Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Playing with Charles Reid Style

I am having a lot of fun watching Rhonda Carpenter work with her Charles Reid DVDs. I am brought back immediately to how much I enjoy his style and use of color and brush work. I have his floral VCR tape (it's that long ago) and I have been enjoying having her remind of his drawing techniques and his drippy and loose style. Here is a painting I did after watching that floral VCR a few years ago.

Just for fun you can watch a few previews that give you a "feel" for Charles and how he works. One is here and one is here.

And of course he has a website you can view here.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Teaching Techniques...what do you think?

This is just about finished...maybe a few tweaks here and there. Scroll down for first photo of this. This photo taken indoors under artificial light...I'll see if one outside in daylight might be better but it gives you an idea.

My friend, Durinda, took a one day from Ann this winter in Sarasota. And since both of us also teach classes we are also interested in the technique people use to teach watercolor (or any medium) as well as how much we ourselves learn.

In my opinion, Ann's technique of "I paint, you paint" has some merit. Also some drawbacks.

Advantages: It's a lot easier to teach this way, I think, because you are able to "can" the lessons with many repetitions...it makes your demos more predictable and you can concentrate more on student's grasp of the ideas rather than having to be thinking through your own composition and choice of colors. Although I felt that she did make some subtle changes every time she did the painting. I think it's a good way to teach beginners who come away with an almost finished piece and feel more confident to try another piece. Even an old timer like me learned (and re-learned) things. I was not bored except that the pace was way too slow for me. I spent a lot of time drinking coffee and waiting. I would not have wanted to do this for more than two days!!!

Disadvantages: it is not very creative for the student to be painting the teacher's choice of subject matter. Still, Ann made no apologies about this. Instead she said "someone else can teach you that." Students do not get to see a variety of subjects being worked on...they are robbed of having the experience of experimenting with their own ideas. And of course, I can never sell or show this painting in competition. This is Ann's painting.

If Ann could have had the pleasure of teaching a beginner and an advanced class...that would probably have solved some of the problems. She could have moved at a much faster pace with experienced painters and by day two or three we could have been using our own subject matter. Your ideas on this would be welcomed!!! Tell me about your technique.

Ann Abgott's class: Day Two

This painting is about 80% complete. Background needs to go in and none of the objects is completely finished yet.

I'll re-post when it's done. This is one day's work but with lots of stops, discussion, and demos.

What I learned:
1. Take good reference photos with lots of detail and good composition.
2. make color and black and white reference copies
3. Pay attention
4. Work slowly and thoughtfully
5. Work with painting & reference photos upside down: think shapes
6. Pay careful attention to value changes
7. Load brush with pigment for deep and vibrant color.
8. Think about warm and cool colors.
9. go back into wet color with a flat brush and practically no water (just pigment) in order not to get blooms.
10. Paint manufacturer matters.

Some of the colors that were new to me and that I enjoyed using were:
  • Daniel Smith's Quin Burnt orange
  • Winsor Newton Brown Madder
  • Dayler Rowney Permanent Blue
  • Holbein Verditer Blue
  • Holbein's Mineral Violet
A very enjoyable two days and I would recommend Ann's classes if they become available in your area. Check out her website for her schedule and her gallery.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ann Abgott's class: Day one

Remember, in Ann's watercolor classes everyone paints the same thing. You trace her photo and then she paints and you paint.

She is a high key painter (to say the least).
Her pigment load is about 95%. That is she is painting almost straight paint off the palette, layering, glazing, and mingling colors as she goes.

This class (of about 20 gals) is being held up in The Villages for two days. As always I come home exhausted. (My hubby can't figure out how painting can be so tiring!). I know I don't have to explain to other painters!!! Ann suggests that we put a dark dark background behind this bird. What d'ya think? In her example it's quite striking.

This is a quarter sheet of 300# Arches Cold Press.

Tomorrow we do a still life of Ann's choosing that looks very interesting! Her palette of colors is quite nice...I'll share more about that tomorrow.

Time for a beer! Hahahaha.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Winter Garden, Florida Paint Out

Well, it finally happened!!! The long-awaited Winter Garden Plant and Garden show!!! I was there by 8:30 a.m. and got myself set up and got going right away. I painted until 3:30 with 3 breaks.

But you have to remember I was interrupted a LOT by children and visitors who wanted to know what I was doing, how, and to compare notes with their own art work in other media. Fantastic day...fairly low humidity, slight breeze, sunny and about 80 degrees.

Ann Blasic was the GREATEST organizer and so nice to work with.
She gifted me with a T-shirt and bag with the event logo. HOW NICE!!!

I briefly met the president of South Lake Art League (Clermont, Fl), Kathie Camara.

At 3:30 I had to rush off to attend a thank you party for tutoring volunteers for Leesburg Schools...I wish I could have seen more of the art the others were producing!

I didn't have any sales which was a little disappointing but mostly it was just plain fun and good to be en plein air again after quite a long time!!!

They had a GREAT crowd and will be open again tomorrow.

Both of these were done in watercolor in canvas 11 x 18.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring in Mt. Dora, Florida

This is partially a fantasy painting....watercolor on canvas 11 x 14. The house is real....it exists right in the middle of Mt. Dora, Florida! A landmark for that town, as you might image, and it's image is on many Mt. Dora brochures and flags etc. It sits right on a lovely tree lined street. I chose to put it out in a country setting and invented the wall and garden around it. This painting sold several years ago and hangs in a bank in Wisconsin! Of all places!

It just looked spring like today and I still have not unpacked my studio, so I thought I'd share it. Give me a few more days now. I am itching to get at it again..and have an en plein gig to attend this weekend so I will be busy finding my "stuff" again soon. I intend to use watercolor on canvas for the paint-out as well. Wish me luck!! My friend Durinda Cheek just finished painting in the garden at Disney's Epcot and she reports folks "were in the buying mood". Wow. That's good news.