Monday, December 8, 2008

Sarasota Workshop - Day 1

While snowstorms ravage Downeast Maine and the Canadian Maritimes, Sarasota is basking in the sun. It's a great time for an outdoor painting workshop -- if you're in Florida!

This week, I'm teaching a pastel-or-oil workshop. To give the students from New York a chance to enjoy the beach, we headed out to Lido Key. Lido Key is known for, among other things, the profusion of shells that wash up on the sands during storms. In the photo below, you can see the "Sarasota Stoop" in action as Trina and friends shell hunt.

My pastel demonstration today was of one of the many Australian pines that provide shade on the Key. Normally, I save this for later in the week because I consider trees to be a more advanced topic. But this particular tree had such strong light and shadow that it provided a perfect opportunity to talk about design, which I consider fundamental to plein air painting. Design is the first thing I look for in a subject, and strong contrast can easily establish a strong design.

As you can see, I also had a chance to play with color. For the underpainting, I chose pastels more for value than for color. After scrubbing in the color with Turpenoid and letting it dry, I finished with more realistic color.

"Lido Key Shade" 9x12, pastel, en plein air

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