Normally, I wouldn't sit down and paint from a computer monitor under fluorescent lights but the meeting was held after dark and it was raining outside. And these are landscape painters so painting a still life or model wasn't a draw. Nor was going out into the parking lot and painting from observation an option.
Members of the group critiquing their own work before my presentation. Always a good thing to do.
My set up for the evening. (Thank you for the improvised drop cloth Diane. I need to remember to put one in my traveling kit.) The gray easel you see here is the brand spanking new Strada, the first time I used it. Something I will review in an upcoming post. The Strada easel is an interesting option for the plein air painter – light weight, all aluminum, quick to set up, with some other clever tweaks of interest!
Here I am holding up a painting I did en plein air last week low down on the Yaquina river with Michael Gibbons. (The family farm in this painting was the real-world inspiration for Ken Kesey's second novel "Sometimes a Great Notion". An true-to-life depiction of old-school hardcore Oregon loggers...) I brought the actual painting in because I wanted to present a more complete finish to what had to be a brief demo. And also, so I could reference it for color notes.
Here I am, explaining abut the Japanese concept of the Notan, and how helpful it can be for organizing the lights and darks of your painting into two distinct families. Doing so immediately generates a strong design.
And here I am blocking in shapes, discussing how to create transitional color passages, why thick and thin application of paint help make a painting appear more expressive, and ultimately, how to let the paint itself convey a sense of detail without a lot of rendering...
And as usual, "'splaining more stuff" afterwards...
Please Note: My 2013 Carmel plein air workshop is now filled If you are still interested in taking a workshop from me please contact the Carmel Art Institute to place yourself on the waiting list. If enough people do we will look into scheduling a second workshop this year.
Or you can visit my workshop page to see what other classes are being offered, and where.