Rockport Maine September 2011 Workshop

Warming up with the flowers at Merryspring Gardens Camden Maine

Ready to get started All I need is the artist oh I forgot that’s me and I’m playing photographer.  I am going to do a painting of white mega sized daisies.

 

On a piece of 18 x 24 arches cold press I lightly sketched in the flower shapes and put in some New Gamboge and orange for the middle of the flowers and brushed in the cool shadow tones on leaves and let them merge.

I worked around the light filled flowers with a mixture of cool greens and greys to get the negative shapes to show.  I am really trying to keep the flowers loose and light filled.

I begin to work some warm tones cadmium scarlet and cobalt violet into the greens to get some variety against the flowers.  I am really working on a loose edge feeling and merging the colors from the background into the flowers.  The merge is through the shadow tones.

I put in some details and leaves some dark accents under and around the flowers with dark and vibrant greens.

18 x 24 finished painting.  I think it has a nice loose quality but it is too compact and doesn’t have enough movement between the light passages.  It was fun and it was a nice way to get ready for a two week Maine workshop.  Maine is not all boats, rocks and surf it is also subtle and small.

Off to Rockport Harbor to meet the group for the last open painting day before the start of class.

DAY ONE ROCKLAND, MAINE

I OPENED UP THE WORKSHOP WITH A CREATIVITY LESSON.  I ASKED THE STUDENTS TO TAKE FOUR PIECES OF PAPER AND TO USE ONE CONTINUOUS LINE TO SKETCH OUT SOMETHING THEY REMEMBERED SEEING ON THE WAY OVER TO THE SITE.  THEN I WANTED THEM TO APPLY SOME COLOR AND CREATE AN EXPRESSIVE INTERPRETATION FROM MEMORY.  THIS GAVE THEM THE CHANCE TO WORK A LITTLE ON THEIR DRAWING AND LINE AND ALSO TO PROVE TO THEMSELVES THAT THEY COULD MAKE UP THE DESIGN AND THE SUBJECT MATTER.  I USED THE THEME OF ANGULAR BUILDINGS, ROCKS AND WATER.  THE FOLLOWING ARE MY DEMOS OF MY DRAWINGS, OH AND THE TIME LIMIT FOR THE EXERCISE WAS 4 DRAWINGS IN 1 HOUR.  TRY IT AT HOME AT YOU CAN BE A PART OF THE WORKSHOP TOO.

15 X 22 on Canson 1059 paper

15 x 22 watercolor Canson 1059

15 x 22 Fabriano 90 lb hot pressed

DEMONSTRATION DAY ONE

I TOOK A VERY COMPLICATED HARBOR SCENE AND COMPRESSED THE DISTANCE FROM ABOUT A QUARTER MILE AND BROUGHT IT RIGHT UP IN FRONT I USED THE HEDGE AT THE BOTTOM AND THE TREE AT THE RIGHT TO CREATE THE FEELING OF CLOSENESS.  I LEFT OUT A LOT OF DETAILS AND JUST PAINTED A VERY DECORATIVE AND GRAPHIC SORT OF PAINTING.

photograph of the scene I was looking at I gave myself about 45 minutes to work out the demonstration.   I really wanted the class to get to work on an afternoon painting.

18 x 24 arches block

DAY TWO ROCKPORT MAINE,  WELL THE WEATHER HAS GONE RAINY AND WE ARE INSIDE AT THE TEEN CENTER.  THANKS TO MY WONDERFUL FRIEND DELL WE HAVE THIS TERRIFIC SPACE.  WE PAINTED AND WORKED FROM 8 UNTIL 2 AND THEN MADE WAY FOR THE KIDS.  CAME BACK AND HAD A CRITIQUE.  EVERYONE IS WORKING REALLY HARD AND DOING SOME GREAT WORK.

YESTERDAYS LESSON BEGAN WITH A WARM UP OF SEVERAL PAINTINGS IN WHICH I GAVE THEM THE TASK OF MAKING UP A SIMPLE COMPOSITION AND THEN GOING THROUGH SOME DIFFERENT COLOR CHOICES.  I USED A THEME I SAW FROM THE WINDOW OF MY ROOM WHILE I WAS DOING A YOGA POSE.  IT WAS UPSIDE DOWN SO BEING AN ARTIST I JUST FLIPPED IT OVER.  HOW CREATIVE.

sketch book image of the opening lesson

15 x 22 watercolor on arches

15 x 22 watercolor  reds and blues

15 x 22 watercolor on arches, green, new gamboge, cobalt violet and cobalt blue

DEMONSTRATION FOR DAY TWO

15 X 22 watercolor on Arches 300 lb cold pressed.  I took the theme of the morning and worked out a better composition and color palette.  I tried to keep the rainy day feeling going.

Detail of brush work at the edge of the trees.

