Friday, April 12, 2013

"Under the Old Oak Tree", plein air, 14x11, oil on linen, oak trees, Spanish moss, Kim English workshops

"Under the Old Oak Tree", plein air, 14x11, oil on linen

A few weeks ago I took a 3 day plein air workshop with fabulous artist Kim English. I've talked about the workshop a few times, but have not posted much of what I painted during the workshop. The main reason for this, was that Kim's objective was to get us to paint fast, and not worry about coming away from the workshop with any "Masterpieces" or refined works.

Now when I say fast, I mean lightning quick! No time to think about mistakes, no time to overthink anything, just spontaneous reaction. (Or should I say spontaneous combustion?)

The first day started with doing 5 minute oil sketches with a live model. As soon as the 5 minutes was up, we had to quickly wipe out our painting in 30 seconds maybe, and get ready for a new pose! By the end of the first day we were all totally exhausted. (Or at least I was!!!!!!!!!)

The first day was rainy so we had to improvise. We painted indoors in the morning at Spanish Point and in the afternoon at the Venice Art Center. So not only was there a lot of paitning and wiping out, there was plenty of moving around as well! I wiped out every single painting that first day except the last one, which I'll try to post in another blog entry after I photograph it. By the end of that first day, Kim gave us not 5 but 20 minutes to complete our little oil sketch! What luxury that felt like after those 5 minute poses!

The second day was cold but a beautiful day to paint outdoors at historical Spanish Point. Our model had some great outfits that she wore including a sea-foam colored gown and blue shawl.

Kim posed her in front of Guptil House and did a 20 minute demo, demonstrating how to get in all the information as quickly as possible. Here is a photo of his demo:

Our model was beautiful and typical of today's youth in that she was glued to her iphone in between poses. I loved the contrast of old world charm against modern technology in this photo of her using her iphone while in costume with the old building behind her:

 After Kim's demo, he set us loose to try to capture everything as well on own own! I should have had some smaller canvases with me, but I didn't so this was as far as I got in the first pose of the day:

 I felt I had gotten a decent start on this one, so I deemed it a "keeper" and put it away to finish at home. The above painting, "Under the Old Oak Tree" was the result.

I definitely learned to paint fast during Kim's workshop, and since then I have experimented with adding more figures to the landscape as well.

If you would like to learn to paint quicker outdoors, and/or add figures to your landscape work, do check out Kim's workshops which are listed here.

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