Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Greens of Winter

Yes, I realize I've been painting lots of snow lately. I promise I'll stop soon. The winter weather in most areas of this country has outstayed its welcome already, but it's so darn fun to paint! In my classes this month at my studio, I wanted to spend one more session playing in the snow, this time focusing on greenery within a snow scene in order to study the warm and cool color temperatures in the greenery as compared to the snow.

It's quite the balancing act to observe these color temperatures in such different hues in the landscape. But with painting, everything is relative, and it's a matter of comparing how one color appears next to another. The same color can appear cool in one location but warm in another.

Below are my oil and pastel demos from this topic...

Three's a Crowd, pastel, 8x10

Middle of the Road, oil, 8x10

In both paintings, the darks of the greenery made for a strong value contrast against the snow. Careful observation reveals that even the shadow areas of the snow are a great deal lighter than the greenery. Even the highlighted areas of the greens are still darker than the shadow areas of the snow. Warm and cool color shifts in both the snow and the greenery are key to conveying sunlight and shadow areas, with the value shifts in those areas much more subtle.

Below are a few progression shots of each...

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Workshop Wrap Up - Red Cockerill Gallery

This past Saturday I enjoyed spending the day with a great group of artists at the Red Cockerill Gallery in Austell, GA, a town just west of Atlanta. This charming little gallery is run by Ann Cockerill, who also teaches classes regularly at her gallery, and occasionally hosts workshops by guest artists. I was fortunate to be invited back to teach a workshop, after conducting a demonstration there several months ago.

Several in this group were experienced artists, but new to pastel. Ann was kind enough to work with me to put together a starter supply kit for students to purchase from the gallery. This was a great, affordable way for many in the group to give pastels a try.

Since many of the pastels in the starter kit were fairly bright, and I wanted to try and use as many as I could from the same pastels as the class, my resulting demo was a bit on the bright side! I did sneak in several of my neutrals, and explained the importance of balancing color temperature, even when you desire intense color in your finished painting. "Winter Reds" was my demo from this workshop.

Winter Reds, pastel, 14x11

thumbnail value study for Winter Reds