Sunday, November 9, 2014

Wrapping up Composition Boot Camp in Dahlonega.

January Shadows, oil, 8x10

block-in for January Shadows

I spent two very productive days with a group of artists in Dahlonega, GA at The Art Loft this past week. The Art Loft is a well equipped studio in a beautiful area in North Georgia, owned and run by Anita Elder...artist, workshop host, and chef extraordinaire!

The primary skill practiced in this workshop was "thumbnail-to-block-in," composing a thumbnail and blocking in four 8x10 (or 8x8) paintings each day. Block-in only, and no further than that. Although I did let students take one painting a bit further at the end of each day.

I altered this workshop slightly from how I've taught it in the past. I now use timed intervals. This encouraged students to focus only on what was required for the exercise (composing BIG SIMPLIFIED SHAPES) and avoid laboring over the unimportant details we were trying to avoid. The timed exercises worked well, and students seemed to be surprised at how much work they could get done in a short period of time, and a few had those precious light bulbs go off regarding how to simplify busy landscape subject matter...I love it when that happens!

Autumn Light, pastel, 8x10

block-in for Autumn Light

The two pieces show above are my demos from this workshop, shown with the block-in stage for each. (The pastel block-in is shown just one-step further than the underpainting block-in, with the large tree mass given one more layer to begin breaking apart that big shape.)

The thumbnail stage is a BIG DEAL in my Composition Boot Camp! Below are my thumbnails for each of the two demos shown.

I hope to schedule a couple of one-day versions of this workshop at my studio in Roswell, GA in January. Email me if interested at I've also had a couple of requests to hold this workshop in other cities, but nothing is firmed up yet on those. I'll post information here on my blog if more are planned.

In the meantime, for those of you here in the Atlanta area, I'm teaching a one-day basic landscape oil painting workshop at the Red Cockerill Gallery in Austell, GA this Saturday, Nov. 15. Details below:

Landscape Oil Painting: The Nuts & Bolts
Nov. 15, 2014 (Sat.), 10 - 5
Red Cockerill Gallery
2845 Cemetery St.
Austell, GA  30106
Contact Ann Cockerill to register: 770-944-3160 or

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