Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Milton Workshop - Day 2

It was another beautiful spring day at the Halton Region Museum. The sun came out in full force, and you could almost see the snow melting back on the ski slopes. I began to wonder if I should have brought some sunblock.

Today I talked more about value, and I told the group that doing a monochromatic underpainting was a great way to create a "road map" for adding color. Wherever color is added, it must match the value of the area it's being added to. I did a small demonstration using four values of brown -- a "bistre" underpainting, as they would say in the academies -- followed by local color. One of the side benefits of using such an approach is that the underpainting creates a natural color harmony in the finished piece. In my demonstration, little bits of brown show through everywhere.
"Over the Rooftops, with Snow"
9x12, pastel, en plein air



Here is a photo shot near where I stood to paint. Note the distortion to perspective caused by the camera lens; the angle of the rooftops is exaggerated. Another good reason to paint from life.

Later in the day, I demonstrated my "extreme limited pastel palette" of 12 colors plus black and white. This went over well with the students, since it showed them that you really don't have to lug all 300 pastel sticks into the field. This is, after all, a plein air workshop, and I'm stressing my approach to plein air. Extreme portability is the key. (Stay tuned for the book!)

Before I turn out the light for the night, here's another photo from around the Museum. Tomorrow - color temperature!


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