I started this painting awhile ago as a demo for Plein Air Austin. It was my first demo in awhile and rather intimidating knowing how talented a group of artists were watching! I have since done more demos and have become more comfortable with them. Sometimes I might even make sense!
Thursday night I will demonstrate with a model at Castle Gallery. Come and see me - and artist Diane Lyon - as we share our processes from 5-10 pm.
I had so much fun with this painting. The color is so rich and vibrant. Its framed in a simple white floater frame, perfect for a bright beach house! It's on its way to Tidewater Gallery now.
What's a Mudhead?
Over one hundred years ago, Charles W. Hawthorne devised a unique way to teach his own method of painting. Instead of focusing on line and form when composing a painting, Hawthorne stressed the importance of carefully observing "color spots" and the representation of light and shadow. To help his students understand this concept, Hawthorne posed models with their backs to the bright sun, often wearing hats or beneath umbrellas. As their faces fell into deep shadow, students were unable to see the model's features clearly, and were forced to focus on broad areas of color rather than details. The featureless faces became known as "mudheads". Of this approach Hawthorne said, "My artist friends are surprised at my having students paint a model out-of-doors, something which they consider extremely difficult. But I consider it the quickest way to get under your skin the idea of the way to paint everything."
-- Provincetown Art Association and Museum
The quote from Hawthorne I shared yesterday got me thinking more about his teaching and what I do with my own work (and plan to share at our workshop.)
The idea is to focus on the big shapes of color/value and paint those. Rather than going into the landscape or a city scene and trying to depict every tree, shrub, bench, lamppost, etc. we learn to focus on big blocks of color and not end up with a patchwork of complicated material to force into one cohesive design. Get the big masses right and then you can begin to further divide, as Henry Hensche taught, expanding on Hawthorne's instruction.
Use the big shapes to create an interesting pattern of light and dark. Compose and plan the balance of your painting with the big masses and then go into details. Or not.
My daughter working the sidewalk chalk a year or so ago. Love the long shadows. Morning and evening are such great times of day. But the light moves quickly and you have to work fast.
Don't miss the opportunity to learn some techniques about painting fast and loose (that sounds kinda bad) with V....Vaughan and me in June. We'll work from life and photos and paint the landscape and figurative works. We will focus on "starts" - that time of so much promise and inspiration! I love starts!
Here's a great quote from Charles Hawthorn -
"Do studies, not pictures. Know when you are licked — start another. Be alive, stop when your interest is lost. Put off finish — make a lot of starts. It is so hard and so long before a student comes to a realization that these few large simple spots in right relations are the most important things in the study of painting. They are the fundamentals of all painting."
Light Meets Light Workshop | June 18-21 | $400 | V...Vaughan and Robin Cheers
May is just crazy....
We're running towards 5th grade graduation and cramming as much in as possible it seems. Yesterday the kids went to the middle school for a tour. Today was a field trip. They have the talent show and career day and early release all happening this week too. Another field trip later in the month. My daughter has her Girl Scout Bronze Award to finish up and then there is the ceremony and bridging to cadets... and countless more things to remember. And this doesn't even touch on my own work and any other family obligations.
Is it any wonder my brain is on the beach?
I'm definitely going to work this one into a much larger piece.
This sketch was painted on Arches Oil Paper. Its a great paper, specially made for oil painters. No bleed through and protected from oxidation with a unique barrier. The surface is smooth. The paper is thick and can be mounted, varnished and framed as usual or placed into a ready made frame perhaps with a mat and glass.
This is my day to feature my work during the 24 hours of Art show on Facebook. See more at my ETSY shop - but make sure you join the virtual event today to view one-of-a-kind pieces and receive special discounts of 20% or more for event attendees only.
A Painter's Journal
Chasing the light. Capturing life.
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