Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Painting a Small Landscape Outdoors - Video!

Grab your coat and tuque, because we're going to paint outdoors!

I've been waiting eagerly for the arrival of my JVC Everio digicam so I could start filming my own demonstrations. It seems that an essential part of being a teaching artist these days is not just writing a book but putting out your own DVD. Since I've already written the first book (with a second on the way), I'm ready for the video.

The camera arrived two days ago. I spent the night in bed reading the three manuals. The next afternoon, I went out and shot my first demonstration. As this was completely intended to be a learning experience, I had no expectations.

Demonstration: "Snowfield Sentinel"
5x7, oil, en plein air - SOLD

It was about 30 degrees with a bit of a wind coming off the bay. (In the first version of the video I posted, you could definitely hear the wind! My "beta testers," my helpful colleagues on WetCanvas, informed me that this was an issue. I've got a new microphone on order already.) Otherwise, I was pretty toasty in my parka and other winter gear.

I intentionally painted a very small painting - 5x7 - for this demonstration. I enjoy doing small pieces in the winter, but also since this was a test, I didn't want to overwhelm myself with something as long as "Doctor Zhivago." Also, after running into issues with sound quality (the wind) and static shots (I refuse to hold camera in one hand and brush in the other just so I can alternate shots of palette and painting), I edited the 30 minutes of footage down to 5 minutes and removed the wind (and my voice.) Finally, I overlaid a favourite melody by Debussy.

My demonstration of "Snowfield Sentinel" is on my Demonstrations page (in the Workshops section) of my website. In the future, I'll also be posting real demonstrations in which I describe what I do.

Enjoy it, and I welcome any feedback! - Michael

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