PDA

View Full Version : I went on a pleine air workshop yesterday...


Lawrence Fox
06-10-2013, 10:38 AM
...and learned a whole bunch of things.


I need to work on my drawing skills
I need to work on perspective skills, espcially with buildings (which is related to #1).(It's also something I've know for a while; the spousal overunit keeps telling me "There must be a trick you haven't learned yet" and I keep telling her "No, it's practice, practice, practice...)
I need to play with current palette and find a few combinations that will give me some real deep darks/near blacks instead of light grey (gray).
Watercolourists and acrylics painters inhabit separate but completely different universes :). (The workshop leader is an acrylics painter who said "I just couldn't get the hang of watercolours").
I am not a Group of Seven fan-boy nor am I ever likely to become one or want to paint like them (Canadians will probably get this!)As an aside, while nearly all of my kit fit into a backpack, the one things that didn't were the 12x16 boards and some 1/4 sheets of paper. I used a large totebag, but the handles were too short to fit over my shoulder which means I had to carry it. Anyone have any suggestions for one that will? Or should I look for something like laptop case? Or anyone know of a backpack that I can get that will hold the boards and supplies and be easy to get stuff in and out of?

virgil carter
06-10-2013, 11:23 AM
Good tips, Lawrence. You can look for a backpack that will hold either 12" X 16" or 11" X 15" paper, but it takes some looking. I got mine at L.L. Bean, but here's a good art source: http://sun-eden.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&product_ID=337&ParentCat=26

Larger sheets and backing board may be carried in a separate tote as you described or "sandwiched" between a couple of rigid pieces of Masonite (or even foam core) and lashed to the backpack with elastic shock cord or adjustable straps. Same for water bottles.

I carry my tripod and head in a separate purpose-made travel pack with a shoulder strap. This, too, could be lashed to the bigger backpack to reduce the number of "carryables".

Was the workshop with the acrylic painter useful? As you say, it's different worlds.

Sling paint,
Virgil

Lawrence Fox
06-10-2013, 11:36 AM
Virgil:

It was useful in that it got me out of the house for a day on gorgeous sunny day, perfect for outdoor activities and gave me a chance to play with my new easel (used Bristol) and show me what other supplies I need to get. (I have a large backpack for my 17" laptop that will hold the boards and paper, but I don't want to get another one--unless I can get a decent briefcase-type one for the laptop--and that's been a struggle so far (since so many of the large laptop cases are butt ugly :)).

Which LL Bean backpack are you using?

It was useful in that it reinforced a few things that I have to learn that will bring all of my painting forward (whether I do it indoors or outdoors). Things like doing a compisitional thumbnails, a value sketch, etc.

OTOH, dealing with a workshop leader who is not totally familiar with your media is not always easy. There are bound to be some communication issues. (I also suspect that watercolours--even if they use the same pigments (have the same pigment codes) as acrylics, do not behave nor mix in the same fashion).(Let me also say that the workshop leader and I are friends and colleagues through a completely different organization and have know each other for several years. But artistically, there's a bit of a gulf!)(In fact my easel is his old one that he didn't need or want any more!)

Let's add to that that he's a big fan of the Group of Seven (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_of_Seven_%28artists%29)'s approach to colour and shape and that I'm not; I'm much closer to the Impressionists.

For those not famailiar with the Group of Seven, check of the McMichael Collection (https://www.mcmichael.com/collection/seven/index.cfm).

CharM
06-10-2013, 07:40 PM
Not Group of Seven, but a colleague, Emily Carr's paintings are moving (to me) and not as impressionistic as that Group. The Totems were truly her fascination and obsession.

While visiting Owen Sound, we browsed through the Tom Thomson Gallery. He was a mysterious loner and passed away before the Group of Seven were formed. His work is also beautiful and not as impressionistic.

Anyway...

I meet each Tuesday morning with a friend to paint. We decided to sketch for some of that time each week and it has really helped us.

Deep darks... use more pigment and less water... Those greys will become black!

I agree with you about the Acrylics artists... they have their own set of challenges to work through. Don't be deterred... you really do have the advantage! :)

Does your Wife know what you call her?????? *smirk* How's your young lad doing? Must be growing like a weed, eh?

Lawrence Fox
06-10-2013, 08:23 PM
Charm:

Oh yes, Gail is quite aware of what I call her. It does put me in my proper place in the hierarchy around here, don't you think? Certainly better than calling her SWMBO!

As for the Junior Time Lord (he just told me he wanted an new online reference, as his no longer a "little guy") -- he's 12 now and almost as tall as his mother! (and up to my shoulder). Time certainly flies when you're having fun, eh?

Not to chop words, but I don't think of the Group as Impressionists--they were much more into blocks of colour and form, and not so much into the painting of light and shadow.

One of my other issues with the workshop was that the instructor was very into using CYMK colour theory and getting proper blacks (and not using complements for shadows). It goes against some of the grain of how I've been painting up until now. (Now I don't mind taking a workshop where the idea is to stretch a bit and look at other ways of thinking and doing, but this approach was just a bit too much for my limited mind :)).

Neeman
06-12-2013, 01:55 AM
Timbuk2 laptop bags or laptop pack
You can put in the computer size
Which can be like a 1/4 sheet size and the paper

Lawrence Fox
06-12-2013, 12:52 PM
Neeman:

Any particular model that you recommend? I'd like to be able to attach the easel to it as well so I keep my hands free.

Lawrence

Quinacridone Gold
06-18-2013, 12:46 AM
...and learned a whole bunch of things.

[LIST=1]
I need to work on my drawing skills
I need to work on perspective skills, espcially with buildings (which is related to #1).(It's also something I've know for a while; the spousal overunit keeps telling me "There must be a trick you haven't learned yet" and I keep telling her "No, it's practice, practice, practice...)
I need to play with current palette and find a few combinations that will give me some real deep darks/near blacks instead of light grey (gray).


I squeeze a little Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna - almost equal parts but a tiny bit more on the blue side - into a palette pan and mix it and let it dry so I have an instant dark grey. It saves so much time when plein air painting.

Other great darks are phthalo green+ crimson, permanent alizarin or Quin violet, Phthalo blue RS + a warm red - Pyrrol scarlet or transparent pyrrol orange etc, or burnt Umber + Ultramarine to name a few.