Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What a Workshop Last Week!!

Demonstration of plein aire painting on Angel Hill in Taylors Falls, MN by Marc Hanson

Last week I attended a week long workshop given by Marc Hanson, a signature member of the Oil Painters of America. What a worthwhile class!! We had demos, painting exercises, painting along the river, in the park, in the was great!

Marc is an excellent teacher and he is able to take something and make things make sense. The "light" finally went off. I have always had considerable trouble painting landscapes as I tend to get too much into them. The key is to simplify. The exercises that we did the first day or two of class were extremely helpful. Simplifying big areas into one value area and limiting the values to a light, middle and dark one....difficult when there is soooo much stuff to look at. However, it was incredibly helpful. The next day we did a series of quick value studies implementing these simple principles. Taking color out of the picture eliminates the tendency to overwork and mismatch the wrong values. The last few days we actually painted using color, but we also thought out the entire idea or concept prior to painting.

I really cannot say enough about the class. It definitely was worth the time and money and I highly recommend taking it.

Below is a photo of some of the gray studies that I attempted to do.

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