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!