Thursday, March 21, 2013

St. Patrick's Demonstration

Demonstration...the next part

On St. Patrick's night, I did a demonstration for about thirty souls at the Newburyport Art Association. Actually it was in two parts. First, I did a grisaille from scratch, massing the forms in my usual blend of burnt umber and ultramarine, The panel was a wipe-out from the last day of the Savannah Workshop in February, and once had a view of Forsyth Park. (16x20, Claessens #13 SP, mounted to a panel).

In the second part of the evening, I worked on a painting begun en plein air last summer, in class. Many of the students were very familiar with how I begin paintings, but were less so with the next step.  

Tonight's post will deal with the grisaille I started at the demonstration. You'll see that I have a full spectrum of colors laid out on the palette in the picture. I would normally, painting out-of-doors, have only a few on the palette, adding others as necessary. In this case, I was anticipating the second part of the demonstration, working on an already- started painting.

The demonstration grisaille ended up like this. When I do these I am always painting out of my head, under a time constraint, so they aren't usually the most sophisticated of compositions.

As you can see, the panel had a tint of transparent red oxide, and a bit of the wiped-off Savannah start. Here's a detail.

I was thinking this morning about last night's post, and about the discussion of warm versus cool shadows. This prompted me to work on the grisaille, not using blue or violet in the shadowed areas, yet still trying to get a sense of summer warmth without the color temperature contrast.

This is where it wound up.

When I was cleaning my brushes, I realized that I didn't like the falling line of the treetops, angling down toward the right. So I redesigned them. Unfortunately there was wet paint in the area, so they lack some of the oomph they might have had. This is where it actually stands now (plus a detail):

Looks to me, now, that I did more than just change the tree line. I confess that my brush spends a lot of time dancing around, not always under my control. I'll sort some of it out tomorrow when I have a couple of painter friends visiting the studio.

No one submitted any questions. I guess answers are not needed at the moment.

Germany and Russia have now surpassed France in recent blog-following. Perhaps we'll get some new friends for the English and French Workshops?



  1. Love what you did to the tree line. Making the trees taller, creates a more intimate scene. Who knew?

  2. Just curious, What are the pink and yellowish containers at each upper corner and left side of your palette?

    1. The "pink" one is a resealable plastic cup holding Liquin. The two "yellow" ones are slices from a wine cork, stuck to the glass, to maintain the spacing when the folding palette is closed. They allow one to keep piles of fresh color on the palette, without blotting on the other leaf, when the palette is closed.