Today was day #2 of my 3-day plein air workshop with Randall Sexton (sponsored by the Illume Gallery of Fine Art). Sixteen of us headed over to Liberty Park in Salt Lake City, hoping to not get rained out. Kathryn Stats (one of the students) had her husband drive their 1952 Chevy over to the park. We gathered around it and began to paint.
Simply put, it was a lot of fun!
Randall demonstrated his magic for us and blocked in the Chevy.
Here's his rendering of Kathryn's car:
I worked on my version of the Chevy for about an hour and a half, then realized that the proportions were wrong. I scraped it off and had another go at it.
Even though a car is just a mass of shape, value and color, I found it challenging to paint! I think I was distracted by all the details in the reflections. I didn't squint enough. My moment of "aha" arrived when Randall came over and erased a bunch of details in my piece to reduce the large shapes into simple masses of color. This time I think I understood the concept!! I'll work a little more on my car painting and see if I can lay in a few strokes to get the background going. I'll post it here when I'm finished.
Because it rained, we stayed inside. Randall gave us a demonstration using an image from his ipad as his subject. It was the Union Train Station here in Salt Lake City.
Here's his palette...
And his image...
His Initial block-in (there wasn't time for him to finish).
So, instead of blathering on about all the cool things I learned today, I'll just post a few notes and images for you.
Randall suggested that we premix the general colors of the big shapes in our composition. Here's my palette.
He demonstrated how to block in in a tonal way by working the shapes in his composition from the inside out. A linear approach would be to draw all the shapes with lines and then color them in (which is a habit I'm trying to break).
He suggested that we remember we aren't painting "things," rather we are painting the differences between things. This means that along with drawing the form of an object, you should also consider the negative space surrounding it and use negative space to help carve out the shape of your object. I finally "got this" about halfway into my painting.
Mr. Sexton's friendly personality contributed to the atmosphere in the classroom. He is a wonderful instructor! Here's my finished piece and now, I'm excited to see what tomorrow brings!