Workshops: Rockport 2013, Day One “Memorial Day”

First off, welcome to Rockport, Maine home of my annual 2 week workshop and then let me apologize for the quality of the color in these images I was in full sun and couldn’t get the camera settings right while trying to wrestle this painting into a corner.  I painted at a cemetery that is just up the street from the hotel, and I had a great time with the subject matter.  I am putting up the photograph of the actual place and hopefully even with the color problems you will find the demonstration worthwhile. Come Back everyday and enjoy the workshop

“Memorial Day” 14 x 20.  I know it is Labor Day weekend in the United States but I wanted the image of remembrance.  I left out most of the monuments because they were not that important to the composition and I lifted the the figures with a small brush after I laid the first wash.  Try to establish your center of interest, and stick with it, name it and claim it, if you get off the core idea of your painting then you will struggle with the finish.

The light is really harsh and not very interesting for my painting so I will turn it and put my objects in shadow, that will give me a better composition with nicer color.

lift the figures using a damp brush and paper towel.  Remember when painting lots of tress let the sky come through and plan for the addition of tree trunks and branches.

Cut around the white shapes while running the first washes, it is important to think through the process before and in the initial phases of the painting.  Once you loose edges, shapes and light it is hard to make mid course corrections.

I resisted the urge to make the figures too dark they are the center of interest, so they had to be enough.  I also really tried to restrain myself from putting in too many details, which is a definite problem when working outdoors.  There is a lot going on.  Core lesson here is to name your contrast and stick with it, when done with the painting ask yourself did I answer the question and is the contrast stated if not do it again.

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