Sunday, December 13, 2015

Let's Figure it Out! (PKR Workshop Review)

PKR inspired high key still life study 8x10 oil on custom panel
Happy winter weekend everyone! Back in October I was lucky to finally take a Peggi Kroll Roberts (PKR) oil painting workshop (art bucket list--check!) at Blackridge Artists School here in Denver.  Spoiler alert: It was an awesome workshop and lived up to all the glowing reviews I’ve heard about Ms.Roberts.

First, to learn more about Peggi and her art be sure to visit her attractive website where you’ll also find helpful “how to” downloads, DVDs, painting tools (like the MVP I always use), workshop list, etc.  Peggi also sells some painting studies in her Etsy shop.
Colorful light and shadow notan exercise in PKR workshop Day 1
From the start, Peggi offered captivating demos and gentle critiques. I haven’t painted a live model in a few years so her positive attitude and patience was greatly appreciated. For example, she sketched out a quick anatomy proportion “reminder” that I could use as reference while measuring the model.
Peggi's demo of one of my favorite Mary Cassat "flat shapes" exercise
My "stained glass" exercise from live model--really enjoyed this one!

Day one the class (a super nice group of hard working ladies) painted simple lighted still lifes concentrating on light and shadow notan separation. Day 2 and 3 we painted a variety of enjoyable exercises working from the live model. As much as I enjoy working from photos, I always feel like a "true artist" when I tackle the challenge of a model.
Adding more color in the lights exercise--cantaloupe study
I particularly enjoyed Peggi’s  warm ups and exercises—such as the “limited brush count” and working very high key for which she is well known.  My big “take away” was Peggi’s  paint loading—it’s was at least the thickness of her brush! This generous paint renders splendid “waves of color” brushwork as you can see in this petite still life I purchased for a “reminder” souvenir back in the studio!
Peggi Kroll Roberts still life study--check out that paint!

Day 3 Workshop-Model in red dress study

Thank you Peggi for visiting us in Denver and sharing your passion and knowledge. I look forward to seeing you again in a future workshop!

Friday, December 4, 2015

No Hour of Life...

"Bending Blue" 8x10 oil on archival Ampersand panel
For Sale at Framed Image in Denver 
No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.  Winston Churchill

Happy First Friday everyone!  I’m going to add to Sir Winston Churchill’s assertion that I feel the same about time spend painting in the studio. I don’t think we should ever feel guilty about time spent on creative pursuits. Even on a tough painting day, I try to appreciate and enjoy every minute.

Quickly, thanks to all the artists who've already joined my Thursday painting class at Park Hill Art Club starting in January. This is going to be an exciting “daily painting” class where we emphasize color for 6 weeks. It's just about sold out but as I write this, I think there are 1 or 2 spots left in either AM or PM—to register or for more info please click here. Looking forward to seeing you there!

I had such a gratifying time painting my light and shadow horse oil painting last week that I wanted to do paint another.  I choose this reference for both the gesture of the horse and the lighting where his head was mostly in shadow.

Today’s Painting Tip: Look for the light! As a painting teacher, I often see even advanced students working from a nice reference photo but the lighting (indoors or out) is flat or overcast—dare I say even gloomy or just blah. 

That's OK if you goal is subtle and understated but I think you’ll find that an exciting painting will be easier to achieve if you have dramatic or attention-grabbing light conditions. I’ll go so far to say that interesting lighting can make an “everyday” object into a very special painting subject!

P.S. Next time I'll post a still life painting inspired by today's announcement of Pantone 2016 Color of the Year or should I say Colors?? Stay tuned...