DAY THREE ROCKPORT MAINE WATERCOLOR WORKSHOP

Today at the workshop we were indoors one more time it was truly messy outdoors mid 50’s and continuous rain.  I went over value organization and composition.  I asked the group to take a simple subject, and then come up with 4 to 5 different value patterns.  The result of the lesson would be a better understanding of the way values, lights, darks and middle values control, the movement through the painting, the mood of the painting and the time of day.  I think they did a fabulous job and everyone seemed excited by the class.

Here are my five value patterns based on the theme of harbor side buildings and a small boat.  Notice the way the feeling of the painting changes with each different design.

pattern one

pattern two

pattern three

pattern four

pattern five

take a simple subject and the value around and see how it goes.  Let me know how you are doing.  Steve

Tomorrow we hope to have better weather.

DAY FOUR ROCKPORT WORKSHOP,  WELL THE WEATHER IMPROVED AND WE GOT OUT OF THE STUDIO AND INTO THE SUNSHINE AFTER LUNCH.  VERY NICE TO SEE THE SUN.

TODAY’S CLASS WAS ALL ABOUT INTERPRETING THE FEELING OF FULL SUN, CAST SHADOWS, DIRECTION, OF THE LIGHT AND REFLECTED COLOR.  IT IS A NICE LESSON TO DO INDOORS BECAUSE IT TAKES ABOUT 2 HOURS TO GO OVER.  I WAS IN A PREVIOUS LIFE A LIGHTING DESIGNER SO THE LIGHTING EFFECTS SUBJECT COMES PRETTY NATURALLY TO ME.  IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE REALLY GREAT PAINTERS AT INTERPRETING LIGHT CHECK OUT THE BOOKS THAT LOOKS AT HOPPER’S WATERCOLORS, SARGENT’S WATERCOLORS DURING HIS HIATUS FROM PORTRAITURE, AND THE MODERN MASTER OF LIGHT TREVOR CHAMBERLAIN.

Value Pattern for the painting

18 x 24 watercolor arches block

Quick studies of the passing clouds in the afternoon, painted while everyone was working like crazy getting ready for critique.

DAY FIVE AND DAY SIX

I AM PUTTING THESE TWO TOGETHER BECAUSE I BEGAN EACH CLASS THE SAME WAY AND FOLLOWED WITH A SIMILAR DEMONSTRATION.  I ASKED THE CLASS TO WARM UP WITH AN EXERCISE DESIGNED TO LOOSEN THEIR LINE MAKING UP.  I ASKED THEM TO LOOK OUT AT THE SCENE IN FRONT OF THEM AN BEGIN WITH A CONTOUR TYPE LINE AND TO KEEP THE LINE RUNNING ALL ACROSS THE PAPER.  I WANTED THEM TO PUT IN THE SHAPES IN FRONT OF THEM AND TO COMPRESS THE SPACE, OR NOT TO LEAVE A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF OPEN SPACE IN THE MIDDLE.  THEN I WANTED THEM TO SPOT IN SOME COLORS TO ENLIVEN THE DRAWING BUT NOT TO FINISH A PAINTING.   IT WAS A VERY FUN LESSON.  THE FOLLOWING ARE MY THREE DEMONSTRATIONS FOR THE EXERCISES.

18 X 24 arches cold pressed block

18 x 24 arches cold pressed block

18 x 24 Arches rough

DEMONSTRATION DAY FIVE

IN THIS DEMONSTRATION I CARRIED THE THEME OF THE MORNING GESTURE LESSON OVER AND DREW A SCENE OF A WOODS INTERIOR.  I USED A CONTINUOUS CONTOUR APPROACH TO THE DRAWING AND FOCUSED ON GETTING A LOT OF MOVEMENT AND COLOR.18 X 24 ARCHES COLD PRESSED BLOCK

DAY SIX DEMONSTRATION

THIS DEMONSTRATION WAS DESIGNED TO GET THE CLASS INVENTING THE COMPOSITION.  I MOVED THE BUILDINGS, ROCK WALL FROM SOMEWHERE OUT OF THE PICTURE PLANE AND PUT THEM INTO AND OPENING IN THE TREES.  I TRIED TO FOCUS ON A NICE PASSAGE OF LIGHT ACROSS THE PAINTING.  I AM NOT TOO HAPPY WITH THE WAY THE PAINTING SAGS IN THE MIDDLE BUT IT WAS A FUN DEMO TO DO.

18 x 24 arches rough block

PAINTING FROM SUNDAY MY FREE DAY ALL WERE INVITED TO DROP BY AND PAINT WITH ME.  WE WERE AT THE END OF ROCKLAND HARBOR AND I WAS PAINTING A COMMERCIAL PIER THAT I REALLY ENJOY PAINTNG.

18 x 24 arches cold pressed block

BEAUTIFUL DAY IN CAMDEN MAINE

OFF TO PEMAQUID TODAY IS GOING TO BE BEAUTIFUL,  MORE TOMORROW

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