Friday, July 16, 2010

Mini Comps - Color Notation on Site

I was  pleased with class last week.  All of you dove in and spent the entire class working in sketchbooks on black and white comps.  I feel that the process clicked for a few of you.  Do more this week at home.  They don't have to be landscape comps.  It is about seeing the abstract shapes in any design ... so you could do a comp of the breakfast dishes before you clear the table.

Remember next week in class, July 21st, you will be working in color on several small landscape paintings from your black and white comps. I will bring in examples.  In the afternoon, however, you are invited to stay and try mini color comps, no larger than 2 x 3".  This is a dry run for the class on the 28th.  Place only enough color spots to describe the light and shadow families of landscape.  Hopefully, this will develop into a quick notation system you can use on location, one that will record information about chroma and temperature (hue).  A black and white comp can record only value and design.  Why is this important?  Because a photograph simply does not record the wealth of information about color that a color sketch or even written notes taken at the scene can.  Also, if you take the time to do a color spot sketch or take color notes, you will remember the scene much more vividly that you would taking a photograph.

I will add some examples of the above to this post before class next week.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Class Syllabus July 2010

The floral still life from June was a breakthrough painting for everyone.  Color, composition and creative wild abandon for all.  Congrats!

We will focus on landscape painting this month, from your photos.  Please bring some to class.  You'll need a sketchbook, pencils or markers, small canvases (no larger than 8 x 10" or 9 x 12"), and on July 28th a gessoed piece of cardboard and a ruler.

If you have Kevin Macpherson's books, bring them to class because we will be referring to them.  I will recommend sections to read and field questions.

Consider trying Kevin Macpherson's limited palette.  See what you can mix from a few colors.  His palette is titanium white, alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue and cadmium yellow pale (lemon, pale, light are all OK). After you have worked with the basic palette for awhile, see what happens when you add phthalo green.

14 July
We'll take a look in class at pages 92 to 95 of Fill Your Oil Paintings with Light & Color and pages 56 to 61 of Landscape Painting Inside & Out.  We will do some black and white comps from your photos. 

21 July
We will continue in the same vein, but move into a small color study.  Look at the demos on pages 80 to 88 in Landscape Painting Inside & Out.  Take it step by step.  Simple is the answer.

28 July
Look at page 69 of Landscape Painting Inside & Out, the description for Day 4 and the top and middle photos.  Bring lots of photos to class; put your name on them so we can pass them around.  Bring a piece of cardboard you have gessoed or some canvas paper.  We are going to work quickly and paint tiny color studies.

Class Notes:
  • We have the classroom for the full day this month, so paint into the afternoon.
  • Class meets on 7/14, 7/21 & 7/21.
  • I will hand out invoices on 7/14 for $105.
  • Adria will be back east this month for Marlena's second surgery. Marlena and Adria, you are in our thoughts.

Reference Books for Landscape Painting

I recommend the following books about landscape painting.  Start with Kevin Macpherson's books for your first foray into the subject.  

by Kevin Macpherson
Start here, this basic book covers the basic building blocks of painting - seeing color, mixing color, light and shadow and seeing shapes with a focus on small plein air studies.

Landscape Painting Inside & Out by Kevin Macpherson
A follow-up to Kevin's first book takes plein air sketches into the studio for larger works.  A masterful breakdown on the creative process and design.

A classic must-read, but not an easy read.  This book is dense on text, short on illustrations and requires attentive reading.  For the serious artist, but well worth the effort.  You will find something new with every reading.

A compilation of the best from many good books on the subject of landscape painting, including technical and equipment difficulties.  The author accurately sets up the challenges of painting light with pigment.  If you didn't know what you were up against as a painter, you will once you read this book.  The solutions are what your journey as an artist is about.

An excellent study of design and composition with a focus on landscape and still life.  The leap from "a painting is a picture of things" to "a painting is the abstract design behind the shapes" is a difficult concept to grasp.  This book will move you from making pictures to creating paintings.

A classic by one of the greats of the golden age of landscape painting.  Text-dense and a challenge to read.  Don't tackle this until you are well into the subject.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Shawn Mckelvey at the Ralph Love Plein Air Festival

Shawn McKelvey won the People's Choice award at the 2010 Ralph Love Plein Air Festival, held the last weekend in June in Old Town Temecula. Here are two of his paintings. Great job, Shawn!

"Hot Summer Nights" by Shawn McKelvey

"Come Sit a Spell" by Shawn McKelvey