Thursday, September 4, 2008

Doug Dawson Workshop - Days 2 & 3

Day 2 with Doug was spent mostly painting. We returned to West Quoddy Head, one of the locations we sketched and photographed on Monday. The idea was to take the designs we worked so hard on and turn them into paintings. Doug is very big on value sketches - all of your design issues should be worked out in this stage. (His thumbnail sketches tend to be a bit bigger than mine - a whole page of a small sketchbook.) The work we did before was indeed valuable, and it made the painting go a whole lot better because you weren't fussing with composition while trying to get color right.

On this day, I somehow lost the 6B drawing pencil I use to sketch with. I had a small set of oil pastels with me, so I did a design sketch with a dark brown. I haven't used oil pastels before. I'd brought them along to see if I could use them for color thumbnail sketches. I'd heard that you can turn them into a wash with mineral spirits, so an idea came to me: What if I used them to block in the composition of my painting? So I tried it - and was very pleased with the results. I particularly enjoyed the greater control I had over the mark-making in this underpainting stage. A brush sometimes seems to have a mind of its own.

I tried this again on Day 3, and remembered to take sequence photos so you can see how it went. Here is the block-in, followed by the OMS wash stage, and the final painting. I need to state here that Doug does not use oil pastels, and both of us were wondering just how archival this method is. Will the painting slide off the panel in a month? (Let me know your thoughts!)




And finally, here is Doug on Day 3, painting a little building:

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