Monday, May 18, 2009

Thank you for all your well-wishes re the workshop--I missed blogging and especially visiting your blogs! It'll take me the rest of the week to catch up with you.

There were a few questions in the comments to yesterday's post that I'll answer here.
We used a Tombow brush-pen for the b&w sketches; they're available in colors, but we used the black one only. And I should have added yesterday that we did the sketches on Bristol, which is heavy and smooth.

(And, yes, Ontario, Canada: we camped in a wonderful provincial park called Sandbanks a few years ago. The dunes were beautiful, and you could camp practically on the beach. I'd love to go back!)

Ken said we should do the sketches smallish, leaving ample white paper all around so we could judge later whether to add space anywhere (as shown below with the pieces of mat).
We didn't have good weather for painting outdoors, but Ken suggested that these b&w sketches are great to do outdoors in preparation of in-studio landscapes--fast and with all the info you need about value relationships. I thought that was a great idea; when I sketch outdoors, the sketch is usually an end in itself, but to do a painting from such a sketch, I'd need to get more, or maybe just different, information.

So, here are a few of the paintings I did in the workshop. I was pretty much frustrated with my results--the damp, the limp paper ... I also think I spent more time belaboring these than I would have at home; I had a whole day to fill up!
Painting away from home just jarred my whole thought process (and not in a good way!).

(11x15; a very damp first go)

In the final critique Ken suggested I work more neutrals into my paintings--an assessment I've heard from other teachers (!) and one I agree with, but find myself largely unable to comply with. I may be uneducable. ;-)
Actually I may try to acquaint myself with some grays, or neutrals--
I always admire Jeanne Dobie's grays so much! I think I keep away from them because I don't know how to make nice, glowing ones. I should practice.
Any suggestions of exercises or subjects that are good practice for making neutrals?
(11x15 sheet)


Natashia McEwan said...

I am in awe with the clarity and simple beauty of your watercolours


Art with Liz said...

I love the way you paint your watercolours - these ducks are terrific.

cathyswatercolors said...

Hi Laura, Love, love, love, the magnolia. Your colors are getting so vivid and beautiful. Did Ken work on other aspects of color? His paintings have so much color going on.
As for grays, a former teacher of mine would always use a combo of palatte colors

Robin@Library said...

The little girl is my favorite, she's so present & the colors pull you right in. Also reminds me of a photo of you at the beach as a child, were you thinking of that? Glad you are back!

RH Carpenter said...

Beautiful work, Laura. You cannot tell you were stressed about working away from home (we all have to adjust to that and it does take a day or two). I love your watercolors but if you want to add grays, just get all your primary and secondary complements, mix them, and paint with just the complementary colors, leaving the pure colors in the focal area only - see what you come up with. It's fun and easy to do. I love Jeanne Dobie's term for these grays = mouse color :)

HeartFire said...

Sounds like a fun class, I like your ducks paintings... I took a Jeanne Dobie class once, and she is a wonder at getting degrees of color. Her book has some exercises that I've tried and helped me to some extent with those "mouse colors"...

Nicole Gendy said...

I love the magnolias. I can feel their smooth thick petals...

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Laura,

As you can imagine that's a comment I've heard many times too. Some of us are not neutral painters. I know I can barely manage it. If so I'm uneducated too. Can't seem to drop the colour -- and I absolutely love the colour in your work. Please don't change.

Take care,


A Brush with Color said...

I hear you on the neutrals, but I love your colors, too. I personally think you have to be true to yourself as well, and your style is lovely. It sounds like it was a good workshop! Beautiful things you did here.

Carol said...

Beautiful work!