Thursday, September 24, 2015

...and that was that.....frank eber plein aire workshop

as i drove away after dropping frank off at the local airport i reflected on what a great experience the plein aire workshop had been. we spent 5 days painting landscapes in an atmospheric limited palette sort of a phrase...frank eber style. the weather cooperated and we only had to spend one day inside that wasn't planned that way due to iff weather...rain. the la crosse area provide more than ample outside venues worthy of painting...we hardly dented the list frank and i had come up with for possibilities. for sure there were a few hiccoughs, like a locked fence, a ways to the nearest toilet facilities, but all in all not too bad.

here are a large number of photos of the group (12 in all), work in progress from frank, and some completed stuff from the students.

we are already planning a return of frank to the la crosse area sometime around the twsa jurying in early to mid 2016. depending on the weather it will probably be mostly inside the studio gallery 1311.

one of the venues

frank and the group in doors


double ditto

our intrepid instructor

one of the student paintings

frank applies that magical first wash

and the darker second

finished work out behind the studio gallery 1311

class in the alley behind the sg1311

another spectacular spot to paint

frank at work on another demo

another first wsh

putting in the darker shadows

et voila

frank taking a well deserved bow

student effort of similar scene

franks afternoon demo using the same scene...differently

city scene the next morning

that afternoon with different light

final day on the rabbit trails in the marsh

a final student painting

Thursday, September 10, 2015

continuing with the sitting bull demo

the two areas that i tackled in the last few days were primarily the shirt with the fringe and the background.  before starting that description, however, i will correct the size of the piece being 15"X11" (rather than 13"X10"). ghastly mistake, i know.

fringe, background, hair ver. 1.1
the shirt i am assuming is buckskin or some such softened leather with fringe. i painted in the shadows and areas covered with fringe in a fairly dark combination of fub and burnt sienna (some mineral violet and quinacridone gold may have found its way into the mix occasionally. when the sheen was coming off the wash in the process of drying (about a minute or so) i scraped/squeegeed the dark paint off the fringe area leaving a the fringe the light underlying color. it is important to push the paint out of the way rather than dig into the paper to scrape....the latter will leave a dark line as the paint runs into the depression.

i did work on the hair with the same colors and only using a little scraping to bring out lighter highlighted strands.

fringe, background, and hair ver. 1.2
in the background i went up a few sizes of brush (#16 escoda versatil?)and put in some incidental bands of color horizontally across the sheet. a brighter quinacridone gold near the center of the figure to get a glow suggested in that area; some vermillion to start a theme of red that i am going to use in the background; and some manganese blue nova at the junction of the neck and shoulders to sort of ground the whole thing and, with the next overlying red wash, will eventually bring a violet hue to cause a color vibration against the mainly desaturated yellow shirt(at least that's the theory...and i'm sticking to it).

i am going to put some accent red in the buttons coming up from below both for the color and to lead the eye up into the face.

that's it for now. getting close to finished.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

back to the basics

with the first watercolor class behind me and the show preparation just about over, i was able to put a few strokes on the demo that i started for the class during the 4th week. it is of the iconic photo of sitting bull with his single eagle feather. i will give you a bit of narrative to indicate what my process and thoughts were as i progressed. i am doing this in part to let the students know how i am finsihing up this work started in class.

it is on a piece of 300# hot press fabriano artistico paper measuring about13"X10". after drawing the face i proceeded with a fairly typical approach to painting it, at least for me.

choosing manganese blue nova, vermillion, and raw sienna as the basic palette, i entirely covered the figure  with about a 10% variegated wash and spilled out into the background to attach it to the sides of the painting in about 3 different places. i like to get some cool colors on the forehead and warm colors in the middle of the face (cheeks and nose). this painting across lines also lent a air of spontaneity. i used a largish squirrel quill brush for this wash.

tatanka iyotanka, redux (wip)
when this dried i started sculpting the features with a classic light to dark technique using the same colors. i switched to a #12 escoda perla round brush for this work and pretty much all subsequent washes. i usually start with the eyes as they are so important (the eyes have it)  that i want to know they are going well before i go on to the rest of the painting. if they are not working out i don't want to waste time with an already failed painting. from there i moved down the face to nose, mouth, chin. i put in a light wash representing the highlight of the hair with a fairly neutral gray mixed with french ultramarine blue (fub) and burnt sienna, my first departure from the basic palette described above.

with the feather, after putting a bit of light warm color on it, i described the body with negative and positive shapes of cerulean/raw sienna/alizarin crimson. the tip was the same fub/ burnt sienna mix. putting more pigment on the hair described not only the sides of the face, but also the braids. i softened the edges of hair/face juncture on the shadow side. the rest of the hair was a mixture of mineral violet, fub, burnt sienna, alizarin crimson, darker on the shadow side and pulled into the light with a damp clean brush (being careful to preserve the light of the binding thongs).

here is the wip of this painting at the time i finished working on it yesterday afternoon.

Friday, September 4, 2015

"ah....worth the wait"

"ah...worth the wait"  (20"X17")
finished this piece yesterday, matted it with a floating mount, framed, and delivered. ah.........all is good.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

everything set for show

the one painting i am furious trying to finish!
i finished the matting and framing early for my solo show at the studio gallery 1311 opening on saturday, september 5, from 1800-2100 hours. it should be a fun informal affair as these sort of things in la crosse tend to be. not primed for any sales as this just isn't an artist market here, but good conversation, seeing old friends, making new ones.............all good.

here are some photos of the show after dave bass and i hung it last sunday. it needs labels and the studio gallery needs a little sweeping after the beginning watercolor class, but otherwise we are set to go.

if you are anywhere near the area, please stop by. all you can drink and eat, cheap wine and sam's club hors d'oeurves, respectively........not really....better than that.

one for the history books

the final session of the first beginning watercolor class was held monday. after the students finished work on their "term" projects or three hours had elapsed, which ever occurred first, we had a critique....mild mannered but still helpful in terms of sharing their work with rest of the class. all in all and considering most (all but one, actually) had never picked up a watercolor brush before the class, they did extraordinarily well. i will let the pics of their final work speak for themselves and let you make your own assessment. i, however, am proud of their accomplishments in 5 short weeks.

here is the album of photos i took during the finale.