Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Plein Air Convention 2014 - More Demos

Color Freedom
Oil on Linen on Board

After a tough morning with my own painting on Friday I watched Lori Putnam paint at the All-Day Paint-Out and I was inspired again!  I loved seeing her making artistic choices with color and design - (not slavishly following what was there).  Her color combinations were beautiful and it gave me the freedom to tweak my own happy color combinations!  Thanks Lori!

Here are my notes from some more demos

Randy Sexton and Larry Moore
 The most inspiring part of seeing Randy and Larry paint was to see these two masters using an abstract start to their paintings and then seeing the very unique and different approaches they took to interpreting the subject.  It was a fascinating journey and again emphasizing to me that art is all about our own unique approach and interpretation.

Randy used an old painting (that looked great btw) and painted over it.  I loved seeing how abstract and loosely he started, working in the big masses with soft edges.  As he said "feeling the masses - from the inside out" and allowing himself to organically find the drawing.
Randy paints on regular birch, that he gessoes as well and will use a rag to wipe out areas.
"When you start out abstract you discover as you're painting what the image is."  Randy likens the painting process to sculpture although he likes when an area turns into a flat space.   

This is something I enjoyed hearing, because it is something I appreciate in other artists paintings, but have yet to achieve to my satisfaction in my own!

Larry started out with Golden Acrylic tints and Acrylic white gesso.  He uses a simple palette with yellow, red, blue and black - finding the info in the big shapes, not going for color notes (and local color) right away, but building up to a color with a contrasting color underneath.  

He focuses on seeing patterns of light and dark - without drawing, having the faith to know the figure will unfold.  He also stressed building dominance and sub ordinance of areas as you go.  In the picture above you can see him using a rubber knife to knock down the importance of an area.  

Softer edges recede and harder edges come forward.

Here you can see more closely the great dark and light pattern Larry achieved.   He uses a whole variety of brushes.    As Larry said:  "There are thousands of ways to attack a painting.  Find your own way - be open to new ways."
"Painting is like a train-ride:  Some take it to the end and other get off at the first stop, your personality decides where you get off."  which I believe he said were the words of Roe Wilson...but I'm not quite sure I got the name right.

Larry's advice, which I wholeheartedly agree with, is to look at other artists work to find your own voice by seeing who's work you respond to.

Larry Moore's painting is on the left and Randy Sexton's painting is on the right.

Words of advice from Dan Gerhartz on painting portraits:

  • Find extremes in value, edge and color to start off so you have something to compare to.
  • Use color temperature to change form
  • Your values need to be consistent, so it doesn't get shopped up - hold on to the unity of that form.
  • Keep your shadow and light areas as simple and solidly separated as you can.
  • Edge variety is critical
  • Use the reddest red for lips
  • Moongoose Rosemary brushes are good for blending

Dan Gerhart's Palette:
Zink WHite
Rembrandt Permanent Red MediumTransparent Oxide Brown (a rich transparent dark)
Cad Lemon 
Cad Yellow
Alizarin Crimson
Ivory Black
Ultramarie blue
Prussian blue

Watching Dan paint made me want to go home and immediately start working on doing head studies...from real life,  to build some confidence in that arena of painting!

Charlie Hunter ....tomorrow...


  1. Wonderful painting! Thanks for sharing your PAC experience. I have enjoyed reading it.


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