting this week. She is the author of "I'd Rather be in the Studio"and also conducts workshops on art marketing. This time she was commenting on people who wonder if we should be doing things like painting when the world is in such a mess. She said "Making art makes you whole and allows you to contribute to the world from a healthier position". It certainly does feel great to be out with a pleasant group where everyone is doing his/her own thing. Even having an uncompleted painting- like mine this week- feels pretty good. I was enjoying the wonderful hodge-podge of a building across the river with its assortment of colours and materials, the shadows under the pilings, reflections in the water  and the fresh greens of new growth. It definitely needs the  boat to complete the composition was it was a good beginning to this year's outdoor sessions.