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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Upcoming Watercolor Workshops - Starting Sept 8 & 10, 2014 from 7-9pm

Wicked Winds - 16x20" Watercolor on Arches
$460 Matted & Framed

There are still a few spots left for my upcoming workshops, Watercolor for the Absolute Beginner  and No More Muddy Watercolors.

Artists will learn to create realistic watercolour paintings full of detail, form and rich colours.

We will focus on different techniques including layering transparent glazes, using opaque and transparent colours, colour mixing, dry brush techniques, wet on wet texture tips and more.

This beginners class will focus more on techniques and creating simplified paintings while the intermediate workshop will focus on using the techqniques to create more complex paitnings. All supplies included in the cost of the workshop.

Both classes are offered at:

Port Moody Art Center
2425 St Johns St., Port Moody
Please register at online using the links above or call (604) 931-2008 for more information.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Graydon Parrish Workshop - Munsell Color System Intermediate

This year I realized that 5 days is just not enough so I pulled every last string I could with my "real life" responsibilities and was lucky enough to get to spend 10 full days learning from Graydon Parrish.

Once again I learned so, so much!  I honestly can not say enough about what a wonderful, inspiring, knowledgeable, patient and just darn nice person Graydon is.  If you ever get the chance to take a workshop with him, run don't walk to sign up.  This year we applied the color knowledge that we learned in the first session by painting high chroma spheres. 

Red Sphere Ebauche
We started with the red sphere, or 5R4/12 in munsell notation.  We mixed up our paints and then did a quick (well it should be quick but I am SO slow) ebauche.  I struggled a bit (well a lot) mixing up the correct string as I seem to have a really hard time "seeing" red for what it really is.  I see the value as much higher than it really is due to the high chroma.  As I recall, I struggled on my color chart as well with red and yellow.
Red Sphere - Second Pass
Once the ebauche was dry I then painted a second pass, trying to get closer to the actual value and chroma shifts that I observed on the actual sphere.  Spheres are deceptively hard to paint or draw realistically as every little flaw sticks out like a sore thumb.  That being said, I was very surprised at how easily the red sphere took shape, I must be getting better ;)  This is where I left the sphere but it still needs at least one more pass.  Even though I no longer have the sphere, I can paint up my own at home to a perfect match (thanks munsell chips) and set it up in my studio to get the same lighting set up.

Yellow Sphere - Oil on Panel
While my red sphere was drying I started on my yellow sphere, 5Y8/12 in munsell speak.  The dreaded yellow sphere!  I do not paint yellow much in any medium so I did not realize how difficult a color yellow is to match correctly.  I forgot to get a photo of the ebauche and 2nd pass so here is the finished sphere.  Yellow is tricky because every time you put a stroke of paint down, the stroke next to it looks too green or too orange in comparison.  Plus it is just darn hard on the eye to look at such an intense color. Short sessions are a must!
Palette at the end of a session
I took a photo of my palette at the end of one of my sessions to show how neat, clean & tidy it is :)  Above my pallet are a couple of the tubes of paint I mixed up and tubed last year for my neutral paints.  Before when I would end a painting session my palette would be in a complete state of chaos as I would be trying to mix what I was seeing in my subject on the fly.

While I do enjoy working that way at times, when trying to really accurately depict the color you are seeing it is really hard as each brush stroke is relative to the stroke that came before it and I tend to end up chasing the values and chromas rather than stepping back, taking a deep breath and painting what I know, not what I think I am seeing. 

Yes I could just paint spheres focusing on value and hue and get an ok looking sphere but to paint a sphere while maintaining the correct hue, value & chroma all along the full form of the sphere is so much more challenging....and so much more rewarding.

Graydon Parrish Workshop - Munsell Color System for Beginners


Last year I took the beginner's Munsell Color Theory workshop.  We spent 5 full days delving into all the colors on our palette to see where they live in color space and created a top notch color wheel.

The munsell color system looks at color based on Hue (colorant or color), Value (light to dark) & Chroma (intensity or how far a color is from neutral gray).  We used munsell color chips to mix and match the exact colors we wanted, in this case the highest chroma hues that can be mixed in paint.

Each Hue has a different value of chroma that can be reached and mixing high chroma colors is no easy task! Graydon is such a patient & amazing teacher that he made 5 days of mixing color actually fun and quite exciting.
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Check out Wikipedia for a full explanation of Munsell.

Munsell Color Chart
This is how my color chart looked at the end of the workshop.  I had initially only signed up for 5 days but was lucky to be able to sneak back for an extra two days to finish up my wheel.  It may seem like a long time to make a color chart but I learned so much from mixing each high chroma color on the wheel and plotting all of my tubes of paint on the chart to see where they are in the color space. 

Learning this system has made me much more mindful when mixing my colors and painting.  It has saved me a great deal of time and paint as I am able to mix more accurately the correct value and chroma that I am after before I start painting so I can just paint and have fun rather than mixing on the fly.


Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Painting the Grisaille with Non-Toxic Oil Paints Classes
Sep 4 - Oct 23, 2014 --- Thur 10 - 12 pm

Egg Study Grisaille - Oil on Panel
The Grisailles is a method in which the artist renders the form in shades of grey. It simplifies the process of painting before moving on to colour and may also be used as an under painting before colour is applied. This class is perfect for beginners.

You will learn how to create and transfer your drawings to the canvas, create an open grisaille, mix correct value strings in oil, create a closed grisaille focusing on hard/soft edges, maintaining value structures and create smooth transitions through proper placement of values and blending, model form to create luminous 3D paintings.  Instructor demonstrations, individual one-on-one demos along with critiques will solidify concepts discussed in class. Although the concepts in this class are advanced, they are simplified and broken down into manageable pieces sop even beginners will feel confident and achieve amazing results. All materials provided.

Please register through the Port Moody Art Center at online registration or call (604) 931-2008 for more information.