Finally, I have a moment to review my notes from my trip to Coeur D' Alene, Idaho. I usually review a demonstration while it is still fresh in my memory but this is the first chance I have had since my return home to look through everything. Yet another distraction, this last weekend was my 7th wedding anniversary (Yeah!) so I was busy celebrating on Sunday.
First I want to thank the Oil Painters of America for organizing 5 days of fun events, informative discussions, and enlightening demos for all the attending artists. I was very impressed with the caliber of work that was at the show and with Devin Gallery. The owners enthusiasm was catching and the opening night electric. During their stay, many of the artists took the opportunity to paint the natural beauty of the area.
One of the highlights of the event was the demonstration by Scott Christensen. We were asked not to post any photos from the demo but I wanted to write about a few insights from Scott.
1) Mix your colors first. This way you establish the key of the painting before ever picking up a brush.
2) The most common mistake made by new plein air painters is painting the darks too dark.
3) Design the painting.
4) Establish interior and exterior lines. An example of an exterior line is the sky line. Keep it varied and interesting.
5) In painting, overstatement is weakness; reserve is strength.
6) The lightest lights become darker and redder as they recede(think about this one for a minute) into the distance.
7) Darks become lighter and bluer as they recede.
Scott first uses a lovely range of neutral greys and browns. He then adds colorful highlights. His subtle greys make up the majority of his paintings. In the past, I decided that my paintings were too neutral so I started applying more color first and later adding neutrals if needed. I find there is nothing to compare with actually doing what a teacher says, so I am going to have to try his method. The first painting could be a dull disaster but there will be lots to learn and experimenting is always an adventure.Topics: Learning Curve
- Become Your Own Best Critic by Setting a Higher Standard
- Painting Shadows and Light
- Change is Necessary or Not
- Drawing (and Painting) with a Purpose
- Steps to Understanding Color
- How Drawing Improves Your Paintings
- The Best Figure Drawing Book
2 Responses to Notes from Idaho
Thanks for this post Sharon. Being new to oils I was happy to read some of these NOW obvious issues I'm dealing with as I attempt to learn more about oil painting. Such as 'painting the darks too dark'. I appreciate your taking the time to share these with us.
Love your work and all the informative posts you share. Thank you.
Thanks for commenting Nancy. It is always great to hear from readers. Funny thing, even though I "know" these points it is always good to reinforce them. Old habits are harder to break so the ones you are forming now are very important.
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