The best workshop ever

I'm going to keep this as brief as possible with the words but I'll say it with pictures. This workshop, a new workshop I've been developing for a while, emphasized thinking abstractly and working on good design rather than drawing and painting a thing to look like a thing. The results were astounding. The idea for this class came from watching people struggle with drawing and color throughout a class and never getting to the other components of painting. My demo for the class, a 48x24 diptych.

We started off with simple abstract design concepts, some from reference, some only hinting at reference and some just right out of the old noggin, exploring shape, division of space, and line. It was a mental warm-up for the next phase, washing in to the drawings with watercolor. The first two days were a little confusing to some of my die-hard attendees (for some this was their 4th or 5th class with me) but by day three... watch out sister. It started to flow. The following images are from the class... I promised them I wouldn't name names and this is but a fraction of the work produced by these valiant artists but a good sampling.

Small ink and wash design explorations based on sections of reference or whatever came to mind.

I thought these were really great explorations of division of space and shape rhythms, A tough exercise for a realist painter.

From here we moved to color studies on canvas of the sketches using house paint, a collection of random color and values that really made them think and adapt. There's no chasing color here, only design considerations.

Check out this cross section of one students studies.

From here (Day 3) we went larger with the house paints and the artists chose whether to work from  painting reference or photo ref or from the earlier explorations. Once the house paint dried they could work over the top with oil if they wished. 

This little beauty was 90% house paint with some glazes and oils. Look at the lost edges on the left and the absence of detail... who needs it?

Same here, one on canvas and one on gessoed watercolor paper.

On the left is the study inspiration for the painting on the right..... I love them equally.

You'll find the study for this last one in the 4th photo of studies.... Love it. Fresh, inventive and all because a few steps were taken to lead the artist to this place. Plein air painting has it's place, it gives us the tools we need to be stronger artists and lead us down our own path. And it's a joy when I start to see those new paths begin to emerge. I'm really looking forward to teaching this again... and I will, Feb 16-19 in Carmel, CA then again in Nashville at the end of March. Then again in Anderson Fine Art Gallery in St. Simons.

It is so very exciting to be able to help artists grow,I grow too.... just not hair.


P.S. if the other students send in their work, hint hint, I'll post a few.


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