Monday, June 25, 2012

Three Persimmons

Three Persimmons  Oil on Linen  8 x 8  SOLD

I've been busy in Vancouver with my parents recently so I haven't had a chance to practice the techniques that I learned in Mike Svob's workshop. However, I've been practicing thumbnails, trying to come up with different designs for the same image, and seeing which one is most dynamic, for a future painting. This sounds elementary and easy, but it's actually quite difficult to rethink a photo considering adding gradations,  simplifying the shapes and creating a pattern of three values - light, midtone and dark. If you can get through this step and feel really good about one or two thumbnail designs, the next step of painting from your thumbnail by matching the values, is really freeing. A bit scarey but freeing! I highly recommend you try it. 

This is a little painting a did a while back. I received this beautiful table runner as a gift. It's made from recycled Sari's. The persimmons added to the exotic theme, but it was really all about painting the beaded and sequined fabric. I love exotic fabrics...


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mike Svob Workshop - More

This is my second painting in Mike Svob's workshop. This one is in oils, and I was trying to use a colour scheme I don't usually go for. I'm more of a warm palette person. I'd like to try this one again with a warm palette and more intensity to the colours. Below is the reference photo

The second day of the workshop Mike painted in oils. The process was a little different but the concept was the same. We chose a reference or references, created 5 or 6 thumbnails trying different emphasis and compositions.  This is really hard to do and requires a lot of practice to come up with many different scenarios of the same image. Mike just whips them off and has endless ideas. The most important part is breaking the thumbnail into three values - light, midtone, and dark, then paint from the thumbnail instead of the reference, using any colour, as long as it's the same value as the value field in the thumbnail. this process creates a new vision from your reference material. In fact you could paint several paintings from the same reference this way. I'm so excited to practice this new approach and see where it leads me.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Workshop with Mike Svob

This past weekend I had the good fortune to be able to attend a two day workshop with Mike Svob, an artist from Vancouver BC. His work is collected all over the world and much loved for his wonderful sense of colour. He is a terrific, giving instructor, has a great sense of humour and really worked hard at assisting everyone. As workshops go it was a five star and we all gained valuable knowledge to build on our painting skill base. If you ever get a chance to take a workshop from him, I would highly recommend it. He has a five day workshop coming up in White Rock in August and it's posted on his website if you're interested. He also has a book that you can buy online called Paint Red Hot Landscapes That Sell.

Mike believes in creating value study thumbnails where you can try a variety of scenarios, and if the thumbnails aren't, you don’t go ahead with the painting. The value studies are broken into light, midtone and darks. The values that fall in between are pushed to the value that they are closest to, or as Mike says “whichever value guy he seems to be hanging around with.” Mike believes that value is the most important aspect of a painting and if you get the values right, you can assign just about any colour in that value spot.

Here is Mikes reference photo. He cropped down to the two people on the left. And here is his new design using this reference.

I totally loved that he changed just about everything in terms of colour. It was so exciting to watch the transformation and he did it so effortlessly.

The first day we painted in acrylics and the second day in oils. Below is my reference photo and the acrylic painting that came out of it using his techniques.

Sorry it's a bad photo because I photographed the photograph to save time in searching for it on my computer.

I've been very focused on painting from life for both my still life work and my landscapes in plein air, so this has excited me SO much because I don't have to capture the perfect shot on the perfect day, or wander around looking for a terrific scene being lit by a heavenly beam of light. Not that I don't love plein air of course! But now I can trust myself to make some of it up and have a wonderful time doing it!  I'm sure many of you have been interpreting a great deal more than I was willing to do, so you might not find this so exciting. But this way outside my comfort zone and I'm totally pumped about it!