Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Up, Down & Around: Painting Skies, Water & Trees

Water on the Move, pastel, 11x14, workshop demo

This past week I taught a new workshop I’ve developed called Up, Down & Around: Painting Skies, Water & Trees. I was real happy with the format, and it was well received by a very enthusiastic group of artists at SageBrushers Art Society in Bend, OR!

Following below are progression shots of some of my “warm up” paintings that I did just prior to the workshop. For the actual demos painted in the workshop, I talked through each step, addressing the why and how for each step.

Clouds Dancing Over the High Desert, 8x10, oil

For skies, comparing values at the base of dark clouds to values on the ground is critical (photos don’t usually give accurate information for this area!), as is comparing cloud edges to edges elsewhere in the landscape.

Power and Poetry on the Deschutes, 8x10, oil

For water, paying close attention to color temperature shifts between sky reflections on top of the water and what lies beneath, contributes to a genuine capture of translucency and reflective light.

Sunlit Discombobulation, 8x10, pastel

For trees, starting with the big shape without over-defining edges (keep ‘em loose and vague!) and carving out negative space later is important if you want to avoid a “stiff” tree.

I’ll be teaching this same workshop again this November in Bridgewater, NJ (see below) and may also teach it at more venues in the future.


Landgrove, VT - 4-day PASTEL/OIL workshop (studio with some plein air, weather permitting)
Oct. 16, 17, 18 & 19, 2017 (Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs)
"Painting the Poetic Landscape"
InView Center for the Arts at the Landgrove Inn
132 Landgrove Road, Landgrove, VT  05148
Contact: Tom Checchia,, 802-824-6673

Bridgewater, NJ - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Nov. 3, 4 & 5, 2017 (Fri/Sat/Sun)
"Up, Down & Around: Painting Skies, Water & Trees"
York Art Studio
350 Grove St. #4, Bridgewater, NJ 08807
Contact: Barbara Jaenicke,

Dahlonega, GA - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Jan. 25-27, 2018
"Landscape & Light"
The Art Loft
Contact: Anita Elder,, 706-429-6008

Fresno, CA - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Feb. 15-17, 2018
"Composition Boot Camp"
A Sense of Place Fine Art Gallery
Contact: Ginny Burdick,, 559-392-6775

There's more!!! ... For FULL WORKSHOP SCHEDULE, go to

My INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS are available at

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