Friday, August 30, 2013

Color Ideas in Kennebunkport & Online Mentoring

Recently, Pam and I taught a three day workshop in Kennebunkport Maine to a great group of painters. We really enjoy teaching these private workshops. It was an intense three days and the group accomplished a lot. It was also a nice intimate setting and just about perfect weather for plein air. I've posted some images from the workshop at the end of the post.

We focused on the use of my palette, working with complimentary color ideas. The lesson makes use of the palette as a color wheel simplifying both color and value. Some painters have a difficult time juggling color, while some struggle with value. Sometimes, the idea that both color and value have to work together in  painting complicates the painting process to the point that they freeze up or they keep dipping their brush into piles of paint and applying it to their canvas, in hopes that something magical will  happen on it's own or by accident.

My workshop will help you understand how to simplify both color and value. While it's true that everyone possesses their own natural color sense and that the goal is to arrive at a point where painting becomes a somewhat intuitive process, everyone has to first learn and become comfortable with some real basics. My method starts out with a simple underpainting  which is an arrangement of light, middle and dark value shapes that all relate to one another in a logical way and creates a pleasing pattern. By starting out with just value and not the final color, many students make improvements immediately.I have recently made this workshop available as an online mentoring class, "Complimentary Color Palettes"

Color is painted on top of this underpainting in the same three values. In this way the painter doesn't break up their pattern of lights and darks. Lighter value and darker values can be stated later as the painting gets further along, but first we just want to keep our value plan. There's a saying in painting; 'no pattern, no painting' and if there was ever one big truth about painting, this one is it. I have students use a simple complimentary color palette for this workshop so that color doesn't get out of hand. It starts to teach them the poetry behind the use of a simple palette and how they can achieve a harmony in their paintings that many paintings lack because the artist tried to use every tubed color in the book. It's all about keeping things in reserve; the reserve of both value and color.

Anyone interested in this online mentoring class can purchase and download it from my website, It is available as a private study on your own or with me as a four week mentoring class. I know you are all busy and I've tried to design a course that can be done anywhere at a time that is convenient for you.  The four weeks will start when you are ready to download and the four weeks can be taken over a period of time that works for you. While it is recommended to be four consecutive weeks, it doesn't have to be followed in that manner.

My hope is that this will help some painters who are struggling out there. I am confident that I can help you with your painting. Overtime, I will be adding more online classes to this series for a total of 6 individual courses. The next one will be about  color triads. I will be taking my color ideas a little further, showing you how to work with specific color triads to show you another way to bring color harmony to your paintings.

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