Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Plein Air Painting in "The Spirit of Browns Canyon"

As a board member of Friends of Browns Canyon, it is my pleasure to share this beautiful short film made by Salidan filmmakers Sam Bricker and Nathan Ward, "The Spirit of Browns Canyon".  I have a bit part in this movie, representing plein air painters who love to paint in the wild....

We hope that seeing this amazing wilderness, support will grow for permanent protection of the Browns Canyon area, as a National Monument. See how you can help at http://brownscanyon.org.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Landscape Workshop Recap

Last week I was in Charleston teaching a Landscape Workshop at the Artists' Loft School; here are some of the images by my workshop students highlighting the lessons....

We spent the first day working on selecting subject matter. The students brought in their photos of the landscape, and we discussed editing these reference photos, choosing a focal area, and crafting a composition where all the elements support and lead to the focal area. 

Much of the day was spent exploring the concept of "value" or the light and dark of a painting, and we did several value exercises, including a mostly "light-value" (High Key) painting, and a "dark-value" (Low Key) painting; both exercises painted in black and white plus two shades of grey:. 

Student painting exercise: dark-valued painting, 4 values

When the students were satisfied with their composition and value painting, we worked on toning the canvas, or paper, and "wiped out" the image, making sure we kept the values, or tones, consistent with our sketches; after this stage, the student was ready to paint. This is one way of getting the values right in your painting:

Student underpainting

Day Two was focused on Color with students working on various color scheme exercises, such as Complementary, or contrasting color, Analogous, Neutral with one bright color, and the concept of Color Temperature in painting.

I think the easiest way to think about the concept of "warm" and "cool" color is that (1) the temperature of a color is relative to whatever color is around it, and (2) warm colors generally have more yellow, cool colors more blue. 

Here is a student's work of a warm and cool version of the same image:  

Student work, Warm and Cool

We worked a lot with the color wheel and the concept of complimentary color, or those colors opposite on the color wheel. One of the students, Alice, was using pastel, and here is her Complimentary Color scheme exercise; she painted a toned background in a hot pink color in the first image, then a blue background in the second:    

Student work by Alice, Complimentary Color Scheme

Another student, Barry, also worked with a complimentary color scheme; he painted the background color orange in his first image, then a cooler raspberry color for the second, using a lot of the complement, blue, on top of the orange, for a vibrant contrast.

Student work by Barry, Complimentary Color Scheme

Some of the students worked on the following exercise: the students painted a mostly warm painting, using cooler color in the focal area and in the trail to the focal area.

Student work by Christy, warm painting with cooler focal area

Another piece by Christy, using mostly cool color, with highlights and focal area in warmer color:

Student work by Christy, mostly cool with warm highlights

Another student's work in mostly cool colors, with highlights and focal area in warmer color:

   Student work in mostly cool colors with warm focal area

Here is a piece by Paula, whose color scheme was a more neutral, greyed one, using mostly neutral colors, and one bright color, using the background toned color as an accent:

 Student work by Paula, neutral plus one bright color scheme

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

February 2012 Landscape Painting Workshop Pastel/Oil

 Landscape Paintings in Oil and Pastel                                    
 with Susan Mayfield               
 2/24, 2/25 & 2/26    2012 
  Artists' Loft School
  327 Folly Road  Charleston, South Carolina      843 637-4229   

Intensive, fun workshop for those artists with some experience with oil paint or pastel. We will work on the fundamentals of making a dynamic landscape painting. Through the landscape genre, we will learn how to create more interesting compositions, learn to use “value” to make more powerful paintings, and learn how to use color to make a powerful statement. The class will do several small paintings each day, learning methods of planning your painting, from choosing subject matter, editing and using reference photos. We will work with a set of
guidelines to help you critique your own paintings. There will be lots of hands-on, individual instruction with demos.
email : susanmayfieldart@gmail.com
Class limit 10
Times: 9:00 - 4:00 with lunch break
***Cost: $300...Early Registration discount if paid in full by January 31st...$265
Supplies: Suggested list to be provided
Please bring a bag lunch, or we can order out.
Along with your check, please include your name, email address and cell phone number.
Make check out and send to:
The Artistsʼ Loft School
327 Folly Road - Charleston, SC - 29412-2548 info@theartistsloftschool.com

Friday, January 6, 2012