Friday, June 21, 2013

Above China Camp–SanRafael, CA

"Above China Camp–San Rafael, CA", 8x8 oil

I just came back from another terrific plein air workshop with Tim Horn in Marin County, California.  I was able to visit with my sister, Sarah, and her family in San Francisco.  She loaned me her cute little Mazda Miata (which earned me many compliments), and I every day I drove over the Golden Gate Bridge to sunny Marin County for the workshop.

The workshop started, as last year, at China Camp Beach, near San Rafael, which is a historic shrimp fishing village.  Tim began with a demo; painting colored boxed in the sunlight, which is much harder than it looks.  The exercise shows you how to render the feeling of warm sunshine and cool shadows by exaggerating the colors and values. 

After the class did our own version of the colored boxes, we scattered to find our own vistas to paint.  I trudged up the hill near the entrance to get the view of the looking down over the buildings and the blue of the San Pablo bay.  I liked the contrast of the boxy shapes of the building and the uneven dock surface (which I may have exaggerated just a bit.)


Thursday, June 6, 2013

"Ana", Portrait Sketch"

"Ana", Portrait Sketch,  oil 9x12

We had a beautiful model, Ana, at our monthly Life Drawing at the Tampa Regional Artists. She's also a very good model–hardly moving–which is more difficult than you'd think.

When I'm painting a portrait,  I'm always determined to get a good likeness, which means constant reworking.  Someone said, "A portrait is a record of corrections", and I agree. At the same time I'm striving to make the values explain the form, for instance to to make sure the shadow side stays dark and the light side shows variation in color temperature.

So in the end, I think it's a good likeness and I like the composition.  The class was 2 1/2 hours, and I always wish I had more time. = )


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