Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Lois Griffel Workshop - Day 2

Despite showers moving in for the night, dawn came clear. It was cool enough for me to wear a down vest in addition to a fleece jacket and turtleneck shirt. Lois took us out right away to a rocky beach in nearby Bernard, a perfect place to talk to us about the use of greys and browns.

After all of that vibrating color on the first day, it was a relief to be allowed to use neutrals. But Lois doesn't use the term "neutral." Rather than "neutralize" a color with the addition of its complement, she likes to "calm" it. I agree that this is a better term; "calming" implies that the color is still very much there, only quieter. "Neutralize" indicates that the color goes away altogether. I would rather calm a barking dog than neutralize it.

For our rocky beaches, she had us start with an underpainting of Cadmium Orange and then overlay it with blue. (As always, matching values is critical.) I found this very difficult. Even though I'm pretty adept at "frosting the cake" - putting wet paint over wet paint - my blue kept mixing with my orange and making, believe it or not, a green that actually seemed a value darker than either of them. It had a slight green cast to it. Lois suggested I use a cooler blue. The cooler blue didn't seem to make the green as readily, but I still had trouble keeping it from mixing with the orange. I don't seem to have this problem with other complementary color combinations. Here is the result of my morning's "start":

After a tailgate party lunch, we went up the road a bit and painted a swamp that was full of lovely fall color. She gave us free rein to put into practice the last two days' instruction. I was pretty happy with my piece, but I do think I wandered off the Impressionist path a bit and in places forgot to use "vibrating colors." It's hard to break old habits, but since my goal this week is to try something new, I'll remember better on Day Three! Here's my afternoon "start":

Finally, I leave you with a few photos of Lois and one of her "starts".

Lois demonstrating:

Lois' painting, step 1:


Lois' painting, step 2

Our group hard at work:

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