Lessons learned in Ray Robert's WorkshopAlong with about 12 other students I got to spend 2 intense days painting and learning from Ray Roberts, a great workshop teacher and winner of the Gold Medal Award for Painting at the California Art Club's 101st Annual Gold medal show in April of this year. Here are some of the notes I took and what I'm taking with me from the class:
The focus on shapes; finding the rhythm of the shape and making the contour interesting enough to be believable, but not being a slave to the literal interpretation.
(We did a great exercise where we focused on painting a scene in just 3 values, focusing on the shapes and staying pretty close in values within each shape, simplifying it to make a stronger statement - a great exercise for me because I tend to get lost in all the beautiful colors I see in nature and then I tend to end up with too much lights and dark areas within an area/value and loosing the strong design, things "popping" where they shouldn't...)
Ray pointed out that if you are unhappy with a painting it is often because you changed your light and dark pattern.
-We talked about achieving "Dynamic Symmetry" where there is both balance - and tension.
-Seeing painting as a subtractive process of what to avoid:
Anything equal, repeating angles; shapes; sizes and spacing.
I really like this little plein air sketch now. It's simplified, the values and shapes work and I love the combination of color. Thank you Ray and Peggy!
Now on to the next thing I need to learn...