Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Fall Foliage Trap

The Aspens Below, pastel, 8x10

We immersed ourselves in autumn color during my classes this month here at my studio. Fall has always been my favorite season, but painting it is usually harder than you think.

I first decide what areas contain the most intense color, and then contrast those areas with duller color. Since sunlit autumn foliage tends to have a dappled effect with many tiny spots of color, you have to work even harder to simplify big chunks of the landscape so that you don't end up attempting to paint every dab of bright color ... a trap that all artists fall into at some point!

For any of you wanting to learn more about my process for simplifying busy landscapes into strong compositions, read on ...

I've had many requests by various artists both locally and out of state to teach my Composition Boot Camp workshop. In this workshop I cover in depth how to "see" your landscape subject matter, and then organize it so that you can SIMPLIFY busy subject matter into a well composed design. It's most definitely a learned skill, and I have students practice very specific exercises repetitively in order to understand it. I have 2-day version of this workshop scheduled next week here in Georgia (see below), which still has a couple of openings, and am considering planning some 1-day versions at my studio in January ... stay tuned for details!

The three pieces shown here were my demos from three different classes held at my studio last week.

Mountaintop Aspens, oil, 10x8

Golden Moment, oil, 10x8

Upcoming Workshops:

NOV. 6 & 7 (Thurs/Fri)
The Art Loft, Dahlonega, GA
Visit to register.
Workshop fee - $225

Nov. 15 (Sat.)
Red Cockerill Gallery
2845 Cemetery St.
Austell, GA 30106
Contact Ann Cockerill to register: 770-944-3160 or 
Workshop fee: $130

PASTEL Workshop - Stevensville, MD - 3-day 
Workshop - February 6, 7 & 8, 2015 (Fri/Sat/Sun)
Demo - Thurs., Feb. 5, 5:30 - 8:30 pm, $45, $55 at door
Chesapeake Fine Art Studio 
609 Thompson Creek Rd.
Stevensville, MD 21666
(about 40 minutes from downtown Baltimore)

PASTEL Workshop - Bonita Springs, FL - 3-day 
Feb. 25, 26 & 27, 2015 (Wed/Thurs/Fri)
Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs
26100 Old US 41 Road
Bonita Springs, FL 34135
$350/members; $400/nonmembers

See my workshop page on my website for details and complete schedule through 2015, or email me with any questions.

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