Friday, April 19, 2013

"French Village" (oil on linen; 12" x 12") sold

"French Village"

French village demo I

French village demo II

French village demo III

French village demo IV

French village demo V

Dreama's finished demo painting

On the second day of Dreama Tolle Perry's workshop, we painted a charming French village scene.  Architecture and landscape are two of my favorite subjects, so I was very happy with Dreama's choice.  My burning question was how she would approach architectural rendering.  As you can see in the first demo photo, she did some line drawing before starting the underpainting.  What a relief!

The third demo photo shows her dark/mid-tone underpainting.  Shockingly dark again! What about the pink sky?  We were in the throes of a French Revolution here!  In the fourth demo photo, you can see squiggly marks Dreama made with a color shaper (it's a rubber-tipped tool with which one can scrape out paints off canvas).  She used it to draw and add her signature.

The primary objective of the second day was bold brushstrokes for which she is famous.  She used ONE brush for the entire painting--Winsor & Newton Monarch flat brush (#14), plus a small palette knife.  With judicious and practiced use of these limited tools, she created her trademark strokes.  How about that!

Her bottom line?  Put down a stroke and leave it alone unless it really needs to be modified.  Please don't "lick" the canvas by going back and forth with your brush.  Don't make strokes in the same direction in a given section.  Don't paint from the same puddle of colors for the entire sky, or wall, or whatever.  Variety is the spice of life! Instead of making hundreds of strokes for leaves and flowers (I am guilty!), make a few suggestive strokes. Be a minimalist.

Yes, Dreama dropped some random colors here and there, especially along the edges, but in general, her choice of colors was based on knowledge.  Most importantly, what made her art so colorful was her beautiful grays as much as her bright colors.

One more thing.  Dreama is not a die-hard, plein-air painter; she is a good photographer.  You have to start with good reference photos.  It is hard to paint a sun-drenched scene with a picture taken on a cloudy day.  I will conclude my "Dreama experience" tomorrow.  Please feel free to leave comments!