Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Plein Air in Watercolor

Here are three plein air paintings I did last week while the weather was so amazing.

The Mike Malm workshop inspired me to do some more painting from life. There seems to be so much that you lose in a photograph, even a really good one. But the real benefit of painting from life is that you tend to paint quickly. This causes you to focus less on the details and just see the big picture, or, in other words, the composition and value shapes. Details are just icing on the cake. Even really good icing can't fix a nasty cake.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Artist workshop with Mike Malm

I just had the pleasure of taking an artist workshop with oil painter, Mike Malm, Oct 25-28. The workshop consisted of painting models from life in
oils. It was the perfect opportunity to hone my figure-painting-in-oils skills, which will be very helpful to my mixed watercolor/oil style.

We painted models cast in warm light, cool light, and backlighting.

Our main focus was creating interesting compositions by grouping value shapes, which is applicable in any medium, style or subject matter. As shown in the image above, Mike is grouping shadow values together in a simplified way to make the dark values hold together.
In the following images, for my last painting, I blocked out the light and darks of my image, creating interesting shapes. I made sure, as the painting progressed, that my light and dark values held together, maintaining the same shapes and patterns.
I took black and while photographs to show how the values groups held together from beginning to end.

Day 4 - we had twice the amount of time to paint this one as we did on the other days (6 hrs vs 3 hrs), as Mike demo'ed in the mornings on the first 3 days.

On the first day of the workshop, we used a limited pallet, which consisted of yellow ochre (as yellow), burnt sienna (as red), perm red medium (or cad red medium, in my case), black (as blue) and white. I used a variation of this pallet for all of the paintings I did during this workshop.

Mike Malm's pallet.

Day 1 - limited pallet, copy from famous artist.

Day 2 - backlighting, painting from life

Day 3 - warm light, painting from life