For the last two weeks I have been busy conducting a workshop looking at selecting, manipulating and extracting the most from a painting subject. It was a lot of fun, but we worked hard – doing a couple of paintings each day and squeezing in a few critique sessions, where we examined everybodys work and discussed various problems and solutions.
It is always a pleasure meeting new students and catching up with students from previous workshops. One of our new students for the second week was Carol and her assistant, Kim. What an inspiring lady – taking up watercolor a couple of years ago after a severe car accident ended her career as a lawyer and left her a quadriplegic. Forgetting about her disability, the standard of her paintings is excellent, but to see how she has overcome so many physical hurdles to produce the work she does is just amazing. On top of this, she is determined to keep on improving and works hard to that end.
Thumbnail sketches and simple monochrome collages were used to simplify and rearrange our subjects.
The demonstration paintings below illustrate some of the techniques we explored.
Manipulating a large foreground to lead up to a focal point while not causing a distraction.
Creating depth with hard and soft edges
Flat Ultramarine gouache used to squeeze more vibrancy from the warm, transparent watercolor.
Confining detail and using empty space as an element in the painting.
Practicing the random placement of suggestive abstract marks
Sometimes an unusual subject will free you up to try new techniques.
Making a strong focal point in what was a flat uniform facade.
Starting loosly with a big brush and no preliminary drawing, then adding detail as the painting progresses.
Experimenting with techniques to break up a symetrical subject.
gorgeous – as usual – very jealous here!!! but the timing was not right – never mind maybe next time – thanks for the fish by the way – i am still staring at it! what colours would you think i would need to squeeze out for barry barra?
Loveyalots you two!
Lexie said she would send me some pics too 🙂
Annie & Richard
Ps = the big truck would have been my workshop freakout ! (wink)
Great to hear from you – missed you at the workshop.
Burnt Sienna, Indigo and Quinacridone gold would be my choice for the fish – plus some ink and charcoal.
You would have loved the truck once you got into it!
Thanks. This is amazingly helpful.
gosh….what have I missed?!!……maybe one day….in the meantimes I’ll dying of envy…….
thanks for sharing…
Wow, this looks like an incredibly valuable class. Seems to conceptual and filled with technical at the same time. I so hope you’ll consider conducting a class such as this in the U.S. at some point…soon?
Please do a class in the US (Texas preferably) SOON. I can hardly stand the wait.
This workshop looks great. I like the way, you paint, especially the mixed media work. This is the type of workshop I would like to attend, but Australia is very far from Germany. I think you sometimes come to France for workshops. I will watch your schedule the following years.
Thanks for your comments.
Details of my next workshop in Italy (Sept/Oct 2012) have just been announced.
If you are interested you can read all the details here
GOSH ,WHERE IN THE B——— HE—- ARE YOU ?
YOU SEEM TO HAVE BEEN AWAY ALL YEAR.
YOU ARE EVIDENTLY ENJOYING THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE WHERE EVER !!
WHEN ARE YOU DUE HOME?
YOU HAD BETTER DO A CLASS IN SYDNEY NEXT, I MAY BE A TALENTED NEW STUDENT !!!
Great to hear from you.
We are back home now for a while. Had a fantastic trip to France.
Flat out finishing a book at the moment – want to get it finalised before the end of the year.
A class in Sydney sounds good – John could bring his brushes along too!
I love this technique. Just gorgeous.
Thank you for this informative post – it is a study plan for exploring composition. I am looking forward to your new book.
Glad you found it helpful