This has been a crazy, busy week. But, I was fortunate enough to be able to take a couple days off work to attend another mini-workshop sponsored by Utah Watercolor Society. This workshop was with Utah artist, Julie Rogers, who does beautiful work in watercolors and pastels. When you look at her paintings, you can see her mastery of using warm and cool colors in her composition to create a dynamic whole. They are just beautiful.
My goal this year is to take as many workshops as possible...partly because it just gives me some uninterrupted painting time, but also to help me be more aware of the tools and techniques I use in my paintings (rather than just painting by instinct, and then wondering why some pieces turn out lovely and others not). With Kristi Grussendorf, I learned some techniques for creating focal point and drawing a viewer into the painting. With Marian Dunn, I set up a new palette and really started to investigate how different colors work with each other, which colors are useable for glazing and which will stain. I also learned a lot about mingling colors and dropping in colors in my washes - and mixing my own greens! I also had fun experimenting with YUPO paper. :) Now, with Julie Rogers, I learned about warm values and cool values within color groups, and how to choose the proper shadow values for different lighting and "rules" for the amount of warm vs. cool in your composition. And....edges MATTER! (Of course they do. :))
Certainly, I am far from perfect at any of these things. But, I feel so much more knowlegable about the techniques I employ and the "tools" I am using in my paintings (from paint choices to brush choices to paper choice).
Here are some paintings I started in this week's workshop and finished up at home this evening...or I guess it's early morning now! :)
These first three are cropped from a larger painting I started on the first day of the workshop. Ultimately, I did not like the whole. But, there were sections that I really liked. As always, I believe in CROPPING! Never be afraid to crop! :)
Now I have three little paintings that I quite like. They each work as a painting on their own, but also make a nice little trio together. They are simply titled "Fall #1," "Fall #2," and "Fall #3"
As you probably know by now, one of my favorite places in the whole world is Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. So, on day 2 of the workshop, I chose to try a different viewpoint of Delicate Arch (rather than straight on like I usually paint it). Here is the little painting I started (and finished some details at home). I have titled this painting "A Different Delicate."
What makes this Delicate painting particularly different for me, besides the vantage point, is that I did not do a pencil sketch before making this painting. I basically "drew" the entire painting with my paintbrush, blocking in the sky and background areas first, trying to leave white space for where I wanted the arch to be located, and then blocking in the arch and other details once the background had dried. It's an interesting process, and not my usual. But, the colors came out nicely and, while not perfect, I liked how the painting ended up. :)