Last night I guided a small group through a paint and wine class at Vanguard Gallery in Moreno Valley. One of my students had already taken classes with me, including the Absolute Beginners class and was happy to work through this painting of winter solstice sunrise across the Salton Sea to hone some of the skills.
We’re doing an underpainting to get rid of the white so in the final painting we’re not strugging with that aspect
We’re painting the sky part of the top coat
It’s easier to paint the bottom of the panel when it’s upside down.
First of three. These were painted together – small panels that would fit between doors in a hallway. However, I’ve hung them together in the booth and some people have considered they would make a nice triptych.
#1364 “Just us Three”. Refractured watercolor on panel 18×5″ $60 inc shipping!
I’ll often do two commissions so the client can choose which might work.
This is the first time that both did – and the client had the space for both.
It ended up being a great little grouping in this Sunnyvale home. The two top ones are the new additions to the collection. Both have poetry in them too!
And the collector is also a Cloud Appreciation Society member, like me!
Before you get too excited about my achieving second place with my chalk painting last Saturday in Moreno Valley, it was a very small field of competitors. I also had a small booth at the art fair and my beloved was being the store keeper for me, while I wore off my fingerprints. I discovered fairly early on that our choice of space to set up (chosen because putting Doug under the tree in the shade would allow me to use the umbrella to keep the blacktop I was working on from melting my fingers), was in front of the band. The band (there were several during the course of the day) and the between-bands background music was LOUD. So, to relieve Doug and allow him to walk around and repair his eardrums and sanity, I hurried through my work.
The need for speed was exacerbated by wind which took the umbrella for a tumble and meant I had to chalk with one hand while quickly rubbing the chalk into the now-scorching blacktop with the other. I finished in 2 hours, and apparently was the only one who completely finished, though other chalkers, intending to take until 4pm created larger compositions.
I had a limited amount of blue, so did the surrounding ‘atmosphere’ in red, rather than follow the original, and created far less clouds than on the mixed media painting this was based on. For this it’s more about the message than the accuracy of the map.
“That the world is round reminds us that we are on the same side.”
I had entered eight paintings in the Imperial County Fair this year and seven of them won ribbons! Four of them – the first and second place winners will be on display in Pioneer’s Museum in Imperial until the 27th.
About 15 months ago, ‘Jo’ took my absolute beginner’s class. Earlier in the month, she took the class again, not having painted very much in between. One of the things that I ask at the beginning of the class is what the student hopes to get out of it. It can help me tailor the class a little to hopefully cover any specific items. In this class Jo was lucky in that she was the only one, so we got to discuss her progress a little more.
She had indeed painted the day before, using watercolor crayons. The papers were tiny piece of printer or drawing paper – not the best surface. Jo expressed that she had had difficulty making out what she had painted afterwards and had ended up using ink to define the items painted. Towards the end of the afternoon, after the standard Shadows exercise, we looked at Jo’s paintings and I thought we could tackle one of them as a larger watercolor and make a more realistic painting.
Working a little larger does help. This time we used watercolor paper (Canson 140lb cold press) – about 12×9″. I drew a quick value sketch first on a scrap to outline some of the changes that we would make to make the little barrel cacti look more round, and the rocks “rocky”. The main adjustments were addition of shadows/shading to bring out the shapes of the cacti and rocks. I suggested a simple blue sky/purple hills/sandy mid-ground behind the cacti in order to make them stand out from it, rather than a green one of a similar tone. The cacti flowers didn’t come out as well as hoped – I’m not by nature a floral painter and they were a little on the small side to do much more with than a bit of impressionism.
Jo said her husband thought everything she painted was wonderful, but when he came to pick her up after the class and we showed him the before and after, there was no faking those eyebrows shooting skyward. Here’s the before (on the right! 🙂 ) and the after.
Monday’s cactus painting on the right, and Tuesday’s redo with Absolute Beginners class and a little individual guidance.