Friday, October 3, 2008

Lois Griffel Workshop - Day 4

At the Acadia Workshop Center (, large windows provide a view of the natural seawall and the wetland behind it. Because rain forced us indoors on Thursday, I decided to paint our rainy-day view using Lois' approach of creating greys with complements and broken color. Below you can see my "start." I was a little uncertain about including the road sign that lets you know you're entering the National Park, but it seems to work. I painted this one entirely with a knife:

Later, Lois did a demonstration from a photo to show us how she moves beyond her "start" to a more finished piece. She stressed that both Hensche and Hawthorne and even Monet rarely worked wet-into-wet; they were more inclined to let a painting dry between stages so that the next layer would go down with rich, unsullied color. Of course, a five-day workshop doesn't allow for this approach, so she made sure to use thick, fluid strokes in the later stages. She also emphasized procedural items, including scraping out any passage that gets muddy and cleaning the palette thoroughly between first notes and second notes. Here are two photos, one of her painting and a close-up of the painting in the final stages.

In the afternoon, we all worked from the same photo, in which she showed us how to handle a landscape in which the flat planes are lighter than the sky. The photo depicted an overcast day with cool light. As always, she gave us guidance for our starting colors. In this case, our first notes consisted of violet for the dark tree masses, pink for the sky and blue for the rocks. Here's my "start" in its final stage, again, painted with a knife:

By the way, I want to thank Richard McDaniel ( who sent me a correction on a typo I made in yesterday's blog. A piano has 88 keys and not 66. At least I didn't type "666"!

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